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You’ve heard of the “empty nest syndrome,” but do you know how or if it really exists? Coined, in the 1970′s by psychologists, it stereotypically applies to women as a personal struggle dealing with the loss and change as their children leave home.

This psychological condition often has its greatest impact on women in autumn, the season when children will leave home to pursue college, military service, or professional careers.

This departure, although you have known it was coming for quite some time, can provide an emotional upheaval in your life with the effects hitting you like a ton of bricks. You suddenly feel lonely. What are you going to do with all of this extra time? The burdens of washing mountains of laundry suddenly seem like a much missed blessing. Yes, empty nest syndrome is real. Psychologists note that next to childbirth, this unique experience is one of the biggest transitions of motherhood.

The emotional feelings can catch you off guard as you experience the sudden reality of extra space in your life–both physical space in your home and emotional space in your heart. Just yesterday it seems both spaces were fully occupied by your child.

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