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How to help my mum cope when I go away for a few weeks?

(13 Posts)
user1485797970 Mon 30-Jan-17 18:15:59

Hi, I'm new to this site, I'm not a mum or expecting mum, but I need some advice on how to help my mum. I'm currently 19, female, and at university but still living at home because the university near me is good and it made sense to stay at home (though I do work and contribute to rent and bills and housework). Last year in the summer I went away for six weeks on a volunteer project. It was the first time I had been away from home and I had an amazing time, my mum however did not; people said it was like she was grieving because she had lost me, and I felt awful that she had felt so bad. I want to go away in the summer again but I'm worried she'll feel the same. I did talk to her every day when I was away but that didn't help.
She had me when she was 19 and so I understand she has devoted her whole adult life to me. I'm grateful for everything she has done but I can't stay at home forever. She has friends and a boyfriend (who doesn't live with us) but she doesn't really get out much with them, she spends a lot of time with me, when she's not working or doing her hobbies. We go for walks and watch tv over dinner and in the evenings, so I can see how when I left there was a big part of her life that was different, she didn't have my company most the evening any more. What could I suggest to her to help her to cope when I do want to go away and do my own thing for a bit? I have been trying to think of hobbies she can do to get out and meet people so her life isn't filled so much by me but she doesn't seem to want to put much effort into meeting more people, or maybe there's support groups for this kind of thing.

BackforGood Mon 30-Jan-17 18:20:46

It's nice of you to think like this, but, in all honesty, it's not really your responsibility.
She needs to make the choice to join in with things, or get on with life in whatever way she chooses without making you feel guilty about living your life.
You could remind her now that you will be going away for a while in 6 months, and, remembering how she was last time, ask her if she wanted to start getting out / doing something / meeting new people / making other friends / becoming less reliant on you now, so it's more of a gradual thing, but ultimately, it's up to her.

Justmuddlingalong Mon 30-Jan-17 18:23:17

Does she have health issues that require so much dependence on you?

Cryingandmorecrying Mon 30-Jan-17 19:24:00

I had my daughter at 18 and there is no way that I'll be making her aware just quite how much I'll miss her when she has left home or goes away for a few weeks when she is old enough in a couple of years. I'm glad you have acknowledged you can't stay at home forever. It is not your responsibility to ensure your Mums happiness and you can acknowledge that whilst expressing gratitude for everything she has done. As the pp has said you make her aware but what she does when you are away is for her to decide. I hope you have a great time this summer smile

Silverdream Mon 30-Jan-17 21:01:14

Empty nest happens to most of us regardless of age. There came a time when I had to make my own life running alongside my children. It was hard and I still miss them so much but it has to happen.
You need to talk to her about this. You need to lead the life you wish.

Musicaltheatremum Mon 30-Jan-17 21:34:53

If you're 19 and your mum was 19 when she had you she can only be 38. Does she have any health problems as it seems unusual to be so bereft at you being away. I miss both my children 21 and 23 and I'm 53 and was widowed 3 years ago but I have lots to keep me occupied. She needs to build her life now and be proud she has brought up such a caring and intelligent daughter.

Musicaltheatremum Mon 30-Jan-17 21:36:37

Sorry, reading that it sounds a bit harsh but I think it would be good for you both to chat about this and encourage her to do some more stuff.

Blossomdeary Mon 30-Jan-17 21:58:24

You cannot take responsibility for your Mum's happiness - that is her job.

Establishing an independent life of your own does not have to mean "abandoning" your Mum - it is about breaking the ties of childhood and establishing a new sort of relationship - equally loving, but very different.

The relationship with my DDs is very very different from how it was when they were small, but it is wonderful in its own new way.

You need to be away from your Mum sometimes to give her the chance to fill your "gap" with new things and to relate to you in a new way.

I admire your loyalty and concern, but you need to go off and enjoy all the available opportunities for you and let your Mum find her own way to cope, which she will.

I am willing to bet that she would not want you to have these concerns - we put a lot of effort into bringing up our children to give them the chance to fly! - we do not do it for them to feel responsible for us.

You can have a loving relationship without being there every day.

specialsubject Tue 31-Jan-17 14:26:16

She is 38, working, in good health I hope, has hobbies and friends.

She really needs to learn to cope without you. I also can't see any future partner of yours being keen on the situation.

If it really is that bad , have a chat.

Isadora2007 Tue 31-Jan-17 14:32:07

Oh bless you. What a lovely daughter you are so your mum clearly did a great job. I too became a mum at 19 and my son is 19 too. Although I do miss him I am glad he has felt able to move out and have a life of his ownand I'd have been gutted if he felt the way you do.
Can you talk now to your mum and help her see the burden you are now carrying? If she genuinely struggles to cope without you can you both join a club or hobby where you can help her settle so to speak? I know that being a mum so young can mean that you can become overinvested in that identity and struggle to be a person in your own right... so socially she may feel inept amongst her peers and just need a hand.
I hope you can talk and she can enjoy herself and her own freedom a bit more in order to give you yours.

PleaseNotTrump Sun 05-Feb-17 01:25:58

Aww, OP. You sound very considerate, but you must try not to worry about your mum. It's important you build up your CV by doing these things and I am sure she will (or she should) understand. Does she have pets? Would a kitten help?( grin - any excuse to suggest someone gets a kitten). Can you speak to her boyfriend and ask him to book a weekend away in the middle of your time away?

Atenco Sat 11-Feb-17 04:37:35

Really, really this is not your problem. Your mum is young and of course she will miss you when you go away but she is still young and able. I don't think it is a good idea to phone her everyday, as you are creating a dependency there. Also the day that you don't phone she will panic. Better to get her used to the idea that you are a bit irresponsible about phoning.

I am ancient myself. I love my adult dd and my dgd who still live with me but I hope, for her sake, that my dd meets someone and moves out to make her own life. I will miss them but that is the natural course of life.

user1482079332 Sat 11-Feb-17 08:07:37

Your not responsible for her or anyone else's feelings

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