By Nerissa Hosein. It is very hard for someone when the root of their identity starts to evolve and forces them to change with it. For the last nine years, I have been a stay-at-home mom. This was never my intention, but you know what they say, you make plans and God laughs. My children are still young, but when they first started school or head back out to school after vacation, I grieve as though I’m dealing with Empty Nest Syndrome.
A working independent woman
When I got pregnant with my first son nine years ago, I was a working woman. I had been that way for years ever since I left high school. I was accustomed to being independent and had no plans to stay at home and give up my career just because I was going to have a child.
At home with my newborn
Right after I had my son through a painful C-section, the company I worked for had closed. I found myself at home with my newborn. It was very hard at first. I was 27 and had never been around babies much. I felt as though I was going to fail. My husband and I decided I would take a year off and spend time with our son to nurture and care for him.
It was all new to me and I felt scared. But, little by little, I figured it out and all too soon, the time was up and we decided to extend it. We had no family to watch our son full time and I certainly did not want to put him in daycare so we decided it was best for me to stay with him until he started preschool. It was a time I grew to cherish. Those three years were us two alone, learning and growing. I felt so happy, I did not want it to end. But it did.
Hard to let him go
Soon, he was off to school and my son was very independent at his young age, so he adapted well. I think when he started school, I had a harder time dealing with it than he did. I was attached, so it was hard for me to let him go. I felt sadness as if I was experiencing Empty Nest Syndrome even though my son would return home from school.
Within that same year, my grandfather had died and shortly after I was pregnant again. I stayed at home for a few more years happily to raise my second son. By that time, I was a pro at it and I cherished my time with him even more than I did the first time.
He was a bit more dependent on me than my first. He was a different child altogether and needed more attention, comfort and love. I was all too happy to give it to him.
Crying alone many nights
Again, time flew by and before he was set to start school, I found myself crying alone many nights. At first, I could not pinpoint the problem. I thought something was wrong with me. But, in the back of my mind, I knew this was my last few months of having him home constantly with me. I had no plans to have another child, so I knew that was the end. I was no longer going to be a stay-at-home mom. When he started school, he struggled to adjust, being so attached to me, it was hard. Once again, I was dealing with the feelings of loss related to Empty Nest Syndrome.
Road to Empty Nest Syndrome
I felt as though I was losing a job that I really loved. I knew I was still a mom, but to me it signified the beginning of a very long road full of changes that would eventually lead to them leaving the nest. From baby to three years, it was really my alone time with them. It was my moment to cuddle and spend all the moments that I could with them. Now it was time for them to start on this road of life, where little by little they will need me less.
For my now nine-year-old son, he barely calls my name to do anything for him. While I’m so proud of how much he has accomplished on his own, I do miss the days when he would come for cuddles next to me in the early morning hours. My almost five-year-old still calls on me often enough, but not as much as he did. In a few years, they would be leaving the nest.
The nesting period is over
As a mother, you want your child to succeed and be happy, but it is very hard to let them go. It is very hard to know your nesting period is over and you must now watch them fly to their own journey. It hurts, but it is the nature of life. Some people have a difficult time dealing with Empty Nest Syndrome and end up seeking professional help. Always remember that kids are only young for a short time, so spend every moment you can with them, because all too soon they’re off on their own adventure.
October 2017 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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