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  1. Maggie
    July 16, 2009 at 7:16 pm | |

    I think these suggestions overlook one thing…that when our adult children move far enough away so that we don’t see them for very long periods of time, it is NOT about finding interests and hobbies. It is a grieving process. My son had moved back for a while and had a job and was going for his MBA when suddenly on Christmas day he told me that he was leaving because he had lost his job due to layoffs and thus his education was a no go as well. he left two days later on impulse and I have not seen him in over 6 months and doubt he will move anywhere close again. We always got along very well and so I grieve. I waited for 7 years for him to decide where he wanted to be and he said it was near us then withing three days , it was over. I am active and have lots to do. I am not bored nor did I veer think of myself only as a mother. I didn’t even have children until I was 34. When my sons (the other one lives 20 minutes away and I am fine with that)were in their young teens, I had to take care of my mom and my aunt and I feel I wasn’t mentally there as much as I wanted to be. I had no problem when they left for college but that first summer when my son did not come home at all,it began. So no, these suggestions won;t help. Been there, done that. I must grieve the loss of the society of my son (as the lawyers call it) and I must do the stages and if things change, it may start all over again. There is no way to avoid it. It is grief, not a lack of things to do. Since my husband knew my son was leaving and didn’t tell me, there is trust lost there as well. I have to deal with it. But let us not forget that we lose the association of our best friends and that means we grieve.

    1. justme1
      July 3, 2012 at 5:31 am | |

      I agree 100%. It’s a loss. I am active, have lots of friends, participate in several activities, work full time and it’s still a loss. I’m grieving and it’s going to take some time to adjust to new roles, as well.

    2. trustnfaith
      July 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm | |

      @Maggie, I TOTALLY AGREE. If someone would’ve told me a year ago, I’d be jobless, lose my home and my daughter MOVE all the way to the west coast (we live in DC area) I would not have believed it. Through a set of circumstances her B/f moved to Oregon and I drove across with her back in June. It is so expensive here, I’m staying with her dad now and she says “there is nothing to come back to” I.E. her own place with her B/F. His mom lost her job too. I’m so tired of looking up these sites and they show kids wearing a cap and gown and they are sad because their kid is just going to college??? At least the kid still has a room and a lot of them plan on coming back. I don’t have that. I couldn’t have handled it a year ago if she said she was moving to NYC now I WISH she was that close!! I feel like someone ripped out my heart. We are best friends. And WHO KNOWS if she will move back to the east coast. I’m just sick of families living so far apart. My parents lived in NJ and I moved away and live in Md. Been gone 32 years. They never came to see me. I don’t want that again with my daughter. I want to share the holidays and such. But 3000 miles away! Acckkk…

  2. debbieblue66
    November 11, 2009 at 5:22 am | |

    I know how you feel. I am going through something similar except my daughter hasn’t spoken to me in almost 7 months. She moved out, left a note in April and I haven’t seen her since. She’s 19, and we were fighting a lot before she moved out. I was having a hard time with the transition of her being a child to being an adult. I know she didn’t like my house rules. I miss her every day.
    She went to live with her father. He and I don’t talk to each other. He helped her move out and no one was home. My daughter still visits my parents and talks to them. They have tried to get her to talk to me, but she won’t. So not only do I have empty nest syndrome, its compounded with my only child not speaking to me. We did have a great relationship until she graduated high school. All of a sudden she had this attitude “I’m 18, I’m an adult and I can do what I want.” I had to go through my first family vacation without her (my stepson lives with us) and that was so hard. I missed her on my birthday, and Mother’s day. I sometimes sit in her room and cry. It was hard enough she moved out, but she did it with no warning. I never got to say goodbye. I hope I see her for Christmas.
    So I know what you are going through. Just try to keep yourself busy, join a club or some kind of activity. Go out with friends…I started taking night classes so that keeps me busy. Keep your spirit up, I blamed myself but realized that I have no control over this situation. She holds the cards, and hopefully one day she will be ready to see me again.

    1. justme1
      July 3, 2012 at 5:35 am | |

      My first two moved out – no problem and we get along great. My youngest did like yours. Got tha “I’m 18″ attitude, moved in with his father where there are no constraints on behavior and I really rarely see or talk with him. When we do see each other, it’s fine, but there seems to be a complete severing of the bond. My oldest got married last september and that requires new roles. I was close with my middle daughter, but now she has a serious boyfriend and we talk way less. The unpleasant circumstances of the youngest leaving are tearing my heart apart. So, there is definitely a process of grieving. Not just about getting activities and reconnecting with old friends, spouses, etc.

  3. whatismypurposenow
    February 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm | |

    to debbieblue66, i share your pain. My son was 17 when he left. I am divorced and he also went to live with his dad. His dad and i don’t speak either. He was rarely in my chldren’s lives and that caused alot of pain for my children. My son and i were very close at one time until he started disrespecting me. He’d yell in my face and just talk back all the time to the point that i thought it would get really bad. Finally I had no choice but to send him to his father’s house with deep regret. We had not spoken in about 7 months and i felt like my life was over. He visits now every now and then and all there is is small talk and the pain i feel over making him go to his father’s house is similar to grieving a loss. My son clearly needed his father in his life. He seems happier and for that i am happy too, for him. I feel like i have failed as a mother.
    I question myself daily. What is my purpose and why am i still here. I have had awful feelings and bad thoughts. I cry often. I do work full time but dread coming home. As for your daughter, she will come around and see that you are her mom and you can only have one mom. I went through this again with my daughter. She left on bad terms as well went to live with her boyfriend. We didn’t speak for almost a year. Who says being a parent is easy? It is the worst job in the world.

