The Kids are Grown Up… Now What?

We spend our entire lives raising our children, often waiting for the day when they will be on their own and independent. But when that time actually comes, it can make many women feel depressed. Here are some ways to cope with an empty nest.

What It Means

Empty Nest syndrome can afflict both parents, but mothers seem to be most susceptible as many mothers may have dedicated 20 years or more of their lives to bringing up their children and see motherhood as their primary role. In two-parent families, while mothers stayed at home, fathers developed careers and a life outside of the house. This is true even for most working mothers. Similarly to anyone experiencing redundancy, the mother may feel worthless, disoriented, and unsure of what her future may hold.

Tips for Coping

• Most mothers adapt in time and psychologists suggest that it may take between 18 months and two years to make the successful transition from mother to independent woman.

• Acknowledge your grief and allow yourself to feel upset.

• Seek the advice and support from other friends who also have experienced this.

• Give yourself time to adapt to the changes.

• List down all of the things you always wanted do, but never had the time and work on pursuing some of these hobbies actively.

• Recognize that children need to separate from parents. Be proud of your children for developing and growing – even though this may mean you will not see themas often as you would like.

• Pursue your hobbies and interests now that you have moretime.

• Maintain regular routines and self-care, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

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