A friend tells me of a situation that she finds herself going through. Actually its probably more of a life changing event. She has 2 children that have reached adulthood and they are embarking on setting out on their own. One will go to college and the other starts a new job at an advertising company. They will be moving away from home. It all sounds great for the children and we wish them the best success in their lives. Off they go..to their own lives. My friend, we'll call her Amanda, is now finding herself waking up everyday without the sounds of activity in the home. As a matter of fact there are no sounds at all inside. With the exception of the cat meowing for her morning meal.
Amanda grabs her coffee and is looking outside. She is almost in a numb state-of-mind because for her, this is her first day of living with her empty-nest syndrome. For alot of mothers(and dads too)this can make you feel alittle lost for awhile, which is completely normal. Of course some parents look forward to having their home back to themselves. Which reclaims a sort of individual independence, which is healthy too. But I believe that even so, there is still a part of each mother(and dad)that will miss hearing all of that noise, the music coming from their room, making sure they eat something for breakfast before they leave the house. Picking clothes up off the floor, sharing special moments with each child, that quality time is so important, even for just a few moments, knowing the smells of their rooms, making sure they have some spending money(if you can)and so many other facets that came along with a full nest.
A breif description of: Empty Nest Syndrome by Wikipedia states: Empty nest syndrome is a general feeling of loneliness that parents or guardians may feel when one or more of their children leave home; it is more common in women. The marriage of a child can lead to similar feelings, with the role and influence of the parents often becoming less important compared to the new spouse. A strong maternal or paternal bond between the parent and child can make the condition worse. The role of the parent while the child is still living with them is more hands-on and immediate than is possible when they have moved out, particularly if the distance means that visits are difficult. This will also vary from culture to culture. In some cultures children take care of their parents until they pass away. The syndrome takes its name from bird nesting habits.
So what can we do to help relieve some of the emotional anxiety that accompanies empty-nest syndrome? Here are some strategies that will help. First if you're in a relation ship, you may want to take a good look at your relationship i.e. where will the relationship go from here? Make new goals and plans together that can enrich your bond with your partner. You've spent the last 2 decades taking care of your family, now its time to find yourselves and each other again. Activity is paramount, its so important to develop an exercise routine, bike riding, fishing, hiking, tennis, things you can do with your partner. Plus eating a healthy diet i.e. fruits and veggies(if you don't already do this)along with exercise is incredibly beneficial and you will live healthier and longer.
Pick up the Passion with each other. Make the time to rekindle that romantic side with each other. You've been so busy with family, you haven't really made any special time for just the two of you. Rekindle that romantic side. Plan a cruise, have romantic dinners once or twice a month, go to a resort somewhere. And a very important thing to do is just for yourself, make some "by yourself time." It's important to have some time to do what you like to do by yourself. Maybe start a hobby, create some art, do some thing that is constructive that you enjoy doing. Something that gives you a sense of accomplishment once you've completed it. Even though the children are gone, there is no need to smother each other. Alone time is essential for maintaining a healthy, positive outlook.
I believe at any age, when we participate in activity with children, whether briefly or longterm, it brings out the best in us and makes us better human beings. Enjoy the day!
Copyright(c)2011.Empty Nest Syndrome-How do we handle the anxiety?Written by Sherrie Vitello. All Rights Reserved.