The Empty Nest


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We mothers gleefully fill our nests with our heart’s desired child or children and enjoy the art of parenting to varying degrees, knowing all along that the object of this endeavor is to send them off into the world to forge their own lives, sometimes near us and sometimes far from us. Along the way, we are so busy caring for and supporting these sweet products of our longing hearts that we barely have time or energy to cultivate our own creative interests, especially if we embarked on this motherhood journey at an exceptionally young age. Of course there is also the truth that John Lennon pointed out to us – “Life is what’s happening while we’re making other plans” – and we’ve had to adjust our dream life to fit reality. We know it is best to be deeply present for what is happening in each moment of our lives and still remain grateful for and happy in each of these moments, but that is often easier said than done!

For instance, empty nesters, see if you fit anywhere along this spectrum of late-stage motherhood feelings:

“I can’t wait until they are all out on their own. Then it will be my turn.”

“I’m so sad. I never want them to leave.”

“Whew, I don’t have to worry so much any more now that they are on their own.”

“Ha! Now I’m really worried about them.”

“Yay! One came back to live at home.”

“Oh no,  s/he’s back. How do we handle this?”

“Oh good! My children all live close by – I can visit anytime I want.”

“I wonder if I’m being too intrusive in their lives?”

“It’s so nice we can have an adult-to-adult relationship now.”

“Why do they take everything I say as criticism?”

“I think I did a pretty good job of parenting.”

“Why do they blame me for all their problems?”

“I love them no matter what.”

“Why do they sometimes seem to hate me?”

“Oh good, now I have a daughter/son-in-law!”

“She/he acts like I’m the evil mother-in-law.”

“Aaaah Grandchildren!”

“They ask me to provide free childcare all the time – I’m tired!”

“I would travel across the globe to see my grandchildren!”

“They prevent me from seeing my grandchildren.”

And there is always some other version that is unique to you and is either contributing to or getting in the way of your happiness. The list can go on and on, but what travels through all of our stories is our need to find or stay in touch with our own balanced, creative life. Yes, you are all creative in your own ways. Take time to explore your self-expression in this period of your life by making Soul
Art with a small group of other searching mothers. Join together with other empty-nesters to explore your heart’s desires by making Soul Art in HeARTspace forest.


Welcome, new arrivals to HeARTspace newsletter! You are the folks that signed up after you witnessed my one-woman show, “Finding the Lost Spark”, last year. I thought I had added your emails, but had not. Blogs you have missed are still on the website.

Last summer in HeARTspace Forest was spent creating a cozy, comfortable movement space that my grandson named the “Dancing House”.  Since then I was out of town being supportive of a family member with a health issue.  So really, the HeARTspace Soul Art for Mothers Meetups are just beginning. Individuals have already been out here, some to explore and get support for their motherhood journeys through art-making, and others to rent space to rehearse their own artistic meanderings.

It seems that one interest right now is from mothers whose children are grown, and they are seeking to find their balance and creative expression in their empty nests. So that is the Meetup that will begin soon – “Soul Art for Mothers with Empty Nests – Finding Your Lost Spark.”  Check details with the HeARTspace Soul Art for Mothers heart link to the left on this page.  If you are a mother with teens, or school-age children, or preschoolers,  there are groups for you there also.

For more information about Sue Ellen and HeARTspace check out the website at

Taking a half-day once-a-month for yourself in the forest making art and getting support with other like-minded mothers  is a gift you deserve.   Join in the meaningful, playful, supportive fun and find your Lost Spark.

I look forward to meeting you!

Sue Ellen


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