It’s difficult to adjust to life without children when you’ve spent so much of your life as a parent. “Empty nest syndrome” affects parents who are going through an especially tough transition.
The term “empty nest syndrome” refers to the melancholy and sense of loss that some parents feel when their last kid departs the family home. Despite the fact that it isn’t an established clinical diagnostic, the problem exists.
Empty nest syndrome causes parents to feel a great gap in their lives. They are frequently perplexed. They may also find it difficult to give their older children autonomy. When one or both partners suffer empty nest syndrome, some couples encounter more conflict. This might exacerbate feelings of isolation and distress.
There are certain things you can do to deal with empty nest syndrome, fortunately. These five ideas can assist you in dealing with your children moving out of the house.
Determine Your Roles
You’ve played many roles in your life, including daughter or son, friend, employee, and possibly aunt or uncle, but none may feel as essential as being a parent. Rest assured, you can still proudly wear that label; it simply won’t be front and center anymore.
During this empty-nest phase of your life, identify new duties you want to play. Do you wish to help others as a volunteer? Are you an active member of the community?
Now that you have more free time on your hands, you can pursue other interests that will provide you with meaning and purpose. Clarifying the duties you’d like to fill now that you’re a single parent will help you feel useful.
Re-establish connection with your partner
You may be entirely focused on how your life will change once your child has departed, and you believe it will not be for the better. But do you recall the years before you had children, when it was just the two of you? It’s time to spend more time together as a couple.
Travel without having to worry about who will look after the kids. Plan date evenings without worrying about finding a babysitter, and cook whatever dishes you want without worrying about a finicky eater complaining.
Re-establish connection with yourself
Did you have any interests that you had to give up as a result of becoming a parent? With an empty nest, you’ll have more time to reconnect with your inner child. With your children’s belongings gone, you’ll have more room in your home to store the resources you’ll need to immerse yourself in the activities you enjoy.
Maybe you’d like to pick up a passion you put on hold when you became a parent. Maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the opportunity. If you’re unsure what you want to accomplish, pick something and try it out by enrolling in a class or completing a short-term project. Try something else if you discover it isn’t for you. This is an excellent moment to pursue your passions.
Seek for new challenges
Find a new personal or professional project to face to alleviate any feelings of loss you may be experiencing as your child grows up. Whether you’ve always wanted to run a road race or renovate a room in your house, now might be the greatest moment to start.
You may even take up something more significant, such as volunteering with a charity, to help you focus your efforts. However, in the first six months or so after your child goes out, resist making any life-altering decisions. Don’t sell your house or quit your work unless you’ve planned ahead of time.
The emotional roller coaster that comes with empty nest syndrome can make it difficult to make decisions. Making a major change when you’re emotional may prohibit you from making the best option possible.
Refrain from checking in too frequently
You won’t be able to move on with your life if you incessantly watch your child’s social media accounts, call every morning, and spend every minute worrying about how your child is doing in college or in their new location. Dealing with empty nest syndrome is letting go and allowing your child to mature into a self-sufficient adult.
You should, of course, keep an eye on your child’s well-being. Allow your children some privacy, as well as the opportunity to make a few mistakes. It’ll be better for you both.
Whatever you attempt to divert your attention away from your empty nest will not change your initial sentiments of loss. You must mourn what you have lost. One stage of your life has come to an end. Your children are no longer living at home, and time has undoubtedly flown by more quickly than you could have expected.
It can be difficult to adjust to this new stage of your life. Most parents, on the other hand, discover that they can adjust to their new duties and acquire a new sense of normalcy. If you see that empty nest syndrome is growing worse rather than better, or if it doesn’t go away after a few months, seek help from a mental health expert. Loneliness or emptiness may necessitate medical attention.