For parents, the nest gets empty somewhere in your 40s to late 50s. Around the time the kids hit the teenage years, it starts to occur to you that they will soon be on the way to college or work and you may need to … Form a life of your own! Oh my! You aren’t even sure what it was like not to have kids, with the daily hustle and bustle of homework, extracurricular activities, dating, and just keeping them on course in life.
If your career always took top billing in your life and you didn’t identify yourself as “Mom” or “Dad” first and foremost, you may have a hard time understanding that the empty nest will affect you. But it does. Sometimes quite painfully. It’s shocking to realize that your job as a parent raising a child is nearly over, and you’ll need to redefine your relationship with your soon-to-be-adult child. You may have regrets over time lost to your career and not spent with your child.
If you are a single parent, you may have put your own life on hold in order to raise your kids, perhaps not developing friends, hobbies, or dating relationships apart from the kids. Who are you now that they are gone? What will you do with your new-found time? How will you develop your own life so they can have theirs?
If you are still married to or with a longtime spouse or partner, kids tend to be quite a distraction. Once those kids are out of the house (or even before) you’ll need to face the reality of your relationship. Is the spark still there? What about the passion? Do you have true intimacy, where hopes and dreams for a new kind of life and relationship are shared freely with each other? It’s time… Now … To get it back again.