Empty Nest Syndrome?

 

  #1  
Old 05-11-04, 08:29 AM
ann smith
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Empty Nest Syndrome?

I am sitting here with a big case of empty nest syndrome or something and would really like to hear from others who have been there. A bit of background: Our oldest was married. She divorced and came to live with us, along with her new baby. That was a year and a half ago. Loved having them both here, no question. Now they have just moved to their own place, not next door, and we are missing them like crazy. Sometimes it was hard both financially and emotionally because of the stresses of the divorce. But still not a question that we wanted them here. Our daughter felt it would help her to have her own place, and she would feel more like the 'mom' rather than the kid who moved back home. And truthfully she acted more like a babysitter than the mom. I've read a bit about this, and made a list of the things I would do 'if I could'. You know, like: travel, take a college course, take an exercise class...but they take money that we don't have anymore after paying for lawyers etc for our daughter. The hardest isn't that my oldest moved out again, the hardest is that i feel more like a mom than a grandmom to the baby because my husband and I were the ones raising him and now he isn't here. My other kids are either away on their own or at college, (pretty much the same thing). I'm still young, under 55, and it feels like I have lost a baby rather than an older child leaving the nest. Maybe this isn't empty nest? Maybe it's like losing a young child? Anyone?
 
  #2  
Old 05-14-04, 12:45 AM
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Empty Nest

Empty nest syndrome refers to the grief that many parents feel when their children move out of home. This condition is typically more common in women, who are more likely to have had the role of primary care giver. In many cases, empty nest syndrome is compounded by other difficult life events or significant changes happening around the same time, such as retirement or menopause. While empty nest syndrome may affect both parents, it tends to be more significant for women, especially where motherhood was their major role. Typically, after 18-24 months, most women adjust as they find other roles and responsibilities. Most women learn to establish a new kind of relationship with their adult children. Many begin to focus on their relationship with their husbands. Others fill the void with other activities. If budget does not allow for returning to the classroom, exercise class, etc., there are many volunteer jobs that are very rewarding. If volunteering is not your cup of tea, then perhaps a part time job would be rewarding. What is important is that you find a new role for identity and feelings of self-worth.

What you are experiencing is normal. Look upon the situation as an opportunity to focus on hobbies, leisure activities, personal development, exercise, or search for work or volunteer opportunities. When children grow up and leave home, it is time to focus on your relationship with your child as an adult peer and no longer as a parent. You can keep in touch via telephone, mail, and email as you would with any adult friend. You can also plan family vacations and holiday events that reunite the family for long talks and love fests. Avoid being overly excessive in keeping in touch. You don't want your child to feel that you are clinging to them or that you are upset about their taking the big step to independence. Limit calls to once or twice a week. Emails and letters may be more effective if you get too emotional on the phone. Be supportive of your adult child's desire to be independent and avoid encouraging them to return home.

Sometimes empty nest syndrome can be overwhelming because of loss of the care giver role. Feelings of depression may be unleashed. If you find yourself depressed, speak with your doctor. Feelings may be compounded by menopause. If you feel overwhelmed by sadness, you may need an antidepressant.

If you have always seen yourself as a 'mother,' it is now time to examine your own unique gifts and qualities and reacquaint yourself with who you are. You now have more time on your hands and the freedom to do what you want. It's also an opportunity to put some fire and romance back into your marital relationship.

You have the rest of your life ahead of you. Amaze yourself through rediscovery of the young woman with the dreams you once had. Being a mother is just one of many roles we women can have. It's a time to discover new relationships with friends through work, volunteerism, hobbies, or clubs. Congratulate your child for becoming independent. And, congratulate yourself for doing the same.
 
