It can be difficult when your children leave home. Whether they've gone to university, got a job in a new city, or have gone travelling for a while, the house can seem extremely empty and quiet without them. What do you do now you don't have their rooms to tidy, their dinner to cook or their homework to help with? Your day may now suddenly seem extremely free.
We understand it can be hard to come to terms with, but this is a great opportunity for you to get on with the next chapter of your life. To get you thinking, we've made a list of five things to do when your child leaves home. These activities could be the solutions you need for coping with an empty nest; start with one or throw yourself into all of them!
Now is the time to go where you've really wanted to go for all these years. For some reason or another, your children may have prevented you from going to some of your dream destinations. You're never too old to explore, so get going!
Now there's no-one to disturb you and you have more space in the house, you can become a party host! The type of party is up to you. Whether it's large dinner parties or movie nights with the girls, use the empty nest to your advantage and go wild (or not!).
It can be hard to maintain an exercise regime when you have a million other things to think about - most of them to do with your kids. Use the time in the morning you would have spent making packed lunches to indulge in a gym class or yoga session at home. Your body will thank you!
Get a pet
If it feels really quiet and the empty space is just too much, why not think about getting a pet? A dog can keep you active and allows you to build a beautiful relationship. If you're not a dog person, a cat is a great alternative and will give you a new challenge to focus on.
When your children leave home there's no-one for you to look after every day, so why not use your extra energy to help others? Becoming an adult volunteer for the ACF can open many windows of opportunity, for others and yourself.
Volunteering for the Army Cadet Force keeps you physically and mentally active and even helps you progress in your career, as well as encouraging young people to excel. You don't need any previous military experience, all you need is energy, enthusiasm and humour. With over 1,600 locations around the UK, find your nearest detachment and discover more about volunteering with the Army Cadet Force.