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Empty nest

(42 Posts)
frosti1981 Fri 05-Feb-10 14:03:55

Empty nest syndrome kicking in with a vengeance. Thought it was OK as we had survived university but once they start working it feels more real. DH taken early retirement/redundancy and I am left wondering if this is it. Is this how it is going to be from now on. And what is this. We are having to rewrite our relationship and goals. And DH isn't all that keen. It has hit him hard. Trying to be patient, after 29 years of marriage I'm not going to throw the towel in but it does seem a little bleak. I feel like a walking cliche. And I hate feeling sorry for myself. You bring up your children to be independent and take whatever opportunities come their way..and then they do.

Malificence Fri 05-Feb-10 15:02:10

Try to be proactive rather thean reacive to your new found lives together, how I wish my DH could retire really early , we've so much we want to see and to do.
Our only DD is off at Uni now and we really enjoy our life as a couple.
Join the National trust or something else that interests you, go travelling, hire a motor home and drive across America - whatever you want. You only get one chance at life - don't waste it.

It's a wonderful opportunity to build a new life together, you don't know what's around the corner so make it count.

Ladyscratt Fri 05-Feb-10 15:04:20

I cant wait and she is only 5! Thats mean isn't it! smile

Malificence Fri 05-Feb-10 15:22:06

The thought of retirement excites me so much and we are 15 years away from 60!
Why not go on a nice romantic cruise?
There must be things you want to see or do.
There's a whole world out there, even if travel isn't your bag, there is so much to do here - learn a new skill / do volunteer work / become a rambler, the world is your lobster.

Ladyscratt Fri 05-Feb-10 15:23:44

I think that should have been oyster Mal!!

frosti1981 Fri 05-Feb-10 15:26:51

I think I prefer lobster. Thanks for the advice. I know it sounds as if I feel sorry for myself but nobody knows what it is going to be like until it hits them. Knowing what you should do and doing it are two different matters.

Malificence Fri 05-Feb-10 15:27:39

No, definitely lobster! grin

Ladyscratt Fri 05-Feb-10 15:33:39

Why lobster??? confused

Lilymaid Fri 05-Feb-10 15:35:14

We are just about to be empty nesters as DS2 is starting out on his pre-university gap trips. Once we have sent him off next week we will be thinking about ourselves a bit more (for first time in 23 years) and arranging things we can do together, holidays and short breaks, food we like to eat etc etc.
I can appreciate that it is rather different if one of you has just taken early retirement/redundancy as this will affect the dynamics of your relationship. We are hoping that this change will benefit both of us but we are aware that the change from being full time parents to being a couple again can mean the end of some marriage, so we will need to make an effort to put something new into our relationship.

Malificence Fri 05-Feb-10 15:39:32

Don't you ever say the "wrong" word in a saying, just for fun?

It's like Phoebe in Friends saying "he's her lobster".

I.E. "destructions" for instructions, "fazakerly" for exactly? That type of thing. smile

Ladyscratt Fri 05-Feb-10 15:40:51

Oooooh just thinkm lie in's, cooked breakfasts, and weekends away.

Take a trip to Australia or something if you can afford it.

I agree that it is important to try and re-build the relationship and have as much fun together as apart.

Ladyscratt Fri 05-Feb-10 15:41:48

Of course, it was just the visual of a lobster, that was funny. Either that or I am warped! grin

Malificence Fri 05-Feb-10 15:50:55

You've got the right idea LS.

Our plan for tomorrow is: lie in and cup of tea in bed, bacon butties, then a nice drive to Chester to choose new wedding rings for our Silver wedding anniversary, followed by lunch at a lovely pub called The Stamford bridge .
We drove 2 hours to Llandudno just for fish and chips the other Saturday.
We've got Cuba for our anniversary in March, weekend in London in June, trip to Las Vegas and New York in September, with days out in the Lakes/Wales inbetween.
Then a tour of China next year.

frosti1981 Sat 06-Feb-10 07:47:19

I took some time to think about my response. I posted in order to share my situation and get some perspective on it. I suppose I was naive to think that everybody would understand but I thought there would be some empathy. Instead I came across Malificence....
Smug, sanctimonious, self indulgent. Perhaps that is what I needed....but on reflection I realise that it is just smug. Look at me, look how well I am doing, look how happy I am.
Fine, I'm pleased for you, really, especially if you have had difficulties in the past. I hold no bad feelings for you, but I also will not be looking to you for advice or constructive criticism however well meant. Your lack of empathy is breathtaking.

twentyoneagain Sat 06-Feb-10 08:12:31

Frosti your original post made me think. My two are still at school but DD1 doing AS levels this year and is now talking about where she would like to go to uni. It still seems too far away in the future but I know how quickly these things seem to come round.

My first reaction was also to think that hey - I really do want them to grow up and be independant (especially as DD2 has been very ill and you just want them to lead a normal life) but reality can be very different. I am lucky to have been able to be a SAHM and so I do feel it will be hard to deal with them leaving. My DH now only works part time and does a lot of work from home anyway, I found that quite hard to adjust to at the beginning. You do really have to work hard at the relationship and it is not all plain sailing by any means.

