Dealing with Self Esteem and an Empty Nest

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright 1999

Dear Annette,

I choose to stay home and have family. I have six children, five of which have either left for college, or on a mission, or are married and scattered all over the United States. I have had children in my home for 26 years. My last child will be heading off to college next year. My married children are so busy that we hardly have any contact. That breaks my heart. I can hardly take it! I don't know what to do with myself!

I have started to look at myself and I don't like me. I have noticed that the times that I really dislike myself is when I have strayed away from the God. I need to take care of me and honestly, I don't know how to do that. Please help me.


Sad Mom


Dear Sad Mom,

You said your children are almost all gone now. The married ones are too busy to communicate. You now have the time to do the communicating. Think of a time that they will most likely enjoy hearing from you like after church and dinner on Sunday. You could figure out the best time and keep that appointment with them every week.

E-mail is another way to bridge the gap. It is fun to share the little tidbits of interest that come from friends, with your children. Those who are lucky to have an Internet server that has a means to communicate back and forth instantly is not only fun but brings everyone up two speed every two of three days for just a moment or two. It is as if your family is just next door.

Another option is getting an 800 number that your children can call home for free and the bill comes to you. It makes a super Christmas Present! The 888 number is as low as 10 cents a minute night or day, any day. Even the child living at home can call from a pay phone directly even when s/he has no change. It works out quite nicely! If you ask, they may even have the phone number you are using currently with a 888 prefix.

Personally, I like the combination of all four ideas: a regular weekly calling from you to them, using email, instant communication via the Internet, and the children's ability to call you via the 800 number. There is still the U.S. mail too.

You write that you only have one child left and that your heart is breaking, I don't know what to do with myself.... This feeling is normal. For almost 30 years, family it has been your career. Now your retiring from that job! So what do you want to do for your second career?

What hobbies have interested you but you haven't had the time to persue them?

Going back to school is a good solution to gaining a new career. At least half of all students in colleges today are oldsters or Baby Boomers (W.W.II-Babies). The Baby Boomers has the greatest population of any generation alive on the earth today. They are taking over the world! This is a special time in your life. You are now free to develop yourself into a well rounded, self-lovable person you need to be, to be ready to meet God!


Assignment 1

Get a catalogue from the nearest college or university and decide what you want to do for your second career! Most college or university semesters/quarters start either in August or September. Get your admittance paper work filled out and submitted now!

If your husbands income is not much the Pell Grant is available which pays for tuition and books. You will need to make an appointment with the college/university counselors at the usually located in administration building to get that paperwork filled out immediately. While you are there see if you qualify for any scholarships.

If you do not qualify for grants or scholarships, you can get a very low interest student loan. Many government loans to students do not have to be paid on until you get out of school. The bottom line is, if you want to go to school, there is a way to do it! So do so now or you won't be able to start until after Christmas.


Assignment 2

Live in such a way that the spirit can stay with you.

Do this by surround yourself with good friends, music, and reading material. Note that there are good music and reading materials other than church items.

Listen to the Spirit when He suggest something to you, decide now that you will do it!

Do make sure you know where the idea came from. Ask God..."Did you just say to_____? If you get the burning of the bosom, or the stupor of thought, you know who it is from!



Make a friend out of God!

He is your Father. I don't know about your earthly father, but mine loves me very much. He always wants to know how I am and what I've been up to. Why then would Heavenly Father be any different? If He has a perfect love for all His children, why wouldn't He care about you and in everything you do? Well, He does!

How do you make a friend? Do you talk, share confidences, go for walks together, cook together, cloud-watch to look for shapes, and laugh and cry together. That is my God!

Take God down off His pedestal, dust Him off and use Him. Make Him your friend. Do the things that I have suggested above and more. Make God someone who you can and would want to go to for any reason, just to be near Him, because you love Him so much. So much so that you can't stand to be away from Him because it would break your heart.

Note: All prayers do not have to take place on your knees. A pray can be only a thought away.

If you don't do any other assignment do this one! It is the number one most important one!



Ask God to help you be a better person each day. Choose something to work on and ask his help each morning. Ask for help as needed throughout the day. Then in the Evening evaluate what went well and what you need to work on tomorrow.

I guarantee you, that if you honestly complete the assignments, one at a time, you will become an awesome person in your own right, and you will like you! Even better you will have learned how to control you, your thoughts and appetites. In short you will have become a worthy candidate for the Celestial Kingdom.

The following article is a section on goal setting and accomplishing your goals.


How to Set Goals and Attain Them

You write:

I need to take care of me and honestly, I don't know how to do that. ....

The first thing is to have a sense of priorities or balance in your life...something to help you make decisions on the importance of what you include in your life.


Assignment 5

Read and do this!

Keeping Your Life in Balance

Another tool you will need is a way to always make good decisions:

Here is ....

How to Make Good Decisions

Assignment 6

Learning to like yourself and gaining self-esteem!

Read, Understand, & Do!

Negative Talk of the Garbage Man

Steps to Relief of Psychological Pain

Reprogramming Your Subconscious Negative Thoughts


Good luck and much success,

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Annette Nay Homepage

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