The day your children leave home for either university or to move out into their own place can bring an overwhelming variety of emotions. There will be pride for their independence, their achievements and successes. There will be worry about how well they’ll look after themselves. And, there may well be grief for the shift in your life and the change of situation from that comfortable normalcy that has existed for many years.
Once they’ve been dropped off and moved in, it is often the case that parents can feel a little disjointed and adrift. At this point, it may be hard to think about what to do now that you don’t have to cater to your children, but the time of the empty nest can actually become a really positive opportunity for self-growth and exploration.
Read on to find out what you can do to enrich your time and rediscover yourself.
Take back control of your home
Now that there is no more dirty laundry littering the floors, and kitchen counters actually stay clean, your home might benefit from a little TLC.
Whether that’s a repaint of a room that’s now empty, a complete repurpose of a bedroom into a room for hobbies or guests, or just some organisation of belongings and items that have been left behind, taking control of the space in your home can be one way of keeping busy and beginning your journey into this new phase of your life.
If you’re thinking of doing some decluttering or you want to convert a child’s bedroom into something else, why not consider self-storage to look after the belongings you don’t want to keep in your home but can’t bring yourself to get rid of? At Titan Storage, we can provide you with a range of storage options and services so that we can tailor our service just for you.
Develop your skills
If you gave up a hobby when you had children, or there’s something that you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t during your children’s formative years, now could be the perfect time to dip your feet.
Not only will this give you a new skill and something to enjoy, and fill your time with, you can also meet new people through this new activity, depending on what you choose to do. You could even turn a burgeoning hobby, such as floristry, crafting, woodworking or jewellery making, into a job or project as you get more experienced.
If you’re still working, why not try developing your skills within your job, either by training yourself now that you have more time or looking for a way to advance, if you’d like to.
Take time to travel
Once your children have flown the nest, you’ll find that you no longer have to fit your travels around the summer or winter holidays and half terms. Since you’ll be much freer to travel, you can make your plans cheaper and explore all those places you weren’t able to before.
Even if you’re not able to splash out on a grand holiday away once your children have flown the nest, a weekend away becomes much easier when you don’t have to cater to your teenagers or worry about the state the house will be in when you get home!
Look after yourself
While looking after children, personal needs can sometimes fall by the wayside. For that reason, empty nesters are often much more able to find the time and energy to put time into cooking healthy meals, exercise more, relax and pamper themselves.
Take a long bubble bath with a good book without the fear of children interrupting. Get involved with a sport or club at the gym in the mornings or evenings when you no longer have to worry about the school run. Enjoy meals with your partner in the evening that don’t have to cater to any picky eaters.
Care for someone or something else
If you miss looking after your children now that they’re off being independent, you could consider lending your caring and empathy to someone else who may need it. Why not consider fostering or mentoring where you can look after children and young adults who may need some extra help and support? There are many children who could benefit from a safe and loving household and, if you’re looking for someone to give all the extra nurturing and love to, it could be a great match.
Or, why not consider a pet of some kind? While they won’t replace your children, they’ll be a great way to give you company when the house feels empty and you can look after them instead.
We would advise, however, that you not make any rash decisions the minute your children have walked out the door. Take your time to consider every aspect of adopting a pet or looking after a foster child so that you don’t regret it later.
Rekindle your relationships
While your children were at home, your relationship may have sometimes been put on the backburner. Now that they have left home, it can be a great to spend more time with your partner and remember why you first got together before you had children.
You will both have changed so it’s important you make sure who you and your partner are when you’re not connected to your children. Some partnerships and marriages can struggle during this time so it’s important to make time for each other and work on your relationship, since they’re probably going through the same emotions as you are.
Similarly, it’s a great idea to spend time with friends that you made while your children were at school, such as other parents, since they’re also going through the same things. Keep your friendships and support networks strong and you’ll be able to combat any loneliness you feel.