Each fall a new round of parents learn to deal with what is now called “Empty Nest Syndrome”.
This is where parents have to learn to deal with their children being gone from home, off to college or a full time job. They often have feelings of loneliness and sadness. It is to be expected once the children are gone. But at the same time you have to realize that it will just be the two of you again – freedom and free time, with just you and your spouse. This will give you a chance to reconnect as a couple and spend more time together.
You are going to have an emotional rollercoaster for a while, but please realize that your child is having the same problem. You and your child should be strong together. What will help you with this transition? Will this also help your child? These questions being answered could make it easier for the both of you. Maybe talking on the phone each day and sharing how things are going will make you still feel connected. I am sure there will be tears and there will also be some happiness when you all realize the freedom that you have gained. Your child has gained their independence and you have your life back.
Now that you have the time to live life as you've always wanted, do it! Travel and explore the country. Sleep in or do nothing all day! Just be careful not to add any more big changes to your life. This could cause an emotional rollercoaster.
Now that it is just you and your partner at home, you are going to be cooking less at each meal. This will most definitely be an adjustment. It might also help you quite a bit to just ‘run out’ and grab something to eat. Think about this before you do it. The more that you start eating out, the less money you will have, and your waistline will increase. You could still cook the same amount of food. It would give you leftovers to eat when there is a night you do not feel like cooking. Cooking for the freezer is a great option, allowing you convenience without the extra calories fast food often adds.
Now that it is just you and your partner at home, you can start having more conversations together. This will be important to enjoying a fulfilling relationship. You can find things to do together all the time. Maybe you can find things to do together that you never knew you wanted to try! Get out and live life to get fullest! If you and your partner want to be doing different things, see if there isn’t a way that you can combine them. Example would be if you wanted to work on a knitting pattern and he wants to watch a basketball game, sit in the same room, or go to a live game and bring along your knitting. You can connect just by spending the time together.
The last step of dealing with empty nest syndrome is not to worry about redoing the room that your child moved out of. Redoing the room doesn’t mean that the child is gone forever. Feel free to go a little wild when redoing the room. You can paint almost any room for about $30. Just make sure that the room or another room in the house has somewhere for the child to stay when they come home for the summer or a weekend vacation. Imagine, you could have the craft room, sewing room, or home office you've been longing for – in the color scheme you've always dreamed of!
Researching empty nest syndrome might help you prepare more than people who do not read up on empty nest syndrome – allowing you to understand that the feelings you're going through are normal. Just remember that this is a great time for you to express yourself and have fun. Get out and live life to the fullest.