The empty nest.
For some moms, it’s a nightmare come true. After they spent years and years raising their kids they have to let them go and learn how to be adults on their own. Every parent dreams of the day that their child will make it into a great college and start the next phase of a fruitful education; few of them actually anticipate the day coming any time soon.
But the day does come for most parents. It seemed like the children were just taking their first steps, and now they’re filling out the lease form for their first apartment. There is a whole list of “firsts” that happen when a child is about to leave home for college, and just like when they were infants, mom has to guide them through it. Maybe it’s teaching them how to do laundry properly for the first time; maybe it’s making sure that they know how to buy the right groceries. But moms step up to the plate and teach their kids important life lessons before they leave nonetheless.
The hard part happens for moms when the kids actually leave the house.
While it’s hard to see the kids go, the separation anxiety doesn’t have to last forever. Here are some tips for moms who are struggling to cope during this trying time.
Focus on yourself
Though it may be a hard reality to accept right now, the truth is that moms will have a lot of time on their hands with the kids finally away at college. Before, many moms likely scheduled much of their time around the schedules of their kids. Now moms have all the time in the world; the question is what to do with that time?
My advice to moms is to take the time and use it to their advantage by focusing on their own personal growth and development. With the kids away, moms now have the freedom to pursue interests that seemed impossible to explore only a few years ago. In other words, this might be a new era for moms’ kids, but it’s also a new era for moms themselves.
Invest in a new hobby
One of the trends I’ve noticed among moms whose children have gone off to college is the interest in hobbies new and old. For example, moms who might have sidelined their business aspirations to start a family are now trying their hand at starting a business once their kids leave the nest.
But the options for moms aren’t limited to entrepreneurial pursuits. Moms who never gave much thought to pursing new hobbies are now investing their time into fruitful enterprises like volunteering, civic involvement, artistic endeavors, and recreational sports. Without the kids around, moms can take advantage of the wisdom they’re acquired throughout their lives to realize a new potential within themselves.
Consider taking some classes
One option available to moms is to join their kids in the pursuit of higher education. More and more moms are going back to college to either get their first degree or to build upon the college education they’ve already received. Some moms go back to college to become more qualified for higher positions in an industry, while others take classes out of pure curiosity. There’s no end to the ways in which moms can incorporate higher education into their lives once their kids are off to college. Moms can learn at their own pace with online classes, or they can fully invest themselves in courseware at an actual university.
Who says that the kids are the only ones that can earn a degree? Moms can grow their intellect just the same.
About the Author
Lauren Baily is a freelance blogger and writer who covers stories on higher education, online colleges, freelancing as a career, and business advice for various publications. Feel free to send any comments and concerns her way!
Image courtesy of [arztsamui] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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