The other day in one of my online mom groups, there was a thread talking about kids going off to college. The conversation naturally turned to empty nest syndrome. Are you familiar with this? It’s not a clinical diagnosis, empty nest syndrome is a feeling of loneliness or grief parents may feel when kids leave home for the first time. Although my daughter and son are 2 and 4 years old respectively, this thread got me to thinking…how will I prepare for when they leave home?
So, I think I have this step covered. I mean my oldest is not even in kindergarten, and I’m already thinking about when he will leave the house. Right now while we are in the toddler phase, there are days when sending the kids to college seems like a great idea! ? Just kidding! However, I think planning for the day the kids will leave may help lessen the blow. Sometimes you have to have the right mindset to prepare for difficult situations.
Prep the Kids
Another way to plan ahead is to prepare the kids for when they will leave. I want my kids to be independent and succeed when they leave the house, and there are basic life lessons I want them to know. For instance, cooking their own meals, cleaning up after themselves, and balancing a budget are some of the basic skills they will need. Even at their current young ages, they can help me wash vegetables, clean up their toys, and learn how to save money in their piggy bank as ways to learn these basic skills. As they grow older, I plan to teach them more age-appropriate life lessons to get them prepared.
Stay In the Moment
Planning ahead and preparing for the future is great, but it is also a good idea to enjoy the present moment. Right now, while my kids are young I’m enjoying the current season. I may not always enjoy removing crayon or toothpaste from my wall, but I do enjoy seeing their smile when I pick them up from school or getting extra snuggles at bedtime. I will cherish the current and future memories on those hard days when I miss them when they move out of the house.
Overall, I think the day I will have an empty nest will be bittersweet. I’ll enjoy the alone time with my husband, but I will miss my kids. Hopefully, the planning, preparation, and memories over the upcoming years will be helpful for the fateful day. If not, maybe I’ll create a support group to stay connected with other empty nest moms. Who knows, maybe this will lead to a girls trip…talk about a win-win situation!