Your babies spread their wings and take flight!
It’s gut-wrenching when you have to say that last goodbye to your child as they exit their childhood and step through the door to their new life in the outside world. Parents dread the day their kids leave home while some look forward to it. It’s a mixed bag of emotions.
As mothers, we want to keep our kids in our clutch close to us to protect and nurture them. It goes against everything within us to let them go. When we do let them go, it’s painful. Many mothers go through a process that is similar to grieving.
Understanding the Process
Mothers feel a more profound sense of loss when their children leave home. Since their child’s birth, they have devoted themselves to nurturing them. Mothers have put the needs of their children and family before their own for many years. For the first time, they are faced with an overwhelming loss of purpose and identity.
Single mothers may have a harder time adjusting to this new chapter in their life. Your children have given you a human presence around the house. When they leave, so too does the companionship.
Married couples are now in a position to focus on their marriage and each other. The needs of each other may have gone unmet for many years while raising kids. This adjustment phase requires getting to know one another again.
“Continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from who you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with.” – 2 Timothy 3:14-15
This is an excellent time for you because you can now focus on things you like to do, such as hobbies, activities, or pursuing things you are passionate about.
There are some things you can do to find your way through the ‘empty nest’ adjustment phase.
- Talk to your child often on the phone or video chat. Be careful though not to smother them by calling too much.
- Do things you like to do. If you have an interest in painting, crafts, volunteering, sports, etc. go for it! For those that want to pursue or further your education, now is the time.
- Plan activities together with your spouse and get out and have fun. Traveling, hiking, camping, dinner nights, and more are waiting for you both to take advantage of.
- Don’t isolate yourself. Depression can easily set in if you are not out doing things. Being active is crucial to being healthy physically and emotionally.
- Sometimes empty nesters find that fostering children is something they are passionate about. While you are helping children out by providing a loving home, you are also filling the void that you have with your own child leaving home.
Empower and Release
Moms, you have done a wonderful job raising your child. Just like baby birds leaving the nest, they must flap their wings a few times before they take flight. The sight of them flying off into the distance may be painful, but know that they will return again and again.
Home is never far away regardless of what age you grow up to be. It is where your kids come back to as they need a soft place to land when life is hard. We all need our mothers, no matter how old we grow!
Prayer For Empty Nesters
Father in Heaven,
Thank you for blessing me with my child. I know that as a mother, I have them only a little while, and there comes a day when they must go out on their own. Please help me to find the strength I need to adjust to the change of them being gone. Forgive me when I allow my thoughts to focus on the void I feel, and when I do, help me to fill that void with you. You are my strength and my power. I trust you to protect my child. Help them to be successful in their endeavors. Thank you, Father. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. – Amen