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8 Steps to Help With Empty Nest Syndrome

8 Steps to Help With Empty Nest Syndrome

 The nest of family love is like a nest of birds, even in families that have separated parents. When it is the right time to fly, the young will fly away, as is the way of life. Parents must deal with the absence of family, friends, and love when children have flown from the nest of their family to build their own home, or explore/make their own way in the world. However, for some people, especially for the primary caregiver, this can be a time of great emptiness and sadness, that can easily tip into depression if unheeded. On a personal note, I experienced severe sadness when my daughter moved out of home to go to uni in Melbourne two years ago, with my son about to leave for his uni adventure next week.

 We live in a country town and have been fortunate enough to travel and they both couldn’t wait to move to the city.  They never plan to move back to the country.  Never is a strong word when you are a teenager.  But we will be close and I love going to Melbourne.

 Some people celebrate the empty nest, whilst some of us struggle through it.  If you are like me and feel melancholy about the prospect of having no kids at home to take care of, here are some helpful tips.  And be mindful that I am a workaholic and loved being a working mum. It was challenging and so rewarding.

 Steps

1. Prepare for the Departure

The first child leaving is the worst, but then you know what is coming with subsequent kids and dread it even more.  Make sure you have friend networks and look into some hobbies you may have had BC (before children).  This is time for you, so use it wisely.

2. Treat the Event as an Adventure

Both you and your children will be better off if you treat this as a big  adventure. Your children will be feeling a range of emotions from being terrified to being over the moon about their upcoming new experience. 

3. Prepare for the Departure

You may feel a sense of loneliness and emptiness when they’re gone because you can’t just turn around and tell them the things as you always used to do. Keeping up constant communications is vital for maintaining a sense of family togetherness and to keep up with the news.  Technology has made this so much easier.  But don’t smother them or they may rebel and chose not to keep in contact. 

4. Recognise the Symptons of Empty Nest Early

Empty nest syndrome is a psychological condition that affects principally women when one or more of the children leave home. Most commonly it occurs when children leave for university or when children marry and leave home to live with their spouse. Empty nest syndrome often coincides with other major events in life, such as menopause, illness, or retirement. It impacts women in particular because motherhood is viewed as a primary role for both working and stay-at-home moms, and a role to which women dedicate themselves as a principal responsibility for an average of 20 years.

A child leaving can precipitate a feeling of redundancy, accompanied by feeling lost, unworthy and unsure about the future. Feeling sad and crying a little is a normal, healthy reaction to be expected of any parent; after all, it is a big change. It becomes a problem when you have feelings that stand in the way of your life, such as thinking that your life is no longer worthwhile, you’re unable to stop crying excessively, and you’re unable to resume a normal life of seeing friends, getting out and about, or resuming some activities that get you back into the swing of things.

5. Prepare for the Departure

If you find that you’re really not coping and feel a deep sense of emptiness, sadness, or an inability to get your life back on track after the children leave, it’s important to get help. You might be suffering from depression or a similar psychological ailment that is preventing you from enjoying life to its fullest. Talk to a professional.

6. Start Doing What You Want to do.

Once you’re satisfied that you’ve set your child on the right path, the business will wear off and you’ll start noticing the big change in your life. The way in which you choose to perceive this change will color your feelings and approach to it – if you see it as a gaping hole, you’ll feel much more miserable than if you choose to see it as an opportunity to revive some of your own interests and pursuits.

 7.    Rediscover the Love of Your Life

Unless you’re a lone/single parent, you’ll be left with your spouse or partner. And this can be a difficult time if you discover that there’s a problem with your relationship you hadn’t faced because having the children around helped to cement together your spousal relationship. Or, it can simply be a case that after being parents for so long, you’ve forgotten how to be lovers. This is a time to reassess/rekindle.

 

8. Focus on Positives of Your Kids Moving Out

Focusing on some of the positive changes resulting from your children moving out can ease the sense of loss considerably when you weigh up what you’ve gained. While this doesn’t belittle the importance of your sadness and the big transition you and your children are going through, it does help you to try and see the brighter side of your future.

 

What does this have to do with marketing?  Nothing!  This is just a personal share blog, I hope it helps at least one of you who read and follow my work.

Happy Valentine’s Day and have a great weekend!

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