Dealing With My Empty Nest Syndrome (¡But Still Una Mama!)

Posted: Apr 21 2014

You’ve been a mama now for at least 18 years. You’ve loved almost every second of it – well, except when your niños were sick or when you had to give them la chancla for misbehaving. And now, your kids have all grown up, gone to college or found jobs and they’ve moved out….gone.

You walk through the house and look into their old bedrooms. You look at your esposo and ask him if he remembers when your little Sonia won that award for the Spanish Spelling Bee. Of course he does! He misses your kids just as much as you do. You grab a dust cloth and wipe the dust from the top of the desk or dresser. You scrub an imagined spot from a sports trophy...

¡Ay, Dios! You miss them so much. Are they eating right? Are your sons-in-law and daughters-in-law treating them right? Are they… well maybe you should make some caldo de pollo and take it to them, just in case. After all, you never know – a cold germ could get them and knock them down.

You’ll never stop being their mama. So if so – then it’s true - they’re adults now. They can take care of themselves.

Mama, you’re suffering from empty nest syndrome.

It’s hard. I know, because my oldest moved out. He’s been deployed and came back all in one piece. He’s married now and stationed only one state away! My youngest still lives at home, but he’s been making “I wanna move out” noises.

I’m not ready!

Ok, let me take that back. I am ready for the end of the messes. Messes in the kitchen, his room and in the bathroom. At the same time, I’ll miss them, just as much as I miss my niños. You probably believe the same thing I believe: Nobody can take care of them as well as I can… even if perhaps it’s not true…

Ok, So Dealing with It

What hobbies and activities do you have that are just yours alone? Crafts? Crochet? Knitting? Cross stitch? Do you volunteer somewhere? (As you can see I've become a part-time writer for Hispanic.com...) I like writing, and it gives me something to do...now (besides calling my sons...)!

Sounds hokey, but yes fellow mama, when the last one moves out, you’re going to need to have those activities ready to fill your time so your feelings of sadness and missing your kids won’t get too bad.

You want to be the kind of mama your kids will be happy to welcome to their homes. Your husband needs to have the same kinds of activities, like volunteering with kids who don’t have dads or for a sports team.

And just think - if your kids are starting to have kids of their own, you’ll be “abuelita” or even “Lita” before too long! And you’ll have some new kids to pass on your love! See? It isn’t all that bad…

-Barbara Alvarez

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