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28 Best Quotes About Empty Nest Syndrome

Updated: May 30

Empty nest syndrome couple ready for adventure

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About the Author - Dr. Angela Caveney


As a Clinical Psychologist, Leader of The Trybe (a 40+ Women's Social Club)and a soon-to-be empty nester myself, I spend a lot of my time thinking about empty nest syndrome and how to help people struggling with it.

What I've seen over the years is that the parents who most easily transition to the empty nest phase of life are those who have a clear idea of their core personal values, a solid social support system of friends and family and a sense of identity beyond their children.

I have also noticed that the other most common sources of joy and fulfillment for many empty nesters are their careers (Midlife is actually a great time to start your own business!), interesting hobbies and a general love of seeking out new experiences.

If you are struggling with symptoms of empty nest syndrome such as limiting beliefs, sadness and thoughts such as “who am I now that my kids are gone?”, I hope the below quotes will help ease this shifting of roles in your life, cope with the loss of the past and help you look forward to what’s next.

Hang in there. The best truly is yet to come…and it’s just around the corner!

3 Ladies enjoying funny quotes about empty nest syndrome

9 Funny Empty Nest Syndrome Quotes

Let’s begin with the funny empty nesting quotes because laughter truly is the best medicine. These quotes remind us that the empty nest phase is really not all bad. There are so many positives!

Here are my 9 favorite funny empty nest quotes.

1. “Hey empty nest parents, if you want your kid to call you, just change your Netflix password.” - Unknown

2. “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. They’re upset because they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. It’s like being the vice president of the United States.” ~Erma Bombeck

3. “I don’t like the term empty nesters. I prefer ‘parents of free range adults’.” ~Robin Fox

4. “A wise parent humors the desire for independent action, so as to become the friend and advisor when his absolute rule shall cease.” ~Elizabeth Gaskel

5. “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

6. “I diagnosed my loneliness as premature empty nest syndrome.” ~Kristen Schaal

7. “The empty nest is underrated.” ~Nora Ephron

8. “If the nest is truly empty, who owns all this junk?” Erma Bombeck

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

These ladies know what they’re talking about, right?

Don’t you feel better already?

We hope these empty nest quotes are comforting

8 Comforting Empty Nest Syndrome Quotes

I hope these comforting empty nest quotes remind you that you’ve done your job as a parent. And if your kids have successfully flown the coop, you’ve done it well.

Here are my 8 favorite comforting empty nest quotes.

1. “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, allow them to take the subway...let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.” ~C. JoyBell C.

2. “Our children’s independence is a reminder of how much we had to give and all that we have accomplished. It is a pleasure to remember that it is not a form of abandonment but an expression of a job well done.” ~Unknown

3. “Letting go of our children is the most sacrificial way we can love them. Make no mistake, to hold on too tight and too long clips their wings and makes it harder for them to fly. To soar.” ~Robin Dance

4. “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

5. “…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

6. 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

7. “It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.” ~Ann Landers

8. “Our job as parents is to teach our kids not to need us. And it hurts, but when you see them as accomplished, confident, kind, thoughtful, responsible people, then you know you’ve done your job.” ~Barack Obama

These are some crazy smart people...all of whom have experienced empty nest syndrome themselves. Heed their words. You've done a great job!

We hope these inspiring empty nest quotes will give you some great ideas

8 Inspiring Empty Nest Syndrome Quotes

Next up, are our inspiring empty nest quotes. NOW is YOUR TIME to rediscover yourself and decide what is next for you! Remember. Your adult children are watching and still learning from you.

Here are my 8 favorite inspiring empty nest quotes

1. “The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of the parents.” ~Carl Jung

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

3. "It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. 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

4. “There are two gifts we can give our children. One is roots and the other is wings.” ~Anonymous

5. "The art of mothering is to teach the art of living." ~Elaine Hefner

6. “I'm not an empty nester, I'm a bird launcher. Fly my babies!” ~Unknown

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

8. “Somebody is learning how to be a person by watching you.” ~Unknown

Even Carl Jung and the Dali Lama are trying to tell you...YOUR TIME IS NOW. You must live YOUR life. It's the best thing you can do now for yourself and (if it inspires you to think of it this way...) for your kiddos.

Empty Nest Quotes for when you feel like being sad

3 Sad (But Touching) Empty Nest Syndrome Quotes

Last, we have just three sad, but heartwarming, empty nest quotes for the times when you just want to savor the sadness for a few minutes...just don't stay there for too long…there’s a whole life world out there waiting to see what you do next.

Here are my 3 favorite sad empty nest quotes.

1. “As a parent, you quickly realize that life is one long series of letting go: watching your kid crawl, then walk, then run, and then drive away.” ~Deborah Mitchell

2. “There are two times when parenting is the most difficult. When the baby first arrives at home, and when the adult first leaves the home.” ~Jennnifer Quinn

3. “Empty nest is not just about the loud quiet. It’s about being at the center of your own life where your kids used to be. You’ll be encouraged to embrace your freedom, go back to school, volunteer, but coming first again is not as easy as it sounds. It feels like wearing shoes on the wrong feet.” ~Susan Bonifant

Remember. It just takes some time. More for some people than others.

Final Thoughts

I truly hope that you enjoyed the above empty nest syndrome quotes and that they provided you with comfort, inspiration and a good laugh. There is a lot of wisdom in those words!

Empty nest syndrome can be a difficult time, but the key is to understand that this natural transition in life doesn’t have to be negative.

As hard as it may seem, try and look forward to all of the positive opportunities this new stage of life will bring. By cherishing your memories yet still embracing what lies ahead in your journey, you can start a fresh chapter and enjoy the fact that your adult children are well equipped to move confidently into the future.

As you use this time to rediscover yourself and refocus on the things that bring you joy, I highly recommend you do a core personal values assessment to begin the journey of figuring out what's most important to you.

After you've allowed yourself some time to grieve and adjust, get out there, make new friends (join a social club!), have new experiences and become the sort of person your adult children will want to hang out with.

About The Author

Angela Caveney, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist and Founder of The Trybe Women's Social Club. Her absolute favorite things to do are to help women find their people, rediscover themselves and thrive throughout midlife. She can be reached directly at

(*Note. If The Trybe Women's Social Club is not in your location, reach out to Dr. Caveney to start a conversation about creating a club where you live. Even if you don't know a single person in your new city, don't worry! This is a great way to start to meet new people fast. We'll provide the framework to get you started.)

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