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So what now(10 Posts)
Had my DC at aged 18. This is the year I've been dreading. Turns 18 and off to university.
What now for me? I don't have anyone in my network in the same boat. Feeling pretty lonely.
What did you do if this is/was your situation?
Time to enjoy your freedom op, it may be sad that dc is leaving but you’re still young, get out there and enjoy yourself. Back are the days where you can do whatever the fuck you like in your house, go walk around naked, do whatever.
Here’s some ideas if you prefer fully clothed options:
Firstly it’s perfectly normal to feel out of sorts but try to focus on what this change will bring so your DC goes to Uni in the knowledge you’re far too busy to be fretting that they’ve gone ( however have box of tissues at the ready for when you return home once dropping them off - we all have a shuffle at this stage)
Next think of things you’ve always wanted to do but wasn’t able due to family life...
Learn a language/listen to your music on full volume (no headphones allowed!!)/ watch the box set/ series you’ve always meant to....
THEN remember that the terms aren’t that long and they’ll be home soon so:
Give their room a thorough clean and then close the door so you don’t think they’re in all the time.
Next get out in the local community to make new connections, job permitting:
Join your local choir
Volunteer at local charity shop
Volunteer at local school
Learning in Library course - they are usually free and can be craft/computer related
AND don’t forget your current friends - they might not be in same boat as you but would love to still see the new you - who can catch up for a quick cuppa but has to shoot off to BodyBalance class whilst they have to go back to do the school run/do homework/ football practice lifts.
I recently left a vocational job and at the same time both DC went to Uni & although I did have friends with empty nest issue I felt lonely too as I had more time to fill so what really helped was I fixed a routine before I left my job:
One day in a Charity shop and one day working with local council Conservation Team - outdoors all day cutting trees, clearing paths, cleaning streams, burning waste - it really, really helped.
I admit at first that the people I met weren’t my age/thought I was odd jacking in my job but I stuck with it and have forged friendships from both these days.
After 2 years it had rebuilt my confidence to apply for a part time job and this too has kept my mind busy and not spending time overthinking what is or isn’t happening at Uni!!!
What a lovely reply swimmer4. You sound like such a lovely person to give such a considered and positive reply to a stranger.
OP listen to swimmer she clearly is better at this stuff than I could ever be.
OP will be late 30s and relatively young. Do people stay at home until a child is 18?Nothing to suggest she doesn't work. Perhaps now is the time to concentrate on career and/or qualifications, unless having a child at a young age hasn't negatively affected those.
Enjoy the change, and enjoy the vacs when DC comes home. Helping your child towards independence is a parent's job. OP you've succeeded.
The best thing I did was start running.
I did Couch to 5K then once I could run for 30 minutes I started going to parkrun.
Parkrun are free 5km runs throughout country every Sat morning at 9am - you can walk,jog, run round the course and you are never last as they have a tail walker. The last people are usually over an hour.
This has been brilliant for loneliness for hundreds of people - people will chat whilst you’re shuffling along and you soon start nodding to people if you go each week.
They need volunteers every week too so if you’re feeling low- pop on lots of layers, go along and ask to marshal - clapping/smiling/ cheering people on can be an uplifting way to start your weekend when you’d normally be trying to urge your DC out of bed/to eat breakfast/ give you their dirty washing.
I was never sporty & I’d still argue I don’t run (I shuffle) but as a result of this it gave me the confidence to join a local running club.
I’d always thought they were for ‘real runners’ but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Most weeks someone new comes along either because they’ve lost their job/ recently split/ new to area and the social run sessions are perfect to chat as little or as much to everyone as you want.
A perfect way to make new connections, the odd friend and feel fit in the process.
Good luck to your DC going to Uni and best wishes to you - enjoy this time - it dies go quickly - I have 1 DC back home now they’ve graduated & I secretly miss that home alone time now & then 😉
From personal experience I am loving it!
Lots more time to focus on my own interests and hobbies, see friends, concentrate on my job, spend time with friends, DH, elderly parents. Visit new places.
No arguing over the car, no endless piles of laundry, no worrying about what time he will come in at night (or get up in the morning ), no huge meals to shop and cook for. No arguing over the remote control.
I am thoroughly enjoying this stage of life, DS has just returned to Uni today, I am sorting out the housework and then will get back to a nice, peaceful lifestyle!
(I understand it’s different for everyone, but I hadn’t even had my child by the age you are now ... you have got so much opportunity ahead of you - embrace it ).
Gran22 - I did put job permitting!! I think you’re right - focusing on current job, a change in employment or courses at local college could definitely help.
Thanks NagaisAce 😊
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