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Delayed empty nest syndrome

(36 Posts)
Foxgloveandroses Sun 09-Aug-20 09:45:56

I hadn't children in my early 20's, I hadn't left the small country town I grew up in so I was encouraging and excited about mine going off to university and starting a new life elsewhere.
10 years on, I've hit menopause and they live 5 hrs drive away from me and I miss them so much. I think about it everyday.. goodness knows what I'll be like if I have grandchildren one day.
I live in a beautiful part of the UK I love living here and my husband would never move.
I'm finding in the menopause I'm more maternal than I've ever been before! What's happening to me? I feel like I'm going mad 😔

Foxgloveandroses Sun 09-Aug-20 09:47:00

That should be I had my children in my early 20's.

BlueSky Sun 09-Aug-20 10:20:46

Yes Foxglove wait when you have grandchildren and you go through all those stages again!

Nortsat Sun 09-Aug-20 10:26:32

Foxglove menopause is a strange landscape.
Be kind to yourself. 💐

Juicylucy Sun 09-Aug-20 10:45:35

There is a wonderful menopause Dr online she gives great advise and has just set up a platform for you to seek help/ advise etc. It’s called Balance by Louise Newson. Definitely worth a look.

NanaPlenty Sun 09-Aug-20 10:52:04

Menopause can make you feel all sorts of things - use all sorts of alternative therapies and see what helps. I sympathise with the late empty nest. I wasn’t particularly maternal as a young mum but now I’m sixty and the empty nest feeling has kicked in big time! Thank heavens for FaceTime - I know it’s not quite the same as visiting but it keeps you feeling close.

Greta8 Sun 09-Aug-20 10:55:02

It's so hard when you get these feelings. I think that while the whole menopause issue is widely debated, the empty nest is swept under the carpet. All one can do is battle on - I never thought I'd suffer from empty nest but have had had two episodes of it - the first when my daughter moved out and was about two and a half hours away. She then moved home a few years later for about six months. I then had another bout of it after she married and contact was much diminished. We lived about an hour and a half away from her at this point. We were like you, we lived in a beautiful area of the country and had a lovely home and garden. But I was so unhappy. I even considered going back to work (I was retired by this point), had lovely longstanding friends, but nothing helped. My daughter was an only child, (I had her in my thirties) and it was so hard to see the in-laws take over (they lived much nearer) - even to the stage of going on holidays abroad with them. It wasn't ever a money thing - we have been very generous towards them.

Then one day I drove to meet her for coffee - and she said how much she missed us and would we consider moving? I had misread the situation and hadn't realised how she had been feeling about not seeing us often. The upshot was that last year we moved nearer - we're about half an hour away now. It's great - and we now see our grandson who was born around the time we moved.

There's no easy answer for these issues, but as others have said, be kind to yourself. Try and find some nice distractions.

Newatthis Sun 09-Aug-20 11:01:16

Menopause - hot flushes, mood swings, very tearful days, etc etc - all this when we are waving goodbye to our children (for the first time maybe) who are leaving for university or getting married or just flying the nest. It is hardly surprising you feel the way you do, I'm sure many of us have felt or feel the same. you are not alone nor are you going mad. Try to find things that are just for you, take up a new hobby or something that will occupy your mind. We are all with you on this.

4allweknow Sun 09-Aug-20 11:03:53

You are only feeling what most parents feel when their offspring have flown the nest, nothing to do with the menopause. I had 3 children in my 20s. My DD left for Uni and two years later my twin sons left. Talk about empty nest. Such a change to my life. I kept in touch by phone and the occasional meet up. At end of term time no-one came home apart from a quick visit at Christmas, they all holiday jobs. After Uni they all scattered even further afield so my children basically left hone at 18. GC are many miles away. You will survive, finding new interests, perhaps travel a bit and of course you will still have contact with your family no matter how far away they may be. It's not the menopause - it's life!

Quaver22 Sun 09-Aug-20 11:15:06

I agree with 4allweknow. I think that the empty nest feeling isn’t to do with menopause. I miss my son and grandchildren dreadfully and they live half way across the world. I wish my daughter had a similar fulfilling life but, since the age of 12 (she is now in her 30s) she has been almost bed ridden with ME. My dreariest wish is that some day she will be well enough to leave home and have her independence.
I know this might sound unfeeling but if your children are healthy and are enjoying life be grateful !

