Barbara and Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest


Barbara and Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest by Barbara Rainey and Susan Yates is a guidebook for women whose children are no longer living at home. The authors share a wide array of helpful, practical advice for women embarking on this new stage of life.

It was interesting how Barbara and Susan talked about a multitude of factors that contribute to a (temporary) feeling of loss after children have grown up, such as how successful you feel with your children and whether you were a stay-at-home or working mom. (However, I would like to personally add that the end goal of parenting is not to feel as little loss as possible when children leave the nest; the authors propose that stay-at-home moms might feel sadder than working moms after their kids leave, but that doesn’t mean that stay-at-home moms can’t adapt to their new stage of life just as well as working moms.)

The book thoroughly covers many topics relevant to empty-nesters, such as fighting loneliness, growing in faith, dealing with disappointments, caring for extending family, and relating to your spouse. The authors also talk about relating to your adult children and embracing the changes in your relationships with them. I enjoyed reading about Barbara and Susan’s own stories as they discovered new purposes in their lives.


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