Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. -Arnold Bennett
Humans change and evolve constantly. If you stop changing, then you are no longer living your best life.
Some changes are easier than others. As a parent, we witness many changes in our children. We guide, support and foster them. One of the more difficult changes is when they reach the age of independence from their parents. This often means they choose to leave the family home. Being a proud parent, and supporting
their decision to live on their own, is a big part the emotional adjustment. This may also sit alongside the “empty” feeling of having them not be physically with you. You may not even know that you are reacting to the adjustment and it may manifest in ways that you dismiss and/or not connect with the “loss”.
In my experience, worry and concern go hand and hand with parenting. This (so I’m told) never completely goes away. Knowing the foundation you and your child have set is good, allows the worry to be put on the back burner.
The “empty nest” brings to the forefront your relationship with yourself and your partner. There is more space and time to take a good look at things. This is where the “uncomfortable” part of change may surface. Who am I if I am no longer the cabbie, cook and/or cleaning staff? Who is this person I’ve parented alongside? How do we grow and change together without the kids? These are valid questions and can be exciting to explore. The simple answer is communication.
Be honest with yourself and your partner. Address concerns as soon as they occur. Discuss things together. Be open and vulnerable. Grow together and live the next chapter with your sites set on growth. It is exciting to switch some of the focus back on yourself and be able to be a little more free. Take this time for you as and individual, and also as a couple.
Life presents changes as an opportunity to learn and grow. Listen to yourself and enjoy it. Be a kid again and explore, play and learn.