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8 things to do when your children fly the nest

As parents, it can be challenging to adjust when our children leave home to pursue their dreams or start a new phase of their lives. Here are some things you can do after your children leave home.

April 19 2023 - 4 min read

As a parent, you’ll have invested a lot of time, energy, and resources into raising your children. That’s why when they leave home to start their own lives, it’s pretty common to feel lost and unsure of what to do next. However, the empty nest phase of life can also be an opportunity to explore new hobbies, interests and experiences that maybe weren’t possible before. Here, we’ll explore some of the things you can do to find purpose and meaning after your children have flown the nest.

1. Travel

One of the most exciting things about being an empty nester is the freedom to travel. Without having to worry about school schedules or childcare, you can explore new destinations and experiences.

If you have family who live overseas, or haven’t visited your homeland in a long time, now is a great chance to reconnect and make those important journeys. However, there might also be many wonderful places to explore on your doorstep too, so you don’t always have to go far to experience something new.

2. Learn a new skill

You’re never too old to learn a new skill, and it’s a great way to keep your mind active and engaged. With online courses and workshops available, it's easier than ever to hone a new craft. Perhaps you want to try your hand at painting, learning a new language, or taking a cooking class. Whatever your interests may be, there are plenty of resources available to help you learn and grow. Not only can learning a new skill be a fun and fulfilling experience, but it can also open up new opportunities and help you meet new people.

3. Volunteer

Volunteering can be a great way to give back to your community and make a positive impact. You could work with disadvantaged children in your area, the elderly, animals or even at your local charity shop. There are countless opportunities to volunteer, and what's great is that you’ll always have something to offer, whether it’s your time or certain skills. Not only can volunteering be a rewarding experience, but it can also help you stay active and engaged with the world around you. You may even meet new friends who share your passion for helping others.

4. Get involved in a hobby

Now that you have more free time, you may want to consider taking an existing hobby more seriously. This could be gardening, photography or playing an instrument. Whatever you enjoy doing, see this as your time to dedicate to yourself and throw yourself into it. There might be clubs you could join or competitions to enter that can help you take your hobby to the next level. Not only is it a great way to unwind and relax after a busy day, but it also helps with self-esteem and reconnecting with yourself as a person.

5. Spend time with friends and family

Now that your children have flown the nest, you may have more time to spend with friends and family. Whether you want to catch up over coffee, take a day trip, or plan a weekend getaway, spending time with loved ones can be a great way to stay connected and engaged. You may even want to start a regular book club or game night with friends to keep your social life active and thriving.

6. Start a new business or pursue a new career

With more time and flexibility, you could consider starting a new business or pursuing a new career. Whether you have a passion for baking, writing, or entrepreneurship, there are plenty of opportunities to turn your interests into a successful venture. And with online platforms and social media, it's easier than ever to start a new business or market your skills to a wider audience. However, being a parent also makes you perfect for childcare related careers, such as a teaching assistant or foster parent, as you’ve already got a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience.

7. Take care of your health

It’s always important to prioritise your health and well-being, but being a busy parent can sometimes put this on the backburner. Now your children have flew the nest, you could join a gym, take up yoga, or simply make more time for self-care activities like reading, meditating, or walking in nature. Making healthy choices and taking care of yourself can help you feel more energised and fulfilled, and can also help you enjoy your newfound freedom to the fullest.

8. Fostering a child

Another way to fill the void left by an empty nest is by fostering a child. Fostering can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, as it provides a safe and stable home for children in need. There are many different types of fostering, such as short-term or long-term, and the experience can be a life-changing one for both you and the child. Fostering provides an opportunity to make a positive impact on a child's life, and can also help you rediscover the joys of parenting or enable you to continue providing parental care.

Fostering is a big commitment, but it can also be a very rewarding one. Children mainly come into the care system due to abuse or neglect, and foster parents play a vital role in transforming their lives. But right now, there aren’t enough foster families to match the amount of young people who need a home. We urgently need more people to consider opening up their hearts and homes to give these kids the love and support they deserve. To become a foster parent, all you need is the following:

  • Be aged 21 and over
  • The legal right to live and work in the UK
  • A spare bedroom for a foster child to call their own
  • Compassion, empathy and patience

Many children in care are from a specific religious or cultural background, and living with a family that doesn’t understand them can add to their existing trauma. At Active Care Solutions, we believe the best outcomes for children are achieved by finding foster parents who best understand the cultural or religious needs of the child in their care. From Muslim, Sikh and Jewish children, to white British children of faith and none faith, we have developed an incredibly inclusive approach to fostering that we’re very proud of, and we’re one of the only independent fostering agencies to offer such bespoke faith-based foster placements.

When you foster with us, you’ll receive ongoing training to ensure you have all the skills and knowledge to care for vulnerable children. Plus, we have an amazing support package for foster parents, so we’re here for you at every step in your fostering journey.

So, if you think you could give a child a safe, stable home, we’d love to hear from you. We’re always looking to welcome people from all walks of life into our Active Care Solutions family.

Please get in touch with us today and we’ll gladly answer any questions you have and help you decide if fostering is right for you.

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