Empty Nest Syndrome

What is Empty Nest Syndrome?

Empty Nest Syndrome is a feeling of loss and emptiness many parents feel when their children leave home. For the last twenty or so years, the job of the parents (especially those who have stayed at home) has been to take care of their children. Their identity is tied up in that role, and once the last child leaves, there can be a sense of void or inactivity.

What am I supposed to do now?

When all your energy has been tied up in one thing for so long, it is often difficult to find new things to fill your time. It’s a similar feeling to that experienced by recently retired people, who have spent the last thirty to forty years in full time employment.  It is also a condition which has similarities with grief, as your children have moved out of the family home and will not be returning back.

Empty Nest Syndrome in How To Be A Good Wife

How To Be A Good Wife is a novel about a woman who is struggling with Empty Nest Syndrome after her son Kylan leaves home.

‘After [my son] left in the summer, I would find my way [to his old bedroom] in the middle of the night. I would slide under the duvet and wake up crying, knowing he wasn’t coming back.’READ AN EXTRACT

Read more about marriage and feminism in the novel