  #3  
Old 05-16-04, 05:02 AM
ann smith
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Thank you for replying,Twelvepole. You sound like an experienced professional and I would agree with everything you said if things were as simple as I may have made them sound. But there is a bit more to it. While she was here, we paid for everything and I did almost all the housework, laundry, cooking etc. That in itself is really fine with my husband and I because she went through a rough marriage and divorce and we felt she needed the break both physically and emotionally, and even though we are far from rich, we were paying for everything so she could put what little money she had away for her future. She is in counseling because of the emotional abuse she suffered. Her counselor had suggested she go to university and she had already missed one of the deadlines. I had been furiously nagging her not to miss the next one. Her dad and I had also told her that if this is not what she wanted to do , to just say so and we would lay off. When she moved out, we didn't know she was even thinking of this. And her apartment is not okay. There is no heat, no stove, not a good place to be. She and the baby don't have to live like that. Part of her therapy is that she is in a 'group' with women who for the most part are still trying to get a divorce. For the most part, they do not have the support of family, and they are still at a stage our daughter has passed. We didn't even know she was thinking of moving. She did this with the help of her group. We don't think they are the people who should be giving her advice. She has family and a religious community. I think I am rambling here. So what am I trying to say? I guess this: We can support her til she either has a career to rely on or has come to a place where she can remarry and establish a home, or is in a financial postition to live in a better place. If independence is what she is looking for, then why couldn't she have lived like an adult when she was with us? She would have been welcome to run her share of the household, cook, buy groceries, help with the extra bills, if she had wanted to. Or if the break was what she needed, then that's okay too. Was I doing too much? Should I have told her to get up and do stuff and remember this was her home, she wasn't a guest in a hotel? The other thing is that she seems to be too dependent on her counselor and the group. She has been divorced now for about 6 months. We would like to see her focusing on her life now, and what it could be, rather than twice a week wallowing in the mud she lived in with her exhusband. Her counselor has told her that even when women remarry they often stay in her care and even bring potential mates to be checked out by her. This seems very controlling.
 
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Old 05-16-04, 09:38 AM
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Boomerang kids

Kids who have been on their own in the world for a while and return home are called Boomerang Kids. They return home for many reasons, but often due to job loss or divorce. The most successful family situations where children return to the nest are those where parents recognize their child has been independent and are given the adult responsibilities when they return home. The key is to not allow Boomerang Kids to fall back into the role of the nurtured child where everything is done for them and given to them. Ground rules need to be established and need to include a time limit for when the child will be leaving.

Most ground rules focus on financial issues and housekeeping. It is important to expect the child to pay rent. (This can be secretly saved and returned to the child to fund the first month's rent and damage deposit on an apartment.) Adult children should be expected to pay for extra amenities like private phone, cable connection, and a percentage of utilities. They should cover their own transportation costs and pay a percentage of the grocery bill. Adult children should be expected to help with housework, errands, yardwork, laundry, cooking, and pet care.

Parents of adult children need their freedom to prepare for their future and lifestyle changes required as they age. Adult children need their own lives and to prepare for their future. Both parents and adult children suffer, especially if dependence goes on too long. Adult children need to be independent, out of the house, and on their own.

The Boomerang Kid research tends to focus more on parents coping with living with adult children than adult children coping with having to return home and live with parents. Without knowing the dynamics of your relationship with your daughter, perhaps she felt that she was placing too much burden on you or that she had other personal reasons for wanting to get out on her own to make her own decisions and live her own life. Sometimes dependency causes resentment or hostility. Whatever the reasons, be supportive and let her make her own decisions about work, education, and where she lives. Give her the opportunity to learn to stand on her own even if she should fail. Remember, the role of parents is to raise independent children. And, most children when growing up can't wait until the day they can leave home.

Give yourself time to grieve. You may feel sad, angry, empty, and confused about your daughter's leaving a fine home where she had everything paid for and all the chores done for her. These are normal feelings. You may feel them one at a time or all of them at the same time. It will take time, as it does to get over any loss. You have lost your daughter a second time. And, you have lost a grandchild. Allow yourself time to grieve. Channel your energy into other activities. Keeping busy is great therapy.

I share your concerns about living in substandard housing with a new baby. It is now summer, so no heat may not be an issue. Perhaps your daughter has considered this just a temporary situation and will move to better quarters before winter. She is at a turning point and making the first giant step to independence again. She is still healing and grieving her loss of her husband, even though he was emotionally abusive. She needs time and space to lick her wounds, too.

Going to the university may be more than your daughter can handle right now, considering the divorce, new baby, and financial situation. You state, "I had been furiously nagging her...." Also, "Her dad and I had also told her that if this is not what she wanted to do, to just say so and we would lay off." Your daughter may not know what she wants to do right now. Victims of emotional abuse can not handle nagging and pressure. "Nagging" is a form of emotional abuse.

