What is this, you may ask? Well, it’s those feelings of depression, anxiety, and grief that may be experienced by parents whose children leave home. Imagine taking extensive care of a child for tens of years, only to have the child you love so much come of age and leave you to be independent. Often, we don’t realize that our parents, especially our mothers, have experienced the empty nest syndrome. Let’s discuss this unsettling syndrome this Mother’s Day.
Much like a little fledgling that flies away to start a family of its own, we too, at some point, must also leave our homes to make a home for ourselves, and leave our hypothetical “nest” empty. This obviously affects our parents quite a lot, because a whole other person, who they’ve laughed with, eaten with, fought with, shared with – that other being is now gone from their space. Along with a feeling of loneliness, comes a feeling of grief and loss. The empty nest syndrome harbours itself mainly in those families where interpersonal relationships are valued and emphasized.
Mums are the main victims of this syndrome. Those gentle, loving influences on our lives are naturally the most affected when it comes to letting go of their babies, albeit all grown-up. This Mother’s Day, visit your childhood home to be with your parents, and especially your mum, again, and watch them light up. They may be old and tired, with wrinkles and creases of age settled into their faces like old friends, but they have never stopped thinking of you as their little fledgling that flew away.
Celebrate Mother’s Day with your mum and dad. Talk to them about your life, your achievements, your problems, about whatever you can. Laugh with them, hug them, kiss them, joke about how old they’re getting, but don’t ever let them forget that you are always there for them. Let your mum rest all day, and make the day’s meals for her. A foot massage doesn’t hurt either.
If you want a more material way to express and shower your love, why not get mum and dad a gift ? Gifts have spoken so much more than they’re given credit for, for so many years. The oldest gifts in the world are said to be stone tools and beads, but we’re pretty sure mom wouldn’t appreciate that. Try an elegant, well-thought out gift like a luxurious spa hamper with a cute personalised message, or an embossed leather jewellery box , just something that you know she’ll raise her eyebrows at and go, “When did my kid get so thoughtful?” But she’ll secretly be blushing inside.
Make her feel loved, even after all these years, when she might think that you might’ve forgotten about her, don’t care about her, or simply just moved on with your life. Remind her that even though you’re all grown up, you still get excited when you smell the biryani she’s cooking, or you love it when she neatly folds your clothes and arranges your closet when you can’t. You’re still her little baby, and you want to make her feel appreciated for all the times she’s saved you from dad’s punishments, or sacrificed something so you could be happy.
Banish that empty nest syndrome this Mother’s Day – barge into your parents’ home and serenade them loudly. (Not really. We suggest a quieter approach that won’t make your parents think you’ve gone bananas.)
Happy Mother’s Day from GoGappa !
Images lovingly sourced from: