For some, it is such an empty feeling when the children have flown the nest and you are not too sure what to do with yourself. It is a perfectly natural feeling and is more widespread than you might realise and is commonly known as the empty nest syndrome.
If you feel like you are feeling overwhelmed and deeply saddened by your children moving out of home, and are experiencing empty nest syndrome there are ways to help overcome that feeling and get a purpose back for yourselves.
We want to help you get out the other side, but first let’s just tackle the typical symptoms of Empty Nest Syndrome.
What is the Empty Nest Syndrome?
Simply put, it is the feeling of emptiness when your children have flown the nest, where before your days were filled with activities, you find that you are not too sure what to do with yourselves.
I know that I felt a little like that when my son starting going to school. Where before I would have a day with Will, I was now dropping him to school and had to find something else to do in that day and I felt like I was just waiting until it was time to pick him up from school.
It is a weird feeling.
Let’s explore the typical symptoms of Empty Nest Syndrome.
A Lack of Purpose
Your days were once filled with ferrying your kids around to school, college, football practice, birthday parties, etc. Now, you find that the hustle and bustle has gone, and you might not be too sure of what to do with yourself.
Despite having friends, family, work and other activities to keep yourself busy with, your days still feel empty.
Despite, this feeling being quite typical for parenst whose children have moved out, the things that defined you as a parent are no longer something to focus on.
There will be a time when you realise that you haven’t really lost your purpose, you just need to redefine what your purpose is. There are a number of ways to do this, and we will get into that shortly.
Don’t feel like you cannot feel like this, but defining a new purpose will definitely help.
Frustration Over a Lack of Control
Some feel like they have lost a level of control. For years you had the majority of control over the scheduling of your children’s lives and this is not the case anymore. Typically, you will not know what your children are up to now (although, remembering my time as a teenager, this can also happen when we live at home).
The lack of control over when your child is attending class, going to work, going out on a date or hanging out with friends can be frustrating.
You might also feel like you are left out, as you are not aware of what they are up to now.
The tip here is to not try and force yourself into their schedule, and don’t use the guilt trip route as this will push them further away. Instead focus on coping with some of our tips further down the post.
If you ever feeling like you are crying over nothing, don’t get freaked it. Your life is extremely emotional right now, and whenever that is the case, it just means typically normal events become a big deal.
The Empty Nest Syndrome can stir up all kinds of emotions, and you can start reflecting on what you could have done differently.
Whatever you are feeling, this is perfectly ok. Trying to deny it or surpress it will not make it go away. In fact, allowing yourself to feel these emotions will definitely help.
There are times when raising your children, you find that you have put your marriage or relationship on hold. You also find that all of your schedules revolved around the kids. If you find you have been neglecting your relationsip, you might find it needs some work now that the kids have gone.
You might also find that you haven’t been doing couples activities for a while, as all of your time was around ferrying the kids around their activities.
There can also be a little tension if one parent is fairing better with the empty nest, than the other.
Make it a goal to reacquaint with each other, get yourselves used to being a twosome again.
Still Having Anxiety About Your Children
Whether you child has gone off to college or university, or simply moved out – It is perfectly normal to feel worried about how they are getting on.
But what is not normal, is feeling constantly anxious about how they are getting on.
Checking on them multiple times a day or stalking their social media accounts will not help you in the slightest either.
Remember, this is the time where your children have the opportunity to spread their wings and start their adult life.
Try to balance your desire to check in with them. Remember they will need a level of privacy, as do you. Create a plan on how you will stay connected. It is much easier nowadays with technology being like it is. Arrange a weekly call, or use email.
But this is about you experiencing your time too.
Ways to Deal with Empty Nest Syndrome
There are a number of ways to deal with Empty Nest Syndrome, I want to also present you with an opportunity too…
Think about your Role in Life
What will your role be in your life without the children? Will that be you pursuing your career or starting a new career. The first stage is getting another purpose into your life again. Whether you become a volunteer for a charity, or learn a new skill. There are plenty of ways of finding new purpose.
Get in Touch with Friends
This is an important one, when we have kids our lives revolve around them and we end up not meeting up with our friends as much. Find some time to meet up and have a coffee, arrange for them to come round and have dinner. You never know, if they have kids too they could totally relate with how you are feeling and the catch up with have benefits for you both.
Do not Isolate Yourself
Locking yourself away at home and not connecting with anyone is the easiest thing to do when you are feeling this way, but it is the worst thing you can do. Get out and about, go for a walk or rekindle a passion you had.
Rekindle a Passion or Interest
When you really think about it, how much did you give up when the kids came first. I love Will to pieces, but there are things I have had to stop doing to make sure he gets the attention he needs. So it might be time for you to get back into what you were interested in before.
It is a great way of keeping yourself busy, keeping yourself busy will mean you haven’t got time to focus on the empty nest syndrome.
It could be anything you had an interest in, go and get back into it. Find local or online groups you can engage in and reacquaint yourself with your passion. That leads me to an opportunity that might be something for you to engage in and stop feeling that empty nest syndrome.
Turn a Passion into an Online Business
If the kids have flown the nest and the thought of getting a job is giving you the same kind of feelings as the empty nest syndrome, there is a way where you could turn your passion or interest into an online business.
Trust me, if you do decide this is the way for you – you will not have time to worry about the empty nest syndrome.
Now the thought of an online business, might be putting you off at this stage and that is ok. It is not for everyone. But for those that want to learn new skills, engage with a community of like-minded people and earn money online it can be a great investment of your time and mean that you do not necessarily need to go and get another job and means that you still get time to meet up with friends, but more importantly means you are not isolating yourself as you will be part of a community that is awesome. Think of these as ways to get out the other side of the empty nest syndrome.
Whatever your passion or interest, it can be turned into a way of earning money through a type of marketing called Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate Marketing is the act of promoting products and services and earning a commission if someone goes and buys the item. Hopefully, you will know Amazon and they are the ones that first used Affiliate Marketing when they first started out as an online book store before they became the giant they are now.
They did not have a huge marketing budget when they first started and offered their users a deal. If they introduced a new buyer to their service who bought a book, they would reward them with a percentage commission of the book price.
They still use the same model today. If you are researching for a product to buy, go to someone’s blog and read a review and go and buy that product off of Amazon, they will have received a percentage as a commission.
How does that help you? Any passion or interest can be turned into an affiliate marketing business. Whatever you are interested in, you can start your own online business and start using affiliate marketing to earn money.
Now, it is not a quick road and will require time and effort to get it working right. But it would also mean you haven’t got time to worry about the empty nest syndrome.
You will have plenty to learn, and plenty of work to do, but with the right help and support and a community behind you, you will feel totally support at every step of the way and feel like you have achieved a lot in such a small time.
Thanks for reading this post, hopefully you have found it useful and now know what to look out for with regards the empty nest syndrome and how to tackle it? If you have any questions or comments to add, please write them in the comments below.
All the best, John