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Suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome? Starting a 'Me' List May Help

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Do you dread the day when the children actually move out of the house and miraculously begin a life without mama? You had a life before motherhood. Can you possibly have one after the kids are gone?

In an EmpowHER article by Jennifer Hellwig, MS. RD, called the Empty Nest Syndrome: How to Cope When the Kids Leave Home, she stressed that you first allow yourself to grieve. It is a true loss to your current way of life. But you need to remember, you'll always be a mother and the children will always need you, however, what they don't need is to have their mother curled up in a fetal position because they are leaving the nest.

To ease the transition of life without the kids and into freedom that you forgot existed, is to start your "Me" list a year or so before your "baby" leaves home. Here's some ideas:

1) Did you once have a passion for sewing but haven't owned a sewing machine in years? Go out and find the latest and greatest model sewing machine, take an instruction class for the new-fangled thing, and turn Tommy's room into the sewing room of your dreams.

2) Did you and hubby used to ride motorcycles with friends but sold them when the kids were born? Hit the Harley Davidson or Honda dealer and get yourself back in the saddle. Dealers often have info about riding clubs as well.

3) Is there a wine tasting club in your area, held every Wednesday night, but it's the same night Missy has soccer practice? This is a great way to meet new friends and learn about wine making while you're at it.

4) Think about volunteering at an assisted-living facility or the humane society. Now that you're not caring for the kids anymore, it may help to find others that need your help.

5) Read any good books lately? With all the interruptions that are a part of motherhood, you may actually discover reading again. Who knows, you may also find a book club in your neighborhood.

6) Need more romance in your life? Start a date night with hubby or if you're single, think of new ways to meet men your age. Most friends can't wait to fix you up with their cousin's best friend's brother.

7) Start an empty-nester's club.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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