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Dreaming of moving away from adult kids?(19 Posts)
I feel terrible about this, but my kids are wearing me out and I dream about moving away, not far, two hours tops.
They are 20 and 25. The 25 year old is married, employed, pregnant with her first and after an exceedingly difficult teenage hood is somewhat settled. She has a bad habit of lying about things though, so I never know what to believe with her and it’s exhausting me. She catastrophises in her head then tells me the worst case scenario as if it’s fact, so I get stressed then slowly it becomes apparent it was only 1/4 as bad she said.
My younger one is in first year university. He’s a lovely guy, helpful and polite and honest and working hard at university, has a nice girlfriend. He lives with me. He has never handled stress well and when in his last year at school got very depressed and plummets back down there from time to time. He’s finding distanced Ed university difficult (& not worth the money) & is feeling like he’s not got close friends. Periodically he’ll have a best friend and then it sort of fades out, I’m not sure why (I always had friends so haven’t been able to be much help to my kids in their search for a tribe). Having said that, he’s actually got loads of friends, they just live in different cities, some in other countries.
I’m just finding their emotional load is too much after spending most of their lives raising them on my own. They are technically adults and though I’d miss them the idea of not worrying about them daily sounds quite nice. The younger one did a gap year and I sort of worried, but mostly assumed he was fine.
Am I terrible? Should I move away in a couple of years? I’m feeling old and very tired from work and would like to come home and put my feet up and relax.
Moving away won't stop you worrying, they are your children and you'll probably worry more if you aren't there. How else could you manage your anxiety about them ?
I'm with you. I have 3 adult DC's of a similar age.
One of mine has never left home due to mental health and the other 2 keep drifting back. I genuinely can't imagine a time when they will be able to manage on their own. I blame myself for this - it is me that has made them so needy and unable to manage their own lives. Looking back I think I should have been less accomodating.
We've just sold our house and are looking at something very tiny - there will not be room for them to come back. The guilt is killing me but me being a mother hen has done them no favours.
Gently pushing you kids away in the right direction is the hardest thing in the world - have some and it helps.
I agree running away isn’t the answer. Be honest with them, they’re old enough to understand that you’re dealing with your own life stress and anxiety. Ordinarily I’d also suggest you take a well earned break, somewhere warm to recharge but that’s not really feasible.
Oh, thanks all! I really appreciate the responses. I was a bit worried no-one would answer.
Just after a very stressful divorce and subsequent stressful jobs I’m just out of steam. I felt fine about the younger one when he was away aged 19. Bit of worry occasionally but it was a wee bit of a relief not being privy to his daily worries.
I don’t want to tell them not to burden me, or enlighten them about how I’m lonely and have low grade depression. I feel it’s my job to listen. However I am a bit done with it and wish they’d cope a bit better. It never would have occurred to me to think my mum would be interested in my problems. That’s what my boyfriend was for.
I really think it’s the daily knowing what they’re doing that’s a bit much. Vaguely hoping they’re doing okay and a once a month visit might be okay. I think I’ve got compassion fatigue. I’ve carried the load alone for a very long time.
My parents did, they moved when I was 21 and my siblings were 24 and 27, I think the older siblings would have never left otherwise. I didn't mind as it's their life at the end of the day, they bought a tiny house with no room for us but my older brother still found a way back in
I think a 20 year old is still very young, particularly if they’re struggling in some way. I think by all means plan to do things for yourself but don’t abandon your son at this point and don’t deny yourself a good relationship with your grandchild.
I’m thinking in a few years when he’s done university. Of course by then I may feel differently, may be too attached to the as yet unknown grandchild. And I feel mean for thinking about it, but honestly I just feel it’s time for me to have a break. I’ve had 25 years of parenting, 16 years of single parenting and 16 years of jobs I’ve hated. I just need some no worries time.
I think there needs to be a definite plan that by the time the youngest leaves Uni neither of them are living at home. I would aim to downsize or move away at that point. I have two adult sons and love them dearly but would seriously struggle to live with either of them now. Adults need their own space.
