As so, when the time comes for your child to make that leap out of the nest, you must welcome this transition. It's a natural, positive step for the adult child to find a place in the world. Yes, "in the world" means outside of your house and your shared life. Away from you.
Perhaps you've noticed the conspicuous absence of children draped around the furniture and setting up shop in front of the television just when you want to sit down and watch your favorite shows. Take a look around. That man, sitting across from you...he looks...familiar. You know you know him, you just don't know how.
There are a lot of fun ways to refamiliarize yourself with your spouse, now that the house is free of younger people. In the past, you may have not felt completely at ease doing naked dances in the living room, knowing there were children in the house. But now you can express yourself freely without fear of impressionable youngsters wondering what the hell Mom is getting up to with the scarves and the feathers. Also, there are no more limitations on when or where you can engage in sexual activities with your partner.
Some nests don't stay empty. Some of you are probably looking over at your 22-year-old son sitting on the sofa eating Cheetos, or watching as you 24-year-old daughter grabs her bag and heads out the door for a date, and you're thinking, "Empty Nest? What the hell is the author talking about?" Sorry! You only had a tiny taste of freedom. Wasn't that yummy? And now the kids are back.
We all know that rents are high; the cost of living has skyrocketed. It's tough for a young person to extricate himself from the comfort of the home fires. Maybe he came home after his college graduation, "just for a couple of months" while he got on his feet. And now you've all settled into a comfortable arrangement that doesn't appear to have an end in sight.
But are you making it a little too comfortable? I know he's no longer a child, and you may have qualms about setting house rules, but if your children get to use your house as a free crash pad, why would they ever leave?
You used to be able to count on your kids coming home for spring break and Christmas. But an adult child's marriage and/or partnership has caused them to inexplicably want their own lives and their own holidays. Away from their mother and father, who love them. Why, oh why?
As your children grow up and start living their own lives, they may not want to spend every Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve with you. Buck up. You could look at this as more time to spread your wings, too.