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Stop me being a dick. DS has dumped us emotionally and I'm pathetic.(26 Posts)
DS (22) has just returned from a year travelling after doing his degree. I was so excited to see him and have him home for a bit, but he is basically miserable to be here and has spent the entire time telling us how he is emigrating back to the other side of the world the minute he can. Home town is boring and why would anybody in their right mind choose to live here? His previous plans to follow a career in his very good degree are now abandoned and apparently he can't tell me stuff about his life any more because I'm too old fashioned to understand. He's already announced he'll be away again for Christmas this year and has shown almost no interest in his younger sibling who is also doing exciting new things. They used to be really close. He hasn't once said he's pleased to see any of us
only the dog
I know it's normal. I know he has to grow up and move on but how do I stop feeling unneeded, weepy and hurt? (Not showing it to ds). 20 years getting him happy and independent and now he is happy and independent - and I'm turning into a nightmare clingy mother wailing but what about meeee?
Please talk sense into me.
I think it's okay to tell them they are being hurtful; you can do it in a jokey way if it helps. At 22 they don't all have massive amounts of empathy and consideration for other people's feelings.
And he's just a kid; he could meet a girl (or boy) down the pub tomorrow and suddenly your little town is the best place ever.
But basically, be glad he is out and getting at the world. It's a good thing, it's what we raise them for. He'll come back to you. I was a bitch to my parents at that age. I reconnected when I had my own kids.
Oh gosh dd2 has been away this week and I feel like my right arm is missing so I understand your feelings. I guess there might be a usefulness in developing a more adult to adult new relationship (even though he is not being terribly mature right now!).
I don't think your being the dick here. But i also don't know how you can resolve it so heres and a bump for someone who might have some ideas.
Do you watch the goldbergs? theres a brilliant episode where the eldest goes to university and becomes a bit of a twat in the way your describing. So your not the only one
Thanks folks. I'm scared to tell him how it's making me feel because it comes across as needy. I'm trying the bright breezy. That sounds great darling! approach.
LimboLuna I haven't seen the Goldbergs but was watching the Middle while writing this and exactly the same scenario was happening there. Comedy
but it made me cry
Ahhh the arrogance of youth. Best to stick to breezy platitudes along the lines of 'yes dear of course you think that' and basically fake it until you make it on hiding your hurt feelings. He's being a dick. When he properly grows up he will probably look back on this and cringe.
I do not have grownup children yet (oldest of my three is only 12!), but I was your DS when I got back from travelling when I was 22 - just hated everything about being at home and was completely miserable. In my case it was just transitional - I cracked on, got a job, moved out ASAP and things quickly went back to being fine between me and my parents: it was a very clear shift between student life and adulthood. What might have helped in the transition period when I was living at home and things were awful would have been my parents very clearly treating me as a proper, independent adult - I couldn't bear them 'nagging' me about stuff like doing my laundry etc, or reminding me about trivial things - after travelling I felt like I had changed massively but they still saw me as a teenager and everything at home - including poor younger sibling! - had stood still. My only suggestions are to give him space, treat him as an adult, and give him opportunities to connect with you in a different way if you can - 'proper' conversations, over a glass of wine or a beer in the garden - like you might with a friend, less about 'his life' and more about his views on things, maybe asking him about how his perspective has changed since travelling, etc might help, and with Christmas etc perhaps talk about meeting up and doing something as a family at a different time instead. Anyway, sorry for how you're feeling, must be difficult, and HTH a bit! Now have a fully-functioning and happy adult relationship with my parents so there is hope.
Why would you hide your feelings from your grown man son?? I think it’s perfectly ok to tell him he’s being an ungrateful, hurtful, self absorbed jerk.
Can't really offer anything to add to excellent advice but I know it hurts. The absolute worst thing is to sound clingy ("needy") - it's yet another phase, some go through it, others don't, it won't last forever.
SuseB hearing it from that perspective is really helpful Thanks. I'm sure it is hard for him too.
And it's also helpful to hear from others that ds sounds a bit of a self absorbed dick too.
And now I have to try not to feel weepy every time he mentions emigrating.
This was me also when I was 24. I came back from travelling after a year and felt so miserable to be home. I cried at the airport when my DM picked me up even though we are very close. I hated everything about being home. Everyone seemed so boring in comparison. I had seen & done so many exciting things normal life just seemed miserable. I didn’t have a degree or anything and had done office jobs before I went travelling so I basically saved up for a year and a half and then went abroad again for another 2 years, working where I could. After that I came back home, met my DH and am now in my 40s married with 2 DC. Admittedly I didn’t have a great career I could have been giving up but it still remains to this day (apart from having my DC) the best thing I have ever done. You will probably find the longer he’s back home the more he will settle back into his life here.
I agree about pulling him up on his rudeness though about how you are too old etc as there is no need for him to speak to you like that.
I know how feel about the emigrating Dumb and it doesn't help that I know quite a few people whose successful children have done just that.
