Empty Nest Syndrome on the horizion.....HELP!!!!

Updated on November 15, 2006
A.W. asks from Pikesville, MD
13 answers

I am a single parent, who has been divorced over 10 years and has been out of the dating scene for 7 plus years. I have devoted my life to raising my daughter and thank God daily because she has turned out to be an amazing teenager. She about to leave for college next year and I am already going through early stages of empty nest syndrome. She is going away to school and the thought SCARES ME...not because she won't do well but because I will now be alone.

In the past few years I have started working on my career and went back to school. But that's it...my daughter, parenting, work, school, church and home. I have no life outside of that. School is coming to an end for me in May 07 and my child leaves in August 07.

I feel LOST...any advice.

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answers from Scranton on

i have not gone through this but i would suggest dating or just hang out with friends. Don't look at it as if you baby is leaving home look at it as a chance to feel like you are 18 again. It will be upsetting and there is nothing wrong with missing her. But think of all the things you can do now like go out with friends till 3 am or take trips to far away exotic places.

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answers from Philadelphia on

You should pat yourself on the back, hold your head up high and realize that now is the time for you. You have done a great job raising your daughter and doing for her all these years. Your daughter is moving on to a new, independent chapter in her life so now its time for you to do more for you.

Get involved in singles groups in the area, join match.com or e-harmony and make some friends. Does your church have any groups for singles? Join the gym, go on a singles cruise. Enjoy your life.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I went through that when my oldest daughter moved out. Fortunately, it was close to home. That changed, though. Her fiance' finished college and is an Architect. He has an internship to complete, and found one--in Florida! We went on vacation prior to him being offered this job, and my daughter didn't want to tell me as it would ruin my vacation. When we came home, she told me--and they were leaving in two weeks! I cried and cried! I thought the end of my world had come. My oldest and I are very close as I was a divorced and single Mom up to 6 1/2 years ago. Well, she moved, and they are doing wonderful! She transferred her credits to a college there and has started her third year. Her boyfriend continued his education and will have his Master's this year. The company he works for is not only wonderful to him, but to my daughter, as well. They are like an adopted family! They are in a beautiful area (Coral Gables.).

It's very very very hard, at first. My best advice would be to get a web cam with a microphone and get on it every single night. That helped me so much!

Now, I have a five-year daughter that I will have to go through this all over again. I may need your advice, then! LOL.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Scranton on

First, I want to congratulate you on being an obviously devoted mother! So many mothers these days are more worried about themselves than their children! It sounds like your daughter will continue to grow into a great individual just like you, I'm sure. Lord knows we need more respectable people in this difficult world!! Although I am not facing the "empty nest syndrome", as my son is only 2, I am always looking for things to do while my son is asleep. I started scrapbooking, which is a really relaxing and rewarding hobby! (Besides, if ever you are missing your "little girl", you will be looking at pictures of her constantly to help you feel closer to her!) I find it so rewarding to see the finished product of all our priceless memories. In addition, it allows you to view all your favorite photos in a unique way. It's fun to have family over and show them your albums as masterpeices!! If that doesn't work, or maybe you are not the craftsy type, you could always try scheduling special mother-daughter time if you are needing to see her. Just think, from what I have been told by other mother's, they always come back to do laundry:) Good luck, and I wish you and your daughter lots of happiness, and I'm sure that she will be missing you just as much as you will miss her!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I say enjoy the time you have to yourself. You can email and call your daughter. It seems scary to be alone, but do some fun things you like to do. Maybe there is something you in the past thought of doing, but never had the time to do it. You could start working out,join a singles group or devote more time to work and church.



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi A.,

I agree with one of the other responses. Meetup.com is a wonderful way to meet new people. You can even start your own group called "Empty Nest Syndrome Support Group". I started one called the "Delaware County Parents Who Work From Home" group. It has been a great way to meet new people with similar interests. I am an Independnent Consultant for Arbonne International (www.arbonne.com) and I am having a blast meeting new people and sharing our wonderful skin care!

