While not technically a clinical condition, Empty Nest Syndrome is real and it affects parents all over the world. But not all hope is lost. There are things you can do before your child moves out on their own to prepare for the transition. We dug around a little, and it turns out that research shows it gives parents the perfect opportunity to expand their network and create deep, lasting bonds with new and old friends.
GET IN SOME QUALITY TIME
This one might be obvious, but Shelley Emling from the Huffington Post says she wished she had taken advantage of her son’s availability the summer before he went away to college. It’s important to appreciate the little moments that you might miss when your kid moves out. Family dinners, days at the ballpark, or even simply walking the dog together can be nice ways to get in some quality time before they fly the metaphorical nest.
If you’re worried about losing touch, be proactive! Set some expectations for visits home and even weekly phone calls. Don’t make it a chore, but let your kid know you’re excited to hear all about what they’re up to. It’s okay to tell them you’ll miss them – they’re going to miss you too!
KNOW THAT THIS IS EXCITING TIME FOR EVERYONE
It may be hard at first, but as most parents can attest to – it’s an exciting time for your child and for you. Even the American Psychological Association reported that “this period can be one of increased satisfaction and improved relationships” for parents. So take advantage! You now have more time to really focus on your social relationships – whether that’s with your other family members, your partner, or your friends.
For all our rockin’ moms out there, try Hey! Vina to find some other moms going through the same thing. You can bond over your empty nest and then find something to do together in your free time. Take up a new hobby together, focus on fitness, or finally try all those Pinterest recipes you’ve been pinning all year.
How are you preparing for an empty nest? Let us know in the comments below!
(Feature image via jcrewing.tumblr.com)