Lori Borgman: The empty-nest coach will see you now

Lori Borgman, Tribune News Service on

Published in Lifestyles

It is a seismic jolt when kids fly the coop. I know from experience that it's sad. And may I say it is sadder when girls leave home than boys, because by age 18, boys have so much testosterone coursing through their bodies that it is simply time for them to go.

"We love you, but go. Just go. Take your truck and your drums with you. We'll call. Our people will be in touch with your people."

If your children are leaving the nest and you are struggling to adjust, you can now hire an empty-nest life coach. There was no such thing when our kids left home; there was only chocolate. An empty-nest life coach may charge $250 an hour to help parents work through this next stage of life, but why let that stop you?

One empty-nester I read about paid an empty-nest life coach $2,000 a week for 12 weeks of coaching -- otherwise known as $24,000.

I am not judging. Not at all. The truth is, I am here to help. I remember the shock of it all, which is why I am offering my four-step plan for coping with the empty nest.

Step 1: Cry. When you set the table for dinner and set one too many placemats -- just cry. Let it out. When you go into that empty bedroom, cry.

When you open the closet door in that empty bedroom and old sports equipment tumbles out, when you see all the clothes hanging out of dresser drawers and all the junk stuffed under the bed, cry some more -- because you will be the one bringing order to chaos.

Step 2: Get real. Your kid left home. Do you know how many parents would love to be in your shoes? In today's world, kids leaving home is growing increasingly uncommon. If your kid flew the nest, do a little victory dance. You can go back to crying later.


Step 3: Figure it out. That's what your kid is doing -- figuring out this next season of life. Embrace it and make it work. Get a date on the calendar when you'll be together again. Have something on the horizon to look forward to, then get busy, stay busy and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Left, right, left, right.

Step 4: Start cooking. Why? Because your kid is not gone forever; your kid will be back. And when your kid does come back, the kid will eat you out of house and home. You will be all misty-eyed waiting at the door, the kid will arrive, blow right past you, race to the kitchen, fling open the door to the 'fridge and yell, "Is there anything good to eat?"

Know this: Your kid loves you, but the two primary reasons kids come home are to do laundry and to eat. Keep laundry detergent well stocked, the lint trap to the dryer clean and start cooking.

There you have it: Cry, get real, figure it out, start cooking.

You've got this.

That will be $1,000, please.

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