Empty nest syndrome
Created by Reena Puri Updated on Sep 24, 2021
I had been a working mother, and had family support but guilt feelings had been gnawing at me that I was not being an ideal mother.
One fine day when my son started his Class Six, I gave up my career as a banker and then started my life as a devoted mother and a homemaker.
My life’s mission was to be around him and the family. I took great pains to fulfil all the emotional and physical needs that I felt I had missed out on. I had pushed the "I “back in some corner unconsciously and realized with a sudden jolt that “I “ had become lost. My own dreams and my desires were all pushed back and it was all about the family and fulfilling their needs.
The journey of motherhood I took during my son’s school and college days are close to my heart and will always be. But there was a moment that changed all this – the day when my child left home for his higher studies.
Suddenly there was a vacuum in my life! From being the universe of my son’s life I found my self in the back seat. It is a natural progression of life. But I was finding it difficult to come to terms with. There were feelings of worthlessness and I felt as if my life had no meaning anymore. My husband was busy with his career and I suddenly had all the time in the world with no concrete goal. Small things would irritate me and tears it seemed were ready to fall at the smallest of hurt.
I would forever be concerned about my son’s well being and build up anxiety on how and whether he could cope up in his new life with out my intervention.
All these factors started taking a toll on my relationship with my husband and that was when I woke and realized where I was heading. I knew I had to change my outlook and make a change in my life style to hold on to my self worth.
These feelings of empty nest syndrome are very common in stay at home mothers and it is not a clinical condition. We can easily overcome these by consciously realizing that children have to go away and forge a life of their own. They will be able to manage their lives on their own and will revert to us as when they need.
Children who get married and move away and start a life with their new partners can also cause a lot of mental stress. Parents especially mothers feel they have been used and now dumped, when their child starts a new life without her being the central theme.
I have not yet reached that stage as my son has just started his career but have made it very clear to myself that from now onwards his life is his own to manage as long as he respects the boundaries and decorum that has to be accorded to us as parents. We have to let go of them and make a life of our own.
Once the children are out, celebrate the opportunity to rekindle the love and romance in your life, which had flown out a long time back. We are not old! There is a lot that we can do. Explore that hobby of learning how to salsa or play an instrument, which we could not because we were busy being the super moms.
I for one discovered I could write and also went back to study my long lost passion on Ancient Egypt and of all things Astronomy!
So Parents especially mothers take a grip, let go of them children and make a life of your own and rock it enough for your children to sit up and be proud of you.