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Empty Nest Syndrome: What have you found that helps?

By September 7, 2008 - 2:25pm
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My neighbor's youngest son just left for college. He is doing OK, but he says his wife is sad to come home to an "empty house". He jokes, saying, "what am I, chopped liver?!". But, we all know what she is going through: Empty Nest Syndrome.

I found an article on the EmpowHer site regarding Empty Nest Syndrome: http://empowher.com/encyclopedia/empty-nest-syndrome-how-cope-when-kids-...

Is anyone else going through this? How are you handling it?

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EmpowHER Guest

No offense alysiak, but if you see your daughter EVERY weekend and your son is close enough to come by to launder his clothes, you don't have an empty next.

Those who are feeling they have empty nest, need to think how to broaden their activities to fill up some of the space they had in their day devoted to caring for their kids.

That means starting a new hobby, thinking about volunteering, getting a job, planning more local and perhaps farther away outings and travel, perhaps taking a class themselves at the local college and the favorite suggestion I often hear, getting a new dog.

Like any change it takes time to settle into a new routine. Your neighbor's wife will grieve the loss of her old self until she has found her new self

October 3, 2012 - 1:13pm

I had no problem when the boys moved out on their own. My mom always said it takes 3X before the move becomes final - and it sure did! I was happy to buy kitchen utensils, towels and things to help them get settled in.

My DH felt anxiety and had a hard time letting go. Then, when our daughter moved out, he went slightly off the wall. I miss her company, but she comes over every weekend - because I'm her running coach - to go for our group training runs. DH is being the protective dad, and I can't blame him for feeling that way toward our only daughter. As the weekend grill master, he still cooks for the whole brood and goes into a sort of depression if the kids don't show up on time.

I rather like having the house to myself, and I have to admit feeling a bit imposed upon when our younger son suddenly pops over to camp out on the sofa while he does his laundry, lol!

Parents need to learn to let go. We have to do it so many times - the first step, the first day of school, the first date, high school graduation, going away to college, the fiance, whatever. As parents, we're supposed to be preparing ourselves, and our children, for letting go. Otherwise, clingy parents raise clingy, maybe even resentful, children. We should cherish, not smother, our kids.

I think it's ridiculous to be so clingy that it takes medication to deal with the anxiety. Grow up, people!

OK, I'll get off my soap box, now!

September 8, 2008 - 4:11pm
EmpowHER Guest

I think when your children finally leave the house it is a huge change just as when they first come into the world. I think parents tend to always put their children first and when you actually have the chance to put you first, you tend to hit a depression until you can manage to change yet again.

When it comes to any change in your life, there tends to be a period of adjustment. It all ends up 'ironing' itself back out and then they move back in because the world is too tough to try and make it on their own. Then, again, it is time to readjust.

Medicine.net provides a great treatment regiment for the Empty nest Syndrome that can be found at http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=38083.

Does this help?

September 7, 2008 - 3:05pm
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