Empty Nest Syndrome?

One of the hardest days of any parents life is when the children leave home. It can be a time of great emotion, from sadness to betrayal. As you stand at the door and wave goodbye, a chapter closes, and you worry life will never be the same again.

Don’t despair. If you are going through this experience now, or are worrying about the day itself, here is some advice to help you on the way.

Be supportive

You aren’t the only who is worrying; your children will be too. Wherever they are moving to, this is an exciting, yet terrifying change in their life. So help them on their journey with some helpful motherly advice. Make sure they learn a few recipes while they are still at home, show them what an iron is, and teach them the value of looking after money. As hard as it is, be selfless. Tell them you will miss them but don’t show them too much of your worry. As long as they have a home to come back to, and know your support, the safer they will feel.

Keep in touch

They may no longer be in the house, but you can still keep in touch, be it a phone call or through Skype. Don’t ring them as soon as they have left the door but schedule a time and try to stick to it as much as possible. Yes, sometimes they will be busy, but so will you. It doesn’t mean the bond has been broken. After all, you can still text and email them, and visit them every other day… no, scrub that last one!

Look after yourself

Every mother goes through empty nest syndrome. Very often the grief can lead to depression, so it is important you make time to care for yourself. It’s normal to feel sad, but if this becomes a problem, go and see your doctor. You can alleviate the symptoms of worry by making yourself busy. Spend time with loved ones, take part in the hobbies you have always enjoyed, and find new things to do. You could even give your house a new makeover with the added space. Chances are you know other parents who are going through the same experience. Hook up with them, and have a laugh and a cry together.

Have more kids

Although I’m not personally a fan of this option, it might be right for you. You may not be of an age where pregnancy is possible, but there are other options available. You could foster or adopt a child who would benefit from the love you can give. You might also want to work with kids, taking on training such as accredited online school counseling programs, for example.

Rediscover yourself

Perhaps you gave up a career to have children. Maybe the relationship between you and your partner has drifted over the years. Put things right, rekindle the love between you are your partner and restore anything you have had to sacrifice over the last few years.

Personally, as my 18 year old prepares to graduate next month and leave the nest, I’m celebrating my accomplishments as well as his. Two years from now, my daughter will become an adult as well. I will miss having my kids at home every day but I’ve given them a solid foundation to go out into the world and build upon. I’m excited to learn more about myself as I have been a mother for exactly as long as I have been an adult. No empty nest syndrome here, even if this time is a bit bitttersweet.