to miss DS1 like crazy

(22 Posts)
DaisyBD Mon 02-Sep-13 15:02:12

Please give me a slap and tell me to get a grip. My lovely clever funny DS1 buggered off to Australia last year aged 19. This week he will be 21, and I have never seen him as a 20-year-old. He was only meant to be going for a year (a gap year, but a gap between what? school and nothing, as far as I can tell) but he managed to get a further year on his visa, and I don?t think he?ll be back before next June, or even longer if he extends it again.

I?m immensely proud of him for coping on his own, and finding work, friends and somewhere to live, and being completely self-sufficient for the first time in his life. But I miss him so much that sometimes it makes me cry. I?ve just packed up a little present for him, a tiny ceramic sculpture of our dog, who also misses him, and I?ve written a card, and it was so hard to write something that doesn?t sound sad. I did, of course, because I?m not insane.

I?m alright most of the time, but sometimes (especially now because it?s his birthday) I feel so so so so sad, like he?s gone away from me and he?s never coming back. In some ways, of course, he isn?t coming back, the little person he was doesn?t exist any more. It?s so weird. When you have a baby, you just think you?re having a baby, or if you look ahead a bit, a child, but you don?t think you?re going to be a parent to a person, a grown up who is completely separate (AS HE SHOULD BE) and living his own life. I know I will rightly get flamed for this, but it feels a bit like someone who has died a long time ago ? long enough ago that I don?t feel intense grief or anguish, but someone I loved enough to leave a big hole. Obviously someone I can still skype in heaven too, although not very often.

And DS2 is completely different from when he went away, like about a foot taller and taller than DS1 now, it?s like he?s a new person too.

I don?t know what my point is, really, just that I feel sad and a bit lost, and feel that I should get over myself.

sad

YANBU

I have already warned DS that I will follow him where ever he goes! I only have one. The idea of not seeing him for so long makes me cry now.

catinabox Mon 02-Sep-13 15:05:03

sad flowers

FrozenYogurt Mon 02-Sep-13 15:05:19

Could you save up and fly out to surprise him?

Bluebell99 Mon 02-Sep-13 15:13:20

Ah that sounds hard. not at this stage yet myself but have friends whose children have had gap years in Australia. I had a bit of a taste last week when my 14 yr old ds went on Explorer camp and didn't text at all! Congratulations on raising such an independent child. I left home at 18 to go to uni and at 19 moved to Germany for a year as part of my course. I can't imagine my children being so independent but they probably will be!

DropYourSword Mon 02-Sep-13 15:14:07

I'd be astonished if pretty much every other mother didn't also feel this way Daisy. You sound like you have the perfect balance... you are happy he's off doing his own thing but you miss him because you love him.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Mon 02-Sep-13 15:21:20

I sometimes dream of days like this ahead (having a very labour intensive 3 yo and 1yo) but obviously, only joking (a bit). grin

I think you sound very normal and your son is lucky to have you as his DM. Having no contact bar a few calls and Skype sessions must be incredibly hard, it makes me a bit tearful to think about it. Time will resolve things - either he'll come home and you'll see him more or he will emigrate and you'll get used it/get lots of nice holidays.

runningonwillpower Mon 02-Sep-13 15:24:02

I think that your feelings are completely natural.

It's hard letting go. A bit of win/lose.

Your job is to make that baby an independent successful adult - win. And you've done that.

But emotionally, you have to take a step back from the mothering role which is so ingrained. It is an adjustment to their new adult selves and I found that a bit of an emotional loss.

Don't beat yourself up about natural emotions. Because it's not you being selfish, it's you adjusting.

HaroldLloyd Mon 02-Sep-13 15:24:20

Aaaaaaaaaa! Your not being daft at all! Xx

DaisyBD Mon 02-Sep-13 15:29:06

Awww, thank you all. I am definitely happy he's independent, and a lot of the time I am ok with him being away. But at the moment it just seems so far away, and for so long! I could just about cope with a whole year. But two years...

FrozenYogurt I have thought about going to see him, and my parents would lend me the money in a heartbeat, but honestly it would take about three years to pay them back, and I can't quite justify it (esp with four other DC/DSC). Also he's working like crazy and I would hate to get there and find myself all alone while he's off working down t'pit.

