My husband and I have been married for 20+ years, and have three children. Our oldest left a few years ago to join the Air Force. Our number two departed for college three years ago, and now our youngest will leave for college next August. Although my husband seems to have no worries about this upcoming event, I fear it greatly. Do you have any suggestions to help parents with empty nest?
Empty nest really means you have been prematurely forced into retirement (that is: before we are ready). We spend twenty or more years raising our brood, then they move out. Although we usually would have it no other way, it is still very unsettling for plenty of parents.
When you think about it, we married our loved one many years before because we had fun together, they made us feel important and needed, and it was the person you would most want to spend time with. Then we add the children to the mix, and we are busy with raising them for a great number of years. I recommend to couples that they make a concerted effort to help each other out more than usual during these unsettling times. In your case, asking your husband to help you is step one. Changing the nightly routine can be surprisingly enjoyable. Rather than go to the computer or the television or simply the nightly chores, whip out the cards or dominoes for a couple of games. I bet y’all haven’t been to the movies in a while. A Tuesday night flick is amazingly entertaining. Plan a couple of three or four day vacations soon after your child departs. Just like our pre-child days, watch out for each other and be of kind and loving assistance in our time of need. Don’t worry, our kids always need their parents. They will need calls, cards, and always extra moola. In the mean time, remind yourselves why you fell in love with each other so many years ago.