What No One Tells You
Did you know it is a "syndrome"?
That means you aren't alone!
Whether you're "feeling it" because your child is off to preschool, kindergarten, or college... others have gone before you (and yes, survived!).
A mom came to me in tears after a Boys Alive! talk and asked,"Does it ever go away? No one told me it would be like this. Am I the only one that feels this way?"
The traditional EMPTY NEST had long since passed for her. Her daughter was in her mid-20's and had been away for years in the next state, by all measures successful in her chosen career... This is what we've raised them for, right? And still. This mom longs for, yearns for, her daughter.
What do you do with this pain?
You wouldn't want them back on your couch!
Indeed, this mom confessed that after 3 days they don't really get along all that well. But yet. The longing. How do we reconcile these moments? It is definitely a time of AMBIVALENCE. We are so happy that they are capable and able to leave us. We are so sad that they are leaving us!
Start by recognizing:
You may feel lonely as much of your life revolved around your child's activities
You are grieving - and that's okay
Your adult relationships may feel rocky and uncertain during this transition
Your family dynamics have changed and younger siblings may be grieving, too
Most important...deal with your own feelings of separation, loss, and grief and do not overshare with your leaving-child.
This is your part of the journey.
Instead, celebrate that you've grown this child up to leave -- and celebrate their capabilities as they make this next step!
They will come home - and it will be different.
They've changed, you've changed.
Even now, with my girls in their early 30's, I can truthfully say that I never get over missing them.
But, just as I'm doing, you WILL fill in and create your new "after-kids" life.
You may never quite get over it - but you can move on.
You move into enjoying everything they are doing as young, independent adults. And sometimes, even though you're glad to have them home for the holidays, there is that little place where you're just as glad to see them leave again, so you can return to your "new normal."
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