It can be hard to relate to older parents, when they just tell you to enjoy your time with little ones, as time flies so quickly. When you’re sleep deprived and dealing with a colicky baby or a mischievous toddler, it can seem like a phase that you’d be more than happy to have pass by quickly. But those days from newborn baby to the teen years, whether challenging or joyful, can seem like they are never ending. But no matter what stage of life you are in, whether with young children or older children, there can be plenty that you can do to get ready for when you become empty-nesters and have your last child leaves home. When they’re young you can look forward to that time, but when it is coming closer, you don’t want it to ever happen.
You have probably spent a lot of your time devoted to raising your children, and as a result, they bring a huge sense of purpose to your life. So when they come to leave, it is all about redefining your life purpose or being able to go back to doing the things that you did or enjoyed before children, to help you to fill the void that comes when they are grown and flown. So here are some things to help you to prepare, no matter what parenting stage you are at already.
- Plan Ahead
As parents, you can take some steps to help to ease the transition that comes. So start to have an idea about how you will spend your time. Having more time to yourself will be something that is really enjoyable, but unless you know how you are going to spend that time, then it could bring quite a lot of loneliness. So this could be something like a new hobby, getting back into something that you haven’t done for a while, volunteering your time, and even getting to travel to the places that are on your list. You might also want to get things planned for future times when you might need to look into senior care, and planning for retirement at the same time. Things don’t need to be set in stone, but it is a good idea to have a rough idea of what you want to do. Don’t focus on the negatives of having grown children, and focus on the happy side of things. This time is your reward after dedicating your life to your children.
- Your Changing Relationship
Just as you will have evolved as a parent as your child went through different stages of life, this evolving doesn’t stop, even when your children are older. You may find new things unnerving, as you have much less control and there may be things like not knowing where your children are like you would have if they still lived with you. So make sure that you will allow time and space for these changes as your children go through their new-found freedom.