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Emptynester

(60 Posts)
happyfeet210 Mon 08-Apr-13 18:02:32

I am new at this and a little scared to say what's on my mind but here goes!
Are there other middle aged mums who struggle when their children leave? I am a retired 51 year old. (I have always worked until last year) My 20 year old daughter (only child) just headed back to Uni. She is in the 3rd term of her 2nd year. I am really proud of the way she has flown our nest and is getting on just fine but every time she leaves I just feel she takes another little piece of me. I still feel redundant and sad. I know looking back is wrong, I just need to take a can of "man-up" and get busy, and this is what I do, but it doesn't get any easier! Got any tips?

1944girl Thu 11-Apr-13 21:12:21

Thanks happyfeet.
I sometimes think I must be a terrible sinner, the names I call of them when they start fighting!

oldwomaninashoe Thu 11-Apr-13 11:29:15

I long to have an empty nest, I have 3 grown sons still at home and I am in my 60's. I long to retire, as I get older the early starts, the commuting are just getting too much.
DH and I could downsize if they left but while they are supposedly "saving " for deposits I see no end to it all. I now have my toddler nephew every weekend and my life is really not my own.

Oh how I long for them all to leave!

AgathaF Thu 11-Apr-13 10:12:29

springy - I miss the house full of kids too. It's annoying sometimes, at the time, to come home to find the fridge emptied, but I do miss it.

I really missed hearing him play the guitar when he left for uni too. The last couple of days before he started uni, whenever I heard him playing it made me cry.

springyhappychick Thu 11-Apr-13 00:12:06

Just once I put the light and music on in his (last one to go) room because I couldn't bear the emptiness of the house. I knew he wasn't there but it was a comfort to see the light on at his window and under his door.

boom you are not pathetic! If you are then I am. and I'm not wink

I also miss their friends! I wonder how they're getting on but it would be too creepy to follow them up - but for years I had a houseful of kids with trainers by the door the size of boats, which I fell over regularly. and noise and thumping about and laughing; endless kids crammed around the table eating up all my food. I saw one of my son's friends in the local supermarket and I didn't have time to be cool - absolute delight was apparent on my face and I completely gushed blush

happyfeet210 Wed 10-Apr-13 20:51:59

oh I know,I know that's how it makes you feel, you don't want to tell friends because its does seem pathetic. When she left I went into her room every night, closed the blind and said good night. Its hard when you are that close I think my dd feels it too which is why she throws herself wholeheartedly into all she does and leaves herself no spare time - we could do with a book on this subject wink.

boombangalang Wed 10-Apr-13 20:33:11

Oh God - I am dreading it - dreading it... I have spent all my time with my daughter since the day she was born. I am a writer and have worked from home forever so I am home with her all the time and in 2 years time she is leaving for Uni and I hate it even now. I tell her its great and exciting with so many good times ahead for you but inside I am weeping already. I have friends, she has friends, we go out without each other... But the hole she will leave? The empty bedroom, the cat always looking for her, not finding her so jumping on me instead. The not buying food for two, the fact that the only light on in the house will be the one in the room I am in - not in her room or in the hall because she did not turn it off - her music not on, her shoes not under my feet, her dishes not dumped int he sink... Pathetic - I am pathetic.

happyfeet210 Wed 10-Apr-13 20:27:40

1944girl you are a saint!! x

happyfeet210 Wed 10-Apr-13 20:00:06

Ah 99problems sorry you are reading this as no mums here want their dc to know too much about how they feel as we don't want to hold our dc's back and no doubt your mum will feel the same so please don't take this on your shoulders when you move from your mum it'll be your time to fly and tbh this feels like counselling! I thought I was a real soft overprotective mum but this thread has 52 messages so proof that we all feel the same thanks. There are no plans for grandchildren, I was a mature mum and dd will prob be the same, she has plans to work abroad after Uni - ah that'll be worse! I'd like to give you all a hug (and a cupcake).

1944girl Wed 10-Apr-13 18:57:40

I am now 68 and have yet to have an empty nest!.
My DS2 his wife and two children have lived with me and DH for the past ten years.There was a time when he was married to his first wife-he got married the first time at 19-when I could say I had an empty nest but he kept coming back and forward.DS1 left home years ago.
I now have one of his daughters from his first marriage living here as well.That makes seven of us in one house.
Sometimes I could scream at them all, but I know when the time comes for all of them to flee I will break my heart.

springyhappychick Wed 10-Apr-13 18:35:14

My neice came to stay for about a week - trouble with her parents - and, although my kids were all at home, I missed her dreadfully when she went. Had a good cry about it (nobody knew). And that's after a week!!

cjel Wed 10-Apr-13 18:26:13

My dd had her daughter at 18 and my ds was only 14 so we had them with us, I have had 30 years with little ones around, My ds left 2 wks ago and I miss his kids like mad the 3 yr old and 18month old used to pop in every morning to share my bfast after taking their db to school. Now ds has moved out I only see them every few days and miss them like mad, although did have my daughters two for the day on monday. they are 12 and 6 so that was lovely.x Thanks for the cake Happy.

99problems Wed 10-Apr-13 18:04:02

Oh god I'm crying too and ds is only 4! I have thought about this a lot, from various angles... I'm 23 but still live at home with my mum grin, I dread moving out because I don't want to leave her! So kind of a weird twist on the empty nest thing, I can't bear the thought of leaving my childhood home and mum, went to the local uni to avoid it. Also know I will suffer greatly when ds goes. I had him when I was 18, don't plan on having any more for another 5/10 years so when my last dc leaves I will have spent most of my life raising dc!