Good Luck!



answers from Reading on

there are many things you could do, one of them being getting involved with the foster care program. That's currently what i'm doing. I love it and i enjoy meeting all the kids and being able to help them out. I know you hear of all the horror stories baout the kids and the system, but the agency that I go through is very good. since there are so many children in the system you can give guidelines as to what type of child you will accept. it is a very rewarding program ad the training that is avaliable and the support is overwhelming. you will never have to worry about being alone or not haveing someone there and you dont have to worry about the expense of having a foster child as everything is taken care of. If this doesnt interest you then you could always get a pup or a cat to raise.



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi A.,

I think you should check out Meetup.com That website has a ton of groups that you can join. They have walking groups, dog lover groups, mother groups, political groups, cooking groups, new to the area groups...you get the idea.

It's free to join the website and most groups are free too and it's a great way to meet new people!

Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi A.,
I know exactly what you are going through. My son graduates this year and is leaving for college and my daughter graduates next year and is doing the same thing. I started the empty nest syndrome early. Even though I am married, I cry at night because I feel like I am losing my babies. There is nothing we can really do because I want them to do what they want for their future. Just make the best of the times while you child is home now. Keep the bond close.



answers from Philadelphia on


I am a single woman who owns her own business. I volunteer every Tuesday night with The End Violence Project (we work with ex-offenders to help them create new futures).

My social life is busy.

Here are some resources:

The White Dog Cafe in University City is a great place to go. They have a quarterly newsletter full of events hosted at the cafe: speakers, poets, story telling. May people attend alone.

The International House in University City has many events, movies, music, international food an cultural events.

You can find them on the internet.

There is Landmark Education Corporation where you can take courses in breakthrough thinking. These courses are great for people who are in transition. These courses are AWESOME. There is an introduction next Wed. from 7 p.m. - 10:15 p.m. at 105 S. 7th St. in Philly. I am going with a friend who wants to register for the core course called, "The Landmark Forum." If you would like to meet us there, let me know.

Also, there are so many organizations in the region.

You can take dance lessons-so many things to do. Just convince yourself that it is ok to go out alone.


R. Ginsburg
[email protected]____.com



answers from Sharon on

Hi A.,
I am having the empty nest syndrome feeling myself. I have two teenagers, and one pre-teen. Two of mine are getting ready to move out and go on with their lives. I get really scared sometimes. I think more so for myself than for them. I know i have raised them the best that i could and have instilled in them all the necessary things to go out and make a good life for themselves. I just feel like i am not going to know what to do without them. I was a single/divorced single parents for a good ten years. I am engaged now. I have enrolled myself in a program with a local therapist. She is helping me work through alot of this. I would have never pictured myself seeing a therapist but she really does offer me some very helpful suggestions about my future/ with the kids all on their own. She also gives me good things to think about, instead of all the gloomy depressing things i think about. And, another way to look at all of this.....Maybe when the kids move out, it is our BREAK TIME before we someday get Grandchildren? I don't know. I guess i wasn't very helpful, but i do know how you feel. Hang in there.



answers from York on

My daughter is only 9, but I think about this a lot! We are so close and I know it will be hard. I do scrapbooking also and if you contact a Creative Memories consultant or a local scrapbooking store, they have "crop" times that you can get together with other moms and work on your books.
Reach out to people at your job and church and I am sure you'll make new friends and find some new activities.
Best of luck, It will get better!



answers from Washington DC on

A. The only thing i can tell you is what my mom did. I had gotten a dog and when i left i was going to take my dog my mom told me that she was going to tell me the same thing she told my dad when he left. The dog cat and kid stay till the kid wants to go but the pets always stay. Well in 2002 when i left she and the "dog" that she was not so fond of started sleeping in bed together and going to dog beaches. She and bear were two peas in a pod. I got married in 2004 and she stoped working due to a illness. Last January my huband and i moved back in due to problems with my pregency and in may bear got blood cancer and was put down but in August we had Morgan. We are trying to build a house and will be moving out again in a year or two but she says she will have another dog by then. Sorry this is so long but the point to my story is that you might need to get a pet or my best friends mom can not have pets so she adoupted a family at social services to help. she would help with gifts for holidays and food, but she also spent time taking them to church and having them over or going to the park. Your daughter is just that YOUR daughter and if she is like most daughters she will come back at some point if it is just for a short visit or for 2 years with your grandchild. All i know is i would not be the mother i am today if it were not for the way my mother raised me. I hope this helps.

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