Right now, you may be confronted with an empty seat at your table or an empty room in your house for the first time. Perhaps your child has just packed their belongings and moved on to college, a new job, or marriage.
You may be feeling a little lost. You may be finding it difficult to accept change or wish for open doors that have now closed.
Here are some tips for when your children move away:
Accept the Transition
Parenthood lasts forever, whereas childhood is supposed to come to an end. Empty Nest Syndrome exists, and it may be harrowing.
Keep in mind, though, that hovering over, or clinging onto, grown children stifles their independence and could potentially push them away anyway.
So let the transition be as it should. Now is the time for you to change, just as they do.
As one door closes, another one opens, right? That goes for you as a parent, just as much as it goes for your child.
Fear of the unknown can snowball easily, so focus on the can be instead of dwelling on the what-ifs.
You may have more time, your bills may cost less, you can focus on your own marriage or concentrate on your mental wellbeing for the first time since pre-pregnancy. However small, these are all positives that you deserve to take advantage of.
Declutter and Freshen Up
Whether it’s a temporary measure or a permanent one, it can be tempting to leave your child’s room untouched rather than face the fact that they’ve grown up and are moving on with their lives.
Hire yourself a storage unit and move your child’s items safely and securely and reclaim your space!
Perhaps you have always wanted a yoga room or a library. Now is your chance to do just this. You deserve it.
See your new opportunity as your congratulatory prize for successfully parenting to the point where they can be independent. Yes, you’re leveling up!
Start a New Hobby
As much as you may have sighed at the amount of washing and household chores you had to do before your child moved out, you will surely be missing all the extra work now that they have gone.
Fill your time with something productive. Find yourself a new hobby, embrace it and have fun. Make sure you can share some positive and exciting news next time you catch up with your child; they will be overjoyed for you.
Plan in Advance
Before your child leaves, it’s important to understand how they’ll be spending their day. This isn’t to say that you should demand a detailed schedule; however, having an idea of their working hours might help when it comes to reaching out for a quick catch-up over the phone.
Will they be open to visits? Should you call beforehand, do they plan on spending a week in the summer with you each year?
Maintain open lines of communication and encourage them to initiate contact. Assure them that they are always welcome to return at any moment, and remind them that the last thing they want is for you to phone them all the time, and that should be enough to get them to contact you.