Parenting, although fulfilling and rewarding, can take up a lot of time and energy. So, over the years you might put some of your own needs, wants, and goals to one side – perhaps unconsciously. You might also have become adjusted to seeing yourself only as a parent, rather than an individual too.
For this reason, it can help to try and look at your children leaving home as an opportunity to focus more on yourself, and to see this new phase of life as your time. It might be a while since you’ve asked yourself questions such as: what am I really passionate about? Am I happy? What are my goals and ambitions? Or, what really makes me tick?
Maybe there’s a hobby or an interest that you haven’t tapped into since before you had children that you’d love to get involved with again – and having extra space in your home can often make that much easier.
For instance, if you’d love to start drawing or painting, then perhaps you could convert a spare room into a quiet space for you to explore your talent. Or, if you don’t have a pastime that you want to reignite again, then you could always try out some new ones – for example, you could learn a language, start a blog, or take up photography.
When it comes to reconnecting with yourself and discovering more about who you are, or who you want to be during this next phase of your life, there’s also a lot of power in taking up a solo pursuit. Finding something you love and that you’re happy to do alone will allow you to be yourself, set your own itinerary, and be free from the expectations of others – all of which go a long way in helping to strengthen the relationship that you have with yourself.
If you’re keen to discover some new interests, you might find it useful to have a look at the learning, travel, and food and drink sections of our website.
Now could also be a good time to really invest in your health and fitness – something that many of us let slide when we’re caring for others. The general health and fitness and exercise sections of our website has lots of suggestions on ways that you could do this; such as finding creative ways to get fit and have fun, as well as ways to boost your immune system.
It’s normal to feel somewhat lost after your children leave home; especially if you strongly identify with your role as a parent – as you might find it challenging to see yourself filling any other roles.
However, try to remember that your role as a parent will always exist; you’ll now just have more time to explore other interests and passions, and to learn more about who you are as an individual. Our article, 10 practices for self-exploration, has plenty of tips and advice on how to get started on your self-discovery journey.