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AIBU?

To be struggling with this or am I abnormal?

53 replies

tryingeverydayagain · 11/01/2024 18:58

My eldest is 17 and is dating her first "serious" boyfriend. She's started staying over at his house this week. I'm just feeling a bit uneasy with it, and I think it's because it signifies the transition from child to adult for me. I'm feeling almost bereft and struggling with letting go of "my little girl" as she becomes a young woman. I've literally sat and cried about this tonight.

Can any mums of teens relate to this? Or am I weird? 😢

Ps. I'm feeling a bit fragile so please refrain from being an arse. Thank you.

OP posts:
Dotchange · 11/01/2024 19:01

Well, no , I don’t relate. But this is an opportunity to discuss this new phase of hers with her.

tryingeverydayagain · 11/01/2024 19:04

Thanks for your reply @Dotchange

Do you mind me asking, can you not relate because you had a different experience with your children, or because you don't have children? I'm wondering whether I'm in a minority of parents who feels this way.

OP posts:
blazethrough · 11/01/2024 19:05

I relate! My daughter is 16, not quite having sleep overs at boyfriends yet but it won't be long.
I do feel bereft, like I've lost my baby! She's a brilliant, beautiful girl and I'm so proud of her but at the same time I feel totally selfish and want her back to needing me and being little again.
I've never voiced this IRL because I do feel bad for feeling this way and I know it will pass. She has no idea 🤣, but reading your post really resonated with me.
Here's to mums moving forward Flowers

tryingeverydayagain · 11/01/2024 19:07

@blazethrough
Oh thank you so much! You have no idea how much I needed to hear just one person who gets it. Thank you Flowers

OP posts:
blazethrough · 11/01/2024 19:14

@tryingeverydayagain I felt the same way when I read your post! It's so, so hard and I feel like I'm being silly and the way I feel isn't justified, especially when I see with my own eyes what an incredible person I've raised. Maybe we're allowed to feel this way though. I've stopped beating myself up about it and kind of accepted that this is how I feel for now, and that's okay. Maybe if you allow it too, and think to yourself that it's okay, you're allowed, you may start to feel a little more at ease.
I hope so.
I completely understand where you're at x

blazethrough · 11/01/2024 19:15

@tryingeverydayagain P.S you are definitely not weird!

tryingeverydayagain · 11/01/2024 19:18

@blazethrough

Yes, that's exactly it. My DD is a well rounded and beautiful young woman, and I do feel so proud that I raised her to be that person, but with such a heavy sadness too at letting my little girl go... I just don't feel ready to do that. 😢

I think you're right though, we need to give ourselves permission to feel whatever we feel, and deal with each part as it comes.

So glad to have found just one other person - even if you are a stranger - who is feeling the same way. I do feel less alone now! x

OP posts:
Didimum · 11/01/2024 19:22

It’s not how you feel that matters, it’s how you act on it. My daughter is only 6 and I 100% know I will feel the same way.

laclochette · 11/01/2024 19:24

I completely understand, it's a kind of loss.
However I also believe "they're never 'ours', we just have them on loan" re children. Both things are true. Grieve your loss in private and then try to focus on all you're gaining as she grows.

Lex345 · 11/01/2024 19:25

I get you OP! My DS is almost 18 and its not just the transition to adult relationships, but generally the transition to adulthood-he is still my baby!!! (Laughing at myself writing this, the "baby" is over 6 foot tall 😂)

I imagine when DD (15) gets to this age, I will feel the same as well. I suppose the silver lining is we have done a good job as parents because they are well balanced, happy and naturally seeking the independence adulthood brings.

Hatty65 · 11/01/2024 19:34

I feel the same, OP - and it is with DS who is almost 19. He's just met a girl the same age and has immediately just about moved in with her family! I'm really struggling with it. I feel quite resentful of the fact that obviously he's an adult, and I can't stop him - and the fact that they seem happy to house/feed him roughly 5 times a week. He only calls in here to use my shower/grab more clothes.

That's my baby - send him home!

ChristmasTreeMagic · 11/01/2024 19:36

I totally relate! We had this exact situation last year when dd was 17. First proper boyfriend too. I was caught off guard by how unsettled it all made me. It's def signalling the end of the childhood phase & a move to adulthood & I believe its perfectly possible to be proud of having raised beautiful, independent young adults & still feel a pang of loss or sorrow when they do exactly what we have geared them for..

Whatever you do do not listen to ABBA's 'slipping through my fingers' <voice of experience> (I was not expecting the floodgate of tears 😢)

blazethrough · 11/01/2024 19:38

@tryingeverydayagain

Me too. It's done me good just writing it down. I think not feeling alone is massive.