I know it may be a few years off yet but when your dc have their own children, you will have a whole new experience, being a grandmother! My mum adores her role as grandmother, and she tells me there are many other grandparents at the school gates with her (I work so mum takes ds to and from school). It seems increasingly common that grandparents look after their grandchildren a lot now, esp due to the sky high prices of childcare.

In the meantime, have you thought about counselling or CBT to gain a new perspective? I fully expect to be utterly distraught at this stage in my life and will probably need some kind of help!

cjel Wed 10-Apr-13 17:49:42

Yes Please!!

happyfeet210 Wed 10-Apr-13 17:45:56

Well can understand you wanting another baby! I also remember those times as a working mum when you are exhausted and crave some me time so know where you are coming from Carmen & Lydia. A dog would do it but I am allergic - my dd laughs and says she has sibling rivalry to my veg plants which I started to nurture when she first moved away. Yes winterlight & Noddy- It's the sense of loss for that time when they were depenant and we can never get that back. I am struggling to motivate myself to move on - I went out for a long cycle ride with dh today (good) but came home and made cupcakes (notsogood). I am looking forward to what the future brings. Thanks for kind thoughts cherylkerl, a sad and unfair story, its your mum's loss. I am glad you are enjoying your family unit with your Dad, Sister and new nephew - Cupcake anyone?grin

noddyholder Wed 10-Apr-13 09:23:44

Yes that time when they are dependant on you and fully immersed in your world and vice versa is gone but the relationship changes and I think today more than ever the parent child thing is prolonged and deeper. I know I never had the sort of relationship with mine that I see around me now with friends etc. I know people who all holiday together with kids well into their 20s and with their partners etc. My advice for anyone with any sort of worry though is always the same Live in the day as you have no control over the past or future and in some ways it doesn't even exist

Winterlight Wed 10-Apr-13 09:13:47

'I don't think it's about fulillment so much, but about loss.'

That is it exactly. I made efforts to make a fulfilling life for myself and have a wonderful relationship with my adult girls, but I still feel a great sense of loss and I'm not sure that anything will ever fully heal that.

springyhappychick Tue 09-Apr-13 23:32:53

I don't think it's about fulillment so much, but about loss. Loss is loss. Nobody's fault, just something that happens.

Cherylkerl Tue 09-Apr-13 21:14:06

Bless you, you sound like a sweet and lovely mum. I have no advice but just wanted to say as the daughter of a mother who was so petrified of an empty nest she buggered off with another man to make a new nest, it is lovely to hear of proper mums who go the distance and cherish their kids. Your daughter will always have that security of roots, belonging etc. it's real gift. you have done that for her. It's priceless.

Incidentally, I've tried leaving my nest but haven't gone far. I see my dad most days and my sister up the road with her newborn. It's a great phase. My dad says having kids just gets better every day - we are 32 and 30! The arrival of my nephew has been the icing on the cake.

Hope you find some fulfilment

cjel Tue 09-Apr-13 20:52:09

I have dd 30 and ds 28 (who just left homefinally 2 weeks ago.)He has been at uni twice,gap year in NZ and Marines, so I'm used to him going but I have cried this week but just to reassure you I now have 5 Wonderful grandchildren (13yrs to one and a half yrs) and I can do all the lovely things again!!!

redandyellowbits Tue 09-Apr-13 20:47:34

Ah crap, I'm crying at this thread too, and my DDs are only 5, 3 and 7mo!

I can't imagine my day-to-day life without them, I am already so scared of them leaving and living their own lives.

carmenelectra Tue 09-Apr-13 20:35:28

This thread maybe sad. Especially scarletts post- it made me cry!

I'm not at this stage yet as my eldest is only 13, but as I see them grow it makes me think. I will suffer from this, I know.

Its strange how we wish their lives away when they are little and its hard ie sleeping through night, and making our lives easier, yet crave it when its gone.

I think I want another child(I'm 42) and sometimes I wonder if for for the wrong reasons. Maybe to cling to my mothering yrs. I feel a wrench as I see them grow, yet also crave some 'me' time as its soo hard!

I know I sound desperate but I'm not! I work, have a great relationship, see friends etc so its not like all I've got.

I feel sad/jealous too at young mothers just starting out as my days of childbearing are numbered sad

lydiajones Tue 09-Apr-13 18:30:29

Am reading this and thinking that I will be like this. Makes me want to have another baby to prolong the parenting thing.

Sorry that was not a helpful comment!

CuttedUpPear Tue 09-Apr-13 18:18:56

I got a dog for me a DS to replace DD when she went to Uni. The dog is a great help and diversion for us both. And DD loves her replacement!

whenIwasRosie Tue 09-Apr-13 18:12:40

I can empathise with you OP, I have 3 DS aged 26, 23 and 19 and the youngest went off to uni last September. However the oldest one has come back now and is at home looking for work so I guess I am not in quite the same position. I was v sad when my youngest went off but I do still work part time and try to keep busy with choir, yoga, friends etc. We also have a dog as coffeeinbed suggests and I love taking her out for long walkies! I find with uni though, that I just get used to them being away and then it's the holidays and they all come back again...

grin

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