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Empty Nest Syndrome

Community Member
I have been crying uncontrollably for the past few weeks as my two eldest sons have moved out at within a few weeks of each other. My home has gone from noisy, chaotic, social to just me and my youngest 16 year old who spends most of his time in his room. I am feeling an unbearable grief and feeling that i have lost the family life for ever. I don't know how to cook for just one, to care for just one and just feel empty. Divorced a few years ago so feeling completely alone even though my youngest is here. I have felt grief before but this the worst I have experienced. I have read up on this syndrome and it talks about finding hobbies but I don't want other hobbies. My family was my purpose and what I live for. I have a fullltime job but always did that for my family. I am so desperately sad that I can't sleep.
4 Replies 4

Hi Sadmums,

We are sorry to hear that you have been struggling with such heavy feelings since having your two eldest sons move out. We understand that this would have been such a huge change for you, so please know that you never have to go through this alone, and support is always here for you.

If you would like to talk to someone, the Beyond Blue Support Service is available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.

Please feel free to keep reaching out here on your thread whenever you feel up to it.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Sadmums,

I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. One thing I could see so clearly from your post is how much you love and care for your family. That is a beautiful thing. I know it feels very hard in this moment, I have also heard of others going through challenging adjustment periods as it is getting used to a new way of life.

I think during this time it is most important to take care of yourself and make sure you feel supported during this time of change. Do you have a good support system around you or someone who you can speak to about how you are feeling?

Finding new hobbies is something a lot of people say to do when children leave the home but sometimes it's easier said than done because I can understand that it can be incredibly difficult to adjust.

Please keep us updated, we are here for you

Community Champion
Community Champion


Welcome to the forum. I am sorry you are feeling this way and know when my children moved not just away but a long way I wondered what would happen. One does feel the loss.

Are you sons living close enough to be able to maybe invite them for a family dinner once a week.?

I acknowledge the intensity of your pain. There may be no easy solutions.

There have been so many changes this year and this change for you is very hard. The description of your household sounded so welcoming and for someone who loves cooking for others and having a noisy social friendly house, the silence is difficult.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi sadmums,

I can imagine how confronting it must be to go from a noisy, chaotic house to a suddenly silent one, which must just magnify your feeling of loss even more. But the reality is that you haven’t lost your sons at all, they are going out into the world like you have devoted your life getting them ready for, but they will always be your boys and they will always need you. I know both I and my parents appreciated our changed and more mature relationship. You might see them less for the first few years but they will come back and you will find yourself doing things like having weekly meals. And then they will bring their partners, and then you will have grandchildren etc. I suggest you lure them back with the promise of a a weekly home-cooked meal, make it a tradition. But I do think that this is highlighted that your family can’t be your one and only purpose in life, you need to develop hobbies and interests that you do just for you. It may take some time to find what it is that fills your soul but you will find it. And if you love a loud and chaotic household, you could consider adopting a dog or even fostering a child? It’s clear that you have a lot of love to give, maybe your life’s purpose lies within there?