The kids have flown the nest. Officially, they have moved out to buy their own abode or simply rent somewhere closer to their work. Maybe they have simply disappeared to university, inevitably to be back at some point in the undefined future. Whatever your circumstances, the feeling of emptiness that follows their departure can oftentimes be the same.
Empty nest syndrome is the “feeling of sadness or loss when the last child leaves the home.” It is a phenomenon that is experienced by parents worldwide, to varying degrees. It is not, however, an incurable condition no matter how it may feel as such.
With that in mind, here are a few things that you can do to help cure those empty nester blues:
When children are young they can take up an incredible amount of time. Between food, trips and simple entertainment your own passions in life can fall by the wayside. Which is a shame, especially if you have lost the spark for a hobby that was extremely important to you before children.
An empty nest gives you the time, space and freedom to reignite these hobbies. Or, even better, find new ones!
Buy a bike and cycle the tracks surrounding your home for a healthy hobby. Dig out the crochet needles and knit a few furry friends for your loved ones, or get some knitting needles and create a blanket for your child’s new abode. Or simply go chasing those locomotives for a spot of trainspotting.
Whatever your passions, take the time now to fill your days with them. Your empty nest will feel much more vibrant as a result.
An empty nest, often, also means a more affluent one. With the extra cash now floating around your home, you could use it to help your children on their coop flying journeys, or you could spend it on your own.
Have you ever dreamt of rowing through the canals of Venice? Or seeing the view from the top of the Empire State Building? Doing whatever it is that people do in Amsterdam? Then, do it now!
There is no better time to take on the world than after your children have all left home. Soon, there may be grandchildren and other considerations to keep you more homebound. So, taking the opportunity while it presents itself can be invaluable and enriching no matter where you think you are in life. Not to mention, a great opportunity to finally get the quality time that you and your partner deserves.
The emptiness of your home can be a hard reality to face. Especially if you have for many years been used to the laughter and fullness of a home with children. To make up for this you could always offer your services as a babysitter, allowing you to experience this laughter regularly again.
This could be especially nice if you have grandchildren as they could even stay at your home for extended periods—a great treat for you and a break for your child!
Of course, you could also take this one step further and decide to become a foster carer. This could mean a child is in your home at regular intervals, either on a permanent or emergency basis depending on their circumstances. Not only would this cure your empty nest blues, but it can be a great way to feel you are giving back to your community.
4) Stay in Touch
One of the biggest reasons that empty nest syndrome hits so hard is the feeling of being out of touch with your children. It can be quite strange, after all, going from seeing them once a day at least to only every so often. The easiest way to deal with this issue is to make as much time as possible to actually see or speak to them.
This could mean popping by during the week (after at least texting first), or scheduling a regular Skype call if they have moved a great distance away. Arranging to spend special holidays like birthdays and Christmas together can also be more reassuring for your feelings of loss.
At the end of the day, nester blues can be a daunting thing to face, but it can also be cured in wonderful ways that enrich your life. So, don’t feel sad that your children are flying the nest; take it as an opportunity to spread your own wings and start a new, exciting, chapter in your life.