From The Confessional: Empty Nest Syndrome Is Real AF

by Cassandra Stone
Originally Published: 
An empty nest

Some moms think empty nest syndrome is liberating, some feel, well, empty and sad. Either way, it’s real AF.

We’ve all heard about empty nest syndrome. Most motherhood pain points surround parenting small children, young kids, and adolescents. But where is the support for moms who feel lonely after their kids move out and “fly the coop,” so to speak?

Empty nest syndrome is the grief that many parents feel when their children move out of the home. This condition is typically more common in women, because moms are, of course, more likely to have had the role of primary caregiver.

Regardless of how your empty nest affects you, you’re not alone. The moms in our Confessional are talking about it all the time. Some are grieving, some are looking forward to the day their kids move out, and some are ready to make a radical mid-life change for themselves—buckle up.

I'm quickly coming up on 50 - almost an empty nester, about ready to kick my H out of the house and file for divorce and I'm retraining for a new career. I think life actually starts at 50!! Wish me luck :)

Confessional #25833436

I am counting down the days until we are empty nesters and it is just my husband & I again. DS is only 7...

Confessional #25819549

Almost empty nesters and I am kind of turned off in general by my dh lately. I struggle with suicidal ideation already and I don’t think I’m strong enough to pretend the rest of my life but he is a good guy.

Confessional #25807604

I’m exhausted. Empty nesters here, and because I don’t earn a paycheck- husband expects me to be his servant. I’ve been having a panic attack since 10am, and he’s enjoying the sandwich that I made. Fuck this bullshit.

Confessional #25795894

Symptoms of empty nest syndrome can include depression, a sense of loss of purpose, feelings of rejection, or worry, stress, and anxiety over the child’s welfare. Parents who experience empty nest syndrome often question whether or not they have prepared enough for their child to live independently.

I thought I enjoyed being a mom, but I really hated it. These empty nest years are so relaxing and wonderful. And I definitely don’t want grandchildren.

Confessional #25789807

Empty nester here, retired last year. H, 5 yrs younger, still working. I'm online all day, as soon as he leaves. I fake having "household projects" but I simply drink wine, snack & surf the net until he returns - then I act really busy.

Confessional #25787463

Hoping my adult children wait a very long time to procreate because I don't think I'm cut out for hands on grandparenting after all. I love this peace of empty nest far more than I imagined.

Confessional #25787377

The thought of being an empty nester with my hubby is sickening

Confessional #25778505

Other symptoms seem to include: relief that there’s finally enough time for yourself and not wanting to be alone with your spouse.

Empty nest stinks. DC come home and we are “so going to do this or that Mom but they are on their phones, catching up on shows, meeting up w friends, no conversation...I know it’s probably normal but it still hurts.”

Confessional #25761749

22 year old son moved out today. I thought I wouldn’t feel sad at all, like I was immune to the empty nest syndrome. Talked about not missing him eating everything in the pantry and making messes . I’ve been kidding myself. I want my baby back.

Confessional #25106987

Even after I was an empty nester, I maintained a very close relationship with my daughter and son. If either of their significant others tried split that bond, I would off them. Noone comes between me and my kids.

Confessional #25096080

My DH and I are empty nesters. If I divorced him my kids would be heartbroken. Same reason I don’t put down their beloved 18 year old cat who pisses everywhere. Actually the cat is more tolerable than DH.

Confessional #24924957

The plus sides to an empty nest are much lower grocery bills, fewer messes, less laundry, and less guilt over buying things you want for yourself just because. And who knows, the kitchen sink might actually be tolerable and not a place where anxiety goes to die. For awhile, anyway.

The negatives, aside from the obvious grief and subsequent adjustment period: remembering how to function with your spouse when it’s just the two of you again. Though some people find a way…

For the past couple of months, when MIL calls H to see if he can take her to the store, he doesn't answer. Because we're in bed fucking like teenagers, and don't want to be bothered. Let us enjoy our empty nest on the weekends, FFS! We've earned this!

Confessional #22188804

My husband has put his hands on me 6 times in our 36 yr marriage. We’re empty nesters now and I told him if it ever happens again I’ll kick his balls up into his body and have his ass arrested

Confessional #23917377

DH and I got married at 17. Had 5 children by 25. He insisted on having them when we were young. Now at 48 we are empty nesters and it is so refreshing. Downsized to a 2 BR. Glad that at least one of us had some foresight.

Confessional #20673600

The one advantage of having my son at age 20 is that I am already an empty nester. And it is GLORIOUS!

Confessional #17571445

about 8 years from empty nest. great kids but I wonder what to do when I no longer homeschool them. have not worked in over 20yrs-sahm/homeschool.loved it, but lost myself in the process. I still wonder what might have been had I pursued job-not marriage

Confessional #16980821

If you’re struggling with an empty nest, you’re valid in those feelings. If you’re grieving your kids’ absence while also enjoying a little free time, a little “me” time—you’re 100% valid and deserving of that too!

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