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Most parents dread the same thing, and that is the day when their children move out. Even though it is exciting to see kids move off to start their own lives in the world of work or at college, it can still be quite upsetting for the majority of parents. After all, your babies have left after a lot of time together!
After their kids grow up and leave, most parents develop empty nest syndrome. This is when you experience extreme emotions and feelings, such as grief and loneliness. Thankfully, though, there are many ways you can prevent this syndrome from setting in once your children do move out.
So, are you expecting to say goodbye to your little ones over the next year? Here are some tips that can help you stay well away from any symptoms of empty nest syndrome!
When the kids move out of your family home, you will be left with their empty bedrooms and a lot of extra space in your house. Many people find that all of this excess space reminds them that their children no longer live with them, and this can worsen their feelings of loss and grief. There is one solution to this, though.
Home downsizing involves moving into a smaller home. When you and your partner find a house that is big enough for you and all your belongings, you will find that the home doesn’t feel quite so empty and you won’t rattle around in it so much. It’s still a good idea to get a new house with a spare bedroom, though – your kids will want to come back to stay sometime!
Talk To Your Partner About Your Feelings
I’m sure that your partner will be going through the exact same emotions and feelings as you are once your children move out of your family home. I’m sure that you will both benefit from being open and honest about what you are going through right now. Plus, talking about any issues will help you feel like you’ve let a weight go from your shoulders. You might even be able to come up with ways each of you can try and take your minds off things for a while.
Get A New Hobby
Now that you don’t have to spend so much time caring for and looking after your kids, you will have a lot more spare time to yourself in the evenings and on the weekends. So, why not do something useful with your time and get a new hobby?
Not only is this a great way to spend all your new free time, but it will also take your mind away from the loneliness and sadness that might have been getting you down since the kids moved out. If you have been meaning to get in shape for a while, now is your chance to do it by taking up a new sport for a hobby.
For example, you might want to look into joining a local running club so that you can start running and meet some new people. There are lots of hobbies that don’t involve sports if you don’t like getting active. For instance, how about joining a book club or taking part in a cooking course?
Get A Pet
Some couples like to fill their empty nest by bringing a new pet into their home. Your kids might be jealous of this new pet and they might even threaten to move back home! Joking aside, though, this is a good idea as it provides you and your partner with a brand new companion.
You’ll find that a new dog or a cat can bring a lot of joy into your home, and you won’t be quite so lonely anymore. Another benefit that comes with getting a dog is that it will help you stay fit as you will have to take it for a walk each and every day. If you and your partner are at work every day, you should try and get a peaceful breed that won’t be too bothered about being left alone all day.
(Related post: Don’t Forget Your Dog This Christmas!)
Keep In Touch With Your Children Regularly
Just because your kids have moved out doesn’t mean that you can’t keep in touch with them! In fact, if they have moved quite far away from you and you will no longer see them on a regular basis anymore, there is, even more, reason for you to try and keep in regular contact with one another. And you will find that keeping in touch can help to alleviate any loneliness or sadness that you might have been feeling. So, if you are ever feeling a bit down and miss your kids, pick up the phone for a quick chat with them!
Make Some Plans
Quite a few parents find that making plans helps to take their mind off their empty nest syndrome. So, it’s worth taking a look at your calendar for the coming months to see if you have any time to plan some days out or vacations. You and your partner might like the idea of going away to an adults-only resort, for example. Or perhaps you want to book a weekend away with some of your friends.
In fact, why don’t you visit your child and his or her new town or city for a weekend? You will, hopefully, find that packing your calendar with plenty of plans can help you to stay busy and can turn all your thoughts of sadness to excitement instead! If you do book some holidays, it’s a nice idea to see if your kids want to join you on a few of them as well. You will find that they will never be too old to accept a free trip away with their parents!
Hopefully, you won’t end up suffering from the empty nest syndrome for far too long. The ideas above should help you change your sadness to happiness!