4 Responses to “What Do Caregiving and an Empty Nest Have in Common?”

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  1. I have indeed been through all the phases that you talk about and continue to experience care giving even as I write this. With particular reference to the empty nest, our son went to boarding school when he was 9 years old and was away for four years except for the vacations. That got us to live in empty nests. After he graduated, he left again for a whole year on a job far away but returned to us to give us heart breaks all over again. We had to give care to him in his recovery but he stayed with us with two breaks of six months each to go over seas. After his divorce six years ago, he moved back with us and now stays with me. I continue to give care to him as well as to my father, and my home is one of those odd places with three generations of single men living under one roof with one male being the house husband. I long for the day that I can go and live all alone in my own nest leaving my son to live in his.

  2. Dear Rummuser,

    Yes, your current household is highly unusual with three generations of single men living under one roof! I think you may want to write a book about that experience. 🙂 My hope is that you all provide comfort and support for one another, even if living together is trying at times, as is true in all families.

    You have gone through many permutations of the Empty Nest, and thank you for reminding me that our empty nest may not stay that way for long. I know that more and more young people return home multiple times (as your son has) due to their career and life journeys. I must admit that I am adjusting to, and starting to enjoy more, the quiet in the house.

    Thank you for your wise perspective! Best of luck to you!

  3. A.Shier

    Some info about me. I and my husband moved 2000km, from the place we raised our kids, back to our home area. My son stayed to persue his career, my daughter came with us for a year, but then left for school. I am post menopausal. I have a full time job. So new house, new people, new everything. Elderly parents, my husbands near by, my Mom 2 hours away.
    I am done! I love my job, but my spouse seems to think that my past family caregiving duties should be the same. I have patiently waited a year for small changes. We finally has a discussion, on equal help for each other, and he drops the “D”bomb. Divorce. Please know this is just after a month since his Mom passed away.
    We have been married 25 years. I am crushed. We are still living together, and he has apologized. But its stuck in my head.
    Its hard enough with empty nest, and adjusting to a new life, but no friends, and nobody to talk to. Tough!

  4. Hi A.Shier,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. No one prepares us for these tough parts of life, do they? It can absolutely suck!! (technical term, eh?) 🙂

    Aside from trying the tips above, if you need to, can you ask your doctor for a therapist to speak with? Or do you is there a church with clergy to counsel you and/or your husband? Some health insurance plans cover counseling here but I don’t think you live in the US by your use of km. 😉 Some large companies also offer counseling for employees under an Employee Assistance Plan — is that an option?

    Or are there any new work colleagues that you feel can become friends with? Even just making one friend will help greatly in my observations.

    I’m trying to figure out who in your new world you can connect with. So many women go through these hard transitions at mid-life, so I know you are not alone! It’s just a matter of finding even one person to confide in. Are there any type of women’s support groups in your area you can try?

    Moving is stressful enough, but then add on your additional challenges, and you’re really in a tough situation. I do hope you can find someone there to share your feelings with and come up with ways to get you through these difficult times!

    Hang in there, and I wish you the best. Try to do something to make yourself happy each and every day, and take one day at a time. And remember, this too shall pass!

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