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24 Celebrity Parents Who Have Opened Up About Empty Nests & Empty Nest Syndrome


Everyone prepares you for getting married, having a baby, and even retirement, but nobody talks about that awkward stage of parenthood when you go from a bustling household full of kids to everyone packing up their childhood bedroom to head to college. Celebs have been opening up a lot more about empty nest syndrome (we see you, Kelly Ripa!) and how emotional the experience can be. After shipping off her youngest child, Joaquin, to college, Ripa was compelled to share a throwback photo of all three of her kids on the first day of school in 2008. It’s crushing to think those days are gone.

But it’s not all mopey and sad because it’s often about putting your marriage first again, like Meredith Vieira. Or it’s about turning one of your children’s bedrooms into your own lady cave as Candace Cameron Bure is dying to do. And sometimes it’s simply relishing in the fact that you don’t have to rush to pick one kid up at the soccer field while trying to make dinner and getting the next child off to dance class — we feel you, Susan Sarandon.

So enjoy this bit of wisdom from some of your favorite stars who have been through this season of life. Denis Leary might have approached it with the best sense of humor, but we think some of the advice from these celebrities may leave you a bit misty-eyed.

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A version of this article was originally published in 2021.

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