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Empty Nest Syndrome - How to Get Past It

Updated on September 23, 2017
Linda BookLady profile image

I'm a book blogger, the Book Lady at YouTube, and a memoir writer.

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Empty Nest Syndrome: Strategies for Dealing with Emotions After Your Teenagers Move Away

Coping with empty nest syndrome is a challenge for many of us when our children become adults.

They grow, we nurture them, and watch them fly off.

Suddenly our nests are empty, our children are gone - off to make their fortunes in the world.

What ever will we do with ourselves?

How will we cope?

When the family home empties parents often start feeling very lonely. Their purpose for living - taking care of the children - has vanished. That's when Empty Nest Syndrome sets in.

This page focuses on coping with Empty Nest Syndrome and finding new solutions for our lives.

This page is dedicated with love to all parents who are missing their children.

It is a huge transition, to go from a house full of lively teenagers (or even just one) to an empty house. Suddenly there's no one to take care of but yourself. This can be very difficult for a lot of us, but there are things we can do to make the change less painful. It is time for self-care, and learning to relate to our children as adults. It gets easier with time.

Mothers Talk About Empty Nest Syndrome

Love Your Feelings

...whatever they are.

Whatever your feelings are, accept them. Realize that this is your way of adjusting to the loss of children in the home, and love yourself regardless. We all have our reasons for our individualized emotions. Whether you're happy, sad, grieving, or overjoyed and relieved to see them off after all these years, your feelings are perfect just as they are.

Your feelings about empty nest syndrome - How are you feeling now?

What is your reaction to having your children leave home?

See results

A Story of Motherhood and Change

Finding New Hobbies

...in case you haven't latched on to anything yet.

I decided that once my children left home I'd get into painting again. It was something I put away many years ago, along with my beloved guitar, because it was something I felt I couldn't do and take care of my kids at the same time.

Do you have any deferred interests like that, or are you floundering? If you don't know what to do with all your new-found spare time, get cozy with a cup of tea or coffee, and a notebook with your favorite kind of pen, and write a list of all the things you've ever wished you could do. Then pick two or three feasible things, and get busy!

Working, or Volunteering

Many empty nesters stay busy with work. If you don't work and don't need the money, you might find that volunteering will fulfill your needs to get out of the house, interact with others, and feel useful. For more information see Volunteer Match.

Pets, anyone?

Some people just have to have pets. It isn't for everyone, but if you're sure you'll love them and not feel tied down by them, this might be the time to get a new companion.

As for me, I've still got the pets left by my children.

The photo is of me and Bear, one of the dogs my youngest daughter left behind.

Journal Your Blues - ...write about it!

The New Diary: How to Use a Journal for Self-Guidance and Expanded Creativity
The New Diary: How to Use a Journal for Self-Guidance and Expanded Creativity

If you're feeling sad because your children are moving out, get into the habit of writing about what you're going through. I've read this book and found it very helpful in expanding my methods of journaling.

Journaling is a healing, life-affirming way to cope with problems.

As you write you'll understand yourself better and come to terms with your reasons for feeling blue.

 

Changes

Things you can do for yourself and for your adult children.

Keeping In Touch

Yes, the kids left, but they still need you. Find ways to communicate. Some prefer phone calls, some like emails. I like a combination of both with a few handwritten letters tossed in.

The Care Package

Some parents send them once a month. Others seldom do. I think the kids always like them - at least, they'll appreciate the thought. One man in his thirties told me his parents still sent him care packages constantly. He said, "My mother always puts in a bottle of Tylenol. I hardly ever use them." I imagined his medicine cabinet overflowing with Tylenol. He didn't look too upset.

Claim Your Space

...you can use those rooms for something else, you know...

Have you decided what you want to do with your extra bedrooms yet? In my house, one of them is an office with my computer, bookcases, and a table to play games or write at. My other empty bedroom became a storage space.

What are you planning to do?

Carin Rubenstein on the Today Show

Carin at an Empty Nest Seminar

Yes, you CAN be happy again!

It may take some working through. If you feel totally useless, cannot stop crying a lot, and are isolating yourself from friends, family, and work, then no doubt you may need professional counseling.

As for the rest of you, find something to do, enjoy your spare time, and stay busy. You can't control your children's lives when they're living elsewhere and it is a useless waste of energy to try. So find something that makes you happy, and be glad for it.

My Story

For months I looked forward to the time when my youngest would leave home. I'd been parenting continuously for thirty-four years and thought this should be a time when I'd finally have the opportunity to do things for myself instead of always doing and being for the kids.

