Students go back to college this month and you may find yourself as an “empty nester”. Or there will suddenly be fewer people in the house. How will you deal with this change? Have you thought about the implications for change in your life? Do you have a plan for having more free time? Not only are you “losing” your kids, but you and your partner must adjust to a changed relationship with fewer people (or no kids at all) in the house. The remaining kids in the house also will have a new family dynamic to embrace.
Some things to consider (soon!):
- Your adjustment to this new reality will take time. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not ready or not sure what to do.
- What are your expectations for your partner (and theirs for you) in relation to your changed family? You both will be out of your normal routine and may have more time to focus on each other. This can be bad for some marriages if not dealt with!
- You should create a plan for how you will spend your free time.
- Are there unresolved issues with the child who is leaving? Is this the best time to work them out or is it best left for the future?
- You may be lonely or even develop a clinical depression if you are not treated by a mental health professional.
- Being childless (or having fewer kids in the house) is most likely a temporary state. They will be home at thanksgiving and other times during their school year!
So, try to look at this rapid change as positively as you can, but give yourself room to adjust. It is expected and normal that you will feel sad or anxious. You WILL adjust and adapt over time. Call Becker Counseling now at 732.406.4422 or contact us via our website!