Ah, the joys of becoming an empty nester. Most baby boomers who’ve had kids are probably there now and if not, they’re getting close. And humor author Marsha Kester Doyle of Pompano Beach, Florida, who wrote the book Who Stole My Spandex?, is counting those joys.
I’m counting down the years until the last of my four children moves out of the house. I get giddy at the prospect of being an empty nester. While there are some parents who dread this phase of life, I know I’ll embrace the newfound freedom of an unscheduled calendar.
No more P.T.A. meetings, teacher conferences, football games, homework squabbles, band practice, or bake sales. I dream of the day I can lock the front door, hop in the RV, and hit the road to Margaritaville.
The advantages of becoming an empty nester are numerous:
- The laundry room will no longer look like I it has been hit by an atomic bomb of dirty clothes.
- The liquor cabinet that was once locked down tighter than Fort Knox can now be left open for legal libations.
- Our extra bedrooms will no longer resemble hotel rooms trashed by rockers and their overzealous fans after a sold-out concert.
- My electric bill will decrease because no one will be checking the refrigerator every ten minutes to see if new groceries have magically appeared inside.
- I won’t have to wake up before the owls go to bed to get my kid to the school bus on time.
- I can travel to exotic places like Bora Bora. Just kidding! I’m broke after raising four kids. The only trip I can afford now is to Walmart.
- No more stockpiling of toilet paper, milk, or socks.
- It’ll take three days to fill the dishwasher— maybe more since I’ll only be cooking for two. How much space do I need for a microwave tray, cup of soup, or a bowl of Cap’n Crunch cereal?
- Ant colonies will no longer form on my kitchen counters to feast on donut crumbs or pizza crusts left out by the kids the night before.
- There will be no more squabbling over the TV remote. I can watch Cupcake Wars instead of listening to Kim whine on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
- I won’t have to conceal my Chinese leftovers in a container marked “Urine Sample” to fool hungry teenagers.
- My grocery bill will be cut in half since I’ll no longer be feeding a school of piranhas at the dinner table.
- I’ll finally be able to hear the birds singing outside instead of covering my bleeding ears to the loud thumping bass of my son’s electronic dance music.
- My husband and I will be able to rekindle the intimacy of our youth without worrying that the kids will walk in on us in the bedroom while we’re playing the naughty version of Little Red Riding Hood and the big bad wolf.
So you see, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel of parenthood … until the circle of life comes around with the next stage: grandchildren.
Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the humorous book, Who Stole My Spandex? and the voice behind the popular midlife blog, Menopausal Mother. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Mid, BlogHer, Boomeon, Better After Fifty, Humor Outcasts, BLUNTmoms, The Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Midlife Boulevard and numerous other sites.