For a while I didn't have much of a reaction when my youngest son finally left at the age of eighteen. I got on with my life, cleaned his room and tried to help him cope with our separation. I think it was harder for him because he was my fifth child to leave, and I was used to it by then.

Months later I realized I was experiencing symptoms of Empty Nest Syndrome. I looked at his room door and longed for his presence. I didn't feel lonely, but I did feel a lot of sadness.

My job of mothering minors is over and I can't bring it back. Just like the rest of you who are missing your kids, I will have to move forward and learn new ways of relating to them as adults.

Your comments are welcome

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  • Nadine May profile image

    Nadine May 8 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

    Great article Linda. Yes not only did both my kids leave our home when they were in the early twenties, they also emigrated. It was my creative writing that kept me from being depressed about it. This November my son and grandson are visiting me. I have not seen him in 12 years! Thank goodness I never then knew years ago how long I would be separated from my children and never see my grandchildren growing up. My daughter remarried and I was at her wedding five years ago. We are in contact with Whatsup, and I tried to connect with the grandchildren over the internet, but that somehow never worked. Today I'm very busy with my own hobbies and we have adopted ( not legally) a young boy when he was 15 and now he will turn 18 and lives with us while he is going to his work nearby. He has and still is an absolute blessing to have around.

  • Linda BookLady profile image
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    Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

    @shaunsheep: Sorry ... you sound so depressed! I would definitely look for something else besides the kids to lean on. I am happy with my church, because Christ came to comfort the broken hearted, and my heart has been broken badly in the last year. I just mention this because you too sound like your heart has been broken - by your children. I have had times of being upset with things the kids have said to or about me, but I generally overlook those things and pretend they don't hurt me. And then they're never mentioned again and everything seems okay now. I don't expect much from my kids - they're so busy being young adults. My challenge is to keep myself busy with things that fill the empty space in my heart.

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    shaunsheep 3 years ago

    I think that no hobbies can really take away the sadness of being left behind. I am happy that my kids are on their own building their lives. I am not happy that they talk down to me, those times we actually get to talk for 5 minutes. I invested myself 150% since I was a single parent. I ended up broke, without a partner and my dog died..boy what a piece of work my life is. I feel like a withered flower...my usefulness is spent. I can t wait for death, I fear it may take too long.

  • LauraCarExpert profile image

    LauraCarExpert 4 years ago

    My mom is currently going through empty nest syndrome, I pray for her every day to get through it.

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    Im a single mother for the last 25 years, oldest son left years ago and daughter now 18 will be moving in about 60 days she tells me after graduation. Im very proroud and happy for her she will be attending local college in the fall. She is not even gone yet and I feel so lost! My sister lives near by with her family and my noyfriend of 2 1/2 years lives about 30 miles....Why do I feel so sad though? and the worst of it is they don't get it? I don't want to tell my daughter as the normal part of life is to sprout wings and fly and I wouldn't hold her back, but now what? I don't want to be old and alone...this already sucks!

  • Linda BookLady profile image
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    Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

    @anonymous: What is there to live for? I am way too busy and always have things to live for. When my youngest child left I promised myself I would become an artist. I had no so-called "talent" but I struggled with it and now am surrounded by my own art work - I find that to be a lot of fun, and one of my paintings went onto a little children's novel I published this year, and the secretary of our local chamber of commerce enlarged that cover, and hung the reproduction of my painting on the wall of the chamber office a few weeks ago. I go to writers club meetings and spend my days writing online or visiting friends online... mostly working to make money online.

    So I can't say I'm crying for my child's companionship. My only child who still lives in this small town lives on the other side of town in a fifth wheel he bought and parked in a friend's driveway... and he works at the local market. I get to see him but our lives don't mesh a lot... he has his life and we get together for dinners at the one local restaurant once in a while.

    I think your daughter may be acting insensitive to you because she needs distance and autonomy. Meanwhile, you need new interests, hobbies, activities, and friends. You can find those friends by following your dreams. What were your dreams when you were young? Did you achieve those things? What did you set aside to be a mom for your kids?

    For me, it was art, writing, hiking, etc... everything went away because I had to devote myself to the kids. I can go back to those things now. Please follow your dreams, your heart... and through those dreams, find new friends.

