EMPTY NEST SUPPORT THREAD-Part 2

(1000 Posts)
MissMarplesBloomers Sun 01-Sep-13 22:15:15

Part one lasted seven years! Thanks RustyBear for the great idea.

I have one DD off this year and another one starting Sixth form so will be here for a few years! grin

So how are all the DC's getting on with the lists/packing etc?

madeofkent Sat 26-Oct-13 12:52:04

I'm trying to aim for every other day, but any excuse... Sometimes I don't make contact and I get a little message popping up saying 'stillalive x' grin When I went up to his room he had his drying rack up, covered in his neatly hung clean washing. I was most impressed. He saves £2.60 by not using the Hall tumbledryer at the expense of filling his room with damp washing, but it doesn't seem to worry him. All those years of making him peg out the washing (when I could catch him) in the summer months must have rubbed off.

mumeeee Sat 26-Oct-13 14:49:31

DH and I have. just had a long chat with DD3. She was in the Kitchen making pancakes for breakfast/lunch with 2 of her flatmates. Had to phone her back so she could finish eating her pancakes.wink She's coming home for the weekend in a fortnight's time for her Grandad's 92nd birthday party. Really looking forward to seeing her.

DalmationDots Sat 26-Oct-13 15:22:24

Lovely to hear about lots of settled DC and excitement of them returning for weekend visits.

The missing them gets easier but never goes away. I am usually fine now DD is in 3rd year, I am so used to it. But you always get sudden spikes of really missing them/over-thinking it all. The feelings of missing them become far less often than when they are starting out. I find I become at ease with everything and then she is back for the holidays and sending her off again a few weeks later brings back all those nostalgic feelings!

DD seems unbelievably comfortable at uni this term. I think it has finally all clicked. She has always enjoyed uni and thrown herself into it all (well, since after xmas of first year) but she always found the split life of home and uni very difficult. It seems to finally be something she is used to and her confidence and security seems to have soared this year.

She is home next weekend as she has a reading week, but has opted to just come until Monday and then go back as she says she will get more work done there. She would never have said that two, or even one, years ago!!

mumeeee Sat 26-Oct-13 15:47:34

Dalmatian your right missing them never stops completely but it does get easier. DD1 has married for 4 and a half years. She came home for a short while between finishing uni and getting married they then went to live in London. DD2 went to uni in Kingston 4 years ago. She graduated last year but has settled in Kingston. She came home a lOT in the first year but then got a job and only came home occasionally. They both still cone home for big family events which is good. I miss DD3 more than I missed them as she's the youngest and the house is very quiet now.

madeofkent Sat 26-Oct-13 18:07:00

I had a BIG lightbulb moment shortly after realising that I miss my son more because he is the youngest, but that all the friends who sympathise most are those who have just lost their onlies or youngest. Also, I realised today when I get the worst lows - it is at weekends because during the week I am used to him being out of the house between 8am and 6pm. At the weekends I am used to find him hovering around the fridge at all hours. I even took a photo of him diving into the fridge the week before he left because i said that was how I would think of him!

Notsoskinnyminny Sat 26-Oct-13 19:08:10

No empty nest here as I've still got DS at home while he saves up to do his LPC next year but he's got it too comfy so I don't think we'll ever get rid of him.

DH is their stepdad and whilst DS gets on with him they've never had the same bond he has with DD - they're partners in crime and he's the father she never had especially as hers has only contacted her twice in 5 years but would phone DS weekly until he cut contact with him but even then DS was, and still is, so loyal to him. Now she's not here they're getting on much better, you could sense DS wanted to join in with their pranks but was older when I met DH and probably felt awkward and disloyal. The dynamics of the house have changed but in a nice way and whilst I worry about her when she's having a bad day I don't miss her, does that make me a bad mum?

mrsrhodgilbert Sat 26-Oct-13 20:43:32

Notso, I agree with your last sentence completely. I worry but I do not miss, however, she is home each weekend so I haven't had chance to.

I hope she is feeling a bit better, has she had a better week? I had a bit of a talk with mine this afternoon along the lines of it is ok to enjoy herself at university. There have been times when I've wondered if she was almost determined not to have a good time, or at least admit it.

Topseyt Sat 26-Oct-13 21:28:24

Mine had her first bad day today, so I have had a taste of what that is like.

She went to a nightclub last night with her friends, and lost her bag whilst there. It contained her phone, bank cards, money, provisional driving licence, room key. Her friends were very good and looked after her, but it was a big shock to her. She borrowed a phone and spoke to me today, and it was sooo hard to hear my usually confident daughter all upset and tearful. I spent the afternoon soothing things, explaining how it wasn't the end of the world, helping arrange a spare key for her from the accommodation office (night security had let her into her room with a master key, but if she left it again without her own key it would close and she would be locked out again). I also started pricing up replacement phone handsets etc.

Then a miracle happened. The nightclub messaged her this evening to say they have her bag, and she can collect it Monday afternoon. It looks like she should now get everything back. How lucky is that!!??

