Monday, January 9, 2023

Introduction to My Empty Nest Mom Life

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For the past few weeks, one of the things rolling around in the back of my head (when I wasn't focused on moving and holidays) was what I might want to do with this blog. I like writing, but this particular blog was started with a focus on homeschooling, and I'm not that homeschool mom any more. I'm not ready to give up this space and I have a lot more to consider before completely rebranding or migrating any content. I knew I'd need to find some new link parties and writing ideas to help me adjust course, and here's one of those - the Not Just A Mom monthly link-up. I've been following one of the hosts, Joanne at Slices of Life, for a long time, and today when I saw she was co-hosting this one, it just struck me as right. None of us are "just" moms - there's so much more to any of us than just one role or title, and this has really been brought home to me over the past few years. More about that in the rest of this post, because in this month's link-up, we are sharing our Introductions.

(Edited to add: As I wrote the above paragraph, an idea I'd been toying with solidified, so as of today, my new Continuing Coffee Break and Conversation blog is launched, and this post and link-up is one of the things that will be happening over at A Fresh Cup of Coffee from now on.)

Welcome to my coffee break spot! Let me pour you a cup of coffee, or tea, or a glass of something cold - it's virtual, so whatever you like! - and let's get to know each other.  I'm Kym, and I am a mom, but that role has moved into the background somewhat as my four kids are all adults now. I homeschooled all four all the way through, and as my youngest neared graduation I became aware that it would mean the end of my career and that there wasn't likely to be a party celebrating my years of service with a lucrative financial package for my retirement. I started networking with some other recently or soon-to-be retired homeschool moms so we could be supportive of each other during those changes that were bigger than most of us had been prepared for. So if you're a mom that's nearing the empty nest stage, especially if you're a homeschooling mom, I hope you'll find encouragement and understanding as we visit.

Okay, about me - a mix of Mom-facts and other facts:

  • I'm originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and although I've been an American for about thirty years, some still claim to hear my accent. 
  • My husband and I moved to southern New Jersey when our oldest son was a baby. We lived there for a couple of years, had another son, and then moved to Maryland (not far from Thurmont) where we lived for more than twenty years. This past November we moved to Ohio, and are still adjusting to an abruptly Empty Nest, in which the parents are the ones who flew away!
  • We home educated all four children from the beginning right through to high school graduation. I also reviewed homeschool products for The Old Schoolhouse for many years, was involved in the local oversight and fellowship groups for homeschoolers, and taught in homeschool co-ops - all of which contributed to this blog and much of its material for many years. For the past few years I'd been teaching high school Writing and Literature at a co-op, even after my youngest graduated, and it was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done! I miss that a lot!
  • My children are Harrison, Spencer, Landon, and Kennady. Harrison is a radio personality, and he and his family live fairly close to where we are in Ohio. Spencer works in a construction-related trade, improving energy efficiency in homes, and lives in Maryland. Landon works in construction, and he and his family just moved from their place in Pennsylvania back to our family home in Maryland. Kennady is in her final year at college, and this spring will graduate from Mount St. Mary's University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She lives in Maryland as well, and probably spends as much time with her boyfriend and at his family's home as she does at our house!
  • I'm not just a mom, I'm also a Nonny (my grandmother title!) to Veronica and Aubrey! 
  • I'm a singer and keyboard player, and although I can't claim to have any professional titles in that area, one of my other most rewarding roles has been as a worship leader in several for many years. More years than I've been a mom, actually. For the past several years, I had my husband, my son Landon, and my daughter Kennady in my worship band at our church in Maryland. And Spencer was our sound tech. Nothing better than playing music with family! 
  • I'm hoping to get involved in music somehow and at some point here in Ohio. First, we need to find a church home, and see what happens with that down the road.
  • As you may have guessed from the blog title and theme graphics, I love coffee. I even worked part-time managing a coffee roastery for a few years and I really enjoyed that. Not just being around all that coffee all day at work, but learning so much about coffee, and getting to know co-workers and customers. 
  • I also love to read, and have another blog called Just A Second where I keep track of what I'm reading and a few other things.
  • As I figure out this Empty Nest and new surroundings thing, I am thinking about how soon I want to start looking for a job, what hobbies and interests I want to pursue, and what new things I want to learn and experience.  

Leave an introduction (or a link) in the comments if you'd like, and let me know if you have any questions! You could also see my About Me page here, although it's a little outdated.

This post will be linked up with the Not Just A Mom Link-up hosted by Adrienne, Dara, Jen, Joanne, Lauren, and Sarah.

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9 comments: said...

I joined Joanne and Dara for this month's link-up for the first time, too. I am not just a mom but a grandmother, like you. But quite a bit older than the girls who host the Not Just a Mom link-ups so I never felt comfortable joining them. When I read Dara's post reintroducing herself, I thought doing that in January is a great idea. I have been so hit or miss with blogging and everything else lately but hoping 2023 will bring about more consistency to my writing and posting.
What an accomplishment - home schooling all four children all the way through. I cannot even imagine. Bravo!!

Joanne said...

Wonderful to learn a little more about you (though I do think I knew most of it already!). I am excited to see where this new road leads you... I know I have a couple years yet but I too am already thinking about where and what I'll do when my last one is finished homeschooling.

Kim Carberry said...

Hi there, I'm new to your blog and the Not Just a Mom link up.I can't wait to get to know you over the next year. Well done on homeschooling your 4 children. I admire those who do, we home-schooled a little during the Covid lockdowns and decided it's not right for us.

Anonymous said...

Hey Canadian!! Thanks for linking up with us. I’m drinking coffee right along with you
Sarah M. @TorontoSAM

Jennifer said...

I so enjoyed reading your post - and introductions! It will be exciting to follow along as you transition....not only so much in life but here on your blog as well! The parents left the nest - that's funny:)

Jennifer White said...

I love to read and drink coffee too! I loved hearing all about your family. I have boy/girl twins who are 13. I feel like I'm going to blink and we will have an empty nest. Thanks for joining our link up.

Holly said...

It's nice to meet you Kym! Thanks for stopping by- can't wait to read more about you!

Natasha said...

Thank you for continuing to blog through empty nest-hood. You are an example for those of us who are just a little ways behind you on this journey.

Amy said...

I recently retired from homeschooling, too - although my youngest just went to high school out of the home. It was best for him and our current situation but I really miss it!

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