Try to understand your daughter's need to be independent. If you are still talking and she has a phone, call her at least once a week (not every day). Talk about everything under the sun, except her leaving home with the baby and living in substandard housing. Do not pry. Do not nag. Do not send money. Let your daughter decide how she is going to pay for everything and do the housework, laundry, cooking, etc. Remember to encourage independence by letting your adult child make adult decisions. Avoid nagging and criticizing, preaching, and telling her what you would do if you were her. Your daughter may qualify for WIC, a health card for the baby, food stamps, and housing through Social Services. She may also qualify for scholarships or grants at the local university's financial aid office. Let her find her own way and make her own decisions.

Now that she has taken the first step to independence, you may discover that she will soon make the break from her counselor and group therapy. It sounds as if this counselor's group is one with unlimited sessions rather than a set number. Your daughter may find that she will be unable to pay for these sessions now that she is on her own, unless she has insurance. Most therapists encourage independence and avoid allowing the patient to become dependent upon the therapist or the group for helping to sort out problems. And, naturally, the therapist and group would encourage independent living arrangements.

You indicate that you can support your daughter until she establishes a career or remarries. What if she never does? Supporting adult children does not help them to become independent. Show financial tough love. There is nothing wrong with temporary financial support. But financial support should not be abused. Make a plan for weaning your daughter off. Tell her the plan and stick to it. You state that you did not know that your daughter was moving. Did she take into consideration how she was going to launch this new and independent lifestyle? Did she assume that because you had been paying for everything that you would continue to do so? Remember that your job is to foster this independence that your daughter decided to seek. She must learn money values and management skills.

You ask, "If independence is what she is looking for, then why couldn't she have lived like an adult when she was with us?" Answer: You did not allow her to live like an adult. You state in retrospect that she "would" have been welcome to share household work, cook, buy grocers, help with bills, if she wanted to. You did not make this clear to your daughter when she returned to the nest. Your charity and failure to give your daughter responsibilities may have 'boomeranged' her back out of the house, but do not beat yourself up over this. Your daughter obviously wanted to leave and her reasons may well have had nothing to do with you or what you did or did not do. She did not tell you she was leaving, perhaps because she knew that you did not want her to leave and might talk her out of the decision that she had already made.

Give your daughter the chance to be independent. She has been divorced six months. She is dealing with a major loss. It may take 18-24 months or longer to heal. She is dealing with the reality of the divorce, working through painful feelings and emotions, and coping with lifestyle changes, and trying to figure what she is going to do with the rest of her life. She may have low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. She did seek support and help which will hopefully be beneficial.

Your daughter's moving out of the house signals that she is trying to function and be responsible and deal with reality. This is an emotional time for her. Give her the time and space she needs to manage her lifestyle, redefine her relationships in her life, reconstruct who she is, her values, and beliefs, and develop new interests so she can get on with her life.

Resist your temptation to keep your daughter in the role of a child. Foster independence and being an adult who can make adult decisions. Foster an adult friendship relationship with your daughter. Both you and she are dealing with emotional issues at this time. You both need time to independently restructure your lives and heal. Finally, remember that you love each other despite the losses and issues you two are dealing with at the present time.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 05-16-04 at 09:56 AM.
  #5  
Old 05-16-04, 09:43 AM
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Difficult though it may be, cutting the child loose to win or lose in the world is important.

I missed the children when they left. We have to let them go. They can never develop as long as they stay home with momma and daddy to care for them.

Over the years, I have enjoyed being friends with my children. I am not responsible for them. I am not obliged to provide housing, food, daycare, or other things of that nature.

If there is a need to come home for more than a visit, there are duties: contribute to the household, wash, clean, paint, work, pay for your share, get a job, keep your own children, ask for a sitter for some time in the future. I don't keep children at the drop of the hat. I love my grandson, but he is not my child. I don't wash, change, or clean up after him. His mother chose to be his mother, she will have to care for him.

It is easy to fall into taking care of them again, but they will never learn or mature when you hold the hand all the way.

What children do needs to be their responsibility. I will give sage advice and provide moral support, and hand out money when needed and the loan agreement is made.

