Wednesday 16 September 2020

Why Empty Nest Syndrome Exists

My morning became abruptly different with Juboy starting preschool yesterday. Reality set in with little boy waking up unusually early. His first words that morning were, "I'm going to school today!" Just the day before school, I intentionally turned my online groceries shopping to the physical grocery store. I had always enjoyed the bond we foster whenever we get on groceries shopping. Pre-covid.

How could he be all excited about school when his mama is struggling with the empty nest syndrome?!! Days before his first day, I was in denial and reluctant to start him during the neither here nor there month, September. The man was however very much keen to send him to school as quick as possible. Not that he doubted my homeschooling ability, but that this little guy needed some practice and mannerism with social skills. His comfort bubble had only been revolving around the family and himself. He needs to learn that it's not all about giving in to him just because he is the littlest. 

There are givings and takings in the real world.

With a half morning of sitting in with him in school, I saw how he enjoyed his lesson and play time. His enthusiasm and independence for school drowned me into a sea of emotions. I was literally depressed that the baby of the family is off to school, and that my nest has now a morning void. 

Doing seat work

With that, I conclude why empty nest syndromes exists:

1. Encourage your child's independence 
The only drive for your child to explore independence without the presence of you coddling him, is probably school. Where he is very much on his own in a safe environment. It's through school that we realise they can achieve much without our presence. And that they are very fine and happy on their own without parental intervention.

2. Focus on you
Having your child away from you gives time for other thoughts apart from the family. It does help me rejig my preferences and schedule in what I want and have been wanting to do. Time to reconnect with my interests and rekindle some other interests in my life. It is the only moment I can focus on my individual identity.
3. Help your child face the world
Not every skill is taught within home. Set backs and disappointments are rarely created within the home environment. It is through the bigger world, where our child faces distressing moments and learn how to handle them. Mostly on there own. While we may come to their 'rescue' occasionally, we can't do it perpetually. Life can be hard, sad, disappointing and unpleasant at times, but we set our children up to fail if we do not give them the tools and experiences needed to cope.
4. It is a parenting shift. Not the end of parenting.
There's no end to parenting for sure. Even in adulthood, we still want to pry into what they've been doing and eating without us in sight. The shift of parenting to the different stages simply means a change of contribution and commitment level we give as parents. Moving the youngest child into preschool means lesser 1-1 time with him. I will have to look for alternatives in keeping my time sacred with him, as well as the other two. The children's progression is my constant change. 

Free time in school

Homeschool routine is now a thing of the past. In midst, the smell of freedom is actually delicious, though I don't exactly have a schedule of what to fill my mornings with. Writing assignments got irregular and sadly, the fate of my Instagram is still unknown. Yes, I was unfortunately hacked. Still a pain to recount it. That will be another story to tell.

Empty nest syndrome can hit stay home mum the hardest. It feels like I'm more dependent on them than they are on me. To think, I'm only lamenting over the youngest starting preschool. I can't imagine the day teenhood creeps on the kids. I definitely need some mahjong kakis!  

And just as I end this, I received a call from his school. He's crying for mama! Back to mumsy duties now... 

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