Manners Matter: Empty Nester Dilemma

Dear Mary Pat,

My husband and I just dropped our youngest child at college. He’s our sixth and his oldest sibling is 32 so it’s been a long time since the house has been this quiet. It’s been less than a week but I’m struggling a little. It helps me to know that our son loves his school and his roommate. It was such a busy summer with him working and then getting him packed up and now I can’t seem to find enough to fill the day. How long will I feel this way?


Empty Nester

Appleton, Wis.


Dear Empty Nester,

It’s different for everyone but you should start to feel better soon. You might want to take this time to splash out a bit. If you are like most mothers, you’ve put your children first for all these years and now you’ve got the time to focus on yourself and your husband. Plan a weekend getaway or even just a date night with a dinner out. Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do and never had the time whether it’s learning how to golf, volunteering or auditioning for a musical. You’re only limited by your imagination.

Your son is just a phone call or FaceTime chat away. Check in with him from time to time but let him have a chance to miss you too. In the meantime, it’s OK to shed a few tears if you need. He will be home for fall break before you know it and by then your normal routine will hopefully be full of some great new things.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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