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Why does the empty nest affect mothers disproportionately? Is it because we have left our own selves behind while pleasing others?
The term ‘ The empty nest’ refers to the emptiness which follows mothers once their children are out of the home.
However, I sometimes think whether the emptiness after the children have left affects women more; or is the reality that they have sacrificed everything in the name of taking care of family and children and are now left empty handed with nothing more to look forward to, which is killing them more?
A lot of women are very passionate about whatever we do, whether it is getting married, settling into a role of wife and mother or giving up your career without regrets in the name of family. We do everything that makes those around us happy and forget what we actually wanted to do.
I am the same. I wanted to roam around the world like a hippie, visiting places I had never been to, joining an NGO or shop or sleep or just sit idle and care a damn about anything. But what am I doing? Taking care of home and kids, leaving everything I wanted to do deep inside. It does not mean I have regrets. But it does mean I have emptiness somewhere in my heart due to letting go of things and making choices which the society deems fit to approve.
In addition to this, it increases our misery when we see that we do not get enough credit from our spouses for making all these sacrifices. Talking about our male counterparts, their lives remain less affected by all these changes as they are already used to spending a majority of their time outside the home.
When the children leave home, it is then that we look forward to spending more time more with our husbands and expect them to understand our situation and help us to cope. Yet here, we fail miserably as then we will be tagged as emotionally weak and not strong enough.
So here I am suggesting to all women out there that for once in your life, keep yourself as a priority and do what you want to do. Travel solo if you wish, do things which you feel like doing and if your spouse does not approve, then don’t care for his opinion. Try to make him understand but if he does not, follow your heart.
I am sure the world will not turn upside down if you are not at home and doing your usual work. It is not always your responsibility to keep things running at proper speed. Let it go and make time for things you like to do.
For once, don’t care for anyone’s opinion and believe me, the satisfaction you get will be more than everything else.
Remember we are not Sita, we are even stronger women who can withstand the test of the times without seeking anyone’s approval.
Keep your spirits high, make yourself financially independent, do not seek approval. Keep yourself happy and enjoy your own company!
Top image is from the Hindi serial Anupamaa
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