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Changing plans

I have not been able to get here for a while, which kind of ties in with my title today. Life has kind of taken over lately and my free time on the computer is a bit more limited lately.

Changing plans.

When you renest, you find that plans you thought were set in cemet, are suddenly changing. Instead of just thinking of what you want, you are helping with grandkids and having to adjust your day to day with thier needs.

Our youngest moved out months after our daughter and her kids moved in  and instead of being empty nesters with plans all figured out, we find we are a full nest again and in total limbo.

We had plannned on finishing up the things on this  house that needed to be done and by the end of the year renting out our home and moving to a small apartment up by my husbands work to save him the 50 mile drive each way and us the gas money expense . We would make a few hundred profit a month on the rental and be spending quite a few hundred less on rent and utilities and be able to save the gas money as well and finish paying off our last few debts and start funding our savings and emergeny accounts in earnest.  We were very excited about this upcoming adventure in our lives.

Wel……, not gonna happen any time soon !!  Our daughter came to live with us with her kids and now we have to change those plans . The hardest thing is not really knowing when we can make plans again.

She is planning to becoming an RN and we are very proud of her, but this goal is about a four to five year one. She has to wait a year from the date she started working, which was three months ago, or she is not considered a state resident and tuition is high. That said, she can start school in spring of 2011. So, she will not be through school  until the end of at least 2016.

It is a hard thing to have plans you are very emotionally invested in fall through and on top of that not k now when you can even make them again, but, the pay off is worth it to us.

We have missed our daughter for the entire eight years we were apart from her. We barely knew our nine year old grand daughter and were virtual strangers to our two year old grandson when they moved in. Since then we  have forged close relationships with both of them and seeing our daughter every day has been such a blessing.   

At times it is hard to know what could have been, but , you really have to learn to adapt when you decide to bring a grown child with kids back into your home to help them. Concentrate on the blessings, not that what could have been and just work to find the balance you need to make the enitre situation work for everyone.

It is hard work for everyone, you the kids and the grandkids, but is well worth it and you just have to learn to change plans.

I am not just talking about big plans either, it could be as simple as our daughter being called in to work on her day off ,and a day we   thought we would have to ourselves, we don’t. I think sometimes those are the harder changes honestly.

Life is an adventure, and you just do not know where it will take you, so plan carefully, but understand that  you may find you have to make some major changes and you can get through it by just being flexable and sometimes just letting go of that emotional investment in those plans and be willing to make new plans on a moments notice when you decide to renest !!! 

Last but not least, remember that is well worth it, and you will never regret helping your child get through whatever it is they need to get through. You just have to be willing to change plans on a whim sometimes.

I am very excited today to have heard from Pat at smartpassiveincome.com that I won a book in a posting contest and he was also going to put a link to this blog on todays post. I want to thank Pat and anyone that drops by from his site, thank you for checking out my site and I hope some of you will come back and visit !! I am new and learning but plan to work hard  to become a better blogger and really want to interact with other people here !!

One of the biggest challenges I have found in renesting is the fact we had to find a way to add three people into a home that has been set up for three people and that takes some creativity and a whole lot of sacrifice  to go from three to six in a 1600 square foot home !!

My husband had his stain glass studio in a bedroom and I had my office in the front living room, and our twenty year old getting ready to fly the coop son had one room as well. We finally had a guest room, a dream that with four kids was never possible. Our daughter and her two kids moved in and we tried putting a two year old boy in with  his nine year old sister and the resulting drama was worth the loss of the stain glass studio to give her a room of  her own !! I had forgotten how dramatic nine year old girls are, but is another post !!

So, now, we had to pack up a pretty full work studio and a pretty full office as we had been enjoying the big empty  house to ourselves. After emptying the house over several weeks, out our daughter later followed my husband into our storage barn and looked around  , and  since she and I are rivited to the tv when Hoarders is on, asked her Dad, gee, this is pretty full, are you guys hoarders ?? He looked at her and said, no, it was empty until we had to empty three rooms for you !! She thought it was pretty  funny but I am not so sure he did !!

I miss having his big work room, I had all my bead and jewelry and other crafts on a shelf in there . I miss him having all his glass and projects out and so much fun and  creative stuff in there.  I miss  having a big office in the front of the house. It was nice to have another room to go down to and hang out throughout the day.  Sacrifice is really what it was all about to bring our daughter and kids into the house. Was it worth it, yes, hands down, would not change a thing if we could.

Our entire life is housed on our bedroom now.  Our computer, tv with dvr, lol, and lots and lots of books. I try to hide in here when I can, but somehow the two year old finds me , he is in here crawling under all the furniture as I type !!  It is a challenge and does take enormous patience and a lot of storage space to add your grown kids and thier kids back into the house. No doubt about it.

