Something short of acceptance has taken hold since both my kids moved three times zones away and not near one another.
If you happen to be a member of the unpopular club of parents whose kids are on their way to work when you are at lunch, or still at work when you are starting to tuck in for the night, you know the many challenges of staying connected.
My acceptance about my boys’ transition to geographically challenging locations was seriously delayed. I was sure it would be temporary. Once I realized that their new homes were not a trial but a reality, I began to realize I needed to change my attitude.
After the initial two to three-year shock, I dried off my tears, bucked up and took hold of myself.
To manage my empty nest separation anxiety, I wanted to understand what behaviors I had unconsciously adopted so I could figure out how to change them.
I created a self-awareness questionnaire. My honest answers to these questions have helped me practice a more balanced way to “live” with the distance. As we all know, acknowledging there’s a problem is the first step toward healing.
Your answers to these questions can help enlighten you about how much anxiety you are living with. If you are freaked out by your responses, you may want to see a therapist.
By the way, congratulations on trying this quiz out. This may be your first step toward recovery.
Empty Nest Separation Anxiety Quiz
- How much do you have to spend to get the kids to come for a single visit? Are you willing to spend a small fortune?
- Are you hung over from Red Eyes to save money?
- Have you become a phony religious zealot to guilt your children into coming home for biblical holidays?
- Do you relish FaceTime views of all skin rashes, cuts and bruises?
- Do you insist that they come home for their grandmother’s 78 1/2th birthday celebration because it could be her last?
- Do experience self-loathing when you hear yourself devolving into a whinny nagging needy mom?
- Does every conversation include an attempt to get a commitment for another visit?
- Do you fret about having grandchildren that you will only see a few times a year and who will not recognize you — even though they aren’t even married yet?
- Are you badgering your husband to build a tennis court and 50-meter pool to lure the kids home?
- Even though you were thinking this was the time of life you would be downsizing, do you find yourself investigating second homes at resorts with an easy commute for your kids?
- Do you find that you are unwilling to downsize the family home because you need space for their Thanksgiving visit?