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Empty nesting advice x(7 Posts)
Hi...my 16yr old son got a scholarship for a boarding school and moved out last September. It was all very quick and he left within a week of getting the offer. He comes home school holidays, but these are split between me and his father. I'm really struggling. I feel like I've lost him. Even when he's home he's either in his room or out with friends, we're no where near as close as we were. I suggest things we can do together (comedy clubs, walk the dog etc) but he either isn't interested of he'd rather be at his dad's/doing his own thing. I can't really talk to him about it because he's already under so much pressure at school, I dont want to add to it, and his dad already puts on him quite a bit. I just feel like I'm an annoyance to him only good for lifts. Has anyone else been through similar? Will we ever be close again...or have some sort of relationship? Am i expecting too much from him? Is this just how things are now?
I feel for you, is he your only one?
My older dd went to boarding school (her choice) to be a chorister and it was hard...by the time she left and came home she was in full hormonal teen mode and it wasnt good. But with hindsight it was good experience for her and made her into the independent confident adult she is today.
I think relationships are dynamic not static, and every so often they need to change gears, like riding a bike up a hill. Its tempting when that happens to think 'well this is how it is now' but actually you don't ever stop changing gear, your relationship is always growing and developing. Remember your goal is to produce a self sufficient adult and it sounds like that is happening.
Ask yourself how you would like to be remembered in the future; personally I would like to be remembered for being there when needed but not for being needy. Gradually fill your life with your own interests so he doesn't need to feel guilty about having his own life. Make him proud of YOUR achievements and surprised at aspects of your personality he wasn't aware of.
I have a similar situation. They grow up very fast when they're at boarding school, because you see so little of them. And they think of the school as their home.
To be honest, a lot of 16 year olds don't want to spend much time with their parents anyway. It's time to let him go, and to cultivate your own interests. If he still enjoys going away on holiday with you, maybe organise a few trips?
Is it possible for you to spend the occasional weekend near his school, so you can take him out and become a bit more involved with his school life?
Yes he's my only one.
I've invited him on weekends away and he's polite but really doesn't want to come with me.
He has classes 6 days a week so going down for the weekend would probably just interefere with his one day off with his mates.
I know I have to get used to it, and I did bring him up to be independent and secure in himself, I just didn't realise it how hard it would be when he was (I miss my baby boy)
Thank you for all your support/words. Hopefully I'll get used to it soon and it'll stop being so tough.
I haven't told him any of this btw, I would hate for him ever to feel he had to worry about me, or feel guilty for enjoying his life.
I know, it IS tough, it must be lonely. But it will pass. Start thinking about yourself for now, and what you want to do with your life
It's a very difficult transition when you've shaped your whole life around them. Then suddenly they're gone just like that!
It's a kind of grieving I think and if you are on your own it hits particularly hard.
You will adjust and gradually pick up your own life. And your son will gradually start to see you as a much loved mum rather than the parent who he's metaphorically kicking against as a teen. Ime that starts to change around 19 years old is.
For now try getting something organised like a holiday or trip to focus on that will cheer you up and keep you going.