When they make bad choices, I try to support and console them for the problems that arise. It is not up to me to fix it for them. When my older daughter and her son moved to Boston to pursue a great job, I hated to see them go. I supported her decision and never told her that I wanted them stay. I helped them pack and waved goodbye. When housing turned into a disaster up there, I tried to offer options to cope with the reality of the tight quarters. When her job dried up, we encouraged her in her search for another one. When she said she planned to move back, we offered them a place to stay until she could get her feet back on the ground. I wanted her to get a job and save some money to get started anew. When she moved out on her own with her boyfriend, I was not convinced that this would be a good choice. I told her how I felt, but did not stand in her way.

It is not going smoothly, but it may well work out. Only time will tell. It is not up to me to make it work. I don't have any control over it anyway. They will make it work or not.

When I decided that I wanted a dog, I reached the conclusion that it was empty nest syndrome. I enjoy my dog, and can relish taking care of her. A dog is like a permanent child, just less expensive.

I am sure that everyone makes the transition to the empty nest in an individial way. The experiences of others are not templates for your path, only a recapitulation of their experiences. You must choose your own way.

I will encourage you to find other things to take your time, creativity, imagination, and attention.

Hope this helps.
 
  #6  
Old 05-17-04, 06:27 AM
ann smith
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Well, Twelvepole, when you're right you're right. And you are.

When our daughter and new baby started living with us, she was going through so much, her iron was low, etc, etc, we just did everything for her. And it continued even when we should have sat down and set the groundrules. And truth be told, she is spoiled. So no doubt she expected it that way. And yet, I felt that as an adult she would see what needed to be done and just pitch in without being asked. Now that I think about it, the few times she did try, I would tell her 'no, no, you're tired, or that's okay, dear, i'll do it.' Boy, I guess I set my own trap. I just always thought I should do everything to make things easier for the kids. Apparantly 'easier' isn't always 'easier' for anyone.

Agree also that it is so important that as parents of adult children we needed to prepare for our own future. Which obviously we did not. Well, actually this is the second time we cleared out our life savings. The first was for her wedding and then what was left we had to use up when my husband was out of work. This time we were well on our way again and used it for her lawyer and court costs.

I always thought my daughter and I were more like friends than parent/child. We have been mistaken for sisters. Not necessarily a comment on my youthful appearance (laugh here), but more because we did so much together and I thought we were having a good time doing it, at least I was. But there have often in the past been times where she just out and out lied to our faces, and this has been another one of those times. And she never sat down with us and told us what she needed, or how our helping wasn't helping.

It really hurts to see her doing things this way. There is no need for the baby to go without certain things. It's one thing for my daughter to want to rough it to show her independence, but we are more worried about the effects it will have on the little one. It also makes it look like we don't want to support her anymore. Especially the way she went about this. Normally, don't parents help their children set up a new home? She had people from her group help her without us knowing, even to the point of giving her a pillow and blanket. But yes, you are absolutely correct that she did it this way because she knew we would have tried to talk her out of it.

At this point she is handling all her finances herself. And she has told us she will try to get a better place in a different neighbourhood. She won't be closer to us, but she will be in an area where she has friends so hopefully that will be a good support for her. Although, I don't know if she will go through with it or if she can financially do this. And she has still been coming here. I have been taking care of the baby while she works 3 afternoons a week so at least we still get to see them. But I do feel lost without them here all the time. Especially miss the baby, because like I said I was more of a mother than a grandmother. No doubt a huge reason why she moved out. So she could be the mom.

It is really painful to stand back and watch her do things the hard way, when her whole life we did everything we could so she wouldn't have to do it that way. It also upsets us that a counselor would tell her to move away from a family that supports her and to live on welfare rather than take steps for a career that could support her and her child. If you have a place to stay and someone to help with your child while you study for a career you will always be able to depend on (her counselor had suggested nursing), it doesn't make sense to me to throw that away to try to survive on welfare. Although, had she wanted to go to college, she would have. And she has said that some days she thought she could handle it and other days it seemed like too much to think about, or what if she tried and failed. My husband says she is lazy (to me, not to her).

I hate that they have moved. I don't like the way her therapy group is supposed to also be her social circle. I worry that her counselor thinks she should stay in her care and in this group indefinitly, even to the point of interviewing a future prospective mate. That doesn't sound like independence to me.

