Empty-nest syndrome is a psychological condition usually affecting mothers around the time that their children leave home. This period of adjustment following their children's "flight" is sometimes accompanied by mild depression or feelings of identity less to those parents who defined themselves largely based on their roles as parents.
First world problems...
Interestingly enough, this condition tends to affect a very specific demographic most commonly: Caucasian women who don't work outside the home. However, empty nest syndrome correlates more reliably with socioeconomic status than race or familial status.
When a woman is at the stage in life where her kids are leaving, she may also be going through other major changes, such as dealing with the menopause or trying to cope with dependent elderly parents. It can be a difficult time, and it's natural for a parent to feel some sadness when children leave home.
But, wait a minute!! Why is there an elliptical in my room?!?
Contraray to popular belief, most empty-nesters experience an increase in life satisfaction following their new found flexibility and freedom. Whole women's book clubs and exercise groups are devoted to new empty-nesters. In fact, whole blogs and home improvement websites are devoted to helping empty-nesters figure out what to do with the new "extra bedroom." Most women take up new hobbies or social causes. Personally, my mom is now taking painting classes and my bedroom has easels and oil paints on my desk and dressers.
What do you think aout empty-nest syndrome, real or invented condition? And what is your experience with your parents after moving out for college?