Mary Kennedy: I miss my grown-up kids
PRESENTER Mary Kennedy has admitted that she sometimes feels lonely now her children have grown up and fled the nest.
The Nationwide host (60) said that since her four kids have become adults, she has had to adapt to a different way of life.
The RTE star, who says "motherhood is the most incredible thing that has happened to me", explained she has a different relationship with her adult children now she no longer needs to care for them.
"I feel I need to reinvent my role as a mother - they don't need to be picked up from school, they don't need their dinner on the table at a certain time, they don't need to be taken to training," she said.
"So it's about maintaining a strong bond as adults.
"It can be lonely," she added. "It's no secret that I turned 60 last September, so it's a different stage.
"You must look at life and make sure it's interesting and fulfilling and worthwhile."
Mary also opened up about the heartbreak she experienced when her youngest daughter Lucy (23) decided to travel the world.
Lucy worked in South Korea for a couple of years as a teacher and is now moving to Australia.
Despite it being easier to keep in touch with her daughter through new technology, the former newsreader said that things are "never going to be the same" as they were before she left.
"When I saw that little shape go through security two years ago, my heart broke," she told TV Now magazine.
"There's very easy communication with Skype, Whatsapp and Facetime, and then she was home at Christmas.
"But it's never going to be the same," said Mary. "She comes back an adult."
Mary revealed how she admires Lucy for taking the plunge, as she also did when she moved to France for a year after finishing college.
"It was daunting going to a foreign country and getting an apartment," she said.
However, the former chat show host admitted she can relax a bit more now she know's they can fend for themselves.
"I'm delighted - maybe on a Saturday night, they're all out, I can sit back and see what's on the telly," Mary said.
"Your heart expands to make space for all of them.
"The love is all consuming and I wouldn't have it any other way.
"I'm so thankful that I have four strong, healthy children."
Mary's strong relationship with her own mum meant that she was there as childminder while Mary was at work.
"Hopefully I'll have the chance to sit with the grandchildren - they're the cycles of life," she said.