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Fly, little bird, fly!

So, the time has arrived!

This is what you have all been working towards. All the hard work, sweat and tears! After the anticipation and expectation around exam results. There may have been the extra stress of going through clearing. They may have achieved the grades they needed for an offer to go to their first choice. However they got there, they are heading off to university in the next few days, if they haven’t gone already. It’s a time when some parents will experience that feeling of empty nest syndrome.

You’ve had the celebrations; cards, bubbly, perhaps a meal. There will have been the somewhat dubious and long-winded experience of organising student loans – and you have survived that – just. Lists have been made, and checked, twice! Then comes the time to elbow your way around Ikea, just as so many other exasperated parents before you. Hours spent, looking for the perfect duvet cover and shiny saucepans.

You’ve watched them pack from the side-lines, and then repacked for them when they weren’t watching (or was that just me?). As I did, you might even have tucked into some hidden place, a favourite childhood cuddly. And they will secretly be glad you did, but will fain embarrassment when it’s mentioned. You’ve loaded the car to near maximum weight, and surely to bursting point. All their worldly possessions are now stuffed into a few cubic metres of space with all those vital things they need for the next 3-4 years. They just have to have the X-Box to get by!

It’s all part of their journey…

The journey to their new ‘home’ is their next major step. And what a step, filled with a plethora of emotions. There’s excitement and anticipation, mixed in with fear and anxiety, probably. And that’s just you!

Then you arrive, and help them find their new room – a 10′ x 7′ space that will be all theirs. At least for the next year or so, they will live in this space. Without you!

And before you know it, it’s time for them to wave you goodbye. Whether there are tears or not (yours probably, not theirs), have you considered what this means for you as a parent?

You might be glad to have some time and space for yourself, after all, it’s been a long time coming hasn’t it. Think of all the things you might do now they have gone. You may have big plans for their old bedroom. It could be a home gym or the hobby room you’ve always promised yourself.

For some, the prospect of them leaving you might not be so appealing, but rather, something you’ve been dreading – and now that time is here.

So, now what!!

Few people expect to experience empty nest syndrome. I certainly didn’t. So I was surprised to find that I felt low when my youngest daughter began her uni life. It’s a strange thing to happen. As a parent, we know that if our offspring are able to get on with their life, happily doing what they have chosen to do, we should be pleased. After all, it means we did a good job with raising them. It’s what we do, preparing them well to be young adults, isn’t it? And just think of all the things you can do for yourself now that they’ve flown the nest. Even if that is only during term time. The possibilities are endless. So why do we feel like there’s something missing?

Luckily for me, I had tools and techniques to help myself. I was able to use them through that difficult time. That’s not true for everyone, of course. So you might like to consider getting some extra support if you think it might help you know your own direction. After all, this signals a new chapter for you too. And it would be great to be able to embrace so that if feels like an exciting new step, It’s not something to dread, but a natural progression. This is your time, so find something to give you purpose. Volunteer to do some work with a cause close to your heart. Give something back to your community. Take up a new past-time that you’ve always wanted to do.

If you find it difficult to get the motivation to do those things, get in touch. You might need a little help to take that next step in your own journey, so let’s have a chat.

tel: 07813 126048

email: anita@anitamitchell.co.uk

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