Saying goodbye to your kids doesn’t have to end in heartache. We’re inundated with stories of depression and grief, but “empty nest syndrome” doesn’t always end in emptiness.
Letting go and starting the next chapter in your life can be difficult, but you will have more time and energy to focus on your marriage and yourself.
Instead of cowering from childless life, welcome it with open arms. Here are some positive changes you can look forward to when the kids leave home.
1.) Time for your passions
Done are the days of scheduling your life around your child’s need. You never have to sit through another band recital, tennis match or high-school play again (unless you want to, of course). What will you do with your newfound free-time? Try diving head first into your passions. If you’ve always loved photography, then take a class and enter competitions. Raising a child is no longer your main responsibility and you need to focus on your needs, now.
2.) Resolve lingering problems
If you and your spouse have avoided talking about certain problems in front of the kids, now is the time to tackle them head-on. Don’t be frightened at this prospect; embrace it. Think of it as the reckoning phase of your marriage. It’s a chance to wipe away the negativity and resentment and move forward.
3.) A bigger bank account
Not only will your grocery bill shrink, but so will your expenses in general. Think of how much money you diverted to school lunches, school supplies, clothing, tutors, lessons and childcare over the years. According to the US Department of Agriculture, you spent about $304,000 on raising your child. Perhaps now is the time for an indulgent vacation or a new car. Money isn’t everything, but you and your spouse will certainly enjoy your inflated income.
4.) Watch your child grow
You devoted nearly two decades to raising this person, and now you get to experience the fruits of your labor. No, your child will not be perfect, but on their journey to adulthood, they are sure to make you proud in one way or another. As they experience professional success, find love, and perhaps, have children of their own, you can take pleasure in a job well-done. You can also look forward to visits to and from the kids around holidays and vacations—just enough time to keep your bond alive.
5.) Better sex!
A 2008 study from Psychological Science shows that women have better, more fulfilling sex when the children leave home. You are free to have uninhibited sex whenever you want without fear of disturbing your kids. Further, the anxiety and energy involved in childrearing can leave you depleted for lovemaking. You will find your sex drive reinvigorated and can look forward to more fulfilling sex more often.