Empty Nest Syndrome

zoezoeOctober 24, 2006

I have two daughters; 18 and 20. The 20 yr. old is studying abroad in London and the 18 yr. old still lives here -- I should probably say that she "sleeps here" instead. She goes to college full time, has a job and a boyfriend, so she is not home very much.

This is "killing" me. We have this huge empty house, and I am finding it very difficult to "let go".

How do I get over this?

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Find something else to focus on....raising kids is only a few years out of your life....now it's time to find something else to occupy your energy and talents...get a job, volunteer or focus on your hobby.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 12:23AM
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Oh Zoezoe

I know how you feel, I can see the writing on the wall, as my DD has flown the nest as well. Its a pain in my heart, but it does get better after a while. I find myself thinking over her childhood, and how fleeting it all was. She was such a lovely little girl....excuse me whilst I wipe a tear. I knew the day would come, but it doesnt make it easier.

But you know, when you get over the sadness, its like a breath of fresh air. You can be you again, remember what you were like before the children ? How you were a person who had opinions and talents. You can be that again !

So, what are you going to do with your new life, your new persona ? Any ideas ?

Make plans, maybe you need to sell the house, get something a bit smaller.

Let us know how you are going.

All the best to you.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 3:43AM
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I hope this doesn't sound unsympathetic because I do know how much you miss your children - I sure miss mine! But from the beginning with them I kept in mind that my job was to prepare them to be adults - independent, self-supporting, individuals with lives of their own. If they were still here, lounging around my house, eating my groceries, using my utilities...I know I would be very irritated! As it is, I miss them but I'm very proud of them and I feel that my mission was accomplished.

That said, I haven't had the easiest time making the transition to other interests and activities either. Most of my time is taken up by my job and I suppose I'm fortunate in that. But there are certainly dark moments when I feel that my "real" life is over and that I have nothing to look forward to anymore. But I think the advice you've already been given is sound and I need to take it just as you do.

One thing that has grown in importance in my life is gardening. I know that wouldn't be everybody's cup of tea but for me it helps during those times when it seems I am at a dead end. When you garden there is always next season, plans for new borders or beds, looking for seeds you want to try, taking the "before" pictures and longing for the day when you can make the "afters"! I find it to be a particularly future oriented hobby. And, for me, that is important.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 9:01AM
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There seems to be a bit of heartache here...you know gardening is creative, and I am a gardener too, in fact I am a horticulturist, so the passion is there.

I also have a real passion for sketching people. I could sit there all day and do that, its so relaxing, its sort of like a meditation, because I forget about everything else. All that is important to me is getting those hands drawn correctly. I leave the drawing propped up so I can see it as I walk past, and I go back to it from time to time if I see something that needs doing. AND I can only get better.

I guess I am suggesting that a creative persuit is something that is vitally important. Lets face it motherhood was very creative ! We need to replace those urges to create, with a new creation.

Lindakimy...I think that is sad that you have dark moments, where you feel that your real life is over and you have nothing to look forward to....perhaps those feelings come with getting old. Ageing is a bit depressing !

Girls, its a wonderful achievement to have grown up children who are at University, or in happy successful lives, that is what we wanted, and we have that. Well done.

My DD is overseas, so her nest is well and truly empty !

Keep chatting if you feel down.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 11:02PM
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This thread is a little old, but here's my .02

