For many parents it is empty nest time. Your children have flown the coop, at least for a while, headed to college, a gap year or a new job out of town. I remember when our son went off to college in 2005. Other parents told me that it would be difficult to adjust, but I did not believe them. Not me! He was only 3 hours away, we would talk at least once a week, I had a busy coaching career and felt confident that his college experience would be a good one.
Yeah, sure. I was just like everyone else. After getting Andrew settled on campus, my husband and I headed to the beach nearby for a long weekend. I had reserved a room in a new hotel on the beach with a rooftop pool, great food and drinks, and, since it was at the end of summer, a fairly quiet boardwalk. Within hours of our arrival, I walked out on the beach and started to cry. I continued to cry for most of the weekend, which made our getaway less than wonderful.
The good news is that I did adjust and my life did not fall apart. I started
What I learned from this is that it’s important to embrace the empty nest. Allow yourself to feel the emotions of letting go of your “baby” if that helps. Sit in his bedroom and think of all the milestones you have shared with him over the years. Then, look in the mirror and feel proud of your accomplishment. Embrace your success and all that you did to launch your child into the world. This is no small feat. I know that all too well. And, oftentimes the empty nest becomes the revolving door as your children come back for a short, or long, stay. That’s when you will appreciate having taken time to care for yourselves while your children are out of the house. You will need more energy when they return home!
Wishing all empty nesters a peace-filled transition and the courage to celebrate yourselves.