Mastering the Transition: Embracing Your Life After the Kids Are Gone

3 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Transition: The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another

It’s been about a month now since you settled your son or daughter into their 12 x 10 dorm space with a new, complete stranger, and drove away thinking your heart might never feel the same.

Thirty or so days for your child to adjust to their new world.

 

How are they doing?

 

There likely have been stories of mis-matched roommates; astonishment at the amount they had to spend on books and a loud groan about having the responsibility of figuring out how to stave off hunger living on cafeteria food and the big box items you left in their room, the supplies of which are beginning to dwindle.

Hopefully too, there have been fun and interesting stories of new found BFF’s, the acknowledgement that learning at this level is so much different than high school, and possibly the fun  and connectedness of being in a stadium with 30,000 others who are all wearing the same colors and cheering for the same team.

Your child is finding his or her way in this new world, and whether they stay where they are right now, or even have to transfer after this first semester or year, they are beginning to learn that they can figure things out on their own.

 

How about you?

 

Have you started to figure things out on your own? Have you adjusted now that the initial sadness that your child is now gone and the house a bit emptier has subsided?

If you haven’t reached the point where you are now happy to find things still in their place when you return home after a few hours away, joy that the refrigerator stays full a little bit longer, and feel proud and happy, instead of lonely and sad, when you hang up from talking with them, it’s time for you to look forward and begin to enjoy this stage of life.

 

You are going through transition. Just as you did when you gave birth 18 or so years ago, your life and your focus have changed yet again.

 

After your child was born, you suddenly became a woman obsessed with all things baby. After 6 months or so you realized you had not read a book that wasn’t related to parenting, hadn’t had a discussion that was not about breastfeeding vs bottle, nap times (or lack of), and how to balance all that was happening in your life.

Eventually, it all balanced out, sort of, and you became the best mom you could be, in your own way, to your kids.

Now you’ve spent the last year and a half (or longer!) discussing SAT’s vs ACT scores, choosing colleges near or far, entrance essays, financing an education, choosing dorm room items and reminding your son or daughter to call or text often.

 

You have reached the pinnacle of being involved in the day to day decisions in your child’s life.

 

It’s time to transition back to your own life.  Your child is now an adult who will figure out life just as you did.

You’ll always be mom.

They will always need your guidance and love.

 

To transition to the next stage of being the parent your child will need you to be:

 

  • Stop resisting this new phase of life. You can’t stop the change, so find what you like best about it.

 

  • Embrace the change. Explore new things that can fill the void left by not having to go to sporting, musical, and academic events. Reconnect with friends who are in a different phase of life and plan days that allow you to look at things from a perspective not related to your child.

 

  • Share your new found adventures with your son or daughter. They will be thrilled to know that you are enjoying the transition just as much as they might be. Believe it or not, they worry about you too!

 

The holidays will be here before you know it! You’ll have plenty of time to reconnect with your children. Share your stories of your new found friends and hobbies as they tell you about their new life! It will bring a greater sense of connection than you would have imagined!

Not sure where to begin this new journey? Grab your Free copy of “5 Steps to Get Focused on Living – Creating a Life After the Kids Have Flown the Coop” to get some ideas!

 And tell us how it’s going over on my Facebook page!

To your best,

Diane

More on empty nesting and mid life at www.getfocusedonliving.com

 

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