Quaver22 Sun 09-Aug-20 11:16:03

dearest wish!

quizqueen Sun 09-Aug-20 11:24:01

Get a pet to give some care and affection to and do lots of activities with your husband. I bet you barely gave your own parents a second thought when you left home.....it's called being an independent grown up.

soos45 Sun 09-Aug-20 11:44:33

Having left my family inthe UK for a move to S Africa in the 1980's, I would have been hypocritical to want my children not to spread their wings and move abroad. They are both happy in their new countries with jobs and partners. However, the empty nest part has really hit home with the Corona Virus preventing travel...we message and Skype, but the distance between us really feels enormous now. All I can do is hope for an end and be able to jump on a plane to go and see them.

Juliet27 Sun 09-Aug-20 11:48:27

With or without the menopause, empty nest syndrome is awful and even worse when both your children have moved to the other side of the world and you’ve no idea if Covid will ever allow you to see them again.. I would be lost without my affectionate little dog to cuddle!!

sodapop Sun 09-Aug-20 11:53:26

Sorry Foxgloveandroses I have to agree with others on here. Don't fret about missing your family but be grateful you have done a good parenting job and they are settled and happy.
Of course you miss them but there are so many things you could be doing with your life. At least there will be when things are less restrictive. I think being cooped up at the moment has made us all a bit introspective and fretful.

BlueSky Sun 09-Aug-20 11:53:48

Agree with quizqueen and soos45 being in a similar situation.

NemosMum Sun 09-Aug-20 11:58:28

I agree with quizqueen - get a pet. Preferably a rescue dog. It will be good for your health in many ways, and you will have given the dog a loving home. I wouldn't be surprised if it helped with your menopausal symptoms as well to have a small creature dependent on you. You might think I'm kidding here, but I'm not: get gardening. These feelings will subside and you will be ready to engage in the next phase of life. There's lots of lovely things left to do after children have flown the nest.

MissAdventure Sun 09-Aug-20 11:59:17

I think perhaps the menopause can evoke feelings about not being able to produce children anymore.

So I've heard, anyway.

I was just thrilled at the idea of spontaneous sex without any worries.

Anniebach Sun 09-Aug-20 12:01:54

I am way past the menopause but am struggling with empty
nest. My elder daughter married and lived ten minute walk from me, they had three children and I saw them all every day. My daughter died two and half years ago and my three
grandchildren moved away after the funeral only 50 miles
and in regular contact but I miss the daily chats and laughter.

Horatia Sun 09-Aug-20 12:06:11

Quaver 22 I am sorry to hear about your daughter's ME. I wish her the very best for the future. My daughter has had ME too since she was a teenager and she is in her 40s now.

Foxgloveandroses Sun 09-Aug-20 12:07:56

Oh Anniebach I'm so sorry to hear this... 😔

Foxgloveandroses Sun 09-Aug-20 12:09:20

Thank you everyone for your posts they are all helping me so much. 🙏

Sadgrandma Sun 09-Aug-20 12:18:47

Foxglovesandroses
The menopause can cause all sorts of strange problems and not seeing your children as often as you'd like must be very hard. Quizqueen's advice on getting a pet is a good idea as it could give you something to nurture, or perhaps, once schools go back, perhaps you would be able to volunteer to hear children read, or help at a playgroup or something if conditions allow then. One thing I can assure you of is, if and when your children have children, you will see much more of them. I see see much more of my daughter now since my beautiful granddaughter was born. Be patient, keep busy and things will change. Don't forget that you need to make an effort to though.

oldmom Sun 09-Aug-20 16:21:24

Menopause is an issue even when the nest is still occupied.
I had my son in my late 30s. Now he's 7, and I'm experiencing early onset peri-menopause.

I think menopause is like retirement. Find a new hobby or occupation to fill your mind and take up your energy. Something to direct your thoughts outwards, away from yourself. If something previously in your life leaves a gap, you need to find something meaningful to fill the gap. Turn an empty bedroom into a craft room/ studio/ workroom, or build a she she'd in the garden. Something just for yourself.

Chaitriona Sun 09-Aug-20 18:19:22

Horatia and Quaver 22. Greetings. Another mother with a daughter with ME here. Very severely affected from teenage years to mid thirties. Many years bedridden. Now able to live independently though still ill. Hugs to you both.