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Transitioning Through "The Empty Nest Syndrome"

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:17pm

Empty Nest syndrome is that blue funk transition that many mothers (sometimes fathers too) experience when all of the children have grown up and have moved out to start living life on their own. It’s a passage in life that all parents have to face sooner or later, and some of us are completely unprepared for the total emptiness we feel once we have reached this stage in the lives of our children.

It’s not just that the house is quiet that’s disturbing, but we are left to realize just how much of our own self we lost in the process of parenting. We became great mothers. We sacrificed our needs and wants, laid our own dreams and wishes on the back burner, and invested ourselves entirely to the care, protection, and raising of our children. Now that our children have walked out the door to begin life on their own, it’s like our identity walked out with them. Who are we now? What are we to do with all this time on our hands? Depression sets in.

What we are not able to realize, in the middle of our mourning, is that joy waits on the other side of this painful transition, and there are many ways to celebrate this time in your life, and rediscover the person you left behind: YOU. Consider the following:

  • Rest and Restore. Take time to reflect over your accomplishments. Retreat somewhere and do absolutely nothing. Most mothers will find this hard to do because they have spent many years giving all of their time to the needs and demands of the others in their home. It’s time for you now. Take a break, and enjoy it!
  • Reinvent Your Relationship With Your Spouse. Husbands and wives often forget what it meant to just be a couple before they took on the task of raising children. They became so wrapped up in the lives of their children that their relationship with each other shifted and changed. It’s time to change your focus. You can now put all of your energy into catering to and spoiling each other.
  • Take A Class Or Cultivate A New Hobby. Invest in your own interests now. Fill your extra time exploring new things.
  • Explore Your Spiritual Side. Volunteer some of that free time to a good cause that you believe in.
  • Share Experiences. Talk to other women who have walked this path before you. There are also excellent websites on line to help you on this journey. Check out: emptynestsupport.com and emptynestmoms.com

Most of all, remember it’s your time, now what will you do with it?

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