From empty nest to full house

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HOUSE GUEST: Menopausal Mother’s Marcia Kester Doyle

I am so pleased to introduce a popular and hilarious voice in the mom blogosphere, Menopausal Mother‘s Marcia Kester Doyle! Her work is poignant, funny, and spot on. I hope you enjoy her as much I do! You can find Marcia on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

If you are just tuning in, the House Guest series introduces emerging and established voices in the mom blogger world to the Housewife Plus audience. The writers featured here share their stories about parenting, marriage, and life in general. They are sometimes serious, other times funny, but always real.

By Menopausal Mother

Our youngest is only a year from graduating—-between school, work and an active social life, he’s seldom home. Since our three older children flew the coop years ago, my husband and I have been enjoying a taste of freedom as “almost” empty nesters. I cook less, nap more and I get to spend unlimited time in the garden. Even better, there are plenty of uninterrupted Cialis moments bringing spontaneity back into our lives. My husband and I are rediscovering each other after thirty years of marriage, and suddenly it’s 1984 all over again.

Until karma came knocking at the door.

My oldest daughter was offered a job transfer with the opportunity to move back to her hometown. A month later she arrived on our steps with a toddler on her hip and a moving van in the driveway. The quiet serenity I’d grown accustomed to disappeared before the first suitcase was unpacked.

Gone are the days of sharing a leisurely cup of coffee over the morning news. My husband and I now sip our daily elixir while watching Chuggington with our granddaughter sandwiched between us on the couch.

And the changes don’t stop there.

livingroomThe living room that I kept as clean as a showroom floor is now littered with stuffed animals, a toddler trampoline, a plastic princess slide and a talking choo choo train. I’m having flashbacks of raising four kids with enough play equipment in my house to run an amusement park. I’m trapped in the Land of the Wee People where there are tiny little tables, tiny little chairs and tiny little toys cluttering my home.

My life has become one long deja vu as I stress about spilled apple juice, gooey tabletops and curious dogs choking on Lego blocks. There are glass rings in the shape of an Olympics symbol on my fine wood furniture and unidentifiable stains that resemble a Rorschach inkblot test on my couch. These mishaps are a sharp reminder of the twenty years I spent with a roll of paper towels in one hand and a spray cleaner in the other.

I’ve learned that 8:00 p.m. is the witching hour for small children when the dreaded word “bedtime” is uttered. It automatically sets off a siren that can be heard six blocks away. It’s the battle cry of every rebellious toddler waging a war against sleep. My granddaughter is no exception, and the high decibels of her nightly tantrums make my ears bleed. This sets the dogs on edge, and within minutes my home sounds like it has been overrun by a pack of howling coyotes.

Extra people in the house also means that my garbage bin looks like Mount Trashmore, the laundry pile is the height of Mount Kilimanjaro and the dirty dishes in the sink are stacked higher than Mount Everest. My home has been transformed into a mountain range.

I’m dealing daily with unpleasant odors that permeate the air, but I’m not sure if the smell is from my flatulating pugs or a diaper gone wrong. Pretty soon I’ll need to invest in a gag-o-meter to determine the culprit of stink.

Other changes include a second refrigerator in our spare bedroom for our daughter’s organic groceries. She prefers clean eating. The irony of this is not lost on me since all my children lived by the five second rule whenever food fell on the floor.

The extra stress from all the changes in our home has caused my husband to gnash his teeth down to the size of corn niblets, and just yesterday I noticed that my night guard is now sporting new holes.

I may be on the verge of a middle age meltdown, but in all the chaos, I’ve found magic. It comes in the form of a little girl’s laughter when she rushes into my arms after her morning waffles and plants a sticky kiss on my cheek. It’s there, at the kitchen table, when I share a glass of wine with my daughter as we giggle and gossip into the wee hours of the night. More importantly, there’s magic behind every “I love you” and every embrace.

I miss the freedom of an empty nest, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the sticky kisses in the world.

marciapropicBIO:  Marcia Kester Doyle is a native Floridian and a married mother of four children and has one grandchild. She is the author of the humorous blog, Menopausal Mother, where she muses on the good, the bad and the ugly side of menopausal mayhem. Give her a glass of wine and a jar of Nutella and she’ll be your best friend. Marcia is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post, In The Powder Room, What The Flicka and HumorOutcasts. Her work has also appeared on Scary Mommy, BlogHer, Lost In Suburbia, The ErmaBombeck Writers Workshop, Midlife Boulevard, Mamapedia, BA50 and The Woven Tale Press among others. She is the author of the humorous book, “Who Stole My Spandex? Midlife Musings From A Middle-Aged MILF” and is an author contributor to four other books. Marcia is a BlogHer Voice Of The Year 2014 recipient and her blog Menopausal Mother won VoiceBoks Top Hilarious Parent Blogger 2014. She was also voted top 25 in the Circle Of MomsContest 2013. You can find Marcia’s blog at:

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.