One major issue for me was the fact that if I had to listen to Dora and  Spongebob and so one much longer I would need some therapy, lol !! I spent many early years with cartoons and thought that was over, but for now, it is back in my life !! My husband had moved our pc into the small family room next to our bedroom  I was left with no quiet time on the computer at all , the cartoons are on all day. My solution was to put a dvr and small tv in our room and move the pc in here where I can still hear the tv in the next room but it is muted and not so bad and our little 13 inch allows me to record and watch things I love when I am not on the computer , reading,  or doing housework.

Our twenty year old just moved out and his sister wants his room bad so she can  move in there and make her current bedroom , which is the front living area into thier own living area, and I can’t wait because the cartoons will be in there not our family room !! The problem is , the twenty  year old is taking his sweet time to get all this stuff out and holding all of  us hostage by keeping  her in her current situation. I think his Dad and I might load up our old pick up and drop by his place this weekend !!

So, we will be playing musical rooms one more time and then should be settled in for a while. 

We still have a lot of work to do though. We need to paint both rooms. We want to make our grandaughters room pretty and our grandsons room is actually the perfect color but needs a lot of touch ups where shelves came down and we really do need to remove the pink carpet that is left over in that room from the previous owner, but so far, he has not really cared !! I wanted to put the grandaughter in the room that had pink carpet and the big closet but her mom wanted her in the bigger room. It is hard, I have had some challenges in letting her do it her way and refrain from saying  ” its my house and I want to do it like this .  ”  Grown kids are a little more touchy then when they were your kids, back then you just told them and they did it, like it or not, but grown kids, it is a very differant thing. She wants to set up her side of the house her way and I am working hard on letting her and wow, sometimes it is very hard, but she does not know it. I am doing pretty good !!

So, there are so many challenges to moving kids or parents or anyone into a home you have set up for yourself. It takes a lot of patience, and creativity and learning to shut up and let them do it  thier way in the spaces you made for them !!

Your kids are grown and the last one is about to leave the nest and you suddenly start to  find yourself with so much time on your hands and you start to think about all the things you want to accomplish and have never done…. but…. if you have kids, chances are, you are still gonna have to balance your life like you did when they were still in the house. This is especially true if you are a grandparent .  Unless you are just not involved with your kids, and most of us are,  or you are far away from them geographicly , you are still going to be challanged to find  yourself amongst the clutter, clamor,  and chaos that you had when you were raising the kids, and you know what, you would not have it any other way !!!

I have come to the conclusion, even before we had our nest filled again, that once you have some kids, you will probably with only a few breaks , always have small children around you. If you think one day you can have a house that you do not have to worry about, that you can leave the most delicate thing out and not have to worry about it breaking, you are most likely wrong.   I am 49 with grown kids, youngest just turned 20 and I still have to baby proof my house, and since the fourth one is not yet dating, let alone married or starting a family yet, and at least one , if not both our daughters are not sure if they will have more kids, but it is likely, then by the time they are done, the youngest wil probably start and then by the time he is done, our oldest grandkids are going to be getting to that point of marriage and famly themselves, so other than maybe a few little breaks, kids are in our future to stay and that is wonderful. Exhausting, overwelming sometimes, busy , crazy and messy, but wonderful.  That is why we had kids, to have family and we have it !!

The challenge then, is the same one I had when I was raising our kids , other then the fact they are not mine and I do get real breaks even from the ones that live with us, to figure out what I want to do and be and have and figure out how to make that happen once I figure it all out.       

The reason I started this blog was to help myself  figure it all out. I hope to meet others in the same situation and learn how they do it, balance grandkids, housework, husband and finding a career when raising kids was my career. That is what I did, stay at home mom.                       

I was a Leave it to Beaver kind of mom, except the pearls and dresses, lol. I was home with the kids all the time, made sure they got fed, bathed, home work done , to and from school . with the help of a supportive and hands on hubby. Due to my not working, money was tight and I made everything from scratch. Cookies, cakes, pies , and dinners. Very little box stuff and had to watch every penny.

I did not have much time to devote to myself and I am afraid I lost a sense  of who I was over those years. My husband worked swing shift so five days a week it was like being a single mom, I had to do it all myself because he left before they got home from school and got home long after they were in bed. He was able to help in the morning and that was great, but for most of those years we had one at  home all day and over the years, I kind of got lost in the mommy, mom, mother , wife , housewife, cook, cleaning lady and all the other stuff we housewives/ moms  do . Add to that no money to spend on fun stuff , and I read a lot and crocheted a lot and talked on the phone with friends, but I did not do much creative stuff and my art and my writing, both of which I had loved as a kid and teen and young adult, just disapeared. 

