How to cope with empty nest syndrome – what to do when your kids are flying the nest.
My youngest flew the nest today; he walked up the garden path and didn’t look back. I know he is ready for the next chapter in his life, but am I ready for mine? I’m feeling a real physical wrench; something is missing.
The silence in the house is overwhelming; I sit in his bedroom which was full of belongings. I can still smell his deodorant. I feel redundant now from the most important job of my life.
What purpose do I have now?
My life has been looking after others, bringing up a family, I have been at everyone’s beck and call for so long. I realise I have put myself at the bottom of the pile. What do I do with my life now?
Do I call and check they’re okay?
Of course not. They’re adults now, living their own lives, making their own mistakes and learning. They carry on needing us in different ways, and at unexpected moments.
My eldest son flew the nest four years ago, he gave me three-days’ notice. We were devastated. I felt so empty inside; that physical wrench. Friends said he will be fine, and he was. That doesn’t help with the overwhelming pain you’re feeling. I missed him every day; our conversations and watching telly together. We still had our youngest at home which helped us cope with the pain.
How do I reconnect with my partner?
He’s feeling the same pain. Suddenly it’s just the two of us and we need to learn how to communicate again as a couple. Do we have a date night or more weekends away? It feels strange doing things for ourselves after decades of putting the family first, yet having more quality time together should be good for our relationship. My partner wishes to move house, to downsize, but I’m not ready for that change. I need time to adjust and let the dust settle before making any major decisions.
How am I going to move forward with my life? Take one day at a time. It’s my time now!