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to be upset about empty nest even though it's weeks away yet?

(41 Posts)
Ledeluge Wed 24-Aug-16 17:10:39

In theory I am looking forward to it. Both DS off to uni this autumn, both very much ready to go, I'm excited for them, I'm looking forward to DH and I having the house to ourselves, less housework, less shopping, more chilling time, meals out etc....

So why did I start bawling when I was checking out term dates? Really was not expecting that. Hmm, maybe this is going to be harder than I bargained for?

c3pu Wed 24-Aug-16 17:14:05

Too late to have another one? ;-)

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Wed 24-Aug-16 17:15:36

You need some kittens.

MothertotheLordsofmisrule Wed 24-Aug-16 17:16:41

Enjoy it.

And don't worry you'll soon be back moaning about the mess they cause when they come homewink

Myredrose Wed 24-Aug-16 17:18:13

I am getting a rescue dog the week after dd goes - I will slowly replace each child with another pet I think.

PanGalacticGargleBlaster Wed 24-Aug-16 17:18:59

YANBU. I'm not even mad keen on my DDs most the time but there's something very very wrong with the world when they aren't safe at home with me.

I find gin helps a lot.

crunched Wed 24-Aug-16 17:21:08

University terms are surprisingly short ... and the holidays long.brew

BackforGood Wed 24-Aug-16 17:22:42

Well, we're all different, but I love it when ds is away.
The whole house is just calmer, more relaxed, less stressful and lovely. At the end of term I really want to see him again, but within about 12hours, I remember the reality grin

YANBU at all!

I went through this last year, when ds3 was about to leave for university - ds1 had graduated and was moving out to start his new job, hundreds of miles away, and ds2 was going back to university for his third year, and ds3 leaving meant the nest was empty.

What made it worse was that should was working away a lot, sometimes away for 2 or 3 nights on the trot, so I knew I was going to be completely alone. I got very depressed about it - I was sure I wouldn't cope, and I did really struggle at first.

But I got used to it, and gradually found things I liked about having the place to myself - like eating exactly what I wanted, when I wanted to, and not having to cook for people if I didn't want to. Plus if I cleaned or tidied something, it stayed clean and tidy.

And then they come home for holidays or university vacations - or just for the weekend, so they can eat for free and use the washing machine and dryer (also for free), so you get a bit of the best of both worlds - all the chaos of having them home, and then the peace and quiet after they go back!

So no, YANBU to be upset about the thought of the empty nest, but it will be OK.

5Foot5 Wed 24-Aug-16 17:28:47

When DD first went to Uni we immediately had a few days away ourselves. This was good because it took our minds off it and gave us something else to do other than sit at home thinking "Oh I hope she is OK", "I hope she has made friends" etc.

Thing is you get used to them being away and then they come home for the hols and it is lovely. And then you just get used to them being home again and it is time for them to go back :-(

CaptainCrunch Wed 24-Aug-16 17:33:17

This is how I felt but quickly discovered fannying about in cocktail bars helped enormously grin

Ledeluge Wed 24-Aug-16 17:36:36

Thanks, some lovely ideas here (especially puppies, kittens and gin!)

DH does work away a bit but I do quite like having the house to myself so it's not exactly that - it's definitely more about them leaving than me being on my own, if that makes sense.

For various reasons, we have just had an unusually long, relaxed summer together and I have really enjoyed their company. We seem to be over the worst of the teenage strops and they have been pretty lovely.

I'll probably just throw myself into work - which I do enjoy - and am quite looking forward to being able to be a bit houseproud. I know it'll be fine - just took me by surprise to be feeling so emotional at this point.

Andrewofgg Wed 24-Aug-16 17:50:17

I am seven years younger than DSis and when I went to University my DM was a widow. She drove home and (as I learnt years later) started a three day crying jag when she got into the empty nest.

After which she went and booked a holiday for the following May where she met my DSF, a lovely chap with whom she lived happily for 24 years until she died, so there you go!

HuskyLover1 Wed 24-Aug-16 17:51:37

Another empty nester here. It's really not going to be as bad as you think. Remember how worried you were, when they started school? And then High School? And the reality was never as bad as you thought, was it? Well, this is the same, it really is.

My DS went to Uni last year. He's working near the Uni all summer and is renting now with Pals. My DD goes in 2 weeks (but has been working away all summer, so it feels like an empty nest already)

Within days of them arriving, they will be making friends and partying, and you will really relax.

I worried a bit about their safety. I found looking on facebook and seeing they were active ten minutes ago really helped!

And don't forget, they have LONG holidays, that they come home for (unless they get jobs like mine!). They'll be home for the Christmas Break. Then they go back in January, but they are only there until May and then you'll have them back home until September. The time goes fast.

