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Getting Over Empty Nest Syndrome

by Tina on March 29, 2012
category: Marriage

Empty nest syndrome is upon you. Are you ready to let your children fly on your own? Are you prepared for what this will mean for your life as well?

no kids at home As a mother you have always been used to being there to do everything from clean up scraped knees to wipe up tears to tuck your children into bed at night with a kiss and a wish for a good night’s sleep. But now the time has come to let them go. It can be a trying time for both of you. Your grown children are embarking upon their adult futures and you must step aside and let them live their adult lives. That can be difficult for any mother who is used to being hands on with everything.

Just like baby birds, all children must grow up and leave home in order to develop into happy and healthy adults. Just as the adult children are starting down a new path so can the parents who are experiencing a phenomenon that is known as empty nest syndrome. What is this syndrome exactly and how do you cope with it?

What is Empty Nest Syndrome?

Empty nest syndrome is the name that has been given to the combination of mixed emotions that many parents feel when their last or only child leaves home to start a new chapter in their life. With a nest that is now empty many parents find the transition difficult to cope with.

Older women and women over 40 in the past used to experience empty nest syndrome more readily than men because traditionally they were the primary caregivers for their children. In today’s society many men also play a paramount role in raising their children and therefore are struck by a maelstrom of emotions as well when they become empty nesters. However for single mothers empty nest syndrome can be even more difficult because there is no other parent –and spouse- in the picture.

Coping with Change

While change and separation may not be easy for you it is necessary for your son or daughter to leave your home and start an adult life of their own. While you will still be an important part of your adult child’s life you now must forge a relationship that is more adult in nature. You need to view this syndrome in as positive a light as possible. Talk with your adult child about the changes this will bring to your relationship and prepare yourself for the new adventures that lie ahead for you both.

Now is the time for you to put more energy and effort into your marriage and to bring the focus back more on just the two of you.  Once you become empty nesters you and your spouse can enjoy privacy in your home, reignite the romance in your relationship and may decide to put some long anticipated travel plans into play.

What to Do About Your Empty Nest

It is smart to plan in advance of the day that you will see your child off to his or her new start down the adulthood path. Talk to your daughter or son about the future. Assure him/her that this is what is supposed to take place. Be encouraging and supportive.

In the same way, before empty nest syndrome sets in talk to your spouse about the changes that are about to occur. Think about how you want to face the future together and what you would like to do. You may be surprised to discover that you and your spouse are on the same wavelength regarding your future dreams and plans.

Do not make any big changes in your life or lifestyle right away when you are entering the stage of life when you will become empty nesters. It takes the average person anywhere from a year and a half to two years to adjust to their child being gone. Give yourself time to get used to the changes before you decide to do something major. After that, do what you wish to move forward!

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