  • babynstar profile image

    babynstar 5 years ago

    My mother has this, very interesting

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    My daughter turned 18 and sleeps and stays at her boyfriend. I do not like it. I was a single Mother but now I'm nothing. I work 2 jobs to try to pay off the debt I racked up raising her alone. Everything in my house is broken and I have trouble cleaning. She was my friend to play video games, go shopping, see movies, everything. Now she talks to me like she hates me and I disgust her. My Mom died 2 years ago and I think I put her through this. She was never happy and neither am I. I am so incredibly lonely yet I can't find any activity or friend that interests me. I think about dying all the time. I know my Dad would like to see me more but he just wants me to sit there while he watches detective TV shows. I don't like them. I have had a week off for Christmas and have not read or anything. She wouldn't spend any time with me or go see a movie. I just sit on the couch and cry. This is my first time off in a year from my 2 jobs. What is there to live for?

  • Linda BookLady profile image
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    Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

    @anonymous: Are you kidding? Why would you want to?

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    anonymous 5 years ago

    should I have another baby I am 48 years old

  • justmelucy profile image

    justmelucy 5 years ago

    What a Great Lens. I am so glad to have found you or did you find me and bring to your lens. So much wisdom is shared here. Thank you for sharing. Let's just smile.

  • Linda BookLady profile image
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    Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

    @anonymous: (((Jacqui))) ... I think the only solution is to place more value on your alone-time, your hobby-time, hiking-time, or whatever it is that keeps you a busy person when your son isn't there. Focusing on him is kind of co-dependent, maybe?

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    anonymous 5 years ago

    @anonymous: After reading this, just maybe l am not crazy after all. My son moved out just under a year ago. About a four hour train ride away, So its not like you can just pop in for a coffee and a chat. Like you l brought up my children on my own after a divorce. But every time he comes to visit l always seem to get upset when he as to pack. Don't ask me why. After he's go live returns to normal. But l have tried hard to be strong. All l want is for my son to come and go without me getting all tearful all the time. Each time as got easier, but just want it stop. My son went back yesterday. Today the tears are flowing. Admitting to myself l have a problem is the first step. But don't know how to go about changing it. What is the crazy thing about this is l have another son who still lives at home. So maybe l am just plain crazy.

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    anonymous 5 years ago

    When my children who have left home are happy and successful in their endeavours to live rich and rewarding lives one can relax and enjoy life, but when this is not the case one feels the need to be close in order to help. When this possibility is rendered impossible because of distance then the frustrations and feeling of impotency are very real and I personally have not find a way to overcome this form of sadness.

  • Annbulance2000 profile image

    Annbulance2000 5 years ago

    Interesting page. I hoped I would not feel a gap in my life when my children left home. I did not miss my son in the same way that I missed my daughter. He left home and did not return growing up and having a family, coming back for visits and chats. My daughter was the younger one and buffered my feelings about my sons happy departure from the family home. When she left after years of going to uni and then rerturning, going to uni again and returning, living in London, coming back home to live,in and out of boxes always in her room. When the boxes finally disappeared and she moved in with her boyfriend I was restless, thinking she would return. After a year I knew she was happy, after two years, I knew the space that was her room was not needed for her return. We are always mothers and they are always our children otherwise how could we nurture them?

  • Linda BookLady profile image
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    Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

    @anonymous: Three days isn't much time to adjust! It is okay to grieve, but also think about what you would like to do with your extra time and space now that the children are moving ahead with their lives. You cannot expect for your daughter to have the same moral fiber as you; she needs to experience life on her own terms and may eventually return to your way of thinking. Don't hold it against her... she's still your child who you will always love.

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    anonymous 5 years ago

    M6 22 year old daughter moved out 3 days ago and I cannot believe how hard this is. I am definitely experiencing grief. She graduated college in May and moved BACK to her college to live with her boyfriend of 7 months. We have very strong morals and are completely against this but she went anyway. I am so confused about my feelings. I'm angry and sad and miss her and want to talk to her but am afraid to all at the same time. I'd sure appreciate any help with this if anyone has gone thru this. I can't remember ever being this unhappy. We still have our 25 year old son living at home but he's almost never around and is getting married soon.

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    anonymous 5 years ago

    My only daughter has left home after a knock down, blow out fight with her Dad (nothing physical, a very strong difference of opinion). I'm devastated! I am absolutely caught in the middle! My husband has some very valid points (we've spoiled her ll of her life) but she has some very avid points as well (her father has VERY HIGH EXPECTATIONS and she hasn't lived up to them). I retract, she's been spoiled rotten. That being said (admitted), I work out of town and cannot deal with not seeing her when I'm home! I also suffer from depression -a lifetime condition - don't know how to get through this. Does it matter that I'm turning 55, she's 19 and did I mention that she's my only child? Im Soooo sad ...

