At some point in your life, you will suddenly be faced with an empty nest. Parents and caregivers face this at the start of each school year.
Parents of college-age students deal with the reality of an empty nest as they return from dropping their child off on campus. As kids grow older, they eventually move out on their own and an empty nest becomes your new normal.
An article on GoNannies.com offers five ways for parents and nannies to cope with an empty nest when the kids go back to school. The suggestions work well whether your kids are in elementary school, college or moving out for good.
Organizing your house, catching up with friends, finding a new hobby, setting goals to get healthy and catching up on rest and relaxation are all good ways to fill suddenly empty hours.
It's important to find joy in every stage of life. Although you may love being a parent to toddlers or school-age kids, time stops for no man or woman and you have to move forward too.
Embracing the next stage of life is important for your peace of mind. When you act happy rather than sad about your newly empty nest, you give your kids permission to move forward in their own lives.
A parent's primary job is raising their children to leave home. That's a hard concept for many parents to accept. When the kids are young, time seems to stand still.
The days and nights are a busy whirlwind of activities: school, sports, ballet, scouts and other activities keep most parents very busy.
As the kids grow older, parents who have been very involved in their children's lives and activities may find that many of their teen's activities don't include parents.
A child's primary job is to grow up to be a responsible, contributing member of society who is self-sufficient. Growing wings to fly out of the nest is part of the process.
To add to the five suggestions above, here are five more suggestions for parents whose children have grown up and are ready to move out of the house into adult life.
Learn to be a couple again. Parents often lose the couple as they stay busy being a family. Take day trips or enjoy weekend getaways with your spouse. If you're single, get together with friends and find new adventures.
Don't keep your child's empty room as a shrine to their childhood. Turn that bedroom into a hobby room or a guest bedroom for company. You may not be ready overnight, but you'll know when the time's right.
Volunteer with a local organization. Meals on Wheels, The Boys and Girls Club, United Way and other organizations are always looking for helpers. You can also volunteer at a hospital, school, homeless shelter or wherever you feel needed.
Join a club or social group. This is a great time to try something new. Join a hiking, running or adventure club. Get involved with a group at your church. Start a neighborhood group or get involved in a community group.
Make new friends but keep the old. It's fun to get to know new friends, but don't forget the friends you've had for years. Go out for lunch or coffee. Invite friends over for a game night or plan a progressive dinner.
Make every year the best year of your life, no matter what stage you're in at the time. Embrace your empty nest and you'll soon find yourself happier and busier than you thought possible.