How to Deal With Empty Nest Syndrome as Children Are Moving Out
Did you know that in fall 2020, almost 20 million American students attended college/university? Higher education is valued, which is why when many of us turn 18, not only do we take exciting new classes, but we also move away from home.
As a parent, you couldn't be prouder now that it's time for your adult child to go off to college. But along with that pride comes a sense of dread. After devoting all your life to your kids, what's your purpose after they leave?
If you feel like you might be coming up on empty nest syndrome soon, then you'll want to read this article. We'll give you some great ways to cope when your children are leaving home and you just can't bear it.
Respect Your Child's Boundaries
With kids going to college, you might feel anxious about them being so far away from you. You might be worried that they aren't able to figure out living on their own. And as their loving parent, you have the urge to keep checking in to make sure they're ok.
But doing this just might push away your kid. Part of overcoming empty nest syndrome is accepting that your children are now adults, and they can learn to live on their own.
While checking in certainly shows that you care about how they're doing, don't do it too much. If your child said you can call once a week, then stick to the boundaries they've clearly set.
Moving out of their parents' house is a milestone for them. Respect this big moment and don't ruin it by being overbearing.
Find the Spark in Your Relationship Again
Often, couples will hone in on the role of being parents so much that they forget to nurture their romantic relationships.
Now that all the kids are out of the house, it's an ideal time to rekindle your relationship. Plan out some date nights where you can either revisit old spots or discover new ones!
Who knows? When you can truly focus on your romantic partner, you just might experience a second honeymoon phase!
Don't Bottle up Your Feelings
It's completely natural to feel anxious and depressed about your kids leaving home. It's a huge change, after all!
Some people might feel that by gritting their teeth and just ignoring their feelings, they'll do alright in the end. But all that leads to is an inevitable spilling over of every emotion they're feeling!
It's a fantastic idea to speak with your spouse about how you're feeling. Chances are, they feel the same way, so you can find comfort in one another.
You can also talk with your friends who either have an empty nest already or are going through empty nest syndrome too. The more people you talk with, the more at ease you'll be.
If you don't feel comfortable talking about your emotions, at least put it down on paper. Keeping a journal can be cathartic!
Find New Hobbies
While a study's found that parents spend just 5 hours a week communicating face-to-face with their under-18 children, the truth is, you probably spend a lot more time than that when it comes to matters concerning your kids! So once all your children have left the house and are fully independent adults, you might find yourself with nothing to do.
Sitting around idly can add to the feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and even depression. So why not use this time to find new hobbies? You're no longer running around every hour of the day tending to the needs of your children, so it's about time to focus on yourself!
For example, have you always wanted to take up painting or writing, but never had enough time to sit down and dedicate time to these things? Then take advantage of your newly free life!
Go to Work Again
By nature, some people enjoy going to work. Perhaps you put your career on hold to stay at home to take care of your kids on a full-time basis. But now, you have the capacity to go to work again!
It might feel scary yet exciting at the same time. So where should you start?
Reach out to friends, family, and ex-coworkers. They might have some leads that you can chase up. But don't try to take on too much all at once.
First, sit down and write down small and achievable goals. For example, you might want to update your resume first. You might also want to go to networking events to ease yourself into the corporate world again.
If all the above sounds too daunting, then you might want to try volunteering instead. This way, it'll still feel like going to work but you won't have as much pressure. And by volunteering, you might gain some more contacts for future work!
Ease the Feelings of Empty Nest Syndrome
Empty nest syndrome can be disheartening to go through. And while it's challenging to deal with, just remember that this is an exciting time for your child.
If you can focus on all the positives for both you and your adult kid, plus find other things to occupy your time with, you'll be able to fend off the negative feelings. Just make sure you communicate how you're feeling, whether it's with your spouse, friends, or even your adult child. If people know that you're struggling, then they're sure to do their best to help out!
Do you have a grown child who's moving out soon and needs some help? Then get in touch with us. Not only can we help with moving, but we can also do junk removal, donation pickup, and all the hard labor!