I’ve been fighting this feeling of despair and lonliness lately. I realized today that I am suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome. It’s a real thing.
Empty nest syndrome is a psychological condition that affects parents, usually the mothers, when their children leave home. Empty nest syndrome is usually common in autumn, when a large number of students go to college and universities.
I have 2 adult children (no grandchildren) that lead busy lives. I hardly ever see or hear from them but I understand they are making their own way in life. I’m usually the one that who makes the first contact but If I am patient enough I’ll hear from them. I’ve been feeling unwanted and unneeded. And I know this is typical of being an empty nester.
It’s up to me to make a good life with time (years) I have left. I’m going to assume that I will be around for awhile. One thing my kids know from losing their father at such a young age, is that life is short so make the most of it. Sometimes I feel cheated. I’ve been cheated from having Marty here to help with the kids. I am not the best parent but I am still here. Months go by and I don’t hear from my kids and I think to myself do they really care about me and if they did I would get a phone call or text every so often. As I get older I wonder what they are waiting for by not coming to see me or check on me. I’ll be gone one day and that will be a sad day for them.
Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children leave home for the first time such as to live on their own or to attend a college or university, It is not a clinical condition. Since young adults moving out from their families’ house is generally a normal and healthy event, the symptoms of empty nest syndrome often go unrecognized. This can result in depression and a loss of purpose for parents, since the departure of their children from “the nest”
I thought my children, even as an adult, that they would need me more than they do since losing their father. I feel like I’ve been sort of tossed aside until they need something from me. And I hope if that time should come that I will be here for them to help in anyway I can.
Although I encourage independence letting go is still painful. To suddenlly have no children at home who needs my care. I feel like I am miss being a part of their everyday lives as well as companionship. I also worry about my children’s safety and pray they are able to care for themseves on their own. Each of my children left and both came back for a short period of adjustment for themselves and to get their lives back on track. I love my kids and wish only the best for each of them and know that they know how to care for themselves every day. I’m still here and I will always help them when I can.
Parents dealing with empty nest syndrome experience a profound sence of loss that could make them vulnerable to depression, alcoholism, identitiy crisis and marital conflicts.
If you’re experiencing feelings of loss due to empty nest syndrome, take action. For example:
- Accept the timing. Avoid comparing your child’s timetable to your own experience or expectations. Instead, focus on what you can do to help your child succeed when he or she does leave home.
- Keep in touch. You can continue to be close to your children even when you live apart. Make an effort to maintain regular contact through visits, phone calls, emails, texts or video chats.
- Seek support. If you’re having a difficult time dealing with an empty nest, lean on loved ones and other close contacts for support. Share your feelings. If you feel depressed, consult your doctor or a mental health provider.
- Stay positive. Thinking about the extra time and energy you might have to devote to your marriage or personal interests after your last child leaves home might help you adapt to this major life change.