20 year old daughter(28 Posts)
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NC for this
My daughter has just started properly dating - madly deeply and all that
It feels like a part of me is grieving for what she and I used to have - a really close loving relationship
Is this normal (the sadness and grief) or am I mad?
Of course I want her to be happy but there seems to be a hole in my life now which makes me feel profoundly unhappy
I'm a single parent and have focussed on my daughter for 20 years!
Any words of wisdom for me?
You sound very wise and you have explained what is happening very well. We do have to let our children go onto their own journeys. Maybe now you can focus on yourself and maybe try renewing old friendships and making new friendships.
It must be quite exciting seeing her using the wings you have helped her grow?
Thank you both so much for your kind replies.
I guess it's something I need to get used to. It seems as though I should feel so happy ( because she is happy) and yet it just feels like a loss. I didn't see this coming! Naturally I haven't mentioned this to my daughter.
Also, I suppose because she's got others to talk to now, she doesn't tell me things which are happening any more, she even lies to me. Twas ever thus, I'm sure, but it adds to the sadness
I need to get a grip of my knickers
It's really hard. The feeling that someone else is more important , is the person they talk to about their feelings and experiences.
I can remember that empty feeling. They even start not wanting to share information. They stop wanting to hang out with you.
But it changes. It takes a long time. Years sometimes. But they start to value your company again. The boyfriend may be with them but they do start to share feelings and want your company again.
It's as if they need to get used to being independent and the transition from a daughter to a daughter who is an adult in a relationship is confusing.
Empty nest syndrome don't let it win. Do stuff for you. Create your time and start doing those things you've wanted to but didn't because of your time with your daughter.
What a lovely reply. Thank you. I'm so grateful to hear from you.
It is a huge transition and I feel an idiot for not preparing myself more for it!
Totally normal feelings IME you just need to take a deep breath and let it go. What I do is arrange something with Dds so you can have a catch up. I have 1 dd single after a ltr and another who is also 20 totally loved up I try and catch up with her once a week or there abouts.
Dd 1 was in a relationship from 17 to 24 I felt I missed her yes I know it is ridiculous but it is how I felt.
I think it's a credit to us and our DDs that we had such loving close relationships with our DDs. And I hope that after a 'blip' the closeness will return, perhaps slightly different, but still there
Does she still live with you? I missed mine when they moved out, but was so excited for their new lives.
She's been at uni for a year. That bits fine. I love how well she's doing and all her new friends
I suppose it's getting used to her having one special person - a boyfriend - it's an adjustment for me which I hadn't anticipated having to make
Foolishly I thought it would all just 'flow'
Have you met the bf? Is he nice? If he’s lovely and loved up with her too then let that be a source of happiness for you, that she has met a great partner who makes her happy and vice versa. He might be around for the rest of your life, in which case he will be a proper part of your family too and that would be wonderful. Or it might not last, but try to enjoy her happiness. Far better than if he’s an idiot or worse (so hope he isn’t!)
She hasn't told me she has a BF. Very secretive. Which is hugely unusual for her and I but it could be simply because it's a new situation for her and she doesn't know how to involve me
How do you know she has a bf? Why would she be so secretive do you think?
I'm not sure. Because we are usually very open with each other. Perhaps the secrecy is because it's new and she wants to be sure before bringing me into the mix?
I know because of a couple of things her uni friends have said on Facebook
This is hard. I’ve been a single parent for 12 years, and they are both adults now. DD has moved in with her boyfriend, and DS is loved up with his girlfriend. I feel ‘dumped’, but very happy for both of them.
The hardest part for me, are the ‘in laws’, I feel I’m ‘losing’ my DC to them because I’m single and they aren’t, they’re both family units. I’ve not met my DS girlfriends parents, but my DD in laws/family are lovely.
This is normal I tell myself, and I’m trying to build a life for commitment free me. If your DC are happy, then you’ve done a good job
Maybe think about what you were doing at 20. It may help put things into perspective.
I struggle with this too, OP. I was very young when I had my DD and like a previous poster, struggle with the ‘in laws’ (although they are lovely) - but I suppose I am just conscious of the difference between their home and mine, not in a material sense but in a different way.
I miss her
pinkbobbles totally agree with their home and mine
I'm also in this position. My DD (20) is loved up with a great guy, at uni, and I'm left picking up the crumbs. I hadn't thought it would be like this
And yes to the in laws, hones and the missing @pinkbobbles
confused147 if I look back at when I was 20, I really do think nothing (and no one) mattered much apart from me. When there is a love interest,and it can be at any age too, things (people) go on the back burner.
20 is so very young these days, just be there when she needs you, because she will
I’m not in this situation yet, but she will come back. You’re her mum, you’ll be her safe space for a long time yet. And then when she’s older and a mum herself you’ll be the one she turns to for advice and support. Hopefully she’ll have a lovely mil/fil but they’ll never replace you no matter what.
It sounds like you have a fab relationship and her going off and being independent won’t change that.
Thank you all so much. ￼
I'm feeling really low today. Like I don't matter. I know I do. But I suppose having been just the 2 of us for so long it's a big adjustment to make when my DD loves someone else. I guess we never stop learning how to be better people
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