Being a parent has its many ups and many downs. From the time you hear their first words, to waving goodbye to them on their first day of college, having and being around children is filled with significant and meaningful life events.But if there is one major event and time in a family’s life that parents tend to struggle with that is when the children leave home.
The term that is used for the grief that a lot of parents feel when their children move out of the home is ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’. This is a very common phenomenon in which parents experience loneliness, melancholy, and sadness. The parents tend to grieve the loss and change of a lifestyle and a relationship that was heavily integrated and rooted as a part of their identity. In addition, the Early Nest Syndrome is compounded by a variety of other difficult, significant and challenging life events, where substantial events and changes are happening at the same time.
While Empty Nest Syndrome can be difficult on both parents, but it seems that mothers are most susceptible to it. This may be because many mothers dedicate an approximate of 20 years or more of their lives in raising their children and see motherhood as their primary role in life, and it becomes an essential part of their identity, and this is true for even most working mothers. This is because once the child moves out, the mother may feel like their most important job is now finished, and they may feel uncertain and unsure of what the future holds. However, most mothers adapt over time. Studies show that mothers may take anywhere between 18 months to 2 years to make a successful transition from ‘mother’ to independent woman.
Research and studies show that some parents are most susceptible and vulnerable to the Empty Nest Syndrome than others are. And the people who suffer from the ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ tend to have a few things in common:
Parents face new challenges when experiencing the Empty Nest Syndrome, such as:
There are an array of other difficulties that parents may feel when their child leaves home. The grief of Empty Nest Syndrome is often compounded and multiplied several-fold by other life events happening around the same time; some examples are:
Most mothers and fathers return to work after their child leaves the nest. Some suggestions for parents who are doing so are:
Your child moving out can result in significant stress. Some suggestions for coping with it include:
To conclude, somethings you should remember and keep in mind are: