Do You Suffer from Early Onset Empty Nest Syndrome?

empty nestDo you suffer from early onset empty nest syndrome? What the hell is that, you ask? It’s a term I coined to decribe the way I am feeling since school has started. For the first time in 8 years, I am alone -- completely alone. My baby is in full-day kindergarten and I have 7 hours to myself.

I thought it would be wonderful.

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I had dreams of sitting in my new house, writing, drinking coffee in peace, peeing in peace, enjoying a bowl of soup while it was still hot and maybe even finishing a thought, a phone call or putting away the laundry for the first time in years. I even let myself fantasize about a nap.

I had high hopes of drinking a cold glass of water free of little kid back wash, taking a hot shower -- and even of finally using the yoga pants I’ve been living in for the past 8 years to actually work out in.

I dreamt of all of this and more, but really all I’ve really done is feel alone. Yes, I did those other things too but apparently it is only a success when you do it under stress of children waking up or popping in or in-between, “Mommy, pleases." I need to run that damn mommy gauntlet to feel alive.

I feel empty. There is no satisfaction like a little one nuzzled under your arm asking you a million questions while you try to do any number of tasks. Life just tastes better to me when it’s covered in food, spit up, slobbery kisses and tiny hugs. I like the random love that I receive on a daily basis even if it does come with interruptions and a million unfinished projects. My time with my girls home all day seems unfinished. They’ve gone too quickly.

I found out the hard way that I prefer the crazy of my children’s chaos to the loneliness I feel right now. The house is too quiet; too clean; too empty. My mind is too quiet. My clothes too clean. My heart is too empty. I miss my kids and they are only 5 minutes away. What will I do when they head off to college?

Have you suffered from Early Onset Empty Nest Syndrome? Does it get better?


Image via Tink Tracy /Flickr

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