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    My only daughter has left home after a knock down, blow out fight with her Dad (nothing physical, a very strong difference of opinion). I'm devastated! I am absolutely caught in the middle! My husband has some very valid points (we've spoiled her ll of her life) but she has some very avid points as well (her father has VERY HIGH EXPECTATIONS and she hasn't lived up to them). I retract, she's been spoiled rotten. That being said (admitted), I work out of town and cannot deal with not seeing her when I'm home! I also suffer from depression -a lifetime condition - don't know how to get through this. Does it matter that I'm turning 55, she's 19 and did I mention that she's my only child? Soooo sad ...

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    My only daughter has left home after a knock down, blow out fight with her Dad (nothing physical, a very strong difference of opinion). I'm devastated! I am absolutely caught in the middle! My husband has some very valid points (we've spoiled her ll of her life) but she has some very avid points as well (her father has VERY HIGH EXPECTATIONS and she hasn't lived up to them). I retract, she's been spoiled rotten. That being said (admitted), I work out of town and cannot deal with not seeing her when I'm home! I also suffer from depression -a lifetime condition - don't know how to get through this. Does it matter that I'm turning 55, she's 19 and did I mention that she's my only child? Soooo sad ...

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    My only daughter has left home after a knock down, blow out fight with her Dad (nothing physical, a very strong difference of opinion). I'm devastated! I am absolutely caught in the middle! My husband has some very valid points (we've spoiled her ll of her life) but she has some very avid points as well (her father has VERY HIGH EXPECTATIONS and she hasn't lived up to them). I retract, she's been spoiled rotten. That being said (admitted), I work out of town and cannot deal with not seeing her when I'm home! I also suffer from depression -a lifetime condition - don't know how to get through this. Does it matter that I'm turning 55, she's 19 and did I mention that she's my only child? Soooo sad ...

  • profile image

    stillrunnin88 5 years ago

    I have 2 older children that still live at home and my youngest who's 18 starting college this year but will live at home. I do wonder if she will be the first to move though. My boys( I should be saying young men) work but still live at home and help out with mowing and such things.

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    @nicole-young: sorry...i am stepping out doing this computer talking...don't know how to put a pix up there...lol.

  • profile image

    nicole-young 5 years ago

    20th LIKE!! Great Lens by the way : )

  • Linda BookLady profile image
    Author

    Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

    @anonymous: Yes, you're dealing with a lot! My daughter-in-love has MS and I've sent her some links about MS recovery - I'll put them at the bottom of the page. You can't control what your son is doing but you can take this time to nurture yourself.

    I'm very sorry that your husband is sick too! Will he recover?

    The crafts room is a good idea.

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    @eccles1: well, dang..i was thinking of making his room into a craft room lol.

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    @anonymous: And Darlene....I am ready anytime you get that travel van and am ready to do a Thelma and Louise lol.

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    anonymous 5 years ago

    @Linda BookLady: I am not opposed to him moving out...its the sneaking behind my back of my family and of my son that bothers me. Yes, I am concerned that no more then ten feet from his new room is a bar full of booze (we don't drink here) and my parents have a history of alcoholism which I have seen manifest itself to my nephew big time and led to violent encounter/jail. But I know I must let go and will be kinda funny to his father and sister have to deal with all his adhd issues since my husband and I have had to deal with them over the years. I think my husband being really sick and in a nursing home is not helping me either. I am grieving the loss of a mate and loss of the last son to leave home AND have MS/diabetes/asthma/blindness and really don't want to be here alone. My caregivers are here 5 hrs a day but that leaves a lot of hours something could happen. I have a lot going on...have to sort all this out but I loved hearing others dealing with the same thing. thanks bunches.

  • Linda BookLady profile image
    Author

    Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

    @anonymous: Dear Deb... I think you should let him go and be happy for him because he will find out the hard way that his dad's house isn't paradise and yours isn't the pits. You did the best you could with him but now he's 18 and needs to spread his wings and learn his lessons. I say bless him with your love and let him fly free. Then offer to take him out to dinner once in a while! Make good times happen. He will love you forever.

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    anonymous 5 years ago

    @anonymous: Did you kids move in with the ex? My son is moving to his dad's house in which his dad, my daughter, her husband, and three kids live. Its a zoo there and son thinks that is better then living with his own room and me? Oh, ex is fixing him up a room in the basement after 18 yrs of him not having his own space cuz the basement floods. I don't get it...I don't get the anger son has but I think its manifested so he does not feel guilty moving out. I have MS and healthwise, all this stress is not good for me. My mom just died in Jan and it feels as if I am experiencing another death all over again. He is my last of five that I raised...so you would think I would be ready for this...NOT>

  • eccles1 profile image

    eccles1 5 years ago

    Some times they move back!