She is now spending Saturday night in watching a movie and drinking hot chocolate. She can't go to the union due to lack of funds and cancelled bank cards (in the lost bag).

I was so worried about her, as I have never heard her like that before. The word "relief" now hardly describes it.

MissMarplesBloomers Sat 26-Oct-13 23:28:21

Oh Topseyt I'm kicking myself now for not checking this thread before we left for Warwick I could have dropped in a few £'s to last her till Monday sad
I'm sorry to hear about the bag incident but fab they found it & good to hear of the chums rallying round. All part of the learning curves of independant living isn't it, learning to deal with emergencies, but worrying when you hear them so upset.

DD doing OK .....we went shopping in Leamington, (lovely shops! ) and had some lunch, then we went back to her flat to have tea & cakes I'd treated us to. Lots of hugs, giggle & chat the 3 of us & it was good to hear the 2 of them bantering & insulting each other as usual I've missed that!

She is growing up & more confident every day it seems, so proud of her & me too I didn't blub when we parted this time! grin

madeofkent Sat 26-Oct-13 23:35:37

What a nightmare!!! It is just one of the worries we have about them, isn't it. I miss my son because he is lovely, it really is that simple. I have friends who badly needed a break from their children, but my son was never like most teenagers, I kept on waiting for a rebellion that never came, so in a way perhaps it would have been a lot easier if he had been a bit of a pain in the butt like his sister could be at times. Not missing them doesn't make anyone a bad mum, but one who probably thought it was about time they had a bit of a brain break after all those years! I missed my daughter when she left, but nothing like as much as I miss my son, because we rowed a lot more. A bit of distance was a good thing. We're in touch every day though and I do still miss her physically. I just wouldn't want her back permanently unless I had to, because I feel a bit swamped by her, she is very lively. DS is more like me, and a good friend, so I do feel bereft. I've got to the stage where lots of people have started to get over missing their children, but I have realised that i am going to be one of the ones having a quiet sniffle after every departure, like my MIL, who I used to think was bonkers. hmm

Topseyt Sun 27-Oct-13 00:12:57

Oh that is a very kind thought Miss Marple. Thank you, and I am glad you had a lovely day.

I didn't hear about it until early afternoon. She had borrowed a friend's phone to call me on our landline, but I was out with the dogs. I phoned back, and the poor boy whose number it was had to run along the corridor and take his phone to her. blush Felt a bit cheeky really, but as her phone was then missing I had no other way of finding out what had really happened. I would think she will be fine now though. She had done some food shopping on Friday in the day, and will be able to get some emergency money when the bank opens on Monday. Then bus into Coventry to collect said bag.

I do miss her, but it is getting a little easier. I now understand that I am still needed, just in a different way. She is a great friend. People who worry about their children without necessarily missing them should not think that makes them bad parents. It doesn't. I hope I will reach that situation soon, as it is an acceptance of the situation. It is natural too, and we are all different.

mumeeee Sun 27-Oct-13 00:40:55

Topsey that must have been a bit of a nightmare, Glad her bags been found and she has some good friends, I always panic when I can't get hold of DD3 thinking she must have lost her phone or something. I'm getting better now though and try and remember she sometimes leaves her phone in her room which is something she never did at home.

fussychica Sun 27-Oct-13 10:48:04

Well the traveller has returned to deepest France from his trip to San Sebastian, Bilbao & Santander. He was happy but exhausted - late nights, early starts. Lots of speaking Spanish which he lovedgrin, Still another week off before term restarts and he doesn't have anything else planned.

He went to have a shower to find no hot water - now has to go to a different block to shower - another hiccup. However, his French phone contract is up & running and he's ordered a mini hob to supplement microwave cooking at weekends so thing are looking up. Can't believe I won't be with him for his 21st in a couple of weeks and won't see him til Xmas sad.

We are off on holiday next week so contact will be limited and I think it will feel odd but he's grown up now so I shouldn't worry but know I willsad

Notsoskinnyminny Sun 27-Oct-13 17:45:25

There have been times when I've wondered if she was almost determined not to have a good time, or at least admit it.
mrsrhod I've thought the same. DD describes herself as socially awkward and before she went had decided she'd be the nerdy one in the flat and whilst I know she's well out of her comfort zone I wonder if she's making things sound worse than they are. There was no hint of an atmosphere when I was there in the week.

I've been stalking her blog and she's written about how she feels let down by her friends here and how she's only got me to confide in but I'm getting upset when she's down so she's not going to tell me any more sad.

Topsey hope DD gets everything sorted tomorrow. Has she changed her address at the bank otherwise her new cards might get posted to you?

mumeeee Sun 27-Oct-13 18:05:49

I think the reason DD3 has settled into uni well is because she planned everything in her head before going. Her two older sisters have been through uni and she had seen how they coped. Because of her learning difficulties she likes to try and plan and get things right. This can be annoying at times but has helped her with uni, She was determined to try and make friends with her flatmates and to go out with them sometimes and she also decided to join clubs. She is also 21 so older than some students, Although she is still like a young teenager in many ways. Her determination has paid off and she feels that she is able to say that she needs to stay and do some work when her friends are going out and to join them at other times, It helps that she has a good bunch of flatmates.

