Coping with an Empty Nest

Bobby has already been out of the house for nearly 2 months.  Although he was barely around the months leading up to his move, it is still tough having a child-less home.  Clara moved out years ago, but there is something that keeps bringing back feelings of sadness and loneliness.  I tell myself each day is a new day, a new challenge, and a new victory.  I try keeping a positive attitude and look forward to seeing my children.

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Some days are better than others, and I take it one day at a time.  I am happy I prepared myself before “moving day” or I think it would be pretty ugly.  I met up with a few friends yesterday that also had their kids move out for college this year.  It is comforting knowing other people are feeling the same why I am.

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I am no empty nest expert, but I try to make each day better than the last.  Here are a few steps that are continuing to help me cope and get through this.  Maybe they can help you or you can share them with someone who needs them.
1.    Preparing myself for the “move” was probably the most important thing I did.  I worked to accept the fact my children were moving out before the day came.  It helped me feel more at peace when it happened.  Whatever emotions that appear when going through a time like this are okay as long as you acknowledge them.  Share feelings with others or write them down in a journal.
2.    Getting healthy is one of my greatest accomplishments so far.  I never really considered myself to be unhealthy, just not that active.  When my hot flashes and menopause symptoms were acting up and getting active was a way to minimize them, I took a big step towards a positive change.  When I go on a bike ride or a walk I feel great about myself.  My body is happy and so are my emotions.
3.    Being romantic with my husband wasn’t a priority when I had two kids running around the house.  Now that it is just the two of us, there is time to spend together and remember why we fell in love in the first place.  We have been doing little surprises for each other that making each day exciting.  It is easy to remember why we fell in love after an evening just the two of us.
4.    DON’T MOPE! This was very difficult for me.  I felt so much better when I got out of the house and tried new things.  It is amazing how much more time there is to focus on yourself.  I went shopping alone, started a new fitness and healthy lifestyle, began taking a tai chi class, and have been sparking the romance with my husband.  Don’t mope; I promise it gets better faster when you get out there.
5.    Join an empty nest forum if you don’t have friends that understand what you’re going through.  I am lucky quite a few of my friends are going through the same thing I am.  I find it very beneficial for my moral to talk about missing my kids and how I am feeling.  Sometimes it is hard to tell your friends exactly how you are feeling, I found joining online forums anonymously is a great way to get everything off my chest.  Here are a few forums I like: Circle of Moms, Empty Nest Moms, and Daily Strength.
I hope that by sharing what I have done and continue to do, I might be able to help someone else get through tough times like these.  Every mother loves their children dearly, but it is important to let them fly to their next destination.  I knew becoming an empty nester would be difficult; but with knowledge and a good support system going through it can be a great learning experience.  Embrace the change and grow.
Until next time,
Nancy

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2 comments

  1. Hi Nancy! I’m glad I found your blog. Mine won’t be nearly as exciting or positive as yours, so I’m counting on you, girlfriend!! My ‘kids’ left home years ago. My son (my last to ‘leave home’) got married in July. This quite, big old house is depressing, to say the least. The kids (my daughter and her hubby an my son and his new wifey,) live in the same town 2 hours away. We are all a very close family and with my husband working his typical 14 hours a day, I am lost. Unlike you, I have depression (unrelated to the empty nest kind) and so getting out and starting over has been a hurdle I haven’t overcome yet. I think your blog will help me. See you soon. Hugs, Hope!

    • Thank you for finding my blog and commenting. I think it is very important us “empty nesters” stick together and use each other as a support system. Everyone’s situation is unique and deals with it a different way; we can share our losses and our triumphant moments to move forward together.
      I look forward to reading your blog and learning more about your journey!
      You’ve got a friend in me 🙂
      Hugs!
      Nancy


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