There comes a time in a parent’s life when it’s time to begin to separate yourself from your children. From the time that they were born until they leave home, you’ve been closely involved in their lives. Sometimes it can be hard to see where you end and they begin. This separation process usually begins rather gradually as the kids get older and become more independent. It begins to accelerate as the kids enter high school and really reaches a milestone when (not if, because my kids are leaving) your children move out of the house. That’s when your ‘Empty Nest’ becomes a reality. Physically your children may have moved on, but are you still joined at the hip emotionally?
When my kids were young, I did what I could to limit their discomfort and pain. Often, I put their needs ahead of my own because that’s what a ‘good’ mom does, right? Maybe. Or maybe not. I actually set myself up (and a lot of other parents do this) to forget just who I was and what I wanted/needed in this life in order to be successful, happy and well adjusted. I lost sight of ME. I spent so many years wrapped up in what my kids were doing and taking them to where they needed to be, I didn’t know much else.
I realized that I had done this a few years ago. Ever since, I’ve been on this journey to rediscover myself. That’s how I found yoga therapy to begin with. I wouldn’t say that I’ve completed this journey, but I would say that I’m more in tune with my own needs and wants now. Because I’m more in touch with myself, I’m actually able to give back more to other people. I’ve learned to feed myself so that I can feed other people too.
My youngest is still home for the summer, but soon he’ll be heading back to his boarding school. I’ll have my empty nest back. When he left for the first time last year, we were still very much connected. He’s grown more into the man that he’s becoming and pulled away a bit since then. I expect that to happen even more this year. He’ll be going back to a familiar environment and will need me even less. That is until he needs money for something… But, the separating between us will be further along. I’ll be a little less wrapped up in his activities as he grows up even more.
This slow separation can be painful. It seems like the kids need us one minute and the next they don’t. It’ll go back and forth until it gets to the point that they’ve left the house for good. That’s really what I want for them. I want them to be successful adults who can take care of themselves. I don’t want them dependent on me for everything for the rest of their lives. While this is going on, their’s a part of me that doesn’t feel needed or useful anymore. That’s where the painful part is. My kids need me less in the day to day activities and I now need to figure out what to do with myself.
For me, this has meant starting my own business and helping other people begin to live with their anxiety and past trauma. Recently, I’ve started Life Mentoring, a process that helps you achieve meaningful change. I’ve had the chance to develop skills that help myself but also others.
My slow untangling of myself with my children has led me to a place where I’m also growing alongside my kids. I’m beginning to see what I can do outside of motherhood and it feels really good.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’ve loved staying home with my kids and working part time for most of their lives. It’s been a joy and a pleasure, most of the time. But, I got a little lost in the process of raising my children. It’s my time to find myself and see where I go with that. My awareness tells me that I’m ready for this next chapter of my life. I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me!
I have Life Mentoring openings available. If you’re ready for meaningful change in your life, then you need to schedule an appointment. I can help you with your life changes! Prices go up in November, so don’t wait!