I'm a pastor's wife, mom, and then Author, Biblical Counselor, Life Purpose Coach, Financial Coach, Bible Teacher, and Speaker.
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According to Psychology Today, the empty nest syndrome is, "A transitional period in life that highlights loneliness and loss." Many parents experience this when all their children leave the home. The symptoms are: Sadness, loss, depression, loneliness, distress, and a loss of purpose and meaning in life. It is especially hard to a stay-at-home parent as well as a single parent. I heard one time that if you prepare for the inevitable, it will lessen the pain of it when it comes. Well, I had been preparing for it but it did not lessen the pain at all.
When my oldest son left, I went into his room the next day with a bucket of paint and completely transformed a teenager's bedroom into a guest room. This helped because I no longer was looking at things that reminded me of when he lived here. I missed him but felt comfort knowing he was only 30 minutes away.. He would also visit about once a week. Now it's different; he joined the Air Force and there's really no telling when I will see my son again, which only adds more sadness. Moreover, my second and remaining son, is moving across the country in 3 weeks to attend college and live permanently. I certainly won't see him once a week! This only adds more grief to my plate.Yes, I already have the paint and decor ready for his room transformation!
It is recommended that you find things to keep you busy such as have an active social life, pick up a hobby, travel, and/or pursue career or educational goals. Although I keep very busy writing books and doing DIY home projects, I'm still dealing with the grief. I know eventually it will subside. I'm grateful I have the most wonderful husband who makes me laugh and is helping me through this transition.
How about you? Have you experienced the empty nest syndrome? How did you deal with it? What do you wish you had done differently?