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THE EMPTY NEST ONE
Because at this time of the year, there's a secret sadness some parents have to deal with...
How the devil are you? Keeping well & strong, I hope
Well, September has raised its head and with it comes the return to uni of our grown up children. And, this could be thought of as the “private grief” of every parent in this situation. There isn’t much talk about Empty Nest in the media or society as a whole. So, as parents, we crash on with our lives and deal with that grief in private. And, of course, the last thing we want to do is let our departing child know what a mess we really are.
So, for those of you in this situation, I thought I’d drag the syndrome into the spotlight and offer you some tips - see the article below
EMPTY NEST SYNDROME - The reality and some tips to help:)
I’m now well into the role of being an empty nester. My youngest has graduated from her degree in London this summer and, because of the total disruption of the pandemic, she has decided to undertake a year long post grad course in Berlin, of all places.
Added to which, my older daughter who has been living and working in London for the last 7 years is taking a sabbatical from her job for six months from October and will be travelling for the six months.
So, with me, it’s not just a case of having children living in another part of the UK - my two are in other countries!
Regardless of whether it’s in this country or abroad, it doesn’t seem to get any easier. So, over the ensuing years, I’ve developed a few tips to help me cope a bit better:
The first one I’ve adopted is to find a project that I can pour myself into. It fills the time that I might normally spend ruminating. So, if you find something that you enjoy and provides you with some sort of finished article, such as something you can display around the house, then so much the better. There’s no better lift than looking at something you produced yourself entirely.
If you’re not coping very well, keep their bedroom door very tightly closed until you feel strong enough to go in and clean. Yes, the dust will be settling to inches thick and you may find mouldy cups and plates under the bed, but they will still be there when you feel strong enough to go in and retrieve them. And a blast in the dishwasher will soon sort those dirty pots out ;)
However, I need to add a note of caution here, on keeping yourself busy:
Don’t fill your time so much that you don’t have time to wallow a little bit. If a wave of sadness hits you hard, and your situation warrants it, allow yourself a bit of time to accept and experience it, even only for a short time. This helps your subconscious in accepting the change, and I promise you will feel better afterwards.
I hope these tips help, but if you need a bit more support and kind words, I produced an episode of the 45NotOut podcast looking solely at empty nest syndrome with a Harley Street Psychotherapist - Sarah Calvert. Sarah explained fully why the syndrome hits so hard and offers advice and solutions about how to cope. You can listen to the episode here .
OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY 45 NOT OUT
You may not know that 45 Not Out has other platforms where you can join the community and have your voice heard.
There’s an established 45NotOut closed Facebook group that has a loyal following of awesome women just like you who share and post all about issues that we experience as mid-life women.
The group is growing nicely, but there’s always room for more sassy mid-life women who aren’t done yet. And I’m always looking for new, sassy women to join the throng. So if you’d like to join this awesome group, you can do so here
So that’s a wrap from me until the next time. I wish you well as your offspring return to their various colleges and universities and that Empty Nest Syndrome doesn’t hit you too hard.
Just know that you aren’t on your own and it’s part of life’s journey that although its really painful to see them fly the nest, its lovely seeing them grow into fab human beings. And you did that - so be proud!
Stay strong and see you in a fortnight’s time