I want to write a post about … the empty nest….& the common mistakes we make as parents.
When my son left home it was kinda okay because I still had my daughter…. but when SHE left (at 14) I grieved for the next year (at least) and still I admit to having mothering pangs (she left too soon, my mothering’s NOT OVER YET! i didn’t fulfil my motherly obligation) yarda yarda…. Most of these thoughts simply cause me immense distress and do not help me to feel HAPPY and FULFILLED which is how I choose to feel these days.
Those of you that do not have children please do not tell me cute quotes or simple remedies … I don’t want to hear from you or hear your wise damn advise….
Of course there’s an upside to when your kids leave home and it’s this.
You can begin to find YOURSELF again! YES ! High Five yourself. ENJOY! ENJOY! ENJOY!
Yay, after 20 odd years of caring for other’s I can finally get back to caring for MOI ! An odd sort of freedom that I did enjoy PRE children and I’m learning to enjoy again NOW…At first you will feel out of sorts, kind of lost… (oh gee, it’s tuesday – it should be basketball training….)
And now….Here’s a few pointers that I’d like to well, point out….. for those whom like me, made a big hoo hah on every achievement their kids ever did. (wow! they made dinner tonight! WOW, they cleaned their rooms…WOW they got (gloat) ANOTHER “A” plus, or were picked for the (ahem) WINNING basketball team….. or…. WOW they helped an old lady cross the road )…..
1. Your children (ahum) are NOT your life. Don’t make the mistake I did. I orbited around my kids and tried to BE there for EVERYTHING….. I did this at my own expense. HEY I wanted to, don’t get me wrong, I loved my kids to bits. BUT hindsight is a wondrous teacher, and I wish I’d put as much energy into MY LIFE as I did THEIRS!
2. I admit, I was a little too protective of them, (but hey, they were my darlings)…. it’s easy to fall into this trap and bloody hard to escape from! Kids need to fall on their own resources sometimes. Stop trying to make everything PERFECT! Because the fact is they may well pull away from you to experience some of the less perfect aspects of life. Be ready for this one.
3. Teach your kids to fit in with YOUR life. As no 2 pointer above reads….
4. Don’t take the rap for your kids mistakes. Honestly, this is a tempting thing to do but doesn’t teach em responsibility.
5. Teach your kids good manners and teach them to look after other people less fortunate. This will give them some understanding of how the other half lives. IN fact, given my time over again, I’d donate every second Xmas with my kids into some half way house or the Salvation Army Xmas Day ‘lets feed the homeless’ to teach them this lesson.
Kids are great. They enrich your life. But they will leave you as they should.