How to Cope when Kids Leave the Nest

Wellbeing expert, Sam Sample, reflects on the joys modern technology when staying in touch with loved ones. 

I left ‘home’ when I was 18. But I was always close by, only a suburb or two away. Easy and convenient for us to pop by each week for catch ups. So when I left the nest of Australia for the first time at 21 to live in Milan it was a whole new experience. Since then, I’ve moved to the USA for 2 years, and am now a professional gypsy. I’m at home in Australia for only about 4 months of the year. The rest of the year in various parts of the world. With laptop and iPhone in my bag, I can manage my business from anywhere in the world. But more importantly, with technology by my side, I can stay in contact with loved ones anytime and anywhere.

I was the baby and only girl in the family so I can imagine it must have been a big change for my parents. The last one to leave. Leaving just the two of them in a big house. But as I sit back and observe my parents’ relationship I can’t help but admire how beautifully they have embraced the change. At a time when things could have fallen apart, and that which happens so often, they adapted and from my point-of-view their relationship is stronger than ever.

They have a favourite little café that they visit together each morning to start the day with one another, before my dad heads off to work. Yes, at 70 he still goes to work each day. A trait that has clearly been passed on from generation to generation – if you do what you love, then it’s not work, but simply an extension of your life that inspires you each day.

Whereby my mum used to be a stay-at-home mum, spending half the day preparing dinner, school lunches and everything else that is required to look after a family. Now, 18 years later, it’s inspiring to see how she embraced the change. Instead of her pondering ‘what am I going to do now that they’re all gone’, I have loved seeing her take up all sorts of activities. At 70 years, she is as active as ever, playing golf a couple of times a week, going to yoga and Zumba classes each week, and engaging with life.

In terms of communication, I still keep in touch as much as I used to when living in Australia. What a joy it is to live in a world that has so many possibilities with technology.

My mum and I Skype chat almost once a week. We both brew a cup of tea beforehand, and sit down ‘face-to-face’ with one another as if we were in the same room. My dad and I send SMS texts and call on the phone to chat and keep in touch. Whilst my husband is always taking photos of me in various parts of the world to send to our families. And then there’s the videos that we all send each other of beautiful moments worth sharing.

Just the other day over the long weekend, I was going on a hike in the Tongariro National Park in New Zealand at the foot of a volcano. Without a doubt one of the most beautiful places on the planet, immersed in nature. My husband and I stopped, pulled out an iPhone and captured a minute of the breathtaking beauty of our surrounds and a cute little “we love you” message from the both of us at the end, to send to our family. What a joys modern technology is, to be able to share our lives with loved ones no matter where or how far away we are from one another!

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