Although as a hovering mother I would prefer they lived with us, or right next door (grin), I am particularly worried about the influence this group has on her. If she was focusing on moving ahead with her life within her own community of friends, I would be much more comfortable.

I keep rereading your advice, because I know it is sensible. And hopefully it is going to sink in. But I am a worrier.
 
  #7  
Old 05-17-04, 07:04 AM
ann smith
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Chris, thank you so much for responding. And yes, reading your experiences does help. You sound like a much stronger person than I am.

Perhaps the reason I made the kids number one with me was because I thought by doing that, I in turn would be number one with them. So I never really had anything just for me. I don't have a passion. You know, I don't want to write a book or be an artist or whatever. However I have thought about getting a dog. (smile) Actually, we can't have one where we are living now and from past experience, that's probably just as well for now. I have to think about what I need in my life right now. It looks like I'm going to have to move in a different direction from the path I was on. When the tears stop, or at least slow down.....

The really hard part is that my grandchild really is more like a child to me. My husband and I stayed up nights, rocked, changed, fed, went along for the baby shots. So for his mom to move out with him is really very difficult on both of us. We miss him terribly because our lives were very much focused on him. And we worry.

When we wanted to go for a walk by ourselves, my daughter was feeling very lonely and always asked to come along, so we said yes. When I started to sometimes say no, she felt I was resenting her always tagging along. It was like she needed everything from us and then bang, one morning, she said she could do it all herself. And I do want to 'do' for them, but I'm betting I sounded like a martyr.

When my daughter's marriage ended in divorce, I was thinking she would be able to just pick up and move on with her life. I don't think I realized the mourning and self doubt she would have to go through. I really miss her and the baby being here. And I know that she is feeling such pain also. I have always tried to make it so the kids didn't have pain and hard times. Really really stupid.

Well, yes I know that I need to focus on my life more now. I'm not sure how I will go about doing that yet. How I will focus things. I still want to be a part of their lives. I still want to be a HUGE part of their lives, so I guess I need to think about how to make "me" important. And I need to make my husband important. He misses me. I get so wrapped up in my kids, and what I think would be good for them. He's a good guy. I should get to know him better.

I am saying this. But I don't feel ready. Well, it's only been a week.

I hope your kids tell you often how great you are. For letting them be them, and still being there for them.
 
  #8  
Old 05-19-04, 03:11 PM
ann smith
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Okay, I'm going a little nuts with this. My daughter comes over lots, I take care of my grandchild when she works, but she won't answer her phone and when I leave messages, she doesn't return them. Sometimes I call just to say I love you, have a good night, see you tomorrow. I would like to hear that my grandbaby is doing okay at night since I'm used to him being here and because he had another baby needle, and because he had a visitation with his father which is always very rough on him. Even though he is little he gets very upset by them. I don't think I am doing anything unreasonable here. So here is what is making me nuts, literally. Tonight I dropped by her apartment, and they weren't there. She had told me she was going to run errands, and I knew that she was really going to be doing something else that she didn't want me to know about. I could just tell that's what it really was. Now I know she is an adult, but I don't trust how she is taking care of the baby. By midnight, they still weren't home. So my concern is that she was somewhere with someone from her group and they are not people she needs to be with on a social basis, especially if the baby was with them. I'm telling you they are a rough crowd. Or that she left the baby with someone and is out partying. I know this sounds so overbearing of me. But we are part of a religious community where that is not the kind of thing she was exposed to or involved in and I am afraid of what is happening to her and how it will affect my grandchild. If I ask her about this, I know she will shut me out and probably not bring my grandbaby around. If she wants to run around and experiment, although I sure don't want that, at least I would prefer if she left the baby with us to take care of while she is figuring things out for herself. But I know I can't suggest this to her. She has no problem telling us what she thinks we want to hear, in other words lieing to us. How do I make her understand that she can be honest with us about where she is right now. I know she has been through alot. She is also an adult and I would like her to relate to me as one. What do I do so I don't lose them? And is there anyway to be with her so that she doesn't throw her whole lifestyle away?
 
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Old 05-19-04, 06:27 PM
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She's an adult. It is her baby. You need to let go.

Lots of phone calls would drive me crazy even if were my mother. Dropping by unannounced presumes that she will be there and ready for company. Monitoring her coming and going will wear you down.

