Your last child has gone. After all the hard work of the past eighteen years, you've waved goodbye to them either as they start university or a new job. They're moving out, moving on and you...well, you're snivelling into a tissue. Their smell still lingers in their bedrooms. Suddenly, you'd give anything for that half-eaten pizza under the bed or the piles of clothes under which there may be a carpet.
Parenting teenagers is so full-on most of the time: the constant meals, the laundry, the taxiing everywhere, the exams, the career or education choices. You certainly know you have them. Then one day, wham! They're gone. The house falls silent, no music blaring, no doors slamming, no wet towels in the bathroom, no going out at night just when you, or any sensible person, is going to bed. You loved and hated it in equal measure. But now it's over. Okay they might rock up during the holidays, or for the occasional weekend, but your role as a full-time, hands-on Mum is over. How does that feel?
Most women find it hard. No matter how involved you have been in your own job, finding yourself an empty nester leaves a gap. If you're single, that gap can feel like a gaping chasm.
So, what can you do?
First, accept this is normal. It's okay to be sad. It will take time to re-adjust. Cry, feel miserable, reflect. It's okay.
But once you've done this, you need to get going with your life again. What do you want for yourself now? This is a perfect time to find some clarity. Maybe you feel like:
If all of those seem too big and scary to cope with just now, be kind to yourself. If you want to start your journey of self-discovery or get your mojo back, contact me here.
How about these?
Organise at least one thing each week that's for you and that you will look forward to.
What not to do
And lastly, you've done a great job! Parenting is the hardest thing in the world.
Give yourself a huge pat on the back for getting this far.
Like some help with your new direction?
I'm Glynis, a coach for clients somewhere in midlife, helping them get the life they want. I work with them on careers, time-management, relationships and lots more. These are my musings on what life throws at people like us. You can read more about me here. Do get in touch if I can help you.