Empty nest syndrome is all too real. Most parents look forward to the day when their children finally move out and start building an independent life, but it can still be an emotional wrench. When you have spent 18+ years looking after your child, cooking their meals, and doing their laundry, it’s not easy to wake up to an empty house every day. Sure, you’ll have a lot more free time now and the fridge won’t empty overnight, but suddenly your job has finished and the house seems much too large. The good news is that there are some positives to be found. Consider it an opportunity to take a step into a new phase of your life.
Learn to Love Your Partner All Over Again
Raising kids from birth until they fly the nest can exact a toll on a relationship, no matter how strong it is. Once the kids leave home, you have more freedom to connect as a couple again, rather than as cohabiting parents. Think of this as a time to rediscover what brought you together. Plan some holidays together and learn to love lazy Sundays in bed without kids clamoring for food and entertainment.
If all goes well, your relationship will move into a new, stronger, and more loving phase.
Try New Hobbies
Hobbies often take a back seat when we are parenting. It’s very easy to lose interest in hobbies because we don’t have any free time. If your kids have left home, you’ll have a lot more free time available. Use it wisely. Pick up hobbies you forgot about or try something new. Join local clubs and societies to explore your interests. You might even make some new friends at the same time!
Enjoy Time with Friends
Chances are a lot of your friends are in the same boat. If your close friends are also feeling the strain of empty nest syndrome, why not make plans for regular get-togethers? You could plan a weekly meal out or a coffee date. Enjoy your freedom to plan things without having to consider what your kids are up to and whether they need a lift somewhere. You can all support each other in this new stage of life.
Focus on Work Ambitions
Unless you’re gearing up for retirement, the day your kids leave home is a good opportunity to start focusing on any career ambitions you haven’t yet achieved. Women in particular often take a step back from their careers when kids come along, which leaves them at a disadvantage later in life. Use the extra time you have available once the kids have left to retrain, work harder, and start striving towards that promotion you always dreamed of.
Look into Foster Care
If the house feels empty and you feel like you still have more to offer, why not consider fostering? Agencies like orangegrovefostercare.co.uk can help you provide a wonderful future for children in need of a home. Look at the options – it could be a wonderful next step in your life.
Don’t let empty nest syndrome drag you down, there are ways to get past this. However, if you can’t beat your depression, do seek professional help.