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empty nesters


Just try.

It’s no secret that moms give up a lot for their children—including parts of their identity.

A recent survey by Baby Center found that 22% of moms feel like they’re “just moms.” And those feelings don’t necessarily change once kids have grown—they only deepen the longer they have been a mother and if they had more children, the study added.

And as most moms would agree, the sacrifice is one they would willingly make again…but that doesn't make it any less painful, necessarily.

That’s what makes one daughter’s simple gift to her mother—reminding her to reclaim the person she was before motherhood—so life-changing.

As Rachel Sevcik explained in a TikTok video, her mom, who had the “privilege” of being a full-time stay-at-home mom while Sevcik was growing up, was approaching her 52nd birthday.

This coupled with the milestone of Sevcik heading out to college, leaving her mom an empty-nester. Sevcik was “scrambling” to think of a gift to properly honor the occasion.

“So, I went to a little boutique. I got a sign that said “Try,” and I wrote a letter saying, ‘Mom, try. Whatever you've always wanted to and didn't because you were putting us first.”

For Sevcik’s mom, it was writing.

Sevcik gave the letter and poster to her mom eight years ago, and in that time, her mom has joined writers groups, published a short story, co-authored a book, and just finished her first book. She’s already working on book #2.

Sevcik concludes by saying, “She is turning 60 in about a month. And now when people ask me what my mom does, I say, ‘She's a writer.’”

@theraeraeshoww My hero 🫶🥹 #momtok ♬ original sound - Rachel Sevcik

Sevcik’s sweet gesture struck a chord with online viewers.

One person wrote, “if my child wrote me a letter/sign saying "try. do whatever you wanted to after putting us first", I'd break down in tears🥺🥺”

Another added, “I’m incredibly impressed at you understanding the gravitas of all her sacrifices at just 18. The sign and note was an amazing gesture.”

Others chimed in with similar wins.

One former stay-at-home-mom wrote, “At 48 I’m an empty nester sahm going back to school to be a therapist. It’s never too late.”

Another daughter shared, “This gives me all the feels, my mom is similar. Was an amazing stay at home mom of five kids for 20 years and then went back to work and is a BOSS!” they wrote.

The discussion gave moms—those currently raising kids and new empty nesters—some encouragement.

“Immediate tears - from a SAHM of 3 still in the trenches, thanks for sharing,” one commented.

Another said “I’m a SAHM and wonder what I’ll do when my son is off to college. Anything I want I guess, but it is daunting. Thank you for encouraging her! ❤️”

Imagine if all moms got this kind of recognition and cheerleading. Maybe then pursuing their own aspirations besides motherhood would feel less like a dream, and more like a reality. Until then, hopefully this story can help.

By the way, if you're curious to know what the title of Sevcik's mom's book is, she plan to do a reveal on TikTok.