You might see this title and think, yep that's me, my kids have flown the nest, or you think, this will be me in a few years, but I bet most of you are counting down the days thinking you can't wait till the kids leave home.
I'll then take a guess at the ages of your children. In their mid to late 20's and older. 15-18 year olds or pre school children.
That's usually the response I get, from the parents of kids who are those ages, when I say I have an empty nest.
But what surprises most people is my age and the age of my youngest child.
I'm 46 and my last chick flew the nest in 2014. But it wasn't my youngest child. My youngest child was 13 when he left home to go to boarding school in the UK, as were living in South Africa. We're now in Dubai and as he turned 18 last year, he didn't join us, he's opted to stay in the UK and seek work there. You can read more in the Daily Mail about my experience as a mum of a child in boarding school (scroll to the last interview)
My kids also haven't gone to University, the eldest two boys left home aged 18 and moved away with their career in the army and in the hotel industry. The next child left aged almost 19 to pursue his career in the army also. There has been a clean cut off point, no coming and going over a period of a few years, just there one day as kids and the next off into the big wide world as adults.
I noticed some huge changes within a week of the being an empty nester there was fuel in the car and change in my purse. 2 months on and I was enjoying myself, days of 'me time' and no agenda, I could do what I wanted when I wanted.
Then it went all downhill, but we moved countries and life just got complicated in a different way, I didn't adjust to life in Dubai, I didn't want to invest all my time to have the rug pulled from under my feet when we moved on again. I blamed the children for not being here, for being able to use them to make friends, to get to know more about what was going on and the best places to meet people. I blamed everything on empty nest syndrome until right now, as I was writing this post (which is now a week a go) It's been 4 years since my last chick flew the nest.
I don't have an empty nest anymore, I just just have a new phase in my life that I need to learn to enjoy.
totally agree it is a new phase and I for one quite enjoy it.ReplyDelete
Mine have come and gone, left and comeback. Middle one has done the uni bit and returned until she got on her feet financially and then left again. No1 left, bred and moved back with two children in tow, how we never killed each other or hubby and I did not end up divorced is anybodies guess.
But I enjoy ( within the tight financially constraints) having time to come nad go as I please, watch what I want on the tv, eat what I want without having to make different meals and having peace and quiet when I want it.
But I also have one child and 5 grandkids just round the corner so if I want noise and company I can go visit.
Embrace it and see how you get on
I'm learning to enjoy it, but I feel it's slightly more complicated by living between 2 countriesDelete
I really feel for you. I am not surprised you find it hard as it is deeply affecting. Having children is one of the best things life has to offer so having that cut short, or even when they move out at 18 is going to be a big hit. When I was 12 my Dad got a job in the middle east but he was going to live there alone, leaving my mum and I in the UK. I wonder how they made that decision. A week before he departed the job offer was withdrawn. #TeensTweensBeyond.ReplyDelete
that was something hubby and I discussed, him moving and me joining him with the kids for holidays, but decided it probably wouldn't work out, but who knows?Delete
I have two teens at home and one who is away at uni although she is close by. I fought so hard against having an empty nest and went through a sort of pre-empty nest depression because my family was growing up and being broken up. However, I have been surprised by how much I am able to enjoy time without the kids. It is a new phase of life and it does have some good points. We are now rarely all together but I have learned to appreciate whatever combination of kids (or none) that I happen to have with me at the time. Always love your posts, thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyondReplyDelete
thank you Sharon, I just got to the stage where I was accepting of being on my own and yet the youngest two are popping up all the time these days lol, I'm not getting 5 minutes peace at allDelete
I'm just entering my second round of empty-nesting. Youngest went to uni, came back, and has now gone off to work elsewhere at quite short notice. We've had a hectic few days getting things organised and I'm not sure it's really sunk in yet. Instead I still feel like she's just away for a while, on holiday or staying with friends. As you say though, the important thing is to enjoy this next stage of life. I'm certainly going to try to :) #tweensteensbeyondReplyDelete
it's taken a couple of years for them to settle and theres been quite a bit of bouncing back, but i think we're settled nowDelete
Suzanne, I see if you have been slumming it in the snowy UK!!! I think you are right - a lot of this is about acceptance. Of course, we mourn what has passed - I always do it in advance. Perhaps that's a protective strategy of mine. Us humans are interesting creatures aren't we. I just know you are going to grow into this very soon my lovely. Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyondReplyDelete
I'm a little similar i mourn what is to come, but the reality rarely matches the expectations and it's hit a lot harder than i thought it wouldDelete
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