In the past, I have written about the changes that take place as our children leave the house and we transition to that “Empty Nester” status. I have one more child at home who is entering her sophomore year of high school, so, it is something I think about quite often. As I ponder the who, what, where, when, how and why of this particular transition, I am realizing that my work-at-home lifestyle is actually going to be ideal for the empty nest stage of my life, too.
Maybe you are imagining a morose scene, with me taking brief breaks in between work to visit my children’s empty bedrooms and sob over past memories, but, that definitely isn’t what I am picturing.
Here are four Empty Nester scenarios I am imagining that fit in perfectly with my telecommuting lifestyle.
1. Travel and Make Money
I have always loved travel. I love visiting new places, particularly historical places, and imagining the wonderful things people accomplished and the cultures in which they lived. Once we become Empty Nesters, my husband and I have plans to pick up and start exploring as much as possible.
In my opinion, the only downside to travel is the fact that you are spending lots of money, and since you are gone, you put your business on hold and probably aren’t making much money during your absence. Since we don’t work in a traditional office, however, we can get around that. For example, we can choose to visit a specific place, make plans to stay longer and really explore the area, and, as long as we are armed with our laptops and have electric, internet and phone service, we can continue to run our business. The possibility of making more money than we are spending (and avoiding all the catch up that is usually involved when you are away from the office) sounds absolutely awesome!
2. Flexibility to Pursue New Interests
I have plans to take a few classes and do some additional volunteer work once I am an official Empty Nester. If I had a role in a traditional office, this prospect might be much more challenging. But, as a Work at Home Woman, I can flex my schedule and catch a class online midday or spend my lunch break working on a volunteer project or a new hobby.
3. Easier to Feather the Nest
Due to the free time and additional discretionary funds that become available, a lot of Empty Nesters choose this time to “feather the nest,” a.k.a. tackle home improvement projects. It can be very stressful to schedule time away from a traditional office to give contractors or professionals access to your home, but, if you are working remotely, this is obviously a lot easier.
If you are undertaking DIY projects, you can prep or plug away at your project before work, during breaks, and immediately following your work day, allowing you to get much more done than others who work in a traditional setting and need that time to commute back and forth to work.
4. Ability to Spend Maximum Time with Your Kids When They Visit
Probably one of the best things about working from home is that I can spend time with my kids when they visit. My son, who is in the Navy, was home for 3 weeks this summer and I found myself so grateful for my telecommuting lifestyle. We would have breakfast together before he’d head out for his day of activities with friends, or, if he was home during the day, I could choose to spend some time with him while keeping an eye on my business. In addition, I was able to flex my time in such a way that I could get started on dinner before my work day was over, and we got to enjoy a few big, fancy family dinners together!
Most will agree that the parenting job is FAR from over when your kids move out. We’ve personally discovered that, in some ways, our job as parents feels almost harder now. We have to stand back and let our children make mistakes, keep our opinions to ourselves unless asked, and work harder to maintain communication with our adult children now that we don’t live under the same roof. But once we reach the Empty Nest season in our lives, it will offer us an exciting opportunity to redefine ourselves. Luckily, our work at home lifestyle opens up even more avenues than we could have initially imagined.
Are you an Empty Nester? What benefits have you enjoyed as a work at home professional? What would you add to the list?