When Kids Fly the Nest


Can you remember your beautiful baby with the softest skin, the tiniest toes and a belly that you used to blow raspberries on? Overnight that little person grew to become a mini adult with a new set of opinions and ideas. How did that happen? It is true what they say, kids really do grow up fast.

All too soon, the time comes when they are ready to fly the nest. And in a way, it comes with a huge sense of relief; your house will be clean and tidy, you will be able to lie horizontally on the sofa and watch what you want without interruption and your bathroom will be returned to the state it was before children, a space for sanctity and solitude. Your young person has craved independence for so long now, dreaming of a life without apron strings, ready to explore all those previously forbidden fruits.

The hustle and bustle of the days leading up to the moment of their departure seem dream-like. The air is full of excitement and then, the day itself arrives. Everything is packed urgently into the car, ready for the drive ahead then, just like that, they fly the nest. It’s time to celebrate; open the bottle of bubbly and dance!

Suddenly, and to your surprise, your emotions seem to start to boil up from the soles of your feet to the top your head. You feel confusion, pride, sadness, loss, grief and despair all at the same time. Your baby is ready for independence, but are you?

Perhaps it’s a bit like giving birth? No one tells you what to expect, so when it happens, you find it wasn’t what you were expecting. As your child gets ready for their next big adventure, you return home, anxiously wondering how what your home will feel like without them. You stand in their bedroom, and as tears well up and cover your face, you realise that you can still feel their warmth and smell their presence – a small comfort, perhaps, but the dynamics have changed and it just doesn’t feel right.

Oh, what would you give to have your messy house back, the one with the empty fridge? It feels as though your heart has been ripped out. You sob, and sob. It’s no use, they have gone! Then, you hear your phone ping…It’s a text message! You are so excited to hear from them and call them back straight away. And this is how the days take shape after they leave: quiet moments, punctuated with short messages and quick calls. It’s not enough, but for now, it’ll have to do.

For so long, your children have been the centre of your life it is natural that adjustment will take some time. Relax and enjoy this time too. You will appreciate those special moments when you can meet up again but you will also appreciate the space again. Now, perhaps, you have a little more freedom? A new spare room to offer to friends for a night out on the town? Food in your fridge, a chance to redecorate or to find a new hobby. Life drawing classes, anyone?

Above all, make sure you make time for yourself. Learn to enjoy your new personal space and freedom. Breathe through the moments of uncertainty, take time to relax and time to breathe making sure you ground yourself. Eventually, you will make that adjustment. The dynamics will be different, of course, but this is a new chapter in both of your lives. Embrace the change and continue your life in a happy and healthy place.

If you are interested in talking to me about treatments that help you to cope with the emotional and physical changes that take place when your child leaves home, why not book a FREE 15 minute telephone consultation?