Empty Nesters have to fly themselves.
When our children finally leave the nest, parents often find themselves trying to figure out how to fly again. This is often a huge change for mothers specifically. Mother's spend their parenting years pouring into their children and often putting careers on hold or balancing career and parenting together. Either way, moms tend to make friends with their children's parents and then when the child grows up and moves on, the mother's social circle changes. The after work hour activities are no longer the mom's taxi to and from sports games, social activities, school events, doctor's appointments and children focused events. Mom's spend 17 to 18 years preparing to let her child go and then wham! The day comes and so many women are just not as ready as they thought they were. Many Empty Nest mom's find themselves at a loss. They find themselves grieving a loss that they didn't expect. There can be depression, anxiety and genuine grief and loss. So, how do mom's fly again? How do they let go and realize their child is doing exactly what they raised them to do? To find their way into the world? There are no easy answers as it is a journey for both parent and child. Some children will keep in touch too much and some will spread their wings with little looking over their shoulder which can be a struggle for the parent that wasn't prepared for that flight. So, what to do? If you find yourself in the empty nest struggling with knowing what to do with the breaking of the maternal bond, it's time to re-find your own flight and redesign your nest!
First of all, you are not alone. This is a natural sequence in life to have your children spread their wings and go into the world. So what are some ways to deal with this major life change. (1) Find an Empty Nester support group. There are many online social media support groups! (2) Discover your old loved activities or create new ones. Volunteer, take dance lessons, begin a community outreach, foster a rescue, go camping, take long await trips and vacations. (3) Redesign your home. Give your child time to fly but remember the nest is yours to design and redesign. (4) Take time to do things for others. (5) Time to journal if you haven't been one to do so. Write your bucket list of things you want to do in life that you haven't done. Start having fun enjoying your list! (6) If you find yourself struggling with coping with the loss of your child to adult life, go to a counselor that can walk through this journey with you. Sometimes it is hard to say goodbye to what has been your normal. It doesn't mean there is something wrong with you, you just need support during this phase of life change. It's a new journey. Be prepared for the unexpected bumps in the road on this journey because you haven't been down this path before. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself. You are the only you we have in this world.