Empty Nest Syndrome … the syndrome part of that phrase sounds apprehensive to me, the entire phrase suggests uncertainty and anxiety.
I think I have been experiencing Empty Nest Syndrome in varying stages since my youngest child graduated from high school. I home-schooled my kids, so, for a long time, most of my days revolved around them and their schedules. That first Fall, Back-to-School, season after her graduation, I remember feeling at a loss as to what to do with my time. I had feelings of sadness that my kids no longer needed me. I now had a lot of free time on my hands and wasn’t sure how to fill it. After a few months, I found a way to fill that time – I started my own business, Tracy Helps You !
Earlier, I mentioned experiencing Empty Nest Syndrome in stages. By becoming an entrepreneur and learning how to run a small business, I had found some ways to fill the hours of my day. I felt like I was learning to cope with this new phase of life.
However, since my youngest moved out of the house (the nest) earlier this summer, I feel like I’m experiencing another, different stage of Empty Nest Syndrome – being home alone during the day. Not lonely, I have good friends to spend time with and our cats are very friendly and are great company (yes, I talk to them – don’t judge). While my youngest wasn’t home constantly, I do miss the companionship of having her around – someone coming and going throughout the day. I miss the youthful energy of my young adult children and all their friends that used to be common fixtures in my home. Of course, I missed my oldest when he moved out, but I don’t think I realized the full impact of having grown children yet because I still had one living at home.
There are some pluses of having an Empty Nest 🙂 My husband and I joke around that we feel like newlyweds again. We are free to do whatever we want, whenever we want – responsible only for ourselves. Also, our utility and grocery bills have gone down. Cooking / feeding two instead of four … less laundry and showers save on the water, gas and electricity bills. We don’t have to do the evening driveway shuffle so the person leaving first in the morning isn’t blocked in 🙂
I’m learning to have a new, different kind of relationship with both of my kids. I feel like I actually speak / text with them more now than I did when they lived under my roof. We are all growing and maturing in this new phase of life. I hope they know (I’m pretty sure they do) how much I love them and how proud I am of the honest, loyal and respectful adults they have become ♥
Oh, and btw, I’m starting to look forward to even more new phases of life … future grandchildren 🙂