When your children are toddlers and you are constantly changing diapers, filling bottles, putting kids down for naps, and watching Elmo, you might be looking forward to the day that your kids leave home with anticipation. You think how wonderful it will be to sit down for an entire meal, shower without interruption, and spend time alone you’re your spouse. However, when that day actually comes, many parents have a hard time coping, especially if they were a stay at home parent.
Many stay at home parents have devoted their time and their life to raising their children, and so when their children are no longer around needing food, rides, and clean laundry, they are left with feelings of sadness, uselessness, and loss of identity. So what can stay at home parents do to cope with being an empty nester?
Here are three things you can do as a stay at home parent to make the time less stressful, and better cope with being an empty nester:
1.Remember this is an emotional time for your child, too.
While your child has likely been looking forward to this time for a while, they are probably feeling some anxiety of their own about moving out. You can help them cope with this by allowing them to have a home life and a separate life, where they spend time with friends away from home. However, despite this you are going to find that thinking about your child’s anxiety about the situation may help you cope. If you find yourself struggling to cope, try to think in terms of getting over it quickly, so you can help your child succeed in this new phase of his or her life.
2.Have a life.
When you are raising your child it is easy to forget about your own interests and focus on theirs. Any parent can tell you that they probably have skipped a meal or two fixing meals for their children. So, one way to cope with empty nest syndrome is to have a life before your children leave so hat when they leave you do not think that your life is gone as well. Obviously if your kids already left, and you did not have a life before, that solution does not work. However, it does not mean you can’t start creating a life. If you did not have one before, have one now. Join groups, join a gym, start a hobby, do whatever you want. It does not matter what you do as long as you are doing something to create an identity outside of your children.
3.Focus on the good.
If you want to cope with being an empty nester you need to look at the good things about being an empty nester. Think about the extra time you have to pursue long forgotten interests. Think about the chance to renew intimacies you’re your spouse. There are plenty of good things that go along with the sad. So, focus on them. Go back to school if you ever had a dream of doing something. Travel if that is something that interests you.
Empty nesters can find that after the initial grieving of loss at their children, there are so many good sides. Of course you are still going to worry about your kids and miss them, and think about how much time you spent taking care of them and raising them, but after that you find that having time to focus on yourself is really nice.