At this time of year, HSC students are looking at a gap year, travelling overseas, or leaving home to live closer to uni or work. When you have spent a large portion of your life parenting, it’s understandable to experience some grief around them leaving home and flying off on their own adventures. While I still have a child in primary school, my older children often talk about moving out of home. My sadness around the thought of their leaving got me thinking about how to alleviate some of that grief.
When we get older, we start thinking about retirement, planning our bucket list of things to do and see before we join the dodo. We set silly goals for when the kids leave – walking around naked, having sex in every room – but what if we had a real plan for when the nest is empty? Having goals is a healthy way to prepare for retirement, marriage, study, work and pretty much any life event and certainly a good way to prepare for children leaving home. I’ve started a list below of things I’d like to do, or that friends and colleagues have talked about.
- Travel to romantic destinations with your partner
- Turn the kid’s room into an art studio, or a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite
- Sell the house and go smaller or move to the city
- Sleep in and start work late every day
- Work a short week now the expenses have dropped
- Eat whatever weird and fancy food you want for dinner
- Spend up big on “us”
- Get more involved in a hobby or sport
- Do a course, learn something new
What would you add to this list?
Linda is an art therapist and social worker in private practice in the Southern Highlands, NSW and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0438 400 446