Topseyt Sun 27-Oct-13 18:34:35

Notso, thank you. I mentioned to her that the new bank cards might get posted here, but she says she has arranged for them to be posted for pick up at a branch in Coventry.

We now just have to hope that everything such as her phone and room key are still in the bag tomorrow when she goes to retrieve it. Hopeful though. Surely if someone had just wanted to nick her stuff they would simply have walked out with the bag rather than go through and then leave it. Fingers crossed anyway.

I hope yur daughter manages to feel more settled soon.

Mumeeee, that is good to hear about your daughter.

mumeeee Sun 27-Oct-13 21:05:34

Thanks Topsey. I hope your DD gets everything back okay,

Topseyt Mon 28-Oct-13 14:18:51

I hope I will know by this evening.

Topseyt Mon 28-Oct-13 18:39:20

The bag is back, minus her phone and her camera. Sad, but I am not surprised somehow. I have made several offers for how to replace the phone. Now I just have to wait for her to chew it over. I think she probably still thinks that a parent cannot possibly know what they are talking about with regard to phone handsets, just as she did when she was a much younger teen. confused

Pliudev Mon 28-Oct-13 18:52:21

Notsoskinnyminny and Mrsrhod I've been thinking the same about my DS. I sometimes think his loneliness is brought on himself because he sticks rigidly to ideas he has about not drinking etc. It's not that I want him to go out and get blind drunk but his refusal to go to any social events is obviously cutting him off from his fellow students. It's hard when they're telling you they are unhappy not to make suggestions but each time I do they get bounced back. He sounded fine when he rang on Friday but e-mailed today to say he's unhappy and sitting in the library on his own between lectures.Aaaaagh!

mrsrhodgilbert Mon 28-Oct-13 20:08:00

Oh it's not just me then, thank goodness. Dd took her younger sister (17) back with her on the train yesterday for the night. DH and I drove over today to take them out for lunch and bring dd2 home.

Dd1 was very clingy all day. It felt a bit like we were leaving her for the first time again. There were a few tears through the day and she was very moody. I know that this constant coming home is making it worse, every week she has to leave again but as her flat mates all do the same it's difficult. By Friday she will be fine again I expect, but the cycle will start again. At the weekends she is volatile and sticks to me like glue which means DH and I do not get much chance to do things together. I'm getting a bit tired of the lame dog act to be honest.

Last week she had a good time, I know she did, but it would kill her to admit it. It is causing quite a bit of stress all round now. Aaaaagh indeed!

SnowGo Mon 28-Oct-13 20:19:50

mrsrhodgilbert, why does she have to go home every weekend? Do her friends/ flatmates really all go home or is she just saying that in the usual teenager fashion? The odd weekend staying at uni won't hurt.

Its a shame that some of them create a rod for their own back by convincing themselves that they won't enjoy it at uni. sad

Hopefully all if your teens who are struggling will sort it all out before long thanks

DalmationDots Mon 28-Oct-13 21:04:06

I agree with SnowGo could you make up a reason she can't come home e.g. you are all going to stay with a set of grandparents and have to leave on the friday/not back until monday so she has to stay? Or just chat to her about trying two weeks?
Even if all her flatmates are out can she invite a few course girls over for a film or plan out her weekend so it is packed full of gym trip/supermarket shop/laundry/shopping etc.
Could a home friend visit her?

DD did the following about thing the first time she came home, it was fine that one time but by sunday got a little irritating! Maybe she needs you to be a tiny bit tough and if you have a 'get on with it, it will get better' attitude, then it might rub off on her. Maybe talk non-stop about how great her week sounded and it is so good she did things with the nice housemates. Maybe she needs to realise herself that she has made progress.
When DD made progress I was full or praise and relief maybe her angst would soon be over! but she just saw those around her seeming even better friends, even more settled, and her just beginning to settle therefore didn't seem a big achievement or progress as she felt 'behind' where she should be.

Only you know your DD and whether she needs a little push or whether a push would send her packing home for good!! These are just suggestions of course.

DalmationDots Mon 28-Oct-13 21:04:20

that was for mrsrhod by the way

madeofkent Mon 28-Oct-13 21:26:14

I met up with some friends on Friday and they were saying the same thing, that their daughter seems determined not to socialise. They are getting really annoyed with her. She refused to go out with her flatmates, who wanted her to go to a new club with them one Friday. They banged on her door at 2am when they got in to see if she was awake, just to include her in their chatter and breakdown of the evening's events and she became really angry. Yet she complains if she feels excluded. It makes you wonder what is going on in their heads. DS is coming home this weekend, I am worried that he will find us dreadfully boring now. I am thinking that I may have to get him to help his father to cut the hedges to prevent that. wink

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