Ree Drummond Reflects On Her Now Empty Nest

The youngest Drummond is now off to college after a tearful farewell from mom and dad.

Ree Drummond

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Author Barbara Kingsolver once said that parenting is the one job where “the better you are, the more surely you won't be needed in the long run.” Parents know how bittersweet the success at helping their kids stand on their own two feet can be. Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond is coping with that right now.

Her son, Todd Drummond, has just embarked on his freshman year at University of South Dakota where he plans to join the football team in the fall. “Said bye to our baby today,” she wrote in the caption of a post shared on Instagram. “We couldn’t love him more. I keep zooming in on his eyelashes in the first pic. Todd, I’ll miss your eyelashes so much! Go have an awesome experience and keep bein’ yourself, son. Go Yotes!”

With Todd out the door along with his older brothers, Jamar and Bryce, and sisters, Alex and Paige, Ree and her husband, Ladd, are facing the dreaded empty nest. Ree had been counting down to the day for a few weeks on social media. A few weeks back she noted on Instagram that she and Ladd were “ actively trying to establish new activities together as the empty nest approache[d]” and had started taking evening walks together as a way to fill the hours without kids.

In an earlier post, Ree talked about loading up the car to take Todd to college and shared a heartbreaking vision for her return. “Next week, I’ll be back home…probably wandering around the house and looking under cushions and pillows for granola bar wrappers and random sweaty socks, or other things that allow me to pretend that Todd is still home,” Ree wrote. “If this made you cry, you too have taken your baby to college. Can you let me know if I will survive this? Thank you.”

So if you have any tips for surviving—or even thriving—in an empty nest, share them!

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