I think I'd start talking about the plan. So the dd doesn't think you'll be there daily to help. Find a place that draws you in and be honest that you're struggling with your mental health and need to make a change. Don't tell them it's them!!
My dd lives four hours away. Youngest is two hours away. We speak every few days via ft.
Yep I hear you. My 25 year old dd is staying with me at the moment but goes back ‘home’ ( she lives abroad) in November. I love the bones of her but she is hard work and looking forward to her going back. I have to walk on egg shells around her as her moods are up and down and I want my relaxed home back.
She’s actually a very independent successful young woman but when she comes back home she regresses in to an eight year old and I really CBA with it any more.
It’s just my son living with me now, but I’m kind of the emotional support animal for both of them.
I recall as a teenager sobbing in a doorway and my mum being quite irritated by it and telling me to pull myself together. I realized that no one really gave a shit about me and while I’ve periodically forgotten this that sense of aloneness has coloured my life. So I didn’t want them to experience the same. On the other hand ...
The idea of a house of my own, somewhere a bit remote so no one would move in with me, just deep peace of no one else’s problems sounds like bliss. I’d probably find I missed them, but I’d like to find out!
And I appreciate hearing how other people’s kids/siblings behaved, it’s good to know it’s not just me!
@Ritascornershop my Mum says she worried less about us when we didn't live with her, out of sight out of mind I guess!
I think it's fair enough to now put your needs and wants first.
Sounds like you want a quiet life without carrying their angst, and why shouldn't you be able to chose that.
I do wonder a bit though, why you feel you have to move away to achieve this? It sounds to me like you have allowed this expectation of you being self sacrificing, their needs coming first, of you having to be understanding at all times etc etc.
It doesn't have to be like that. You could just start saying things like 'you'll have to sort that yourself I'm afraid' or 'I can't keep listening to the level of catastrophising you do, it wears me out' or 'I need time, space and peace and quiet so you'll have to figure sme of these things out yourself right now' etc etc.
Change the dynamic.
It sounds to me that because of your own experience with your mum you've taken on this self sacrifice role and your children now expect that.
Being a parent doesn't have to be like that. Even with older children, never mind adults.
It's OK, and healthy, to have boundaries and consider your own needs in your relationships with your children.
@BabyItsAWildWorld I don’t think I could tell them it’s too much, I’d be riddled with guilt and probably worry more. It may be a good idea, but I’d find it tough.
I have other reasons for wanting to move; escalating crime, house prices are mad here and I can’t afford anything (repairs, travel, eating out) so if I moved my life would be easier. Also not being able to afford things and having had to break up with the love of my life ... this city doesn’t fill me with confidence. So a change of scenery would be good in those ways too. I’ve got two places in mind, neither is more than 90 minutes or so from here, so lots of opportunity to visit.
I am desperate for change and 3 years (till my son graduates would be my maximum).
Oh OP I know exactly what you mean - I often fantasize about a little house on a remote Scottish island. In the years since my dc reached 18 - i.e the last 8 yrs I have had 6 months on my own (while they were all at uni or traveling). it was blissful. one or more of them has been home since then. I love them to bits, and I want them to know I will be there for them, as my DPs were for me, but for me it was an emergency bolt hole (that I never used). My db lived in the parental home for 2 yrs as an adult, I don't know how he did it.
I've put the house on the market, buckle up and join me.
My parents moved abroad when I was 19. They had been emotionally absent throughout my childhood. Your comment resonated
* I realized that no one really gave a shit about me and while I’ve periodically forgotten this that sense of aloneness has coloured my life.*
As a parent, everything I have done has been with a view to stopping my DC feeling something similar, particularly when I split up with their DF - I don’t think I have been particularly successful. I know the MN view is children are adults the moment they turn 18 but there were many times when I was in my twenties when I wished I had a family home to take refuge in.
Do it now. Downsize. What if you die next year. You'd regret the life unlived. You have a right to be happy too. It's your life. Your kids will be fine.
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