As the summer begins to wind down and college kids pack up their bags, trunks and various electronic devices and chargers, new space is created in your home and life.
For some women, after your son or daughter has been dropped off at school, train station or airport, the initial reaction is similar to those final weeks before giving birth to the said college student in the first place. You nest.
You return to your home, go into their room and tear it apart. The bed gets stripped, various articles left on the floor get put in the places you think they should go, and ‘stuff’ left behind is sorted through and dispersed to other areas of the home where they will be used.
Then there are those of you who come back to your home, close the door on the kids room, look around the house and think, “Yes, I’ve got my space”, and begin to rearrange and reorganize furniture in the family room, food in the refrigerator, and the myriad of sports equipment in the garage or basement.
Others do a mental nesting. Without your child’s schedule to be concerned about, you begin to clear the clutter in your mind of what you need to do for them, and begin to fill it with what you need to do for you. You begin to realize that there is more time for socializing with friends, exercising, gardening, focusing on your job, faith, or your volunteer activities.
This physical and mental nesting may seem like a strange reaction for you are not anticipating the birth of a child. Yet the experiences of letting your child go off on their own to become the adult they were always intended to be is a new beginning for you and everyone in your family.
Emotions aside – some of you are worried sick about your child’s well being and others let go much more easily and believe their child will adapt, the important thing to recognize is that there is nothing you can do to stop the changes that will be happening these next few years.
So embrace them.
Recognize that this letting go of one normal and the start of the new normal is, well…normal. And for each person and each family it is very different and very personal.
Your children’s sibling relationships change; your relationship with your closer-to-adulthood child changes; holiday gatherings may have to be your immediate family instead of your extended family; financial situations change; how you purchase groceries, cook dinner and do laundry change. Basic every day routines will now be different.
Relax knowing this is normal. Look around and decide if it is their room, your house, or your mental outlook that needs or desires a clean up, dusting or renovation. Do it in your time and your way, but make sure that you move forward into this new, exciting phase of life. Don’t get stuck wishing for what was – dream about what will be.
You would likely agree that the last 18+ years has been an adventure you never could have imagined. The years to come as you and your child continue to grow and create your adult relationship will be just as adventurous, and oh so sweet if you just relax and learn to enjoy the ride.
Come to my Facebook page and tell me how you are creating your new nest!
To your best,
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