The transition to an empty nest and it can cause damage to a marriage and a relationship. It’s important to prepare for when your children leave home. Ideally, to prepare and cope with an empty nest, it’s best to start preparing years before they leave.
Purpose and your role: Raising your children is not your purpose it is your role. I felt that my purpose in life was to be a mother and raise my children. Over the years I have changed that belief. I now understand that raising my children is my role and it’s for me to find what my purpose is.
In Podcast 25, I talk about finding your purpose and in Podcast 24 – How to not lose your identity in your marriage. It is crucial that you have your own purpose so that when the day comes and all your children have left the home that you are prepared for what you are going to feel, but you also have a life filled with purpose.
Rekindle your marriage: Remember the spark that you had with your partner all those years when you met. Sit together, talk about it. Reminisce. Remind yourselves that you are now both in the same boat. With that having the responsibility of raising a family. Reflect on what you’ve achieved as a couple and the beautiful family that has grown into adulthood. Start dating again. Enjoy doing some new activities together. I recommend you listen to Podcast 3 – Secrets to a long-lasting Empowered marriage, and, Podcast 9 – Six tips to restoring sexual intimacy in your marriage.
Start some new hobbies: either individually or as a couple. Things that you have never ever had time for or money for.
Tips to ease the impact of an empty nest.
- Remind yourself that it is very normal to feel sad during this transition. You could feel isolation, grief, loneliness, insomnia, loss of interests. Remind yourself that your deep attachment to your child only indicates the positive qualities of your love for him or her. It is healthy to miss them.
- Stay connected and it’s very easy in this day and age to stay connected. Email, texting, messenger, Skype, video chat to name a few.
- Your children’s departure is a new chapter. Changing your thinking around it instead of looking at it as a loss or a sad ending look at it as a new beginning, a new life.
- Look after yourself. Get a massage. Yoga class, art class. Take a holiday, tend to your garden, go to the gym and most importantly fill your cup up.
- Share your sadness and vulnerability with friends and family. You will be nicely surprised as many people can understand what you are feeling.
- Don’t try to rush the grieving process. It will run its course. Don’t make any major life changes like selling your house, moving, changing jobs.
- Doing volunteer work, working in your community. Get involved and focus and help others, and this will take your attention off the sadness.
- Seek support. Connect with a counsellor and share what you’re feeling and the strong emotions you are experiencing.
The ultimate is if you have a life that is on purpose, adjusting to an empty nest will be easier. You’re motivated, you’ve got something to get up for, you’re driven, you’re focused and it’s your responsibility to find that.
Tune into to my Empowered Marriage Podcast to learn more. This week’s podcast is available now and discusses this topic in more depth. Prepare and cope with an empty nest – https://www.powerofchange.com.au/empowered-marriage-podcast/