Having children fly the coop proves to be a new and challenging adjustment period for parents.
Parenthood can be both the most wonderful and challenging time for one’s life. Seeing children grow up, develop interests, and pursue their dreams bring an unparalleled sense of fulfillment. Yet any parent can admit that when their children have to leave for college, further studies, or to build their own family, there are contradictory emotions that come with it. From melancholia, anxiety, to happiness, having children leave home paves the way to build a new chapter for parents. This is what we call the ‘Empty Nest Syndrome,’ which refers to the conflicting emotions parents feel.
Among the social set, Mike and Charmaine Lagman consider themselves as ’empty nesters.’ Their two daughters, Anya and Mica, together with their son Elijah, have already left their home to pursue a life of their own. Although they spend time together as one whole family from time to time, it has become a different set-up for Mike and Charmaine back at home.
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Bringing in Changes
She and her husband consider themselves to be ’empty nesters’ albeit it can be temporary as one of their children might return home sometime soon. “We are just enjoying our alone time, for now, visiting our kids as often as we can,” she shares. Thus, for Valentine’s Day, they chose to spend it in the comforts of their home. They delighted in watching their favorite series on Netflix and Amazon Prime. All these while indulging in delectable cheeses paired with the premium wines they favor. It was a set-up different from a romantic date in a fine restaurant, but the quality time spent between the couple remains memorable.
Although one may think empty nesters have more time to pursue their own interests, it is not always the case. After all, a parent remains as one even when their children have families of their own. For Charmaine, she shares it has become a challenge. “Because of our time difference, I sleep late now. I do mommy duties online such as chatting with my kids and attending to their needs,” adding, “I travel more often now to spend time with them but they are spread out in different states.” Mike and Charmaine have to be more flexible with their schedules. Yet they do enjoy the special moments they spend with their children. It only brings them closer as a family.
Building a New Chapter
Empty Nest syndrome does bring conflicting emotions to parents. It can be from missing their children to reflecting on the time they will spend with their spouse or partner. Empty nesters certainly have to adjust to a new routine. When asked for advice to impart to fellow Empty Nesters, Charmaine says, “Use the situation as a positive tool for you to focus on marriage… This is the time to welcome the new chapter in your marriage as it unfolds to new discoveries every day.” Other parents may be confused about their children’s new lives. Yet it is essential to properly communicate and support them than being intrusive. There are always challenges but as Charmaine shares, “Trust the magic of new beginnings.”