Lifestyle Columnist, Amanda Alexander

When it’s time for your child to leave home, whether you’re married or single it is never easy. The painful wrench of the heart, coupled with excitement that your offspring has reached this milestone to enter the next stage of their life is emotionally challenging as a parent. I remember thinking that I knew how parents must have felt when their child was leaving home to fight in the war. However, the difference here is that there’s is a 99.9% chance that my children would return home from university or their wanderings, whereas for those who went off to war the percentage returning home was far less. How did those parents cope? I often wonder knowing that their children may never return home..

In the last two years I’ve experienced the ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ and needless to say I was a blubbering wreck. My last two children were flying into the horizon of their own lives, all of a sudden I was left wondering what would I do now after they’ve gone. Thankfully I’ve always been adventurous in my personal and professional life and after the tears stopped and we said our goodbyes, I realised that this was a new beginning for me too and I had to learn to embrace it with open arms and excitement. I recognised that I could now focus on my writings undisturbed, I could come and go as I pleased, I was like a child in a candy shop with the whole world before me for my taking.

I embarked on things that I always wanted to do like a film writing course, setting up and running my own charity, setting up a food bank for my local community and taking on international work. If I didn’t feel like cooking the only person who would starve is me!

The organisation Relate¹ provides helpful tips on preparing yourself for coping with the empty nest syndrome and if you’re in a relationship. I particularly liked the ‘Acknowledging that I will miss them’ tip. This really encouraged me to come to grips with my emotions in the sense that I will see my children again and it was healthy to miss not grieve that they had left home.

My top three recommended personal tips for coping with the empty nest are first, book yourself on as many trips as possible and use that time to gain a fresh perspective about your life. Secondly, why not switch up your style by wearing designs and colours never worn before and thirdly, investigate the needs of your local community and decide how best to serve them. This will not only give you a new lease of life but, when your younglings come home they will be pleased to see and hear that you’re living large and in charge rather than small and in a hole. New healthy relationships will be born between everyone where once there was tears there is now joy and hope for a brighter future.

Until next time, remember you are beautiful and wonderfully made – With love Amanda x           

Amanda Alexander – Founder of Elect Lady Ministries, Female Dignity & Amanda Alexander Productions

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¹ Our children have left home and we don’t have anything to talk about | Relate