Reverse Nesting


When I was pregnant with each of my three children, I went through a manic nesting stage. I cleaned the house, bought things for the baby and baby proofed the rooms. It was my way of trying to control what I could during a scary, emotional time.


When I was pregnant with each of my three children, I went through a manic nesting stage. I cleaned the house, bought things for the baby and baby proofed the rooms. It was my way of trying to control what I could during a scary, emotional time. I was thrilled to be pregnant, but I was nervous about life with children. Could I handle it? Was I going to be a good mother? Would my marriage be okay and would I still feel like I had a life of my own?

There were some incredibly rough spots, but overall I think it went pretty well. Now I am on the other side of raising children. My oldest has graduated college and is starting his own adult life. My daughter leaves for college in the fall. And my baby has a driver’s license and a social life of his own. I see my nest starting to empty and I’m scared. I want my children to grow into independent, happy adults, but I’m worried about what my life will look like once they leave the nest.

So what gives? Why all the purging?

My husband recently noticed that I was “reverse nesting.” I’ve been purging each room, closet, nook and cranny. I’ve put together bags and bags of giveaways, garbage, and recycling. I’m organizing the closets and pantry and even the laundry room looks lighter and cleaner. So what gives? Why all the purging?

At first, I couldn’t figure it out. Was I trying to get rid of the evidence of my children’s childhoods? That certainly wasn’t the case, because most of the purging was of my own things, not the things that matter to them. My purging was of things that now seem so silly and unnecessary in the grand scheme of my life and my family.

As my children have grown, I’ve cared less and less about material things and more and more about the people that I love. I have no matching drinking glasses anymore. My very old mini-van still drives, so why give it away. And really, there isn’t much in the way of material things that matter to me. Being a mom has given me the wisdom to realize what matters most and I’ve been purging the things that don’t.

Being a mom has given me the wisdom to realize what matters most. #parenting Click To Tweet

I want these last few months and years with my children living in my home to be about our family and not about stuff. I want them to plop on a couch with dirty clothes and not care. I want them to curl up on a chair with their dog, eating popcorn, and not worry that they are making a mess. I want us all to take a family walk and hop back in my old mini van and not worry that we are tracking in mud. I want broken dishes to be no big deal and spilled milk to be a funny memory.

So, many of the things that seemed to matter when they were little have turned out to be trivial as they become young adults. They’ve all made wonderful friends. They’ve all done just fine in school. And all my silly worries are just that – silly. With time moving faster and faster, I’m working my hardest to drop the worries and drop the material things and make space in both my home and my heart to just enjoy my family exactly as they are.

Love,

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC

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About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC

headshot of Lisa KaplinCertified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.

I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.

 

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My Kid’s Harvard Good Bye, Dear Friend
My Kid’s Harvard
Good Bye, Dear Friend

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