The summer has come to an end. There are no more lazy days by the pool, no more BBQ’s at the park, no more sleeping in, and most importantly no more kids around. Now, us child rearing adults are faced with the fact that our kids are at school (maybe even away at college!), leaving us with an empty house and an uncomfortable void to fill. This is what the experts call “empty nest syndrome.” We can choose to dwell on this fact and sulk in our sorrows, or we can move forward and learn something new. Personally, I always choose to move forward. How do we move forward one may ask? Let me share with you some helpful coping mechanisms.
Acceptance and Realization
The first stage in any type of recovery is acceptance. Accepting that you are now home alone is major. This type of realization is monumental in the progress one will see while dealing with the “empty nest”.
I can not stress enough the importance of planning. Planning time to be with the kids when they are home, planning time to do activities with friends, planning to exercise, planing the next week’s grocery list, planning, planning, planing! (It helps take up time our new found “empty nest” free time during the day)
To move forward in life one must constantly experience new things. Enjoy new experiences while you can, because you can only experience something the first time, one time! (Plus, think about all the fun activities you can do without those pesky kids!)
Don’t keep things bottled inside, but don’t be to clingy. Tell the kids you miss them, or leave them a note in their lunch box. Moms- crying when saying good bye is a bit much, so buck up. Dads- you usually know how to control the water works, but a tear or two every once and a while is good. It is just the yin and the yang of things.
It is definitely not the end of the world, kids always come home from school, and by bed time, you will be exhausted and ready to sleep as well. For the parents with college kids out there, don’t worry, they will be back for home cooked meals and to do the stinky laundry! I know always did when I was in college!