50 Empty Nest Quotes For When The Flock Is Gone

Spread your wings and embrace our heartwarming empty nest quotes. 

Life is all about reaching new stages and experiencing continuous growth. 

The empty nest can be an enriching experience where everyone can grow. 

Keep reading to learn about being an “empty nester” and get advice from others with our empty nest quotes!

What is an empty nest?

An empty nest is a household whose children have grown up and left, leaving the parents in the home. 

Parents spend their lives providing for their children until they are old enough to provide for themselves. 

When children grow up and become young adults, they naturally want to explore the world, experience independence, and leave their childhood homes. 

The empty nest can be a remarkable milestone or a time of complex adjustments.

Here are some tips on how to enjoy the empty nest phase:

  • Seek support.
  • Stay positive.
  • Keep in touch.

Children grow, and this is an inevitable part of life. 

How we respond to their growth is up to us.

Children who become young adults move away for college, have children, and start careers. 

What should empty nesters do?

Parents must adjust to these transitions and support their child’s maturation. 

There is no shame in seeking support for this transition. 

Many parents find sharing and listening to other parents going through a similar transition helpful. 

Staying positive during this transitionary phase is vital to your mental health and children’s confidence. 

Moving out is new territory for young adults. 

Having the support of their parents makes the adjustment easier. 

Adjusting to life with their children no longer under the same roof can be frightening, but if we trust in the effort we put into our children, we can rest assured they will make good decisions without us. 

How do you thrive in an empty nest?

Learn how to make the most of your time during the empty nest phase with our fantastic empty nest quotes below. 

Short empty nest quotes about life after the kids leave

When children become adults and go home, everyone has to make adjustments. 

1. “It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too.” — Joyce Maynard

2. “Nothing you do for your children is ever wasted.” — Garrison Keillor

3. “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing” — Rikki Lake

4. “They are not ours to keep, but to teach how to soar on their own.” — Anonymous

5. “Sometimes love means letting go when you want to hold on tighter” — Anonymous

6. “Our job as parents is to teach our kids not to need us, and it hurts.” Barack Obama

7. “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, reasons to stay.” Dalai Lama

8. “To raise a child who is comfortable enough to leave you means you’ve done your job.” — Anonymous

9. “It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you do in your life. You never stop needing your mom.” — Kate Winslet

10. “She stopped herself. He wasn’t a boy. At age thirty, he could eat and talk however he saw fit.” ” — Catherine Ryan Hyde, Heaven Adjacent

The best parents’ empty nest quotes about life and changes 

These are some of the most thought-provoking quotes about adjusting to life in an empty nest. 

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11. “Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

12. “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different.” Carl Jung

13. “The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant and let the air out of the tires.” Dorothy Parker

14. “A mother’s Job is to teach her children not to need her anymore. The hardest part of that job is accepting success.” — Anonymous

15. “But when you see them as accomplished, confident, kind, thoughtful, responsible people, then you know you’ve done your job.” — Barack Obama

16. “Being a mother means having your heart broken. And it means loving and losing and falling apart and coming back together.” — Katherine Center

17. “There are two times when parenting is the most difficult: When the baby first arrives at home, and when the adult first leaves home.” — Jennifer Quinn

18. “A time comes in the life of a mother and son when that kind of mothering crosses the line into critical behavior.” — Catherine Ryan Hyde, Heaven Adjacent

19. “It hurts to let her baby go down the aisle. She walks right by, looks back into her mother’s eyes. And that smile lets her know she’s somebody’s hero.” — Jamie O’Neal

20. “A wise parent humors the desire for independent action, to become the friend and advisor when his absolute rule shall cease.” — Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South

The top empty nest quotes about love and motherhood

A mother’s love is unique, making the empty nest phase difficult for moms.