You cannot choose your child's friends. Your agonizing over her supposed behavior has got you on a string. It may well be that this is your hot button, and she is using it in the same manner as a teenager uses one against his parents. This may simply be a time of rebellion.

She is also an adult and I would like her to relate to me as one
You will have make the painful transition and respect this and treat her as one. Children do not always make us happy. I think that it helps to support children emotionally as best we can, and hope that they come to their senses. We need to stop mothering them at the very first chance. Children need to grow and become what they will.
 
  #10  
Old 05-19-04, 10:36 PM
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There are many good books and lots of info online about codependence and relationship addiction. Ask yourself:

1) My good feelings about who I am depend on being liked by my daughter?
2) My good feelings about who I am depend on getting approval from my daughter?
3) My daughter's struggle affects my serenity. My mental attention focuses on solving her problems or relieving her pain?
4) My mental attention is usually focused on pleasing my daughter and protecting her?
5) My Self-esteem is bolstered by solving my daughter's problems and relieving her pain?
6) My hobbies and interests are put aside. My time is spent sharing her interests? problems?
7) I feel my daughter's clothing, personal appearance, and behavior should follow my desires, as I feel she is a reflection of me?
8) Iím seldom aware of how I feel - Iím mainly aware of how my daughter feels?
9) Iím seldom aware of what I want - I ask or assume what my daughter wants?
10) My dreams of the future are mainly linked to my daughter?
11) My fears of my daughter's rejection and her anger strongly shape what I say and do?
12) I use giving as a key way of feeling safe in my relationship with my daughter?
13) My own social circle diminishes as I involve myself with my daughter?
14) I put many of my values aside in order to stay in my relationship with my daughter?
15) The quality of my life hinges largely on the quality of my daughters?

If you answered yes to most of the above questions, then:

Make YOU the first priority in your life.
Become "selfish," & focus on getting your own needs met
Face up to your own problems and shortcomings.
Focus on your personal development and what makes you feel bad about yourself.
Learn to stop managing and controlling others; by being more focused on your own needs, you will no longer need to seek security by trying to make others change.
Develop your "spiritual" side by finding out what brings you peace and serenity and spend some time every day pursuing whatever it is.
Learn not to get "hooked" into the games of relationships; avoid dangerous roles you tend to fall into, e.g., "rescuer" (helper), "persecutor" (blamer), "victim" (helpless one).
Find a support group of friends who understand.
Consider getting professional help in helping you deal with your relationship with your daughter and your relationship with yourself if you can not accomplish what you need to do alone.
 
  #11  
Old 08-01-04, 10:50 PM
Raelyn
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I am having a hard time with my oldest daughter leaving home.. I dont sit in her room and cry or do i cry all day but i feel this emptiness in the house .. I have a family of 4, 1 daughter 1 son and my husband .. My husband and son do things together and hang out just as my daughter and i once did but now she is gone and i am the only women in the house.. We couldnt be more prouder of our daughter . She had gotten a apartment on her own but i had the need to furnish it with everything I had in my cupboards weather it was food or medication.. Is this normal ? My daughter just turned 18 a few months ago and it is so hard for me to think that she is on her own making her way by herself.. I do call her 5 times a day just to see if she is ok and she always is . I dont know how to stop that it is so hard . I look at this and feel like i have to be a adult and show her that i can be but my mind tells me to keep being the mom .. I read that this is normal and all the colums i am finding is helping but i cant seem to get past the feeling that if i find something for me to do then i am letting her go alot more that i want to .. I hope someone can give me some advice on how i can get through this i hate the lonely and the sadness.. it breaks my heart
 
  #12  
Old 07-19-05, 03:03 AM
designs
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Emoty nest just beginning

Hello,

I just came across this site and i hope that this will help me with these feelings I have at this point with my son goiing to college in a few weeks.

I was wondering how youare doing now that time has passed.

Thanks.

Designs
 
  #13  
Old 07-21-05, 10:00 PM
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I know this is so hard on everyone. I went through it with my 21yo when he moved to Vegas, and even tho he's back living in the same town I still have to fight the urge to go check on his house while he's at work. You know, make sure there's toilet paper, clean clothes, sugar, flour, etc. Does he have gas money, are his bills being paid...

