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Empty Nest - will it be awful?(46 Posts)
My dd is off to Uni in September!
I'm not looking forward to being at home without her.....can you share the positives from your experience of this or give me any tips?
It'll be weird for a while, then you just get on with your life.
I agree. After a month you realise it's quite nice.
No mess in the kitchen, electricity bill reduces due to the dramatic drop in number of daily showers, you don't need to sit through Love Island against your will, the biscuits and crisps stay where you left them, no knickers on the bathroom floor....
And then they come back home
I'm planning on trying lots of new recipes as my dd is quite a fussy eater
It's a really good thing, for both of you. No matter how much you love and miss your children, you have this amazing time to actually focus on yourself. You never stop worrying about them and wondering what they are up to, but it's pretty fantastic.
Everything! Quiet evenings, only having to cook for two, much lower utility and food bills. My sex life with my husband is fantastic, too. It has always been good, but there is a HUGE difference when the kids are out of the house!
DD and her BF both live with us, and both chose local uni's so I only get the benefits when they're on holiday. Then apparently they're living with us until they've saved for a house deposit.
Me too,I'm not sure how I feel about it tbh.
I'm thinking I will have less washing to do and a tidier house!
You'll cope, OP. I remember dropping DD1 off at uni for the first time. I felt heartbroken leaving her. Everything was empty without her. I came home and thought "that's it, all my happy times are over".
It was fine. It took me a week or so to adjust, but it was fine. At the beginning I kept really busy. I caught up with lots of friends when I wasn't working and did loads of stuff with DD2. And there ended up being so many positives.
I had more time to catch up on friendships and the initial loneliness made me make more effort. I had more time for DH and we started going out as a couple more - there was nothing stopping us before but it really made me throw myself into my life at home. The house was so much tidier and I couldn't believe how much less work there was, less washing up, less clothes washing, and I was able to cook with one less person moaning they didn't like it!
I made my mind up I would do stuff for me so I was occupied and not dwelling on it. I don't know if you're full time working but if not fill some extra time. I work 3 days a week and I increased to 4 for a bit, plus I redid my maths A level, have since re-learnt German (these were both things I did quite badly at at school through laziness/ partying/ boys) and have retaken up singing lessons and joined the gym. These things wouldn't be to a lot of people's taste (!) but you get the gist. I'd strongly recommend thinking of something you can do that's just for you.
I got much closer to DD2 as a result and that has lasted. I had time to spend with just her. She herself is now at uni but the bond we forged in those years has held us in really good stead.
And here is the bit I didn't expect - I got closer to DD1 too. It's something I've seen happen with other friends and their uni age offspring too, so not just me. Away from living under your roof, they start a much more adult to adult interaction with you. I loved hearing about uni life. She usually texted to moan about work or when there was a friendship issue/ gossip, but that was fine. If I texted her I didn't expect or demand any kind of instant reply and if it was a few days before I got an answer I would just act beeezily as if it was 5 mins later. I think this was key - I never berated her for his long she hadn't been in contact, just was pleased and interested to hear from her and I think that meant she always felt she could chat. Then, if she's near enough, you'll be able to visit now and then and you get a whole new adult relationship. I used to occasionally go up on a Sunday if she was at a loose end, or stay for a night if her friends went home for the weekend and she was alone. I honestly had some of the best times ever then and still miss those days (she finished last summer).
Now, having insisted she would stay in uni town and never come back, she suddenly moved back into home and now has moved boyfriend in with us too. This is a whole different set of problems! It was honestly much better for our relationship when she was living away - having got this lovely adult bond I now feel she's reverted back to a teenager again and it's as though I have a 15 year old living at home along with equally immature boyfriend. But that's for a whole different post. My point is, enjoy this stage in your life while it lasts. Parts of it will be better than you ever imagined.
@musicposy thank you for your wonderful response
I'm going to line up a new course for myself then relax and enjoy the next three years!
DS2 goes to Uni in September too. DS1 has done apprenticeships and has just moved into accommodation at work, so that's both of them moving out within a couple of months.
I am finding with DS1 that you get a tiny snapshot of their lives when you see them, or when they text you, and if you are not careful you make assumptions and start worrying. DS1 was tired and fed up when we saw him the other day but I know it was just one of those days. It is a big step for them too and you have to be positive for them.
I have lots to keep me busy and I am looking forward to this new phase in our lives. I am not sure how I feel about getting used to them being away and then them coming back though because I can see that being hard for all of us.
I am not sure how I feel about getting used to them being away and then them coming back though because I can see that being hard for all of us.
I think that's been the worst bit for me. I would never have believed that at the beginning - in the first week or two I'd have given anything for DD1 to come back! But you do get used to your new life and start appreciating the positives, and they get used to being an adult, so they too find it hard. Even DD2, who is helpful and easy, has found the adjustment to home hard in the holidays.
My tips would be not to expect everything to be the same as before and try to redraw the boundaries the minute you hit issues. Stuff such as cooking, housework rotas, telling you where they are going - as soon as these things start causing trouble, talk through how you can best handle them. It probably won't be the same as it was before they went away. DD2 is on her first summer back from uni and has settled pretty quickly. DD1 we've had to have lots of talks and a good few battles but by and large we've ironed out the major ones.
One nice thing is that at first, at least, you'll find them suddenly very grateful for everything. A term at uni really hits it home to them just how much washing, cooking and cleaning you did for them!
new to mumsnet but joined mainly to connect with others going thru this, my DS (only child) is going to uni in Sept and i’m trying really hard to put it in perspective but I already feel tearful! None of my friends children are going this year so feeling abit isolated tbh 🙁 Anyway OP just wanted to say me too x
It becomes more like famine and feast. They are completely there at home Christmas and so on wanting all the trimmings or not there at all.
I loved finding out about their new lives, drama and politics respectively.
I met their new friends and got to know their university towns.
New phase but a good one.
my DD is also off to Uni (about 4h away) from Sept and that's why I started looking in the net how other parents feel about it.
I am getting stressed. Life is not easy, some ppl are mean but I cannot keep her at home forever, I know.
I think I will need to find some new hobby to keep my mind busy
I know how you feel-I am happy and excited for him but a little anxious about how I’m going to feel, he has been my companion all these years as his dad works away so I know I have to look at this as a new stage in my life too! As Panticles said-a new phase but could also be good, we are looking forward to going down to visit as its by the coast so will be nice for us and he’ll be 5-6 hrs away so prob wont come home b4 Xmas 🙁 I am trying to put it in perspective - he’s not leaving home as such-just temp living away, he’s still my son, I’m still a mum and altho I think it’ll be hard initially I know I’ll adapt eventually and get used to it. I have told (warned) him that I’ll be upset but not to worry as I’ll be fine and that to start with I would like to txt and facetime a bit more than prob he would like but just to be patient with me!! I’m looking at new hobbies etc I could do and planning things with friends. None of my friends children of the same age are going to uni this year so thats made it harder tbh which is why I joined this thread. When my son was 4 on his first day of school I asked him ‘are you excited?!’ and he said ‘yes-but you’re going to be sad Mummy arent you?’ 😭😭😭
Awww Seffie 😊 that's so good you have such a good relation with your son.
It won't be easy, but we need to be strong and take day by day at the beginning.
As you say, we don't lose our children, they just enter the new chapter of life. I know this all, but still happy to speak about this in here (my husband only now starts to realise it will be just 2 of us in the house )
yes I think you’re right-just take it one day at a time, I am sure I’ll be posting here a lot more in a few weeks but it’ll be good to be able to talk to others who understand. Enjoy these next few weeks of them being home! 😉