Dear Jill,

My daughter is heading off to her freshman year of college. There’s no doubt she’s going to do well. However, it’s me who’s a mess. She and I are very close and the loss is tangible for me. I’ve ordered your Empty Nest Full Life book and can’t wait for it to arrive. In the meantime, what can I do to stop this sadness?

Empty Nest Crying Mom

Dear Empty Nest Crying Mom,

I’m so glad you reached out. It’s important that we don’t try to navigate these transitions alone! You’ve been guiding your child’s life for 18 or more years. That’s a long time to do something that you will no longer do. In fact, a mother’s job is to work herself out of a job. You did that! Great job! Now you have to adjust to this wonderful, new season in front of you!

Here are some next steps for your journey that will help you make that transition:

#1: Understand the Different Types of Mom Grief

Grief is a part of the empty nest journey. The kind of grief you experience may be different than what a friend or sister-in-law experiences. What’s important is to know that grief is part of the transition for nearly every mom. Here’s a blog post that will help you understand some of the different types of grief you may be experiencing.

#2: Reframe Your Thinking

One of the most helpful things you can do is to shift your focus from what you’re losing to what you’re gaining. Your relationship with your daughter will be even better as she becomes more of who God made her to be. You will be stronger in your faith as you lean into God during this transition. You will have the opportunity to bond with your husband or some of your other kids or friendships that you haven’t been motivated to do because your strong bond with your daughter provided that for you.

#3: Read the book and use the journal!

I’m so glad you ordered the Empty Nest Full Life book. I think that will be VERY helpful for you! I wrote it to guide you through this transition. I also created the Empty Nest Full Life Journal to help you sort through the emotions and better understand who you are as you head into your encore season of life!

#4: Join the Facebook Group!

I highly suggest you connect with the Empty Nest Full Life Facebook group as well. This is a community of nearly 2,000 Christian moms who understand what you’re feeling and can empathize, encourage, and equip you for the journey!

#5: Register for the Empty Nest Full Life Mom Retreat

You’ve poured into your family for so long, now it’s time to pour into you! The Empty Nest Full Life Retreat is a great place to do that. You can learn more about the next retreat here.

#6: Check out these interviews and podcast episodes:

Six Things Every Empty Nest Parent Needs to Let God Of
Family Life Today Day 1: Now That the Kids Are Gone
Family Life Today Day 2: Letting Go and Moving Forward
Family Life Today Day 3: Now That the Kids Are Gone (Marriage and the Empty Nest)
Focus on the Family Interview: Living A Full Life in the Empty Nest Years

#7: Drop Your Anchor

More than anything, you need to lean into God and His Word to hold you steady. Right now you’re likely letting your emotions lead you. Let God’s Word lead you instead. Doing so will drop an anchor into the waves of transition. It will steady you to navigate this transition holding God’s hand. By the way, He understands. He also had to let Jesus go when He sent Him to earth!


Want to learn more about the Empty Nest Retreat? Watch this video:

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