  • Linda BookLady profile image
    Author

    Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

    @anonymous: My heart goes out to you, Darlene! This is a big transition for both of you. I would LOVE to get a little RV and travel cross-country!!! But it isn't in the cards for me right now.

    I totally believe in the idea of creating new hobbies. The more we learn, the better it is for our brains as we get older. Right now I'm learning how to play a frame drum... something I never thought of doing before, but I'm loving it.

    Keep nurturing yourself and let yourself grow. Sons need to get away from their moms at some point. Sad, but true, or they'll be accused of "clinging to apron strings." I have a son here in town, my last child to live near me. I usually only see him while he's at work or for the occasional dinner we have together.

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    My only son told me he will be moving out and getting an apartment with a friend next month. I don't want him to leave. I am going to miss him soooo much. I feel too young to be going through this I wish I had a magic potion to make him young again. I have plenty to do as run a successful business but I feel this big empty hole in my heart growing when i think about not seeing him everyday. I hate the tought of checking his empty room every night. i feel angry and sad and depressed all at the same time. My thoughts are flooded with all these memories of our lives growing up together, really. He is very independent like myself which is a good thing but wow my heart is breaking. I hope i do not do something crazy from the grief or in an effort to make it go away. Nothing like kill myself but something crazy like rent a traval van and drive across the country or something weird like that. Right now that is what I am thinking. Anyone up for something like that. I need to do something, we have always been so close, I have built my life around him and now I have to let him go. I will do it but it is killing me. I love you son. You are awesome and I know you will be a success at whatever you chase.

  • KateHonebrink profile image

    KateHonebrink 5 years ago

    Since we don't have children, I can only imagine how my mother felt when my two brothers and I left home. I can easily see how empty-nest syndrome can be an issue, but your lens has some wonderful ideas to counteract it! Great job!

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    allmysonsjacksonville 5 years ago

    This was very nice to share. As a family owned company, we know how much family means and how hard it can be to cope with a a child growing up and becoming independent. Thanks for sharing!

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    anonymous 6 years ago

    There are two "Kathy"'s on this thread, so I changed mine to Kathy M. I'm the Kathy that originally posted a year ago! ;o) I thought I'd chime in again since its been a year since my empty nest hit me hard. I've now found peace and happiness in my life although there were very difficult times in my transition. I agree with Linda, branch out, make new friends or revive old friendships. Find new hobbies or dive deeper into old ones. If you haven't heard of it, go to www.Meetup.com. Its NOT a dating site. It's a hobby social club of sorts. You will find all types of hobby groups in your area there. For example, there are knitting circles, book clubs, movie groups, ladies social groups, hiking groups, kayaking groups, ... I mean you name the hobby, there is probably a meetup group for it in your area. I live in a semi-rural area and there is still a lot of meetup groups around here, of all different types. And yes, there are some "singles" type groups, so you may want to check those out as well! :D

  • Linda BookLady profile image
    Author

    Linda Jo Martin 6 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

    @anonymous: Kathy, create new social circles in your life. Start new hobbies or get involved in community activities. You need people now more than ever. Keep yourself busy doing things you love.

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    I am having a rough time. I basically raised both my children, am divorced and both of them left the home at the same time. I am ok pretty much at work but am in tears all weekend. I miss them terribly and long for those years all over again. I am hoping this will fade with time. Any advice would be appreciated.

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    RitaDern 6 years ago

    My husband and I have two wonderful children. It was difficult to first see our daughter move to another state after college and then five years later, have our son move to another state for college. Fortunately, my hubby and I enjoy being with each other. We have invested in our relationship - not only the kids. BUT, it was difficult anyway. To top it off, add in perimenopause AND elderly parents! So, it is an emotional roller-coaster, for sure. Now, we are living in the same state as our daughter, who is engaged, and our son. Hang in there, it does get better!

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    anonymous 7 years ago

    I wanted to share with everyone what I have started doing to help myself cope with empty nest syndrome. While I knew that the empty nest was coming, I always thought it would be a time to really enjoy new life experiences with my husband and to enjoy the fruits of all our hard labor over the years. Well, my husband left me for a 19 year old this year, so I'm dealing with a complete empty nest. My entire adulthood I've been mom and wife and was very happy doing it. Now I've found myself completely lost for a purpose and extremely lonely.

