Empty nest syndrome is a complicated matter that impacts every parent differently.
For some, it manifests itself with intense sadness. For others, it can result in anxiety and a feeling of lacking purpose. What about relief? Some definitely feel relief. Why?
Justin Worsham of The Dad Podcast has an idea.
"There is also a lot of talk of 'mixed emotions.' I think the 'mix' is caused by guilt from being a little happy or relieved that your kid is leaving. It is a very weird dynamic to raise kids."
Not only are those feelings "mixed," but they are often different for moms and dads.
Justin has some beliefs on that, as well.
"There is a lot of mention of how empty nest syndrome affects women more than men. They say 'different' but the numbers show that woman are more affected. My opinion is that it effects moms more because a greater part of their role is to care. While dads tend to lean toward prepare."
Another aspect that people must consider is their purpose in life.
"I think there was a time when empty nest syndrome was more about being 'stuck' with your partner without the distraction of kids, and was born of a time of all moms being stay at home moms. Human nature is to feel depression when there is no purpose," Justin added.
Listen to Gary and Shannon's full conversation with Justin Worsham of The Dad Podcast right here!
To hear more of Justin's take on empty nest syndrome, and other parenting topics, you can check out all of his stuff at The Dad Podcast
Check out his latest episode with Kevin Miller about how parenting has changed and video game consoles to buy.