Think about all the positives. Less cooking/washing/tidying up. A loaf of bread and a pint of milk can last a few days (who knew?). No school runs (I don't miss those!).

And you can go for weekends away to the City they are in. Stay somewhere nice with DH. Take the kids out to lunch (they'll be partying at night!) then have a nice night on the town with DH.

I'm trying to think of this as a new chapter. My and DH are early 40's, so still feel young etc.

LobsterQuadrille Wed 24-Aug-16 18:02:17

No, I have been thinking the same all week. I have lived with DD (and only DD) for the last 18 and a half years and, although I have spent the odd night away for work and she's spent nights away with friends, and had a week away earlier this summer, that's the extent of the time apart .... although I did go back to work when she was six weeks old, so I don't mean that I am clingy. She has just always been there.

I started a new job this week - lots to focus on - I have plenty of family and friends around that I've never had enough time to see. I'm in AA so I can't reply on the gin and I already have a cat who wouldn't take kindly to another one.

DD has done all the vacuuming, any ironing that needs doing and has shared everything else with me so it's not even as if I'm gaining on the work front!

I like the new chapter angle; it's how I have been trying to think of it.

LobsterQuadrille Wed 24-Aug-16 18:02:38

*rely on gin

wigglybeezer Wed 24-Aug-16 18:08:20

Could be worse, DS1 is joining the navy and will be away for up to 11 months at a time...

Billyjoelene578 Wed 24-Aug-16 18:15:35

I had never been very sentimental when mine started school etc, but found the first going to university a big jolt. Like you, I was excited for him to go, but felt as tho he'd gone forever once I dropped him off, and was really surprised how agitated I felt (it wasn't like we'd spent lots of time together before he went, he was a typical teenage boy, in his room or out a lot of the time!).
I was just v anxious about whether he was ok, and keeping busy didn't really ease it (I was incredibly busy at work at the time). But once he was properly settled, and I knew he was happy, I got used to it.
I think the desire to make sure they're ok runs deep, and after being mum 24 hrs a day for 18 years, it feels as if you're not doing ur job when u have no idea where they are or what they're doing for weeks on end suddenly (tho I believe some girls do stay in touch!). I think u just have to accept it's going to feel weird for a bit, treat yourself to some chocolate, and wait for it to pass. Just don't tell ur DC that ur missing them, they need to get used to being independent without feeling bad for you :-)

JT05 Wed 24-Aug-16 18:21:01

It is difficult! I didn't worry when they went off round the world, but going to Uni. Yes there were tears!
I made a box of home made cookies for them to share with other hall residents, over that first coffee. Felt I'd done my Mum bit!
They do return, with washing etc. but without many of the household items you sent them off with!

goose1964 Wed 24-Aug-16 18:24:58

It may not be for long , I got my 3 to uni/living with their partners and now DD has moved home with DSiL and a baby on the way because renting was eating up their income

Carol1303 Thu 25-Aug-16 16:25:32

I am in the same situation, my DD leaves in 2 weeks and I am so proud of her and know I have done an OK job as a parent to have raised such a bright, confident person. But why can't this logic control my heart, I can't even think about it without tearing up, in the car, at work, everywhere. How I will face up to the day we leave her there I don't know. DH is as supportive as I can ask for and we are going off for a break right after, but I never expected to feel this way. Sorry for jumping in on this thread but I totally understand how you feel, just wish there was an off switch for the emotions some how. Comforting to know I am not alone and right now I look forward to the washing mountain.hmm

BertrandRussell Thu 25-Aug-16 16:29:36

After I dropped dd at university the first time I cried practically all the way home- and it was a very long drive. At one point I pulled into a distant corner of a service station and literally howled.

It gets easier, I promise!

BeautifulMaudOHara Thu 25-Aug-16 16:35:53

I'm feeling the same, it's odd. And disconcerting.

twotiredtoo Thu 25-Aug-16 16:37:43

This was me last year when DS went. My heart was aching for weeks and the drive home was so sad.
DD goes in 3 weeks and frankly I can't wait.

It's a whole new, exciting chapter for them and also for us.
Tidy house, full fridge, no unknowns dossing in the house, no piles of trainers blocking the door.

Give it a fortnight and you'll be jumping for joywink

Carol1303 Thu 25-Aug-16 17:57:34

I hope it does get easier and I will try and dwell on the positive. I think its worse as we've had a lovely summer together, past all the strops and hormones and DD even came on holiday with us because she wanted to. It feels like now she is an individual who I can honestly say I like as well as love, she's leaving. I guess she has grown up.

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