Kelly Ripa Shares Unexpected Challenges And Joys Of An Empty Nest

Kelly Ripa is getting candid about her life and career in television in her new book, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories. The mother of three also shared how she’s handled being an empty-nester, from the highs to the lows. 

Ripa Calls Having Kids Out Of The House ‘Scary, Thrilling, Liberating’

Ripa married actor Mark Consuelos in 1996 after they met on the set of All My Children. The couple share three children: Michael, 25; Lola, 21; and Joaquin, 19. Michael, an actor and producer, lives on his own, while Lola is studying abroad in London. Joaquin is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan. 

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Now that all of their children have left home, Ripa is still getting used to being an empty-nester. “It’s scary, thrilling, liberating, shocking… and quiet,” she told People. “I didn’t know how to make dinner proportionally. Now, it’s 10 p.m. and we’ll eat.” 

“There were moments when I was like, ‘We’re going to be that couple: Our third child goes to college and we get divorced because this is it,’” Ripa continued. “But there was this other moment, where we went to the beach alone for the first time since our honeymoon with cheese and a baguette. These other parents were running around us with small kids. I realized I had never noticed the sunset because I was making sure our kids didn’t run into the water when I wasn’t looking. So I think for us, it was ‘Oh, this next phase of our lives, this is kind of great.””

Ripa Jokes, ‘There’s No Laundry In Our House’

There are some other, more practical benefits, too. “I will say the best part is there’s no laundry in our house,” Ripa told Entertainment Tonight. “There’s no dishes. There’s like, nothing! Nothing! There’s nothing.” 

She continued, “The worst part is… people would say to us, ‘Oh, don’t blink because they grow up before you know it, and they’ll be out of the house.’ And when you’re in it, you’re so tired, you’re so, like, bone-tired in your bones that you can’t believe that’s true. But we did. We blinked, unfortunately, and now they are grown adults.”

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“So, I think that’s really the worst part is that we didn’t slow down in real time to appreciate that aspect of them when they were small, because we were so busy protecting them and making sure they were turning into good people and getting things done on time,” Ripa concluded. Getting used to an empty nest is hard for anyone, but it seems like the morning show host has found the silver linings! 

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