Newbie

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Registered: 04-11-2010
Newbie
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Wed, 07-25-2012 - 8:23am
Hi, I'm new to these parenting boards. I'm 46, female and have kids that are getting older (4 kids 11 to 21). I'm increasingly panicking about how I'll handle the empty nest! Help!
Iggy
You are what you consistently do
Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
In reply to: deenow17
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 9:01pm
We had a dog before the kids started leaving but it was hubby's & the kids as I'm not a dog person. We didn't replace her until the 2 oldest left for school & my baby (15 at the time) was lonely. By the time he was 17, he didn't have time for the day & she became my baby. I waited a whole 3 wks after she passed to find another pup to rescue & now with all the kids gone, I would be lost without my baby. So would hubby who threaten to divorce me if I got another dog. lol

Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 9:06pm

   We had decided a few years ago that Red would be our last pet.   We finally got to the stage where the kids did not tie us down and  no longer want to deal finding dog care for vacations etc.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
In reply to: mahopac
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 10:00pm

I can see us eventually getting to a point where we don't want to be tied down with anything, including pets.  For the next 10 years, though, the reality is that kids will come home, for vacations at least, so we might as well have dogs.  We have a great dogsitter to watch the dogs for days, overnights, and vacations.  DH has been a SAHD for many years, so having dogs around gives him more to do without as many kids to take care of daily.  He suffers from depression if he's not kept busy, so I suspect dogs will keep him busy until I retire.

Kelly

 

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
In reply to: shirley_v
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 11:07pm

We have a 15 year old cat which we got when he was 3 years old (found him through an ad in the paper from a family who changed their minds about owning cats - they had two...we got the last one!).  The cat was especially at the request of my dd who pined to have a dog or cat for a long time (she did have a dwarf rabbit...but long story - he had to be given to another family before we moved out west).  Anyway I said we could get a cat, but I didn't want a kitten...which is how we came to get this older cat.  The cat really isn't my dd's - it's a family cat, and there was no way she could take him with her when she left home and well, it just wouldn't have worked for her to cart a cat around for her many moves since and with the kind of busy lifestyle she leads.  Anyway now the cat is diabetic and gets insulin shots and so is costly in that way but he's doing quite well nevertheless and well, he's kind of become 'my baby'....!  Happily, we have a son who doesn't mind coming to stay here and cat-sit when Ray and I like to go on trips.  But when this cat dies....well...I don't think we'll get another cat or pet of any kind.

Shirley

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: elc11
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 11:40pm

We used to have a dog and a cat but both died many years ago and I decided that the 2 kids were enough to keep me busy so did not get another pet. My dh has never been a "pet" person. In 2005 dd got a cat while she was living in Oregon then she returned to live with us for awhile. That is how I came to have a grandcat (whose picture is my avatar). After she moved to her own place I demanded "visitation rights" LOL and he lived with us a lot of the time and dh also became very attached to him. Unfortunately grandcat now lives in NYC with dd so we don't get to see him much anymore.

I would like to get another cat (or two) but I am postponing it because we want the freedom to take off and not worry about the care of a pet. I do miss not having a cat so I'm sure that I will get one eventually.

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 10:17am
The traveling is a problem with a pet now that we have moved 90 mins away from my youngest. When he was at home, it wasn't a problem but now days it means sending her to a kennel which she hates & which is very expensive.

Ian wants to go south next winter for a few weeks. Based on the cost of boarding, we may just decide to rent something for a mth in Florida & take the dog.

Dee

Iggy, my husband also suffers from depression & was a SAHD for 6 years from the time my kids were 5, 9 & 11. He then went back to work in an entirely different career for 10 yrs before retiring to care for our grandson.
Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
In reply to: mahopac
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 5:37pm

Dee, just a thought - we send our dog to "doggy daycare," which does overnight care too.  It's in a home, and it reminds us of home daycare for toddlers, but for dogs.  We like this environment much better than the kennel, where the dogs don't get to play together and have little interaction with people.  At the dogsitter's house, they run around together all day long and sleep in a big pile.  It costs $30 for a day, $40 for overnight stays.

The only disadvantage has been that now the dog thinks he should sleep with us instead of in his crate.  We've allowed him to sleep in our room, but not in our bed.  But that's the only downside - he LOVES doggy daycare, and we feel very comfortable sending him there.  He gets his fun and exercise, and we get to do the things we want to do, including vacation.

Kelly

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
In reply to: deenow17
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 7:28pm
There isn't anything like that close to where we now live in the country. On our last trip, the kennel owner took our dog inside her house after the first night as her dog really liked her. So Lee slept on their bed the next 8 days. So loved it but the owner said not to count on it to happen everytime as it will depend on how many dogs she has in the kennel. I'm hoping to find someone who is willing to dog sit in their home but people aren't giving out names as it is so hard to find someone.

We have a king size bed & she sleeps in the middle at the end. Lee was a rescue pup & so her first night I put out a crate, a doggy bed & blankets on the floor in our room for her to chose from. 2 min after she arrived in the room she made this huge jump onto our bed & has been there ever seen. None of our previous 3 dogs were allowed to sleep with us. lol

Dee
Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
In reply to: suzyk2118
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 8:50am
In free time, volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter? (I couldn't ever do it at a one that wouldn't be no-kill; I'd be too attached) I'd think there are a number of places that would take volunteers, that way you can do the hours you want.
Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
In reply to: shirley_v
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 11:30pm

Iggy, maybe try not to think too much about what the future might hold.  First of all, it's all imagination and it's just thinking...i.e. it's not REAL (it certainly doesn't exist!).  We can all spend much time and energy imagining things that may not turn out at all the way we think.  Basically we are dealing with our fears or our fearing of what we imagine what things will be like. 

I have read (and recently re-read) the book "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.  He stresses lots about how all that thinking ("the voice in our mind" or as he calls it the "Ego") can get us into trouble - at least if we entertain thoughts about what might be and if it gets us depressed (one result, anyway). 

I used to worry lots about one of my sons in his teen years.  I used to wonder and imagine (the worst!) about what he might be doing when he wasn't home and I certainly couldn't and didn't know what he was doing.  One day it dawned on me that I was just 'making it all up" - it was all my imagination and there were even times that I would find out that he wasn't doing anything I imagined he was doing...all was okay.  In this case, it was brought home to me that thoughts are not reality.  They are just, well...thoughts! 

Sometimes I will go down that path again and worry about one of my children (all grown up as they are!) but I quickly remind myself that it does no good to stress about what I am imagining. 

This may not necessarily ring true for you.   I don't know...but I thought I would offer this bit of perhaps what sounds like strange advice. 

By the way, I really like your Avatar photo.  Those flowers look so pretty. Did you take the photo of the flowers? 

Shirley