Do you both have hobbies that you can spend more time on or perhaps now is the time to take up some new ones? I think that planning together for some trips or even just days out together might be a good start.

Iam sure your DH will adjust and you will both start to enjoy life together. Talking to each other about how you are feeling must help. Good luck..

GoneSouth Sat 06-Feb-10 09:05:37

I have just experienced my eldest going a long way away to University. I feel I have an inkling of what you are going through. Married 25+ years and still have two at home, but having to re-evaluate my role is very real for me. We wanted to send our DCs into the world, confident, ambitious, yet have strong family ties. We want them to lead their own lives, but its damned hard when it actually happens.

The solace I have at the moment, is that it is our phone which rings when he needs something. It me that he shares his worries and woes with (and requests for cash!). Its his Dad that he calls to discuss techie things - endlessly. But then there are days when we hear very little other than him popping up on MSN.

I feel proud that we must have done 'something right' for him to have got this far. The downside is the longing to have them back in your care and having to get used to the fact that your relationship with them is changing forever.

With two still at home, we till have the daily grind of school etc, but I am now very aware how quickly it disappears. Whether I remember that when they are driving me round the bend is another matter though!

interregnum Sat 06-Feb-10 10:53:10

After 20 odd years as a caregiver,discarding
that role is difficult, getting a dog(s) helped for me.

Mal,try the Galleon in Rhos on Sea.

frosti1981 Sat 06-Feb-10 16:53:31

Thank you all for your recent posts. Knowing there are others out there who might understand does help. Thank you again.

warthog Sat 06-Feb-10 17:06:08

i'm really sorry you're going through this. the house must echo years of memories and laughter. you're really in a period of mourning for your past life.

i don't really think you can DO anything as such, except work through it. sure you can start new things, think about what you want life / your relationship to be but you have to come to terms with the end of an era.

this is a dip - life will pick up, your kids will find partners, grandchildren come along, your kids have new-found respect for you bringing them up! they'll be grateful for any time you can spare but you'll be too busy having fun with friends and going on hols...

this time is short-lived and you'll get through to the other side. but then again, i'm in the midst of nappies and tantrums so i might be talking out my arse. i keep telling myself that 'this too shall pass'. hmm

PollyLogos Sat 06-Feb-10 17:08:42

I understand how you feel Frosti1981. My children are all older too, two are at university but live at home still. The youngest has 2 years left at school. I am not looking firward to the future as they leave, simply because I feel that dh and I will completely drift apart. And like your dh mine is not in the least inclined to work on the relationship at all.

I would love to have plans like you malificence but apart from anything else I/we won't have the money to do all those things that you are lucky enough to plan.

inthesticks Sat 06-Feb-10 17:17:26

frosti I do feel for you.
When you have a baby people always say "enjoy every minute as it goes so quickly". I've always tried to do that.

But lurking on the horizon is the day when they're both gone and the house is quiet. I remember a sketch by Jenny Eclair about the howl of despair when your children have left home.

You also have the other, seperate issue of DH's retirement. My DH retired 2 years ago although the children are still only 11 and 13. He is now 60 and content to do nothing. I work part time so we see er.. rather a lot of one another. On the plus side he's always available when they need him.

I wish I could give you some positive advice but actually I could do with some myself.I work part time and do several bits of voluntary work, but I am bored.

katysparkle Mon 18-Apr-11 18:34:37

Am missing my daughter already and she has not even moved out yet she off to the USA for three months and then Uni 150 miles away. Am losing my best friend and worried that DH who a social butterfly will leave me lonely and bored.

Advice please mums, should I stop feeling sorry for myself and just get a life??

I am finding it really hard after years of being the organiser and carer of family life to change gear and just get on with my own life......

FlamingJamie Mon 18-Apr-11 18:55:45

My dad took early redundancy at just this stage, and TBH it left him depressed. He simply had not prepared for his retirement, and had to completely construct a life-friends-hobbies.

frosti - I can understand how you feel. Change is really hard. I am pretty sure I will have a major wobble when we get to this stage - it's hoving into view and my first is only 10!

leftasemptynester Mon 18-Apr-11 19:28:15

katysparkle I too am feeling left a bit sorry for myself. I think for those whose marriage is still exciting that things won't be too bad when the children go but for those of us whose marriage is stale (after 30 odd years) the prospect of just being with the same person for the rest of your life is dismaying. I have 2 girls, one at uni in her first year, one on gap year. The younger one will be at uni next year and I won't see her as much and I am dreading it. My girls have been my life and the hole that there will be in my life will be enormous. I could plan a new life but where and how? My husband has been an excellent father, I have a lovely home but I don't have many friends and my life will be empty. I've been a mother for so many years its hard to think of being anything else.

giveitago Mon 18-Apr-11 19:31:00

Oh Frosti - my mum could have written your post.

No advice and at the time I thought she was unreasonable (she even told my gp I'd run away from home) but now I'm a parent I do feel the clock ticking somewhat.

I'd love to know more about these couples who drift from the pressure of A level kids to kids not being there at all and (impending) retirement retirement.

Your feelings are valid. Again, no advice, but just be nice to yourself. I know that my relationship with dh is based solely around ds and increasingly so and that doesn't bode well for my future. Perhaps your is a different background but I feel for you all the same.

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