Dad’s can struggle with ‘empty nest’ syndrome too!

Facebook example

Martin’s daughter, Jane, is a tween and is heading to Europe for a month. He is a very committed father and she is his little princess. He uses Facebook to share his feelings and his friends leave comments of support that help get him past that moment of missing her.

Single dad’s that are missing their kids, express how they feel when their only child has left the ‘nest’ for an extended period of time or to start their own lives. It’s especially noticeable when there is one child. All parents know its coming. The day our kids leave to travel, go to college or move out for good and carve out a place in the world for themselves.

Marcus, a dad who’s son, Jake, went off to university last fall says “It makes me feel so very proud and a little sad.” When your child leaves, the rhythm of our daily routine gets shaken up. We have gotten so used to providing, protecting and guiding that it just seems so odd not to have to do that every day anymore. It was heart-warming to hear Marcus describe how he is missing his son who has gone off to college. The distance is within a 2 hour drive, so in a pinch, he can go to visit. But the lack of the day to day interaction is really felt. The good thing said Marcus, is that before Jake left, he was spending more time with his girlfriend, so it was easing him into it in a way.

Then he found that making plans to see each other at sport competitions that Jake was involved in helped. They sometimes plan to meet half way to grab a bite to eat and might go fishing later in the summer. Marcus says “I enjoy my time with him, have fun while he is away, and look forward to the next get together.”

In the meantime, he keeps busy with work, playing volleyball with friends and chores. But the bottom line is that he is very proud and is enjoying seeing him grow and mature, even with the empty or ‘something is missing’ feeling.

Have you felt that way? What did you do to make it easier?

 

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So scared, I want to throw up….

I just found out today that the long awaited trip to Europe is a go for my teen. Eighteen days away in a country were she understands very little of the language. [sigh] Flashes of the news about #MH17 go through my mind. I’m trying to keep from throwing up. This is something I have to deal with without her knowledge. I’m terrified right now but I don’t want to let her know. She is so happy to go and she is going with her grandmother. It will be a really special trip for both of them. I know this. Logically, it all makes sense. Sounds wonderful.

It’s just that I’m finding it hard to be excited right now. The “what if’s” are driving me insane. The crazy traffic. The crazy boys. Swimming in the sea. The flight at 30,000 ft and over a big ocean. [breathe] And this is coming from someone who loves to travel! Jeeze! I won’t see her for a few days so I have time to collect myself. I will have to work hard on that.

[focus on the positives]

The cultural immersion. Her grandmother taking such pleasure in showing her off to family and friends. The time they will spend together exchanging ideas and stories. The independence she will gain traveling back on her own. She will have grown so much in that time. It’s happened every time she has gone away. Even when it was just for three days. It is hard for parents to let them go when these moments in time come along and this certainly isn’t the first one. We had a similar experience when she was almost four and wanted to go down the bunny hill on her own. She fought me when I said “No.” knowing full well she couldn’t stop. She freaked out to be let loose. I, frustrated and angry, said “Fine, go ahead.” Well, she didn’t slow down. She hit a bench to stop at the bottom and tears ensued. I felt like I was a terrible mother, that I had made a mistake. But the following week we went out again and she had learned something. She had learned to stop.

This time is similar.

[I will keep telling myself that]

I look forward to seeing her a little more grown up when she gets back. [breathe….]

Do you have any coping mechanisms to help with letting your kids go? Please leave a comment I can use all the help I can get right now. Lol.