About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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& you will too!
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  1. This spoke to my heart. It’s been 1 week since I left my college freshman in New Orleans I miss him so much. Nobody tells you about childbirth and nobody tells you about this empty nest thing. Luckily I do have a lot of friends who have gone through it and told me it could take a while before I figure out my new normal. The one thing I have tried to do is look at it timewise that it’s just like he’s going to summer camp and I will see him in a couple of weeks.
    I’m not alone as I’m surrounded by many moms who are going through this. It’s hard because it has been my job for the past 18 years. While it is still my job, my duties have decreased immensely. So thank you for your article I will keep it and re-read it.

    • I’ve told myself something very similar by saying, “Oh…she’s just in her room studying!” Heh. Denial can be helpful for a little while, can’t it? 🙂

      I’m so thankful you have friends with whom to lean on during this big transition. And I love the way you describe the decrease in job duties. That is quite accurate.

      Sending you and yours much love, Deborah!

  2. Kirsten I not a Mum and never will be never was brave enough to give birth. But I your incourage today reading that you have wrote. I pray for Nieces and Nephews none of them saved nor their Parents. You said a lot of good points. To with them going to College. Well I say College or Uni. As I Pray for my Nieces and Nephews when they go to College or Uni leave home. I tell their Parents when they where babies back all those years ago enjoy them as they grow up far to fast. One day they are round your feet. The next they are not round your feet. You wish they where. You as Mum miss them even a Dad miss them. Yes there are times they annoy you and times you and they might not agree but you still love them and they still love you I told them. I have Sister who has 6 kids here home is getting very empty as her kids are getting they are all going to College and Uni most of them. 2 are away one going next year. One going this September to College. My Sister more so than her Husband their Dad. Beginning to miss them that are away all ready. She see’s the house getting quieter and quieter. No TV no row among Brother and Sisters at times no dirty dishes in the sink no music playing in the house. No bathroom being used for long periods of time. She misses it all. She said yes first few day nice to have no rows among Brother and Sisters. Telling them to stop fighting. Nice to have no dirty dishes in the sink. But then she said I miss all that I have it back again. But you have to let them grow up do their own things and go to College or Uni to get the degree they want to get the jobs they want. You look at how proud of them you are how blessed you are you brought them into the world watch them grow to get to ages they are to get to College or Uni. To do this to get the jobs they have. As Mum my Sister told your proud of them and proud to be their Mum and see them do this. I thought yes I proud to be their Aunt and be able to pray for them and their Parents to. Ask God to keep them safe a College or Uni. Where ever they go to study. They don’t know I pray for them. I pray for their salvation too. As they think I was being to push with my beliefs of I told them I was praying for them all. Especially my Niece’s and Nephews when away from Home at College or Uni. For God to keep them safe and that they would make friends that would be there for them and keep away from danger. Find God to be there Saviour. Love today’s reading. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx

    • One day, I bet your nieces and nephews will be so thankful for all the ways you prayed for them and invested in their lives. What a treasure you are, Dawn!

  3. This hit home for me after a spring/summer of change. My only child just began middle school, which is bittersweet. I also had some change at work that hit me like a truck and it’s been quite an adjustment that I haven’t always handled well. We also lost my grandmother in the midst of all the other stressors, so I’ve found myself yearning for that sweet, good time in the past. Oh, how strong that yearning is! The reminder that this new normal will eventually not be “new” and uncomfortable touched my heart today. Thank you.

    • Oh, you have had quite the changes, my dear, and I’m so sorry for the hard ones. Yes, the new normal eventually becoming familiar is true for a lot of changes, isn’t it? Praying for your heart as you wait for this to happen. Much love!

  4. The many seasons of life. I reflect backwards through time to the weekend 30 years ago that our three children (18, 20, and 22) all left on the same weekend for their first adventures away from home. Your words of wisdom are oh so true. Many years later they have transitioned into adulthood and provided us with wonderful grandchildren. We are experiencing the emotions all over again as we watch our grandchildren “leave the nest” to being their adventures into adulthood. We are so blessed to be able to experience this life journey with both generations!

  5. Soo good Kristen! Never having non-fur-baby kids of our own we’ve loved on our “nieces & nephews” & went thru the empty nest adjustment as they began to graduate college & move away for careers. In reading this this am I was also struck with how practical the touch points are as the roles reversed with our aging parents. Truth is truth no matter the stage we’re in! Blessings! (((0)))

  6. Such a great post!

    Point #2 especially stuck out to me. Haha. As Abbie gets ready to start college, I’m realizing silly little things that I didn’t teach her earlier. Whoops!

    And, YES, this parenting adults thing is weird. It’s especially confusing with a college student and a high schooler living at home. So many transitions, so much weirdness, just so much…lol.

    • Jamie! So good to see you here, dearheart!

      And you’re exactly right…it’s a weird transition that takes time to feel less…weird. Ha. But I know you raised (and are raising) those babies well…they’ll do wonderfully and everyone will find their way! Love and miss you. xo

  7. I’m getting teary just imagining that stage, and it’s still about four years away! But time blips by faster and faster it seems. Thank you for the assurance that the end of one season is the opening of another and each season contains good.

  8. Oh friend, these are such good words. Three of my friends sent a daughter to college for the first time last week and with Annalyn being a sophomore, it’s just giving me all the feels! I’m grateful for your perspective and wisdom (as always). xoxo

    • Mary dearest! Thank you so much…your kind words always mean the world. Praying now for your precious Annalyn to have a great Sophomore year, and that each successive year is kind to her (and you!). Love you so much! xo

  9. Yes Kristen I do believe that and I believe I will see my Niece’s and Nephews saved one day. In God’s perfect timing. Thank you for your lovely comment. I love it when you write in incourage reading. Along with all the other good people that write incourage too. But your inspire me. Get me thinking and always make me smile. Like all the other writers. Thank you for what you wrote on when kids leave home. I dread the day all my sister’s kids leave home. It just her and her Husband at home. As my sister has been so busy for year still is for the time being as has 3 still at home. 3 away from. She break her heart as she my sister has lived her lived for her Husband and her 6 kids. Does not like them leaving but has to let them go. I said to her one day they be back afte College or Uni to get Married if they do then they bring you the Grandkids if they have any for you to enjoy. My Sister said yes I look forward to that day. I keep praying for all their Salvations. Thank you again for you comment. Keeping you all incourage in prayer too. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little Enniskillen Co.Fermanagh N.Ireland xx

  10. Kristen,

    I’ve never had children per se. Did have aging parents & was mom to two iguanas. Since I was caregiver to my parents & iguanas,, there has been a void in my life since 2019-when my little iguana died. God has graciously helped me fill that void with fulltime work, homemaker & volunteer with Loaves & Fishes Food Bank. Add to that I attend church & look after my mother-in-law. Sometimes I get lonely & miss having someone to care for. It allows me time to rest & turn my attention to God & my husband.

    Blessings 🙂