We are slowly creeping up on September, which means a lot of students are heading to (or back to) university, and in many cases that means leaving their parents’ home. For some, this is the first time these students have flown the coop, which is definitely an adjustment for everyone involved. Parents won’t know what to do with all the time they save by not doing their children’s laundry, children won’t know what to do with their time saved not showing their parents how to use Netflix (again).
Sure, some parents go through stages of sadness or loneliness when their children leave home for the first time, and it’s understandable – it’s a huge adjustment. But once the initial shock wears off, this leaves time for parents to consider all of the benefits that come with having an empty, or emptier nest.
1. Improved Relationships: Ever heard the saying “distance makes the heart grow fonder”? Of course you have, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or on the moon, with your fingers in your ears and your eyes tightly shut. The saying is popular because it’s true, and can be totally applied to a family member moving out. Sometimes houses can get cramped, and can feel smothering from the child’s perspective. “Where were you?” “Who were you with?” “Did you put a dent in the Camry?” Questions like these make children feel trapped, especially when they know they’re going to get the third degree if they don’t respond. Once they’re out of close proximity, they start to realize that in most cases, these questions (or interrogations) were meant with genuine concern, and weren’t meant to be smothering. But it takes time and distance for those things to become clear. It also means that when time is spent together in the future, it’s by choice and not by obligation. Obligation can turn an otherwise healthy relationship between parent and child into toxic sludge. Also, nothing beats the joy of getting a phone call from a child, just “cause they felt like it”.
2. Time For Yourself (Finally): Think about all that time spent driving children to/from places, or cleaning up their mess, or cleaning their mess after they “clean” it. Suddenly there’s this gap of time in your day that would otherwise be spent catering to your spawn. How about a new hobby? How about a spa day? How about buying that gym membership you just haven’t had the time for? So many options just opened up!
3. Getting The Right Amount of Groceries: How about all that time spent in the grocery store wondering “is Jimmy going to be home for dinner tomorrow night? Do I need to pick up a 12 pack of drumsticks or just 6? Do I need to get a 2L of milk or will it just go bad?” this is real time, and real money, and if little Jimmy isn’t home to eat all these groceries that were lovingly purchased for him, they will go to waste. Now you have time to know exactly what you need because you know exactly who will be using it.
4. Romance? What’s That?: This falls under “time for yourself” but it also falls into the category of “time for your partner”, finally a chance to have a second honeymoon, or finally time to go meet someone new! Raising and worrying about children is extremely time consuming, that romance and other relationships tend to take the back seat. Well, no more! Book a trip, go on some dates, spice things up because you finally can!
5. Re-Fill The Nest, Make Some Money: For some parents, when they lose a child to university, it means there’s a spare bedroom and an opportunity to house exchange students. This is a smart option for extra income, and to get cultured about other parts of the world. There are always students from around the world looking to study abroad, and are generally better behaved than your own children. It doesn’t have to be an empty nest if you don’t want it to be, but you might want it to be!
As a parting gift to your offspring, take one thing off their plate before you let them fend for themselves. Sign up for RentMoola so that they don’t have to worry about writing a check to their landlord or property manager each month, and so they can take advantage of our exclusive MoolaPerks program that gives RentMoola members deals and discounts to brands they love! Log in or sign up free!