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My minimal nest is empty

MrylndMomMrylndMom Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
As a single parent, I have spent the past 18 years giving absolutely everything to my little DD. She's gone to small private schools all of her life and has been accepted to a small LAC for the fall. My question? What do I do with myself now? I've spent my whole life catering to her every need.
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Replies to: My minimal nest is empty

  • MrylndMomMrylndMom Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    edited March 20
    You are AMAZING. Thank you so much. I know no one who has had to deal with empty nest syndrome without a partner or other kids at home to see them through. I haven't wanted the companionship of another to distract from my relationship with my DD which makes it even harder knowing she will be gone come august. I pray established couples are able to see this transition through
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 11,877 Senior Member
    edited March 20
    here is a link to a prior empty nest discussion.


    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parent-cafe/1795575-im-a-mess-can-we-talk-about-the-empty-nest-syndrome-p1.html
    you'll find there is LOTS of help for you on CC from parents who have been through this.
  • redpoodlesredpoodles Registered User Posts: 2,110 Senior Member
    @MryIndMom, time to make a bucket list of your own. Take your time with it. I'm following your story! Although I'm a married SAHM and have 3 kids (the youngest is on her way!), I'm feeling much the same.

  • MrylndMomMrylndMom Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @redpoodles I had established lists before my mother died; pool/billiards, gardening, and the gym. Lost all of those due to my overwhelming desire to lay on my sofa after she passed. Trying to get back to them but find myself texting DD regularly while she's away. I have my fair share of suitors trying to establish connections but my DD will always be my heart. It will pass.
  • Snowball CitySnowball City Registered User Posts: 1,252 Senior Member
    Several months before my youngest left for college I started practicing being an empty nester. I cultivated some new friendships, went to cultural events that I would have skipped before, and joined a group to practice my long dormant second language. Work on it now so that you have some things to go to and people to be around.
  • redpoodlesredpoodles Registered User Posts: 2,110 Senior Member
    edited March 20
    Those sound like chores, @MryIndMom! I mean things like:

    "See the Aurora Borealis with my own eyes."
    "Taste every single key lime pie in the Florida Keys."
    "Get front row tickets to a Van Morrison concert."
    "Sleep in a treehouse."
    "Write a stupid but hilarious Harlequin Romance novel."
    "Be on Good Morning America at 6 am with full make up and a giant cardboard sign."
    "Take a bath in chocolate pudding."
  • showmom858showmom858 Registered User Posts: 2,501 Senior Member
    @BunsenBurner - are you my twin! H and I adopted 2 little sister kittens last fall. They keep us laughing now that our 2 D's are finishing college ( one undergrad and one getting her teaching credential).
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,160 Senior Member
    My D's friends adopted cats. Another fostered cats and kittens. Another still took in some international students for a modest stipend. She had mixed results--some were OK while others not so good.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 18,504 Senior Member
    Oh I suggested puppies precisely because they are needy and require a huge amount of attention. For an empty nest mom who spent her life catering to her DD's every need, a couple of puppies should fill the gap rather nicely. There will be a lot of needs to cater to, but also a lot of affection returned.

    Of course cats are way easier, but then OP would have time in her day to think wistful thoughts about her daughter's absence.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 11,877 Senior Member
    after our old beloved cat died in June, we adopted 2 kittens in Nov- what a difference it has brought!
    having "babies" in our home to care for and laugh at has lifted our spirits immensely !
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,160 Senior Member
    If you're not sure--fostering is a way to have pets in your life on a temp basis.
  • conmamaconmama Registered User Posts: 2,735 Senior Member
    edited March 21
    It's hard, no matter what. But it is easier with a partner to share the grief, so I won't sugarcoat that. Let yourself grieve, because it is a loss. But you are doing the right thing by facing it head on now, being proactive.

    Do you have friends that would be willing to take a trip, even a long weekend? I found that looking forward to a trip soon after becoming an empty nester gave me something to be exited about. Yes, it's a temporary distraction, but I think it took the edge off the unhappiness because I was planning and looking forward to it.

    I love dogs, but didn't feel like caring for anything like that anymore, so that might not be a choice. However, I have to say if I was single, it surely might be. A dog would be a great companion. I've had 2 dogs before, and wish now it was just one.

    You will have to keep yourself busy, you know that. You will have to muster up the strength to get out there and socialize. Look upa meetup group. What about a big religious organization, where you could join in, maybe a book club or volunteer projects they have? Big religious organizations have tons of volunteer opportunities, even just taking care of the wee ones while parents attend services.

    I can promise you that you will get used to it, if you don't wallow. It's easy to do that. For me, it took about 2 months, then I found the empty house and children not coming home wasn't as weird anymore. It just sort of dawns on you that you feel better and are ok. Sure, it still hits sometimes, usually when they come home then leave. I hate that. But I know then I'll be ok. You'll be ok!
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