“They grow up so fast.”
Yes, it is a cliché, but once you are standing on the other end of those 18 years, you realize just how true it is. Whether your child is flying the nest to attend college or just to head off into the world, as that moving truck pulls away, your years as an active parent are over.
For some, this is an easy transition. For others, parenting is such a massive part of their identity, moving forward is a struggle. If you are finding that you are among the latter, there are some tips to help you embrace this new stage in your life.
Let Yourself Mourn
You knew this moment was coming from the day your child was born. And you know what? That doesn’t make it any easier. While this is a huge milestone, and you are no doubt happy for your child, it is also the end of an era. It is okay to grieve that for a bit. Just don’t wallow for too long.
Find an Outlet
You are not doubt experiencing a lot of emotions, many of them conflicting. And to work through them, you need an outlet. This can be whatever works for you. It might be an hour at the gym each day, it could be volunteering at the local library. It might just be quietly crafting at home. Whatever appeals to you, embrace it.
Do What You Have Always Wanted to Do
We love our children, and we wouldn’t trade them for the world. But the truth of the matter is that children do limit what we can do. We all have those things we have wanted to do over the last two or so decades that we put on hold because the kids couldn’t go, or the kids wouldn’t like it, or the kids needed the money more than we needed the experience. Well, now is the moment.
Talk to Your Kids
Hey, you miss them. And whether they are making it clear or not, they are missing you too. Set up a schedule for regular communication, and don’t be afraid to reach out at random. They may no longer be at home, but they are not gone.