School Days Empty Nester


We hear about empty nesters – parents whose children have left home for college – but we don’t often hear about the strange empty space left behind when you suddenly have all your children in school.

I am far from an empty nester, of course. My oldest child is still only six years old, but last week marked a milestone in my motherhood journey. For the first time since early 2014, I suddenly have a few days a week where all four of my children are in school and I don’t have at least one child home with me full-time.

Not an empty nester, for sure, but all of a sudden, entire blocks of time just opened up to me that haven’t existed in nearly seven years and I’m left with a mix of emotions.

I’m happy for my children and for the wonderful experiences that they’re having in school.  I’m excited to be available to them to drive them to all of their various after-school activities and to be able to volunteer for the PTA. I love hearing the things that they’re learning and the other kids they’re meeting. I am delighted to watch my sweet babies becoming even sweeter as they get older and begin to discover the hobbies and passions that speak to their souls.

I’m happy for me too. I’m happy that I have entire swaths of time to train, run errands, work on business items, or simply sit down and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee while it’s still hot.

I’m also sad for myself. My babies have an entire outside world that is exciting, fun, and sometimes not so nice. I find that I miss my kids tremendously when they’re at school even though it’s only for a few hours.

It’s also strangely discombobulating to enter this new stage of motherhood. I left my high-powered full-time job when I had my second child and I recently sold my small business, so as I enter this new stage of life, I am adjusting to also not working 40+ hours a week for the first time in my entire adulthood.

What color is my mommy parachute now?

I don’t have the answers yet – this is a time of intense reflection and transition – but the possibilities seem limitless to finally, for the first time perhaps ever, consider what I really want to do.

I would love to hear from you! What was your transition like? Was it easy? Hard? What helped?

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Erin is a single mom of four young kids (8-year-old, 6-year-old and 4-year-old boy and girl twins). A former US diplomat, Erin has lived and worked all over the world. She is a former nationally ranked 100m and 300m hurdler, a certified yoga and prenatal yoga instructor, and holds additional certifications as a CrossFit Level 2 Coach, Precision Nutrition Coach, USAW L-1, Barre, TRX Barre, TRX Yoga, NASM CPT and as an ACE group fitness trainer. She owns Mount Pleasant Fitness, offering group/personal training. On a daily basis, she aims to show her babies that women can be both soft and strong, and that one must never give up, no matter what!


  1. I’m a mom of 4 with 2 in school full time, preschooler half day, and my 2 year old still stays with me. Life is so crazy and I wish for more down time but also I get extremely sad when I think about my 2 year old starting preschool next year and like you will have no kids at home for a few hours of my day. First time in 7 years. I stopped teaching when my now 6-1/2 year old was born and have been a stay at home mom ever. I do want to go back into the work force of some kind when my youngest is in school but the thought is so daunting for me. It used to be years away in my mind and now it’s seeming closer and closer. My two year old is a handful but she is also my baby and I know I will be so sad sending her to school. Being a stay at hole
    Mom to littles has been my life for so long that I don’t know what to do when that stage is over. How will I define my self and time. This post spoke to me so much. Thank you!

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