This is what made me stop: what if my son were still dependent on me and I were to die tomorrow? I know that sounds cruel, but as a mom I love being needed. However, what kind of person am I to keep someone so dependent upon me that they literally can't survive without me.

Also, I had to stop and think why my son lives so close to me and I live so far from my mom. My mom literally ran me off. When I lived closed to her she called a bunch of times during the day and would come by at least once a day. Drove me nuts. I had a life. I am a mom of 4 and have a husband. I have a home to take care of, and children to raise. I love my mom, but she did a great job raising me. Yes, I forget and run out of sugar or milk. Not the end of the world! I can run to the store to get some because she taught me how to drive, and how to shop for things I need.

My son lives next door because even though I have a key to his home I do NOT go in house without him being home. The only exceptions are when he has someone coming by to do work on the house or install something and I'm the one he asks to come house sit during it all. He gave me a key so that I can come get something if I need it. Isn't that something. He's trying to return the favor and caring for his mom! Easier to do when I stay out of his business.

I know when the child doesn't have food in the house *grin* because he shows up in his spot at the table her at dinner time!

My 2nd child just turned 18. She can't decide whether to stay here and go to college or go ahead and move out. I want her to try to move out when she's ready, not when I'm ready. She's one of my babies. I drive my kids crazy because they don't understand it when I say that they will always be my babies, no matter how big they get. I will always worry, and I will always care. I like it that they can come to me when they have a problem, but they are happier now that I'm standing back and not interfering. They will make mistakes. I'm still making mistakes. You don't stop making them until you die. I need my children to learn to correct their mistakes and never depend on me to fix things for them. Maybe help them see some possible solutions that they didn't know were there or thought about. I won't be around forever. It may be tomorrow or 20+years from now. Who knows. I do know that my children will be able to survive without me.

Letting go of your child does not mean that you don't love them. Just means that you respect and trust them. Saying it doesn't mean anything. SHOW them by your actions. They will adore you for it and will show you by coming to you more often!

Kay
 
  #14  
Old 08-13-10, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
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Unhappy

My youngest is 17 going on 18, she plans on relocating to West Virginia once she is an adult, she has been planning this for the last 2 years, my oldest is 24 and lives in Chicago with 3 of my granddaughters and her husband. The real problem is my 22 year old. I love her to death but when her marriage failed last year she moved home with her 2 year old twins. Which I have been the primary caregiver while my daughter put her life back together. I was at the time she moved back a full time student pursuing my masters in accounting. Because the twins took so much out of me I had to take a break from my education and planned on returning next January. My school does not have class during the winter months, to many holidays and chance for low attendance due to weather issues. So this morning I woke up to my daughter telling me she and the babies are moving out a week from Saturday. This was a major shock to my system. Suddenly I am disposable. Part of me is glad that she confident enough to move on with her life, another part of me feels used. I put my life on hold because she needed me and suddenly I am surplus. I was well on my way to developing my own life with the knowledge that my youngest had already set her plans in motion and she becomes 18 in March of 2011. I was good with that. I was slowly making the transition to empty Nester in baby steps. Suddenly my world has done a 180, and I am left feeling like wtf? I know that I will adjust to this but have no one to talk to. My dad comes several times a week to help out with the twins and he is pretty much in the same boat. There was no warning or preamble. She just got up this morning, said she was going to sign paperwork on her new place and was gone. I have tried really hard to treat her like an adult. I have respected her privacy and tried to keep my opinion to how she was living her life to myself unless it directly affected me. But now I am angry. I feel like if she was thinking about this she could have atleast given me a heads up, or something. Now I have to figure out how to fill my time until school starts back in January. I am confused and baffled. This came completely out of left field. How do other people handle it when their adult children just decide to move out? Are there any groups or sites that you can recommend? I am beginning menopause and don't think that is helping the whole situation. It just recently starting rearing its symptoms, crazy periods (which I attributed to stress) cold flashes, night sweats, and slight confusion. I recently started meds that are helping with the medical issues but do not do sudden change well. I would talk to my husband about all of this but he is working alot of hours and isn't very involved with the kids or the household. He comes home, sleeps, eats, showers and back to work. I am feeling very very alone right now. I rationally know that this too shall pass but right now it feels like my heart has been ripped out and stomped on.
 
 

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