Recently I found a delightful article in The Guardian that really found the humor in the empty nest. Dale and I always try to find the humor in everything in our lives. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine, and it will definitely be necessary to cure empty nest syndrome. Below are excerpts from the article “Ten Ways For Parents To Survive The Empty Nest”. For more chuckles you can follow the link to read it in its entirety. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/17/ten-ways-for-parents-to-survive-a n-empty-nest Enjoy!
Don’t advertise Nearly Departed’s room on Airbnb until they have actually left. This will only spark antagonism. You won’t be allowed to forget in years to come that you “shoved” them out of their home/nest in order to earn a fast buck on the back of their university debt. But when they do leave and you have blasted through the quarry of rubble left behind, you can take joy in rediscovering the carpet, fire-hosing the walls, chiseling off nail varnish from the mirror, rescuing dust bunnies and setting them free, and unearthing a whole set of forgotten crockery from under the bed.
Give yourself a well-earned break. But don’t frame it like that. ND will respond as if you have been trying to get rid of them for years. Of course you loved having them, serving them, doting on them, saving them, nursing them, feeding them, “encouraging” homework, wiping tears, bottoms, muddy footprints. It’s just that after two decades of all that it’s fair to say you could do with a bit of a holiday/darkened room with fizz on tap.
Get technical support. Take lessons from ND on the basics before they leave, on how to use Apple TV/find your music and films which they installed somewhere on iCloud after selling all your CDs/DVDs.
Dance as if no one is watching. Because now no one is watching from behind their fingers yelling “Gross, stop, you’re so embarrassing!” Now you can move your groove to any music, throw any shapes, shimmy naked if you want …
Reclaim the remote control. Place it like Cinderella’s glass slipper on a stuffed purple velvet cushion in pride of place on the coffee table, knowing a) it won’t be used to replace Grand Designs with Goggle Sprogs, b) it won’t be raided for its batteries to reinvigorate the game console, c) it won’t be lost never to be found again gaffer taped to the TV screen.
Do not take your break anywhere near the vicinity of the now Dearly Departed. Stalking your offspring at this stage of separation will only prolong the agony for you and install a hearty, hacked-off response from them. “There is a reason I chose Edinburgh, Falmouth, Timbuktu …”
Reboot your creative prowess, hitherto channelled into 19 years of finger painting, making Easter egg bonnets, princess costumes, fixing catapults, building Evel Knievel ramps, painting Hello Kitty/Spider-Man webs on bedroom walls, super-gluing your fingers to tiny Airfix plane parts, face painting, pretending to be Father Christmas, Gary the Clown or the Tooth Fairy. Your flair can now be diverted into more adult creative pursuits.
Kick off your stilettos, peruse the photo albums for all the happy times you had together, smile and relax knowing you have done a good job. Your child is on their way into the world and will be back soon enough … before you can say, “Don’t steal the batteries from the remote control.”
• Brave New Girl: How to be Fearless by Lou Hamilton is published by Orion Spring on 6 October, £12.99