Second Breaks: Karen Herbert on Empty Nest
July 14, 2022

“Like anything that comes to an end, there’s a feeling of loss and there are things to grieve. This is especially true because our kids are such a central part of our life.”

Those of us who are parents will be familiar with the mélange of emotions that comes when it’s time for the kids to leave the nest — whether that’s to college or to begin their adult life away from us.

While I’m child-free myself, I’ve heard stories from friends and acquaintances who talk about a variety of feelings from excitement to sadness, from pride to feeling lost and empty.

Others have shared the pressure to “get on with life” already and to get over the sadness as quickly as possible. After all, every parent goes through this phase and it’s simply a part of being a parent.

In this episode, I talk with transitions life coach Karen Herbert to explore how parents can best manage themselves during some of the most challenging feelings of empty nesters, and most importantly, how to focus on the most important thing — the relationship they have with their young adult kids.


Karen Herbert is a certified professional well-being coach, the founder of Themelios Coaching, and the creator of the Life In Abundance 6-month coaching program for midlife women, where she helps women find the purpose they crave as they transition to an empty nest.

She and her husband, Curtis, have 3 young adult children and through their coaching and consulting practice, they help midlifers find the spark for their midlife renewal.

They also host a Facebook group called “Getting Ready for Your Empty Nest” which is free and anybody can join.

And in our conversation, Karen shared many insights and real experiences from this community and I’m sure you’ll find all of the things we talked about relatable.


  • How to manage the many different emotions and feelings that you may be going through during this period
  • The most important objective or goal parents should have, particularly as they guide their children to young adulthood
  • How best to continue to be in your children’s lives even as they leave the nest and go on their own
  • The two things young adults hate the most from their parents and how you can avoid these traps


Karen Herbert’s Facebook Group: Getting Ready for Your Empty Nest
Karen Herbert’s website
Follow Second Breaks on Instagram
Connect with Lou Blaser on LinkedIn

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About the Host: Lou Blaser

A former management consultant and IT leader, Lou Blaser is the editor of Midlife Cues and the host of the Second Breaks podcast. She is also the author of Break Free: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself and Your career. Lou’s work is focused on exploring how to navigate, thrive, and turn midlife into the best phase in our life.