Children leaving home and mid-life crisis are two ships in the night that should never cross. However – most commonly – they do.
When a child leaves home, his parents are left at odds with the void that generates from the child’s absence. There is no prettier, more aesthetic way to say it. Something is just missing. You feel like you will never be complete again.
Even though we raise our children to be happy, productive adults who will someday fly the coop, we don’t realize what that really means. It means that the entire dynamic of our home and our marriage will change. It takes awhile to get our footing in this new environment.
Not to fret, though. Life gets better, and eventually that ache in your heart begins to dissipate – especially if our children are doing well. If they are not, we then have more purpose in life than when the kids were living under our roof. We become advisers, prayer warriors and life advocates for our floundering offspring.
That’s what makes us feel so guilty about feeling so empty. We should be happy that our kids are surviving in the big, bad world. And, believe it or not, eventually we are. The older and more self-sufficient our babes become, the more we begin to view them as the adults that they really are. We reminisce back to a time when we were in the same place and realize how hard it is to make appropriate adult decisions. From time to time, we now even allow our adult children to fail.
Chin up, empty nesters. You will make it. When you come out the other side of the dark tunnel you now find yourself in, you will see that life now is just as good as when you were carpooling your children from pillar to post. Now you have time to reinvent yourself and your marriage. You will remember why you fell in love with your hubby in the first place. And most of all, you will come to understand that the best is yet to come.