    I thought about a way to help myself, and help others at the same time. I started a new meetup.com group called "Lean On Me - Newly Alone Support Group". If you happen to be in my area, I'd love you to join, but if you are not, take a look at my group and see if you think it might be something you'd be interested in starting in your own area! Its very easy to start up and like I said, you are helping yourself, but also helping others just like you too. It can be very rewarding. Check out the group for ideas on starting your own. Good Luck to you!

    http://www.meetup.com/Lean-On-Me-Newly-Alone-Suppo...

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    anonymous 7 years ago

    @anonymous: Hello,

    I can understand your feelings as my only child (son) also went away, to college. I decided to move near to where he is living, but I realized that what the real problem is, is that I spent so much time nurturing him and working that I didn't bother to ask myself what I wanted to do in my life after he left. It was too painful to think about. I do see my son for dinners, but of course it's not the same as he has his own life. I'm working on trying to figure out how to spend the rest of my life. It's a difficult road, and I have also felt that my best years are behind me.

    Have you had any counseling or is it too expensive? I shy away from counseling because of the cost. Do you have any hobbies that you've wanted to learn about but just didn't have the time to do before?

    I know it's very difficult to suddenly be confronted with yourself, an empty home, and nothing but quiet.

    I'm working on getting myself out the door and just doing things that are enjoyable, even if I am alone. I know that my son appreciates me more if I'm busy doing things, and I try to give him the impression that I'm doing well. But, I have to face it: It's TOUGH.

    Hang in there, and keep putting one step in front of the other, taking one day at a time to build yourself up. Eventually you'll get to a good place (I'm telling this to myself also!).

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    anonymous 7 years ago

    I am not coping at all since my only child, my son moved to the USA from the UK. I am here on my own with no other family or real friends. My son and I were always close, but since he met his fiancée and moved to USA he hardly contacts me, I try to contact him, but he is always too busy to speak to me. As you can guess I am going through hell and cannot do anything about it. I can not afford flights to go and see him. I feel my life is over, all I do is cry all the time I miss my son so much. It makes it worse because he is so far away and I don't know if and when I will see him again

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    anonymous 8 years ago

    Next phase of life - I remember this really hit home when my daughter was preparing to leave for college and then the reality that in five short years, my son would graduate from high school. All I could think of and said out loud to my children one day ... "That's it, I get your father?" "Mom!" Although the kids and I laughed hard that day, they knew we would be alright.

    Our son is now a Junior in college - our daughter now married and a teacher - still knowing that we miss all the hub bub and distractions our kids thought we needed a puppy (a mixed breed - golden retriever, husky and German Shepherd) now 14 months old. Ha ha! a few more stories to tell.

    The roles of parenting certainly change with grown children. Thank you for affirming "It is your turn to live your life ... go out in the middle of the week and ramp up your social life" ... life is an adventure.

  • profile image

    laurakennedy 8 years ago

    Lot of great information here! As you could tell from my lens, I have only experienced the first phase so now you have given me some ideas of what is coming next! Thank you!

  • WindyWintersHubs profile image

    WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

    My daughter spent a year at home after she graduated from high school. She worked part-time & attended a local college before moving away to Vancouver, BC. It has been 3 1/2 years since she moved to attend college/university/work in the big city. I appreciate that extra year she lived at home. This year I finally cleaned out her dresser & put her souvenirs in storage boxes. My son finally moved out for the last time to Victoria, BC this past May. He has been attending college/university over the past 6 years and now has a second diploma. (I think he is finally on the right career path) He has been living back and forth at home during his studies. (Once for a whole year, saving up for his second diploma, & attending the local college) His room at home has been more of a storage closet for his stuff rather than his bedroom.

    I talk to both of my children weekly; sometimes almost daily. I'm keeping busy & finding new things to do on a daily basis. I think I'm doing ok. Thank you!

  • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

    ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

    I didn't have a problem when my oldest left, and my youngest if flying-the-coop next fall. I will miss them, but I'm also proud. I raised them to stand on their own two feet and they are.

    Great lens

    Lizzy

  • billco1 profile image

    billco1 8 years ago

    My son has been out of our home for 8 years and our daughter for 4. Both my wife and I never had a problem staying busy. If each day was twice as long, we still couldn't do all the things we need to or would like to do. But I wish they were both still at home. Not so much because I miss them, but because I worry about them. And I've had good reason to worry.

    Nice lens.