Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Leaving the nest

Leaving home is a strange, emotional, frightening, stressful time for both parents and children, and although I'm not yet a parent, I'm dreading the day when my children leave me and go out into the big wide world. My little brother (well, he's 20...) moved out of home on Saturday and it's amazing how much we all had to think about.

I moved out of home a year ago and I'm loving it, but it was a lot different for me because I moved to a different town four hours away from family, friends and partner (I now live an hour away so I'm getting closer!) and into an already furnished house with flatmates.

My brother has moved in with his girlfriend into an empty four bedroom house and has had to beg borrow and steal furniture and kitchen things and then find other tenants to help with the rent and fill the empty rooms. They also intended on spending $100 between the two of them on groceries and ended up spending $100 each. I just found it amazing how much stuff you need to set up a house. Off the top of my head, the essential furniture/appliances include a couch, dining table and chairs, bed, dresser, toaster, jug/kettle, bookcases/shelves ... and then you need to organise things like insurance, rubbish collection, internet, power, phone. In the next six months I'll be doing the same thing, so, even though our parents have kept all the kitchen stuff they've ever owned for this very purpose, I'd better start collecting some furniture!

So today I thought I'd share some books about leaving the nest...

Edmonds Cookery Book
This one's a classic and I'm sure every mother owns one. I know my mum and grandmother had them - mum has nana's old one I think. It has all the basic recipes like macaroni cheese, plus some more exciting ones and should be an essential item for children leaving home. Mum bought me a copy when I left home and it's served me well.

Food for Flatters
Not only does Food for Flatters have recipes, it also tells you what basic utensils to buy and what to keep on hand in the pantry. This one is especially good for the males because it has manly meals like burgers and things and, as they're not as instinctive as us about things they need for the home, the list of untensils and essential ingredients is especially handy - this one graced the kitchen of my partner's house when he went flatting with a bunch of guys.

Leaving home - A Survival Guide
This was written by two mothers who, when their children were leaving home, thought "I wish I knew then what I knew now", so decided to write a "survival guide" with all sorts of tips for kids and parents. Topics include: Real estate, renting advice, sharing with friends, money saving tips, credit card debt, economic shopping ideas, how not to be conned or ‘ripped off’, and much more.

She's Leaving Home: Letting go as Daughter Goes to College
Here's one a little different. This is a memoir telling the story of a mother and daughter over two years and the daughter goes to college. It's all about being prepared, keeping relationships going and families together, and eventually, letting go. I read some reviews on Amazon and, as expected, there are a lot of parents who can relate to this story.

Letting them go
In Letting Them Go, author David Veerman offers support, help, and understanding from a parent who's been there. It's all about preparing your heart and your child for leaving home, so it's good for both parents and children. He also offers practical advice for the time together before they leave, and a sneak peek at issues that will arise after they've gone.

Barbara and Susan's Guide to the Empty Nest
Here's one for the parents. With the kids gone, it's often hard to form a life without them and allow yourself to be selfish and do what you want to do - especially for mothers. So this one is all about discovering new purpose, passion and your next great adventure.

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