"My only child is in her first year of college and, even though I've always worked and she's been 'on her own' for years now, I really miss her. I can hardly wait for parents' weekend." This is a commment from one of our readers who read yesterday's post about the empty nest.
Do you associate the empty nest primarily with children leaving for college? For some parents, the greatest feelings of loss occur when their adult children get married. The changes during this transition can be dramatic and traumatic as the young couple moves on to create their own independent family unit.
Prepare for a greater sense of separation. As you find your adult children distancing more over time, realize that this is natural and normal. They have their own lives now and so do you. The details and activities you share may be less frequent but can be just as meaningful.
Understand that you are still needed, although not in the same way. Letting go of your parenting responsibilities means letting go of the particular family roles you've played so far. Breathe deeply and appreciate this opportunity to create different relationships within your family.
Learn more abut adjusting to these changes by clicking on the title of this post. That will take you to HerMentorCenter.com and an article about how to Play your New Role as Mother-in-law.