“How I coped when my kids left home”

Good Health (Australia) - - Contents -

Four par­ents share their heart­felt sto­ries with Lar­raine Sathicq.

From the in­stant we first lay eyes on our own ba­bies, life changes for­ever. No longer just one half of a cou­ple, we be­come moth­ers – nur­tur­ers, teach­ers, pro­tec­tors, grow­ers of hu­mans. But ev­ery now and then, whether you’re tuck­ing a tod­dler into bed or deal­ing with a re­cal­ci­trant teenager, the thought pops into your head that the fi­nal and nat­u­ral goal is for your ba­bies to leave you.

Most par­ents agree that it all seems to go in the blink of an eye and when the time ac­tu­ally comes, it can be dif­fi­cult to imag­ine your­self do­ing any­thing other than be­ing a mum.

While the prospect of an ‘empty nest’ may be ter­ri­fy­ing or sad for some, oth­ers feel a sense of re­lief and ex­cite­ment at hav­ing the house to them­selves – but few are re­ally pre­pared for the emo­tional im­pact of say­ing good­bye to ac­tive par­ent­ing.

We spoke to one cou­ple, a sin­gle mum and an older empty nester about how they coped when their chil­dren left home for good.

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