“Empty Nest Syndrome”
I always laugh when I hear the term empty nest. It’s even called a “syndrome.” Maybe it’s because I had an established career before the chickies flew from the nest, or maybe it’s because I’ve never really had a day off to worry about this syndrome, or maybe it’s because, seriously, they Keep Coming Home!
When kids leave for college, there are also still the requisite drop-offs, pick-ups, school events, sports’ games, parents’ weekends, vacations, care packages, I forgot this or that and can you send it, please, shopping for college, re-shopping for college and so on. Then they come home for a weekend or for their breaks, and all of a sudden you have to get your stuff out of their room again — and you’d better not have changed a thing about the room while they’re gone!
After college, you’re their pit-stop; their place to hang with friends; the place to have their favorite meal shopped for, cooked and cleaned up by you; the place where their friends will come and stay for their reunion for camp, school, greek house, whatever! Clean sheets – check!, food in the fridge, check! endless amounts of laundry, check! real dinners prepared, check! more laundry, check! using your car and leaving you home alone without a car, check! And did I mention the laundry?
Finally, they get an apartment after college and take some of your belongings and theirs with them, hoping for homemade food from you while they’re “living on their own.” Then, they move back home to ”save some money,” while costing you a ton, then move out again leaving you saying, “What just happened?!”
So, for anyone dreading the new school year and the kids leaving you with an empty nest – don’t cry your tears, don’t feel lonely and don’t worry about when you’ll see the kids again. Just enjoy every single minute you have of peace and quiet before they come home again.