7 signs you are ready for the kids to leave home

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It will soon be time for young people to leave home and start university, sparking empty nest syndrome in some parents – and joy in others.

Carol Vorderman has admitted she will be one of the joyful mums when her youngest child leaves home for university. The mathematician and TV presenter told The Express she is “starting to feel this amazing sense of freedom” at the prospect of her youngest son Cameron, 23, going to Dundee to do his masters degree, as her daughter Katie, 29, finishes her PhD at Cambridge.

Countdown legend Vorderman, 59, has a logical point, we reckon – for after devoting so many years to raising the kids, home alone parents finally have a chance to seek new adventures, re-invent themselves or just enjoy some peaceful “me time” at last.

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Here are seven signs you might actually relish having an empty nest…

1. You want to do something else with your life

You’ve always dreamed of taking up a new hobby or going travelling (as lockdown allows, of course), but because you’ve spent the last 20 or 30 years bringing up a family, you’ve not had the time or the money. If you don’t do it soon, you might not have the energy either!

2. You can’t sleep till they come home at night

Being unable to sleep until your kids got home was reasonable when they were younger teens – but once they’ve grown up, it really is OK for them to be out until all hours painting the town red while you sleep peacefully. It’s what young adults do, and (most of the time) they’re OK. But if you really can’t relax while they’re out, maybe it’s time for them to leave for good…

3. You’re sick of there being no food in the house

You fill the cupboards and fridge with a full (expensive) weekly shop, and within two days the kids are moaning there’s no food in the house. If you’re going to keep up with the snack attacks of these fully grown adults, you ‘ll need a hotline to a biscuit factory.

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4. They won’t stick to house rules

When your kids were little, you made the rules. Simple. But it’s not quite as easy to regulate a towering 18-year-old when he has a room that looks and smells like a festering tip, or has an hour-long shower leaving no hot water for anyone else in the family. That’s not to say, of course, that you won’t miss them breaking your rules after they’ve gone. Well, maybe a bit.

5. You long for a tidy house

You’ve been cleaning up after them for at least 18 years – you just want the house to stay tidy, and for a room that you’ve cleaned to still look spick and span the next day. Is that really too much to ask?

6. You’re sick of telling them to stop staring at a screen

When the kids are at home, it’s not as if they are enjoying a deep and meaningful conversation with you. Instead, they are usually just staring at a screen, despite your constant nagging for them to put that phone/tablet down for a while. It would be so nice not to nag about that, wouldn’t it?

7. You want some peace and quiet

You turned into your own parents a long time ago and seem to spend half your life shouting, “Turn that music down!”. You don’t mind a bit of noise, but that awful rap music (and it’s not really ‘music’, is it?) blasting out from their bedroom is just too wearing. Silence is golden, and you long for it.

All that said, you need to be prepared for that silence to be deafening after the kids have gone…

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