The Fight For Independence - Learning to Leave The Nest Without Abandoning Your Parents
You can't ignore the call of the wild
As a young adult myself, I completely understand need to spread those wings and soar out into the great wide open. The thrill of achieving that independence you've struggled for, for so long, is like nothing else on earth (except maybe good sex, but that's a topic for another hub).
That being said, I think a lot of freshly freed nest-leavers completely forget to stop and think about how their new found freedom could be effecting your parents. As a parent myself, I can guarantee that no matter how "together" your parents seem when it's time for you to move out, go to college or move away, it's HARD on them.
They spent the last 18 years (or more) raising you as best as they could, with very little appreciation in return, not that they needed it, but still. And now, after having you around through thick and thin, always there to love on and care for, many parents wonder what to do with themselves. Having a child leave the home opens up a void that takes time to fill up with pre-kid activities.
So why not show your parents how much you appreciate everything they've done for you (including letting you go), and check in on them from time to time?
Some easy ways to show your parents you haven't abandoned them
- Call them at least once a week just to chat. Leave out any talks of borrowing money, or anything you might need from them. Just talk to them, like you'd talk to a friend. Ask them how life is without you there, or what there plans are now that they have more freedom to.
- Come home for the holidays. I know it's so cliche, but it really makes a difference. Holidays are a time to get gussied up and have a good time with mom and dad from a newer, freer, more mature perspective.
- DON'T FORGET Mothers Day and Fathers Day! As a kid you were always off the hook for not getting anything or by just giving them a construction paper heart with little lacy bits, or a cardboard tie. Now that your all independent, you'd better get on the ball and really make these special parent days count!
- Stop in spontaneously from time to time. You could come bring your parents lunch, or just decide to stay in for a movie. Any reason is a good reason to stop in a say hey to mom and pop.
- Invite them to come to you. Sure, there are probably lots of things you aren't yet ready to share with your parents, but that doesn't mean you can clean up, get your roommates in shape (if you have any), or just out for the day, and have your parents come and feel like they are still somewhat involved in your life.
You know your parents better than anyone else, and probably better than they know themselves. So you'll know how often to check in and what ways would show your appreciation the best. Just remember that the best gift to your mom and dad, is just your time.