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Empty Nest Syndrome – is it for real?

By February 1, 2015December 8th, 2022No Comments

Three years ago, it started – the exit of the fledgelings.  And now my youngest son, my “baby”, left for Johannesburg in pursuit of a career change.  The head agrees with the move – good career choice, time to diversify his experience, good salary – he must go and fly.  The heart says otherwise.  It feels like an amputation, like identity-theft.  The decades-old primary role of parent has been eliminated.   The feelings are sadness, loneliness and emptiness and back to sadness again.

Our lives have revolved so much around our children during their formative years, that you wonder who the “real you” is.   So yes, ENS is for real.

The experts say that it is good to grieve the loss, but try not to weep into your 6-foot tall baby’s hoodie.  Consider turning the situation into a positive – embrace the great future that your children have, and start thinking about all of the benefits to your personal life.  Consider this to be a time of rebirth, self-evaluation, adventure, discovery and creativity.  Look at these solutions designed to get you back on track to find your “original you” and start the next chapter of your life:

  • Rekindle your marriage:
    Start dating your spouse again.  Remember why you got together in the first place.  It’s time to play again!
  • Rediscover yourself:
    It’s your time to do what you want to do.  What makes you come alive?  What makes you happy?  What is your passion in life?  Try something new – yoga, tai-chi, pilates, a new nutrition programme.
  • Make plans:
    Draw up a five-year plan of all those things you have wanted to do.  Put a savings plan in place in order to realise those dreams.
  • Revitalise your friendships:
    Renew old friendships with people who  are at the same stage in their lives.  There’s nothing like being with friends who “get it”.
  • Volunteer:
    Help your community, keep busy and meet people – many of whom will be going through the same life transition.

This could become the happiest and richest time of your life.  Plan a life beyond your wildest dreams, if you dare!

No Comments

  • Jean.Knaggs says:

    This can also be a very lonely time for single parents. Your children have often been the link with married couples. Now the children have left and the married couples are rekindling their marriages and you really do not want to get in the way. The feelings that you first felt when you became a single parent can resurface. This is the time to deal with all unfinished business that you have pushed aside in the past and concentrate on yourself for a change. Take charge of your life and grow!!!

  • gary says:

    Great article. I think that it has to be a time of renewal, a second life, if you like. That’s what’s so great about life – the different seasons. Got to make the most of it because there the analogy ends – specific “life” seasons only comes around once.

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