We will get through this, it's just change and I don't know about you, but I'm never great with change, especially when it comes to my children 🥰

Dotchange · 11/01/2024 19:45

Dotchange · 11/01/2024 19:01

Well, no , I don’t relate. But this is an opportunity to discuss this new phase of hers with her.

I do have kids, and they are young adults now.
I suppose I was OK with it because I feel like it is such an important time of life- it’s golden. I was just happy and relieved that I had built a relationship with her that meant we could talk about it. There’s still so much growing up they need to do at 17, so I don’t see it as an end to childhood but rather the start of a really exciting chapter.

Dotchange · 11/01/2024 19:46

Bloody hell OP- I meant to quote you not me 😂😂

CurlewKate · 11/01/2024 20:03

I can relate too! It does get better-a bit! Mine are both in happy relationships-but there's still a tiny mother tiger bit of me that's hyper vigilant for any sign of them being treated badly.

tryingeverydayagain · 11/01/2024 20:33

Dotchange · 11/01/2024 19:46

Bloody hell OP- I meant to quote you not me 😂😂

Haha it's ok I read it as intended for me 😂

OP posts:
tryingeverydayagain · 11/01/2024 20:34

ChristmasTreeMagic · 11/01/2024 19:36

I totally relate! We had this exact situation last year when dd was 17. First proper boyfriend too. I was caught off guard by how unsettled it all made me. It's def signalling the end of the childhood phase & a move to adulthood & I believe its perfectly possible to be proud of having raised beautiful, independent young adults & still feel a pang of loss or sorrow when they do exactly what we have geared them for..

Whatever you do do not listen to ABBA's 'slipping through my fingers' <voice of experience> (I was not expecting the floodgate of tears 😢)

Oh god, I won't be listening to that then 😢

OP posts:
tryingeverydayagain · 11/01/2024 20:35

laclochette · 11/01/2024 19:24

I completely understand, it's a kind of loss.
However I also believe "they're never 'ours', we just have them on loan" re children. Both things are true. Grieve your loss in private and then try to focus on all you're gaining as she grows.

I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of them being "on loan" 😢😢😢

OP posts:
Hurdygurdy12 · 11/01/2024 20:37

Sometimes I feel weird because I don’t feel like this! I love seeing her blossom and learn about life and relationships, it’s my favourite part of being a parent!

tryingeverydayagain · 11/01/2024 20:48

@Hurdygurdy12
Ah that's nice though! I wish I enjoyed it so much. My favourite parts were age 3-11 ish. Basically the toddler and primary school years. I adored parenting her at that age. I think I'm just missing my little girl 😢

OP posts:
tryingeverydayagain · 11/01/2024 20:50

I think it's something about the innocence of it all at those younger ages. They see the world through such innocent and naive eyes and I found it adorable. But it also meant somehow they were protected from the bad stuff, I guess. And now she's at the age where she needs to learn about the bad stuff, learn to see things through adult eyes. And I hate that for her. And also; I can't shield and protect her in the same way anymore as I could when she was a little girl 😢

Maybe I'm not explaining well?

OP posts:
Winnipeggy · 11/01/2024 20:54

I can't relate directly but my DD is only 2 and I already feel sad that she's not a baby anymore so god knows how I'll cope at 16!

I'm sure it's normal, just let yourself feel it and then think of how proud you are of her. Do you like her BF?

AnotherDayAnotherDoller · 11/01/2024 20:57

OP I can't relate.....yet....mine are too small still. However...
I distinctly remember at 16, my Mum being very gushy and on occasion teary over me. At the time I was with my first boyfriend and things were becoming more serious ( in the eyes of a 16 y/o ) staying over and one another's and so on. Shopping and lunching with her became different some how? Anyway.....I think in hindsight she probably felt as you have just described. What I can say is, I remember her absolute support and feeling a whole new connection with her. Like the end of the teenage strop phase and the start of an adult friendship phase - I don't think I'm explaining this well but I am trying to say I think it's the start of another really special phase with girls and their mums! :)

Resilience · 11/01/2024 21:03

Is it a growing recognition that she may well leave the nest soon do you think?

I was ok with mine having sex etc. That never bothered me (other than issues of consent and sexual health) in terms of them no longer being children.

So I don't relate in the sense that I enjoyed/enjoy my children more with every year they've got older. I love them but now that the dependency is gone what's keeps us together is the shared values, experiences and enjoyment of each other's company. I much prefer this stage tbh.

However, they haven't moved out yet (studying full time). I will miss them when they go so can understand where you're coming from in that sense.

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