I wish he'd just gone to university like a normal person, and then I could wean myself off him gradually, a few months at a time.

Jelly15 Mon 02-Sep-13 15:59:06

I really feel for you. My DS1 aged 20 went to work in America for nine weeks over the summer and that was bad enough. He was in a different location every week and drove hundreds of miles.

I am very proud that he is independent and capable but I felt I had a limb missing. I was reluctant to Skype as I thought it would make me worse but I found it did help to have a face to face conversation IYKWIM. Do you Skype?

DaisyBD Mon 02-Sep-13 17:25:30

I do skype but not very often - he's working in the mines in western australia and the connection is rubbish, and he's working terribly long hours - 12-hour shifts for anything up to 20 days at a time - and when he's not working he tends to be very busy back in the city (I choose to draw a veil over what he might be up to). I think I just have to take comfort from the fact that he's turned out pretty well.

Another thing that is really weird is that he looks completely different. He's got contact lenses and grown a beard, and I keep seeing him tagged in photos on fb and I think, who is this man? I literally don't recognise him sometimes. blush

sisterofmercy Mon 02-Sep-13 17:36:34

YADNBU. It sounds very painful and I am sure most mothers would feel this way in your shoes.

HarlotOTara Mon 02-Sep-13 17:49:14

Oh I understand, my dd has been away for a year on a Gap year (her second) after university. I am used to her being away and we Skype etc. but every now and then I miss her enormously - her birthday, family gatherings etc. Sometimes I just want to see her really badly. My dd is in Canada and that seems so far away and Oz is even further. It is great they are confident and able to travel and having a good time, but it is sometimes hard, I too would be sad if she stayed for another year. I can relate to all your feelings. It does feel like a hole and I find it hard sometimes to reconcile a grown woman with my gorgeous little girl, it feels like completely different people.

I did go and see my dd in the spring which was lovely although she was working for half of it but it did help me with missing her. I met her friends and saw where she lived so it felt more real. Despite saying I wouldn't cry, I did when I left her, all the way to the airport. I remind myself that I have raised someone who is able to go out and have adventures. I would hate her to feel she had to stay near me to keep me happy but it is bittersweet.

My dd has met a lot of people from Oz and some have worked in the mines, I understand they make loads of money. If you feel you can't go and visit is there any chance he could come home for a few weeks? My dd is coming home a month today and will be living at home - that will be a new challenge for us all grin

stillstanding29 Mon 02-Sep-13 18:09:12

Oh no! Too far, too long, it shouldn't be allowed. I bet you miss him like mad. My oldest DS is 17, starting his second year at college and aiming for uni this time next year. . . . Its not the same but bad enough.I will miss when he goes, even though I want him to go at the same time. I can't remember what my life was like before he came along.

BadRoly Mon 02-Sep-13 18:13:32

How proud you must be of your boy and what a brilliant parent must have been/still are to have helped create this independent and adventurous young man.

But it must hurt like hell xx

reelingintheyears Mon 02-Sep-13 18:38:01

I have told all of mine they are not allowed to emigrate.

I don't care, I WILL stand in their way.

My youngest is off to university in a few weeks and I've totally encouraged him to live in halls and not commute, it's in commuting distance.
But emigrating would be awful.

reelingintheyears Mon 02-Sep-13 18:40:00

A few weeks, what am I talking about, he's going in 15 days.

<<sobs>>

Lweji Mon 02-Sep-13 18:46:28

I've been away from my DS, 8, for two weeks now and I got a bit teary eyed the other day when I looked at one of his photos.

I can't imagine how you must feel not being with him for more than a year.

Maybe send him a ticket or pop in as a surprise (or maybe not - who knows what you might find... wink)?

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 02-Sep-13 18:46:41

How well you've put just what lots of mothers the world over feel to varying degrees.

Lweji Mon 02-Sep-13 19:04:14

BTW, I was the one emigrating, but only within Europe, so I got to visit my parents at least once or twice a year.

AmIGoingMad Mon 02-Sep-13 19:10:46

I'm goose bumping and teary at your post. DS is 2.6 and I can't imagine how I would cope with that! I'm sure I would just have to as you are but it must be very difficult.

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