When I was younger, oh so much younger than today, I used to dream of the day when the kids would leave home.
“No empty nest syndrome for me”, I’d say, and mean it.
“I8 … and that’s it. You’re out, on your own, on your heal!” I used to threaten when I was really ticked off with them over some mis-demeanour such as a filthy bedroom with two week old pizza droppings rotting under the bed.
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My sweet revenge
I’d end up cleaning the room of course, but my sweet revenge would be to dream of going on holiday without them to a Bali style resort perhaps, certainly somewhere where I wouldn’t have to please everyone.
When they’d left home I promised myself I was going to sleep in late, never pack a lunch ever again, find time to spend in the garden, and indulge in some exotic Thai cooking (with extra chillis of course).
A big black hole beckoned
But the very moment I was left on my own, my heart fell into my boots, and I bleated like a sheep. It felt as if I was looking into a big black hole of not being needed ever again. Certainly no feel-good Mummy factors in amidst the shrapnel of ‘getting-on-with- life’, no precious moments to photograph like these below.
In short, the overall realisation was of walking through my day to day routine feeling as if I was minus a limb.
The nest was empty, and I would need to find another hat to wear.
Tips to ease the empty nest syndrome pangs
1. Take up a new hobby
2. Get out and meet your girlfriends for coffee or lunch more often.
3. Volunteer. There are lots of child related NGO organisations that could do with your help if you’re missing having kids around.
4. Even if you haven’t worked for a while consider getting a job. Child-rearing and being a home executive has equipped you with all sorts of skills the job market needs. If needs be, do a Tafe course and up-skill, then get out there and be confident – You’re worth it.
5. Plan a holiday with your husband and indulge in all the things you couldn’t do on family holidays. Yes, be selfish for a change.
6. Invite your grown up kids around often, they might not always be able to come, but mostly they’ll be glad you offered – and a Mum’s home cooked meal never goes amiss when they first start having to cook on their own.
Did you, or are you. looking forward to welcoming in an exciting new phase of your life when your children left home or did you welcome the change with about as much anticipation as a root canal treatment? Or tell us, what did you do when the kids left home?
Until next time.