21. “Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother.” Toni Morrison

22. “Now the hardest part about the empty nest is learning to put myself first.” — Kim Alexis

23. “I remember my mother’s prayers, and they have always followed me.” Abraham Lincoln

24. “People make a lot of jokes about the empty nest. Let me tell you; it is no laughing matter.” — Michelle Pfeiffer

25. “Making the decision to have a child–it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” — Ellen Cantarow

26. “All my heavy-chested sadness, loss and longing to hold on to things as they used to be are back, sweeping over me as they did when I was a child.” — Rob Lowe

27. “Now, standing among the accumulation of the life of a little boy he no longer is, I look at my own young doppelgänger and realize: it’s me who has become a boy again.” — Rob Lowe

28. “I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms.” — C. Joybell C

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29. “I know that I have raised my sons to be big, strong, independent men who love God, themselves, and care for others. I have to learn to let them have space and learn without me.” — Kim Alexis

30. “As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself.” — Joyce Maynard

Famous empty nest quotes and sayings about childhood

Our childhood gives us the foundation we need to become independent. 

31. “Our children’s independence is a reminder of how much we had to give and all that we have accomplished.” — Madeline Levine

32.“I, on the other hand, have always wanted hardship for my kids. Real, honest hardship. Challenges big enough to make them empathetic and wise.” — Sally Hepworth, The Mother-in-Law

33. “My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all – the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would be, and much less about what we would do.” — Mitt Romney

34. “It’s hard looking ahead, seeing their mistakes coming, and then, unless they are in actual mortal danger, holding their hands as they make them anyway.” — Kelly Harms, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

35. “The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother and to become fully independent.” — Erich Fromm

36. “You are a Miracle. And I have to love you this fiercely: So that you can feel it even after you leave for school, or even while you are asleep, or even after your childhood becomes a memory.” — Katherine Center

37. “It’s funny what the younger generation assumes we don’t know. They assume we couldn’t possibly understand the agony of heartbreak or the pressure of buying a house.” — Sally Hepworth, The Mother-in-Law

38. “If we have experienced any of these things, they were milder, softer versions, played out in sepia, not experiences that could compare to theirs. You have no idea what I know.” — Sally Hepworth, The Mother-in-Law

39. “If you see your kids moving on as you are missing something, you will experience this phase in a state of lack. If you see your kids moving on as an accomplishment, you will be joyful to experience this phase.” — Anonymous 

40. “I think the hardest thing for a mother is to make it possible for a child to be independent and at the same time let the child know how much you love her, how much you want to take care of her, and yet how truly essential it is for her to fly on her own.” Madeleine Albright

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Empty nest quotes about growth and change for Facebook

Children and parents grow; an empty nest is a milestone, not a setback. 

41. “You see much more of your children after they leave home.” Lucille Ball

42. “Your child’s life will be filled with fresh experiences. It’s good if yours is as well.” — Dr. Margaret Rutherford

44. “You will never achieve what you are capable of if you are too attached to the things you need to let go of.” — Unknown

45. “Letting go does not mean not caring about things. It means caring about them in a flexible and wise way.” — Jack Kornfield

43. “Adolescence is perhaps nature’s way of preparing parents to welcome the empty nest.” — Karen Savage and Patricia Adams

46. “I wish I could freeze time or go back in time and watch my kids grow up all over again because it is just going by too fast.” — Robert Rodriquez

47. “The ‘empty nest’ comes quickly. Do not squander your most precious privilege of participating in the lives of your children.” — Anonymous

48. “Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” — Ann Landers

49. “Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us.” — Melody Beattie

50. “When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they’re not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain.” Erma Bombeck

Do you ever get over an empty nest?

Many couples and parents wonder how their life will change once their children become adults and move out. 

When we look at nature, we see that healthy ecosystems experience changes. 

The moon, oceans, and seasons all come, go, and return. 

Our lives are similar in this way. 

Each of us will experience life in different seasons. 

As we grow, we change, things transition, and we keep moving forward. 

The empty nest phase does not have to be something for us to “get over” and can certainly be a milestone we look forward to reaching. 

We just have to choose our attitude on how we will approach life’s seasons. 

Recent studies show that the empty nest phase benefits parents. 

Many parents find the empty nest phase can reduce conflicts and provide opportunities to rekindle their connections with each other. 

Are you an empty nester?

How does it feel to have an empty nest?

Do you have a favorite quote from this list?

Please, be sure to let us know in the comments section below. 

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