Witnessing your child’s every milestone gave your life as a parent so much more meaning. Each day that passes, you can only brace yourself for more of the little surprises that they will bring to you. That is until, one day they are all grownups, ready to conquer their problems independently, only bringing with them years’ worth of your loving guidance.
When the time comes your child decides to move out to pursue goals grander than the bubble he has lived in all his life, it is especially when you realize how fast the time has passed. Suddenly, you worry if they will do just fine and, to no end, pray they do not encounter ill-willed people or unfortunate accidents. These reactions are all but natural.
But, for many parents, having to live without their children physically in their midst, is a rather difficult new reality to swallow. No matter how normal everything else has remained, there would be that void, the filling to which they would find so hard to define. That is, of course, aside from losing the role of a provider to their children.
Still, you have to live on. If you are yet to cope with the sudden change, consider these ideas to bring back that sense of life purpose:
Your house is a chest that keeps so many precious memories with you and your child. But, that does not necessarily mean you are trashing all these fond recollections just because you decide to change it or move out of it through short sale. Instead, take it as a rite of passage for your child and yourself.
You can opt to renovate your house to whatever design you fancy at the moment. Also, factor into the new design your changed lifestyle. Do you feel like you can pamper yourself more this time around? Perhaps, you can upgrade your bathtub into a bigger and higher-end one, with spa-integrated functions and a wood slab across so you can drink wine while reading from your Kindle.
If not, sell your old house and move to a smaller one. Downsizing would be a wise choice considering there are fewer people to live with you. That way, you are doing yourself the favor of having to clean and maintain only a small space and, in turn, having more time for yourself and the things you have been wanting to do but cannot back then.
Being a parent or juggling parenting and work at the same time, you should have felt suffocated with the responsibilities at some point. You knew you had to escape the cycle even just for a moment but you knew you can’t. Well, this time, you have all the time freedom.
And, in no other way can you better spend it than to travel. Whether within the country or abroad, it would be exhilarating to hop on a plane, boat, van, or bus without worrying about the kids. Do not hold back and experience as many new things as you can.
Observe how different the atmosphere is from home. Strike a conversation with locals. Take photographs of gorgeous views. Eat food you aren’t used to eating. Immerse yourself in the culture by heading downtown to hear and see musical performances and checking out novelty shops.
While away, take time to contemplate how your life has been for the past years. Aside from having dedicated those years as a parent, recall your accomplishments and all the people who have been instrumental in your journey. Take all these as inspirations for your next plans. Most certainly, you can come back feeling more refreshed to welcome new challenges.
Perhaps, there is this one skill or profession you have had to put on the back burner because the demand for being a parent made it too difficult to multitask. While you are still capable, get back on these passions you had in your younger years. Make your free time more productive by enrolling in a course.
Relive the thrill of taking note of key discussion points, brainstorming with the class, and applying your knowledge to practical tests. Or, why not earn additional degrees under your belt? That way, you can say you spent your prime with no missed chances.
Rekindle the Spark
There might have been times during your parenting years when you felt like you’ve missed out big time on catching up with friends. This time, you have more time to socialize more, and so call your friends and meet up when all of you are free.
Also, spend this opportune time with your partner. You might have lost time for each other having put first your role as parents and prioritized earning money for a living. This time, marvel in reliving those years you were still dating, how you spoke so endearingly with each other, and gave each other relentless love and attention.
Life should not stop just because your hands-on parenting mode has had to take a pause for now. It could just get started if you put your mind to it.