To the Future Empty Nester- Ready,Set...Hold Up...Wait a Minute
It's that time of year when high school seniors experience senioritis, party planning and preparing for that grand walk across the stage...pure bliss mixed with anxiousness. Their parents are experiencing pride mixed with pure panic... basically about everything!
It's the empty nest season, preparation is everything.
Common themes I hear from my clients' parents range from feeling sad, dreading the loneliness to guilt and panic. Empty nesters are feeling the emotional distress that goes along with letting go... But let's be real, we are talking about our babies... the snot nosed kids we potty trained, punished and coddled.
Before this moment...the term empty nest probably sounded like a dream. Planning for the day when you get to do all of the things you didn't have time for because the kids needed to eat...again!
Most parents have spent the last 18 years focused on their child's well-being which includes school struggles and functions, friendship drama and dating. As parents the focus has been teaching our kids lessons they need for their life journey, making sure they can reach their full potential and creating opportunities for independence. But that's the funny thing, we want our kids to go out and conquer the world, we worked hard to give them the tools to do just that... but reality creeps in and says...wait...I'm not ready.
And to top it all off...you've just realized that your identity is mixed up in your child's life...and now they don't want your input in their future decisions? When did that happen?
Buckle up parents it's time to check YOUR emotional readiness.
Empty Nesters might be caught blindsided by the change...SO...prepare like you did for this season's hurricanes.
Be ready to experience
Big feelings like grief, panic, anger and sadness
A need to resist the change
A loss of purpose
Relationship struggles with your partner
Financial burdens of college life
Be open to
paying attention to what makes you happy
a clean house that stays clean for more than a day
peaceful mornings or evenings
meals you actually like eating
excitement over visits and phone calls from your children
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed during this new transisiton seek counseling or find a support group. Adjustments and transitions are HARD.
Galloway Counseling Services will be offering a therapeutic group experience for those empty nesters who need a little more preparation. Seats are limited and will be lead by Julie Galloway, a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist. Call (337) 258-5199 for more information.