*NOTE: This is a repost that I felt was worth sharing again in case anyone here is dealing with this new stage of life.
Whether your little one heading off to school for the first time or if you have young adults on their way to college, this can be a tough transition, but I promise it gets better!
I knew the day would come when my eldest would decide she was ready to leave the nest.
I mean I knew it, but I guess I just never really knew what that would look like. And I certainly was not prepared to have to just sit back while she did it all on her own. I have always been a very hands on parent which was one of the reasons we began homeschooling and I just assumed I would continue to be that way I suppose forever.
Of course that would not have been healthy, and she was determined to do this herself without any help from mom or dad. This came as quite a blow to us, and we took it very personally.
What I didn’t expect was the wave of emotions that would follow her decision.
I wasn’t sure what was happening with me or why I was drowning in these negative emotions. It felt like I had noone to talk to who could possibly understand how crazy I was feeling inside. What I have since found out is that this is actually a very common and dare I say somewhat normal response (especially for mothers).
It is a very real thing called Empty Nest Syndrome.
In fact I admit that I struggled with this evil mixture for several weeks before I came to the conclusion that I was not living my life in a way that would be pleasing to God.
In fact I was grieving the loss of a daughter who was not even gone. I was grieving the loss of the daughter I had invented in my own mind instead of rejoicing in the fact that we had raised a young woman who was brave and eager to take on a world that many her age are not ready to face.
I should add that she is far from perfect although well on her way and I am sure I will have to live the next chapter of my story with her with my eyes half shut so as not to freak out over every mistake I can see coming a mile away.
The truth is that what we have done as parents is raise a very independent woman and that’s not a negative thing, in fact I believe it will become a great thing. But in the meantime I was not at all prepared to just take a back seat after spending so much time trying to sit in the drivers seat. It was very difficult for me to wake up day after day and not see her each morning.
As I enter this new unknown territory, I am learning what it means to be the mom in a whole new way to a very strong woman.
My role has changed once again just when I was settling into the role of the parent of a teenager. This is all so new to me and I feel as though each time I enter a new season in parenting she gets to experience all of my mistakes. But I know God allows us to make mistakes so he can step in and show us just how big he is when He turns our mistakes into something beautiful.
The empty nest is really just another chance for me to grow.
If you have ever dealt with this I just want to let you know that you are not alone.