As a parent, you potentially spend decades babysitting, so experiencing an empty nest is difficult to handle. Adjusting can be difficult, and sometimes it is difficult to know who you are as an individual.
When you struggle to adjust, it is known as Empty nest syndrome.
Empty nest syndrome is when you feel overwhelming sadness and a sense of loss when your children leave home. It can lead to your being unable or unwilling to let your children live independently. Also, it can cause serious problems in your marriage or relationship.
Fortunately, since many parents have been through this, there are ways to deal with an empty nest. It will be difficult to adjust to the tranquility and feeling of missing something, but there is a way to do it.
These strategies for dealing with an empty nest will help you rediscover yourself. You will find a new normal and may find new opportunities or activities that will help you refocus.
How parents deal with an empty nest
1. Reconnect with your partner
It is important to reconnect with your spouse or partner after the children leave home. Try to remember how much you enjoyed each other’s time before having children. While both have likely changed quite a bit since then, you can still find ways to connect.
Take this time to bond with your partner and create more memories with just the two of you. Planning regular date nights will help, and you won’t even have to consider babysitting or dinners for the kids. You can focus all your attention on your romantic and emotional relationships with your partner.
Plan special surprises for your partner and cook dinners together that your kids wouldn’t have eaten anyway. You can also explore new hobbies that the two of you can enjoy together, which will only increase your bond. Even if the first two hobbies you tried don’t work, it will be fun trying to create memories together.
If your lifestyle allows, you and your partner can even spend this time traveling the world. Make a list of all the places you’ve wanted to visit and start crossing them off one by one. If you can make the most of your uninterrupted time with your partner, you will find that the benefits are immeasurable.
2. Reconnect with yourself
As a parent, most of your thoughts and activities revolve around your children. Eventually you give up your hobbies. Not because you don’t enjoy them, but because you no longer have time, space, or energy for them.
Once your children have moved, you will have all of that again. You will have space to dedicate to your hobbies and the time and energy to do them. Get back to your old hobbies and this can help you start to reconnect with yourself.
However, reviving old hobbies is not the only way to reconnect with yourself. You will go through a big change and you will have to spend time and energy thinking about yourself. Think about what you like, who you want to spend time with, and how you want the rest of your life to be.
While these answers may take time to answer, you will eventually figure it out. You have to keep looking internally for the answers.
Since your time has been focused on others for so long, you will need to focus on yourself. That’s why it can take time to figure it out because it takes practice and deep internal reflection.
3. Stay busy and find new hobbies
It is important to keep busy and do things that make you happy. This could mean meeting friends regularly, exercising, or finding new hobbies. You can join clubs, enroll in a yoga or art class, or take time to learn a new skill.
These plans and activities will help fill the void left when your children move. If you don’t keep busy, the empty time slots will just be reminders of the things you previously spent your time on. Sporting events that were once feared, help with homework, and meals you had to cook will be lost immensely.
Since you will not be so involved in the lives of your children, you must fill your life with meaningful things. You could even volunteer in a place that you like or for a cause that is dear to you. With all of these activities, you will meet new people and establish meaningful relationships and connections.
4. Find a support system
You cannot go through this time in your life alone. Talk to your friends and family about your emotions and fears. They can provide advice, reassurance, and a comforting shoulder to lean on.
Take time regularly to spend time with these people. Work to strengthen your relationship with your support system now that you have more time and energy. It will be a comfort to you as you navigate this drastic life change.
5. Stay positive
Remember that this is what you worked for all these years. He worked to raise capable, strong, and successful children who are now ready to put their lessons to the test. This is the ultimate proof that you have succeeded in giving your children exactly what they needed to thrive.
When your thoughts turn negative think about everything positive parts of the situation. Replace negative thoughts with thoughts of what you are grateful for.
You are not the same person you were before. You changed once you had children and now you are changing again. While part of your identity will remain the same, much of it will have to be resolved.
Your role as a parent is not over, but a chapter. Now, you must identify who you are now that your children are older. Find out what you want your new role to be and you will feel much better about the situation.
7. Find new ways to challenge yourself and set new goals.
Push yourself to new limits after your kids move out. You now have time to devote to yourself, so see exactly what you are capable of. Set goals for yourself, starting with the things you’ve always dreamed of doing.
You can start small with these challenges and goals. If you’ve always wanted to write a book, set a goal to come up with an outline for a book. Then make your goal bigger, like writing a draft of the first chapter.
By doing this, you will see that you are more than just a parent. While that role is still important, you can find other things to occupy your time and expand your knowledge. Whatever your goals, use this time to accomplish things you didn’t have time for before.
8. Adapt to give your child space
You have to give your child space, which means you can’t call multiple times a day to register. Wait for them to call you sometimes and avoid invading your privacy. You have to give them space to learn and grow, and it will be better for both of you if you do this.
Assuming it will make you feel better, set a schedule for the times when both of you are available to catch up. Schedule phone calls so you know you are not overdoing it and it will give you something to look forward to.
9. Plan something exciting
You cannot be in a bad mood at home, fearing silence and space. Instead, plan trips for you and your partner or a friend. Even if you don’t go far, you will enjoy the time spent planning, exploring and relaxing in a new location.
10. Create a new routine
If your weekends were filled with events, tournaments, or other kid-related activities, you should develop a new routine. Fill your weekends with things you enjoy, like sitting in a bookstore or spending time with friends. Once you develop this new routine, it will be easier to deal with your empty nest.
After so many years of babysitting, it can be difficult for parents to deal with a Empty nest. Fortunately, it is easier than you think and you will really start to enjoy your new lifestyle. Start by reconnecting with your spouse and yourself, and then move on to fill your life with meaningful activities.
Now you have the time and energy to devote to old hobbies or new activities. Also, you will have the opportunity to do all the things you ever dreamed of.
Remember that the fact that your children leave home shows that they are independent and capable adults. This is what he worked so hard to teach them all these years. Accept this new moment in your life and you will be able to face an empty nest.