But you know what, I live 200 miles from my parents and see them for about 3 weekends a year, mainly because they make zero effort so I can't be arsed any more. I know people with kids in the USA and Canada who see them for weeks at a time every year. It's the strength of your relationship that matters, not the distance.
I don’t think he’s being a dick, a lot of people think their hometown is rubbish and boring and can’t wait to leave it (I used to say this even as far back as primary school!) and travelling has really magnified those feelings. I went travelling for a month so nowhere near as long as him, and I cried every day when I got back, I just felt so stifled and crushed by the mundanity of everyday life.
He does sound like he isn’t being very tactful but I honestly think a half-joking “don’t be so ungrateful” is needed here, you don’t want to sound like you’re emotionally blackmailing him to stay at home if he doesn’t want to. Also be happy you’ve raised an adventurous and independent adult who has the conviction to get out into the world and chase his dreams!
I agree with making a joke out of it (your feelings, not his plans)
So when he says he will be away for Christmas just ask him how Santa will know where to send his presents. Say you have been thinking of taking a cruise yourself. Definitely try to relate to him as an adult rather than as a child (unless it's jokey)
Tell him you are proud and are excited to see where he ends up. You are looking forward to fab holidays in his new country and that you understand why he may not want to live in your home town.
If he is actually rude then he needs pulling up, but he is probably just high on the experiences he has had. Sounds like you did a great job raising an independent and explorative young man
He's and adult and you are an adult - tell him how you feel. Just say you don't want him to change how he wants to live his life - but tell him its difficult for you to process everything.
Sorry your son’s being a bit of an arse, OP. People in their early twenties (especially boys) think they know everything. They mostly grow out of it when the real world comes and smacks them. Travelling is wonderful and exciting, and can definitely make a hometown seem a bit dull, but it’s not the same as living and working in a place (even if you thought that place was very exciting when you travelled there).
Questions might help a bit with this: “That sounds great darling, do you have skills that will allow you to make a living there?” “What will you need to do to get a working visa?” “How much will you need to earn to live well?” “What is the price of housing/food/utlilities/health insurance?”
He's old enough to be aware that people who care about him have feelings - show him it's important to talk about things.
No, I really don't want him to feel I'm trying to make him feel guilty and to become a duty to him. The old-fashioned comment wasn't exactly said with rudeness. He had been telling me about a friend who had a drug problem. I expressed concern about friend and probably asked too many questions. DS accused me of freaking out and told me You see, this is why I don't tell you anything about my life any more, you're too old fashioned etc.
So, I'm not cool about drug use. Hey, DS, that's me.
I really want dd to think her home town is boring and crap and I want her to be impatient to get out and go to pastures new. Atm, she's a bit of a homebody though, despite being 18.
Her hometown (where we do all live, it's just not my hometown) is boring and crap. I want to get out and feel like I'm in prison here. Those pesky kids always do the opposite of what you want, don't they?
It's fine to want to plan new and exciting things and to tell you about how amazing his year was but it doesn't mean he can't also give you a hug and be kind.
I would say something. Tell him that you have feelings too. He's been very arrogant and a gentle reminder may help him grow up a bit.
"Great. When you emigrate I'm going to turn your room into a gym/study/sex dungeon so the sooner the better."
*I expressed concern about friend and probably asked too many questions. DS accused me of freaking out and told me You see, this is why I don't tell you anything about my life any more, you're too old fashioned etc.
So, I'm not cool about drug use. Hey, DS, that's me.*
God, kids are stupid aren't they? My daughter is the same. Of course my opinion is silly, I don't understand, I'm old.
They'll learn eventually, but sometimes I do wonder why I bothered having a child
Thank you for this thread - having similar with dd 22 returning from study abroad.
Apparently I am terrible if I do not agree with everything she says as she is so terribly wise and even discussing or trying to discuss how much of my salary she needs to cover her final year at uni is an affront as discussing anything with me is so difficult!!! (I would quite like a measure of financial planning for the next 12 months)
Having been accused of being a racist biggot (DD is gay and dual heritage) over the past few weeks since she came back and having a small coffee table chucked across the room this evening for not instantly agreeing that being a rent guarentour (?) for her potential flat mate would be great and of course we should INSTANTLY agree and not discuss anything, having never even met the woman, not disagreeing with doing this, just wanting DD to understand that this was a risk to the rest of the family - her younger siblings - as if her mate doesn't pay the rent we are looking at an unintended expense of £9000 - London rents - I am about at the end of my tether. She's off to Brighton Pride, obviously I am person non-grata and not allowed anywhere near the county... I would love to show publicly how much I love her for being her, but know I need to somehow accept that my funny, lively, loveable, wonderful daughter is just full of contempt for me and I've done a great job raising an independent woman.
Boo hoo, haven't cried this much in years - stupid and needy!
I hope all things work out with you (OP) and your DS
OP I think he WANTS you to not be cool about drugs, that's why he told you. He agrees, probably but doesn't want to be seen to agree.
We have much more influence than we think, even when they're this age (my ds is 22 too) and I bet he is pleased to see you all, just not to be back to normality.
Well done though, you did a good job, he's independent. Sad though too, innit?