I did write a lot of poetry during that time , and I still have it. But I have little thought to who I was and what I needed. It was on the backburner when the kids needed all that they needed.

I do not want to  continue like that. I want to take the time I do have to myself and figure out who I am. Not a wife or mom or grandma or whatever I am to others, but who I am inside, what am I passionate about, other than my family which is always going to be nmber one, and I want to f igure out what am I good at.

I once heard  that you should figure out what it is that you could do that would be so interesting and enjoyable to you that you would stay up late and get up early to be able to do that. Like many artists who get consumed by thier art, I need to find that passion within and find something for me to enjoy and love and look forward to and feel successful at.   Something that will consume me and allow me to lose myself in it .     

So, that is the j0urney I am setting out on. I hope to find what it is inside that I want to do and be that is just for me.    I think in finding that, I will be more to my husband and kids because when you have a great passion in your life for something,  you bring that passion into the other aspects of your life. You are more fun and interesting to be around and you are happier.

I am not unhappy but I need something that I can not put my finger on. I will find it though.  One day at a time like the saying goes, I will take it one day at a time.

Thanks for stopping in and please let me know your thoughts !!

Stephanie

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I have been married for 28 years to my best friend and father of my four kids.   We enjoy life together and had started to anticipate what empty nest would be like !!

Unlike many couples we got married when our first child was 14 months old and we each lived with our own parents until the wedding and our son went back and forth between us until then. We had never lived together without a child in the house . As can be imagined, we were starting to imagine what that would be like , and were looking forward to that day very excitedly !!We had raised four kids, so we had started with one, gone up to four and now  were back down to only one in the house again.

Our youngest son was turning 20 last year and we knew he would be moving out sometime after that and we were waiting , not that we wanted to push him out or anything, l0l, but we were excited to live without kids and see what that would be like. We had a taste as he worked a lot and was gone with friends a lot, so we had a lot of time to ourselves and kind of liked it  !!

Here comes reality !! Our oldest daughter came out to visit from Calif to Texas where we live now in Aug of 2009 . She and our two wonderful grandkids had a great time and of course we were in heaven,  and then they went back home. She was living with her husband in his parents home in Southern Calif.

Once home she and her husband decided to see if she and the kids could come here until the job situation was settled as he had recently become unemployed. They would stay with us until  he either found a job and a home of thier own there, and then they would go back, or  on the other hand  he gave up and moved here with us  until he found a job and they could get thier own home here.

Within a few months things changed and it appears that they are going to divorce and she is staying with us. The kids will go back and have regular visits with Dad and he is always  welcome here anytime and has visited twice already. They are remarkedly good friends through it all and I am proud of how they are handling the seperation and eventual divorce. They want to do what is right for their kids and remain friends and even though they are apart as a couple , stay united in thier parenting and deciding what is best for the kids.

We are very supportive and will do all we can while we help them with thier future plans.

Our son just moved out last week, four months after they had moved in, and I looked at my husband and said, you do realize we would have been empty nesters today right ?? He said, I know !! We shared a smile but no regrets. We are happy to have them here in Texas with us. We missed way too much of our nine year old grand daughters life and all of our two year grand sons life other than a few week long visits back and forth. We had missed our daughter so badly and still cannot quite believe she is here with the kids and we can see them every day.

No regrets at all, but a lot of adjustments to make of course, on all sides. Not just us, but our daughter and the kids too, but I think we are all adjusting pretty well and we are all happy in this house together.

I decided to start this blog so I can  have a place to write about my life and maybe eventually find some others that have been here in this place and have advice and maybe as I learn be able to help others starting on this journey of renesting their nest as well. I have always loved to write and had put it on the back burner for years and thought it would be fun to have a place to come everyday to write about things that happen and how we all deal with them. It is an interesting and fun journey, and will never be boring , lol !!

Thanks for stopping by,

Stephanie

Hello world!

Well, here I am just getting started tonight !! I am excited to finally have a place to write and be out in the world a bit.

I started this blog so maybe I could meet other empty nesters who have renested and learn about thier adventures and share mine.

So much is changing  and quickly on a day to day basis and it is so weird to be back to this place. I had bragged to a friend recently that I was done with school, and even dared to laugh that she still had kids in school, hmm, I should know by now that one should never say never, the laugh is on me !!

We are however happy to have them here and are adjusting well. There are just so many things I can’t do that I could before, and the house has been changed a lot to accommodate the expanded family !!

I hope to write on a lot of subjects and get others views as they find me here !!

Thanks for reading,  I am happy to be here,

Stephanie

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