Flying the coop
Mandie Crawford is a behaviour consultant who has survived the empty nest several times, when her young children went to live with dad, then after they came back and left again as adults. “It’s never easy,” she says, “As parents we often bury ourselves so deep we forget to look at the big picture. I had to ask myself who I was apart from being a mother.”
Crawford, who teaches life skills and speaks about empowerment, advises parents to look at their empty nest as an opportunity. There is an undeniable feeling of emptiness once children leave and it is important to acknowledge it, she says. But “the fact is there is also a much bigger community we belong to.”
Recognise there is no instant fix for empty nest syndrome
We are a quick-fix society, says Crawford. People want to feel better immediately and it just doesn’t work that way. Allow yourself to take all the time you need.
Reconnect with old friends and siblings
Crawford says that once their kids leave home, many adults tend to re-establish relationships with their own siblings. Your old allies can be your best allies in this new stage in your life.