P for Parting – The Woes of an Empty Nest


The A to Z Challenge officially closed in April and I am still hanging around in mid May at only half the series. No regrets, may the challenge rest in peace. And may I continue the series on relationships until the Mr. & Mrs. of my series find solace in Z one day!

I still remember how home felt twenty years before, when my sister for the first time left home to stay in a college hostel. An empty nest, as it is commonly called, comes like a shock to the rest of the family. Mom was the one who suffered the most. I still had my school and friends. Dad still had his work and colleagues. However, to mom, being away from her first born for the first time was unbearable. Her melancholy vibrated through our walls and that one waited call from my sister on the home landline the first weekend meant so precious.

You have just reached home after leaving your teenager at the hostel. You can now sit facing each other in the dining table, without the choosy, picky, whiny toddler demanding for that one food which you have never tried before; without a bunch of noisy little people fighting over who got the big piece of the cake and without the constant buck buck buck cross talking which has never let you complete a sentence to each other. At around 45 or 50, perhaps you both have all the time to talk when your kids leave home. Yet, this could be a phase when you do not know what to talk, other than how home is without children and how worried you are thinking of the life on their own.

In your 30s, when your children were little, you two wished you had this time. Ha, I very much wish now 😉 Yet, by the time your wish is granted, you are likely to wish the buck buck buck back in life. Life’s ironies are indeed ironical! The role of your children had become so central in your lives all these years that the relationship between you two has taken a back seat behind the bonding within the family as a whole.

Now that they are out from your cocoon hands, let the dormant connection between you two revive. It may not seem romantic nor can you make love like a teenager. Planning a movie date or a picnic may feel joyless without the big family. I’ve heard my mom say how festivals at home lost their glow after my sister and I left home. And how even everyday cooking felt dull. It shall take sometime to get started again to live together alone after your children move out of the home. Your partner could appear terribly boring if you ignore his presence the same way as you did when your children were around. Yet, reviving a new companionship in each other at this age and stage is vital to the calm going of the rest of your lives. 

You could have missed much to do during the busy parenting years. Well, you may certainly not get back to everything that you missed. Health, ageing and change in interests and circumstances can have a say on your present times. But, you can do little things together to bring back some warmth into your empty nest. Have coffee together. Talk less about people. Quarrel less. Begin to laugh more. Visit friends and family. Discuss books. Make some travel discoveries. Pursue your hobbies. Have a retake of your wedding album. Whatever it takes, recreate a strong base with each other for you’ll be living a second pre-parenthood life from here on. 

Other posts in the A to Z series:

The Mr. & The Mrs. – The Evolution

A for Attraction – Why we fall in for Who we fall in?

B for Butterflies – The Stage is all Set!

C for Commitment – Stepping Across the First Line of Control

D for Dating – The Fairy Tale Begins…

E for Expose – Here enters the Family

F for Farewell – Goodbye Brahmacharyam!

G for Grihastha – The Mr. & the Mrs.

H for Honeymoon – The Happily Ever After

I for I Openings – Welcome to Reality

J for Joust – The First Fight

K for Kids – No longer the Husband & the Wife

L for Lost – The Lost Art of Making Love

M for Midlife Reflections – Is he/she the right partner for you?

N for Nesting – Coming to terms…..at 40

O for Old, yet not too Old – The Want of a Companionship

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