It will take time - no question. But the best is ahead. (My sons are 39 and 42 now). You don't say whether you work or not, but you might consider a dog. A puppy is a lot of work but well worth the effort. This is the time when whatever interests you've had (but lacked the time), you can now pursue. One or two of them may become obsessions LOL.
I'm now retired and love it. I have two dogs that need daily walks and care. I have grandchildren to sew for (sewing is one passion). I do volunteer work that is rewarding personally. There are not enough hours in the day.
Good luck - and congratulate yourself on doing a good job parenting. A child who is independent and self reliant has a parent (or two) to thank.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 1:47PM
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If you are really into kids and parenting, consider foster parenting. It can be really challenging but very rewarding. I work for CPS and many of our foster parents are empty nesters. You can pick the age range and sex of the children you are willing to foster. Also even though some foster children have problems, most are just kids looking for a decent place to live and someone to care for them.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 12:26PM
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You said "we" have this huge house... Time for you and DH to have fun again. In every room! ;)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 11:02AM
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Our nest is empty too. I miss the kids but glad they are mostly on their own too. I try to stay busy so I have something to tell the kids when they call. I don't want them to think I'm just sitting home, a bump on a log!! LOL! So in a way, they are still keeping me going.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 2:45PM
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So how are you going, are you feeling better, what have you been doing to cope ?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 1:52AM
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I just found your post and am having the same problem. My daughter informed me that she is moving to the other end of the country in January. I feel like I have lost a limb.l

I did a posting on Empty Nest Syndrom on the "Kitchen Table", got a lot a mixed comments.

It is amazing how many people enjoy it when there kids leave home and move miles away. I enjoy having my children around me.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 8:18AM
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I am in the same boat. I live in the northeast and my daughter found a job in Florida. She is moving there in one week. She is 24 and while I understand her wanting to move where its warm and be on her own, the distance is killing me. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude, but it is so hard. She is my only child and I have been divorced since she was 6 and while I have a long time BF, she and I have been closer because it was just the 2 of us. We will both be on our own now with no family close by.

I work full time and am heavily involved with volunteer work, but this is still leaving a huge hole in my heart.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 12:50PM
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katsmah----I can feel your pain. I realize that they have to leave home sooner or later but was not counting on my daughter moving to the other end of the country. I know it is easy to keep in contact by e-mail and phone but lets face it, it is NOT the same as being there. I just know that distance makes a huge difference in a relationship, it will never be the same.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 5:24PM
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I Still sometimes suffer from the empty nest syndrome, and it has been 10 years, since my last left home. Especially, when they come to visit. I don't want them to leave, we laugh, I cook their favorites, I find out what is going on in their lives. I raised them to be independent, educated them. As I was reading some you all's post I kinda smiled to myself, and thought, too bad, while we were trying so hard raising our children to be independent, someone wasn't teaching US how to be independent of them also." But, then would I want to be that way? I don't know I just wish the pain in my heart would ease up a bit, because I miss them so. I miss them being young. My grown children are in different parts of the country so I do not see my grandchildren often and that is painful also. I make up for it through e-mails and as much back a forth traveling as we can as my health will allow. Also, I am as kind to as many kids around me to make up for the "loss" of my own....I am my church's mimi...

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 12:35AM
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I really agree with the posters who suggested foster parenting.I am a school psychologist and I work with kids who desperately need a stable environment. They are not bad kids at all. They have just been in unbearably bad situations. For example, one child who just went into a foster home is 13 years old. We all love him and he was rejected by his adoptive mom for no other reason than that she is a messed-up person herself. We have worked with them for more than three years and SHE is the one who has the problems, not him. Now he is in foster care again and feels very very rejected. Some people are in foster care for the money only, and they do not really nurture the children--what if his current situation is one of those? I hope not, but it could be. Think of what you might be able to do for this young man that I am speaking about. If you have the love in your heart to give, why not give it to a child who has been hurt and rejected? I really mean this. Your love could do a lot of good for someone and it would also help you to "let go" of your children who are leaving the nest. It does NOT mean you love your kids any less. Just that you are expanding / sharing your "nest" with someone who still needs it. It could make a life-changing difference to a child. Anyway, JMHO. Hang in there.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 8:22PM
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I really don't think any of us that are suffering from "Empty Nest Syndrome" want to start raising children again, at least I don't. We just miss our own children, grandchildren being close to us. Long distant relationships just don't work well.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 10:00PM
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I think getting a kitty or a puppy is a good idea...some plants.So you have all these things to nurture still.I know myself,and even my husband like to have things that need us and enjoy taking care of them.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 10:07PM
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