“A parent’s love is shown through letting go”

When Cecil Day-Lewis wrote “Walking Away”, he was reflecting on sending his son off to boarding school –  some 18 years after the event.  He said the memory of it “Gnaws at my mind still”. But then his kid was only seven …  We hear this poem referenced when people talk of the difficulty of parting with their children, maybe for the truth of the … Continue reading “A parent’s love is shown through letting go”

Life after kids – some insights on the marriage bit

It’s been super interesting picking up the ’empty nest’ stories from the northern hemisphere of late – there it is the season of farewells – where wings are being spread in their thousands as little darlings leave for Uni. In the southern hemisphere, the build up is in full swing, for a Jan-Feb departure. I loved the insights of Sabina Zalewska, a family psychologist, in … Continue reading Life after kids – some insights on the marriage bit

How useful are the ‘5 stages of grief’ when your kid leaves home?

For many, grief is keenly associated with their kid leaving home. It can take many guises, from simple sadness, maybe fleeting, to overwhelming, searing pain.  For the sufferers, when mixed with optimism and strength (underpinned with support from others), it may take on a less painful shape. For others it cuts deep, dominates and requires more work to recover from.  Whatever it looks like for … Continue reading How useful are the ‘5 stages of grief’ when your kid leaves home?

“Learn to detach with love … and don’t fix their problems”

“I felt relieved when my step-child left.  It was just time. He was nearly 22. He moved to the next state, takes four hours in the car so it’s a good distance away. The advantage of him being a bit older was that he didn’t need loads of stuff buying, and we had plenty to give him.  But despite him being ready, and my relief, it … Continue reading “Learn to detach with love … and don’t fix their problems”

“Saying goodbye cuts out a little piece of your soul”

  This beautiful mamma had three sons who all chose to go to University overseas. Now that’s got to be tough? The final year with each boy was unique. They were each so ready to leave home and go start their owns lives. Most of the time I knew it was not about leaving me….or rather not in a personal “I hate you can’t wait … Continue reading “Saying goodbye cuts out a little piece of your soul”

The most valuable gift I received when I left home

I have a couple of very faded, stapled sheets of blue airmail paper, endlessly folded and unfolded, tired yet enduring, useful beyond measure.  They sit poking out of my pen mug by my computer, and before that, from my Filofax. This ancient prop is the list of family and close friends’ birthdays that my  mother wrote out for me and sent when I moved to distant … Continue reading The most valuable gift I received when I left home

A sense of betrayal – who’d have thunk it

My daughter had the biggest room in the house. Two windows onto the garden, framing an old wooden desk from her father’s youth. Opposite, a wall of shelves groaning with fantasy fiction, dystopian futures, botanical analysis, Harper Lee and JK Rowling, maths and chem, pop ups, falling apart antique, Leunig, Sean Tan, Shakespeare.  And among this, all manner of little bits, things, images, oddities, reflective … Continue reading A sense of betrayal – who’d have thunk it

’empty nest’ without a syndrome?

A common term presides to describe our feelings when our child leaves home.  The go to  phrase ’empty nest syndrome’ falls readily from the sympathetic, knowing nod. It makes sense,  but does it fit for all? A social descriptor, rather than a clinical diagnosis, ’empty nest syndrome’ is commonly associated with feelings of sadness, loneliness or emotional stress at finding oneself childless in the home, … Continue reading ’empty nest’ without a syndrome?

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How is it for you? Share your story

How’s life since hitting mid-age, and finding the kids grown and going, going, gone?  Share here. What does ’empty nest syndrome’ mean to you?  Are you kicking up your heels or floating in grief and loneliness?  Whatever your experience, it’s all legitimate, normal and happening to someone else, somewhere. Share your story here, it might be just what you need 🙂 My story   Continue reading How is it for you? Share your story

My kid left for Uni, and it’s quite a time

What’s that movie when the two guys set off for Vegas for a weekend of debauchery, whooping, music blaring, and the next scene they are silent and contemplative, only five minutes in?  It’s very funny and reminds me of taking off for Uni several decades ago. My mum behind the wheel, car bleeding bed linen, LPs, and crockery, three hours to my new life.  As … Continue reading My kid left for Uni, and it’s quite a time