Emotional Wellbeing


Mandy Kloppers

Empty Nest Syndrome – Is this it??


Empty Nest Syndrome

It’s not a great question to ask as it suggests a realisation of reality that isn’t quite what we had in mind. One day we start wondering about our lives..past, present and future.

So, we’ve made it through school, survived our teenage years, got a job,  found a partner, settled and down and had children. Done the good-mom-at-the-school thing and played taxi more times than we can remember.

Our children have grown up and ceased to be the cute little cherubs they once were. Still loveable but a little more gruff with it plus they have their own opinions and aren’t as malleable as before. We’ve made it through many changes and we’re older now. Is this it??

Was this the purpose of life? To bring up our children and then be left to figure it out alone once they no longer need us?

It can be a tough adjustment when children leave home, the empty-nest syndrome as it’s commonly referred to. I have met many women who have gone through an identity crisis at this stage of life. Their husbands have always had their career and many women have chosen to stay home and keep the home and the family running smoothly. When their children are independent, many women start to question their purpose in life.

It can be a difficult experience and a lonely one as not many people seem to talk about it. Women who have devoted themselves to others  are often the hardest hit. They have become so far removed from their younger selves, the person they were before marriage and children.

How to cope:

Watch your thinking. Are you feeling the loss and not looking at the opportunities that might now be available to you? It takes a change in your thinking as your role has changed.  Think about hobbies you might like to try that you never had time for in the past. What about travelling?

Charity work and volunteering are also a positive way to make a difference. Embrace this new situation as a positive. See it as a chance to rediscover yourself and find talents and skills you never knew you had.

You know how the freedom to be a bit more selfish and think about you want rather than having to factor others in constantly. Get into the practise of putting yourself first for a change. Women are conditioned to nurture and support and taking time for ourselves often leads to guilt.

Reject guilt and revel in me-time. There’s a world out there waiting to be explored, you’re just not used to looking at it that way.

Mandy X