    1. tkay1967
      October 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm | |

      Hi Whatismypurposenow,
      Your name says it all how I’ve felt. I have three children and the youngest just left for the military and is studying to be an officer. Even though they are close by it feels like your job is done. You don’t know what to do with the time and quiet. It’s not about getting a hobby I have lots of those it’s about the deeper sense of purpose and being needed. I wouldn’t trade being a parent for anything but it feels like once it reaches this point you’re hanging out to dry alone. You’ve been so involved with kids, schedules and such that it’s at times hard to just pick up and have this great, close knit relationship with the husband. But even with all that said, we still have purpose. We have years of experiences under our belt. I think as moms we give ourselves completely to our children then when they are gone and even are rude enough to not call home everyday and check on things it makes all we’ve sacrificed seem as nothing. You are needed on this earth and you DO have purpose you just have to find it. Your kids WILL need you again. In the meantime I”ve found it to be helpful to get out of myself and help someone else. Whether it be taking my friends kids off her hands for a while, get involved in church or simply take all my free time I have and spend time in prayer and meditation.
      You are someones encouraging word, a smile needed that day, a shoulder. You’re valuable and you are needed or you would not be here.

  4. Christina
    February 7, 2010 at 12:28 pm | |

    Debbie and Maggie,

    While my heart goes out to both of you, I find your comments refreshing and quite validating! I am a single mom who is having empty nest syndrom-big time! I am fortunate that I still see my son but ever since he graduated from high school I have had to deal with that I no longer have anyone to take care of. Its not that I didn’t have a life outside of home, but when your “family” moves out, what do you have left? I only have one child and my extended family lives in other parts of the country. I am close to my family but on a daily basis, it was my son.

    Joining more groups, staying active etc….does not replace the loss that I am experiencing. I have to re-evaluate everything and its difficult. How do you find something new, when nothing replaces family?

    Just a footnote, do you find that nobody really talks about this??

    Hope to hear from you-

    1. mindee
      June 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm | |

      Christina I think nobody talks about this. I find I have nobody to talk to. And my daughter goes back and forth as she needs me during the school year she needed me to babysit and now that she doesn’t need me tobabysit (my exhusband is back I town) so now if I say I miss my grandsons I am crazy and need to get a life. I thought. About refusing to babysit when she needs me to again (in thefall) but I can’t. Do that.:(

  5. Babette
    February 8, 2010 at 8:11 am | |

    My husband and I have 3 teenagers, our oldest boy just left for the Air Force and I am having a very hard time with it. I miss him SO much. I feel a great sense of loss.

    My daughter, 16, is starting to date, and I feel her pulling away as well. Her twin brother is also pulling away but not as fast.

    I’ve felt them growing up fast over the past 3 -4 years. One day, it hit me hard that they were getting older, and I wanted to focus on them more and not focus on my job.

    I also have regret for all the times I “took for granted.” It seemed like the childhood days would never end… and I did not think at all about the day they would grow up and not need me!

    Now I’m constantly thinking about it and focusing more on them. This seems to be opposite of what the “experts” say to do, they say “develop your own interests, etc.” Well, I felt that was what I WAS doing when they were young (I also attended college when they were young) and I want to spend AS MUCH time with them as possible now.

    Am I setting myself up for worse heartache when the other kids leave?

    I have dealt with depression for years and have taken meds but meds never seem to get at the ROOT of depression which I do not believe is truly biological.

  6. Linda
    March 24, 2010 at 1:07 pm | |

    There are so many articles written on “empty-nest syndrome”. But, until you have experienced it yourself, you couldn’t possible understand. It is a void, a hole in your heart, a pain in your stomach which never seems to go away. It is “Mom Obsolete”. I hate it and it hurts. My youngest of three has been gone for 6 years now. I hurt, I’m lonely even when I am not alone. Everyone goes on with their lives and their new families. So what now? I have finished my job. I really don’t want another. Grief is the word.
    I didn’t know it would hurt so bad.
    God gets me through each day. I’m trusting Him to help me survive.

  7. mindee
    June 28, 2011 at 7:01 pm | |

    I agree it is grief. My youngest just married. I am divorced and raised my kids alone. My daugther amd I were very close and I babysit my grandkids now my ex is back and I don’t see my kids or grndkids. My daughter even told me she only let me watch the kids cause she thought she had to. I am busy. I work and gp tp school. But when you were mother and father then best freinds and. Granma it os so lonely nothing can replace your kids

  8. ekimballde
    December 11, 2011 at 8:54 pm | |

    My son (and my only child) went to college when he was 18, and except for a month or two here and there when he was in between school or jobs he has lived away from home. He was a very clingy, needy child and I worked very hard to help him find ways to be independent. The saying “answered prayers cause more tears than unanswered ones” is certainly true here. We have a good relationship, he lives about 25 miles away, I do see him a few times a month and we talk at least a few times a week on the phone, but my loneliness doesn’t seem to subside, even now that almost 5 years have gone by. My husband has been ill on and off, and I almost lost him two years ago to cardiac arrest, and a beloved family pet died a few months after my husband’s cardiac event. I’ve had a lot of loss lately, and I don’t seem to be able to recover fully from it. I’m trying to make the most of every day and find the joy, and I do have a lot to be grateful for, but it is very, very difficult. I’m 58, and find this stage of life very challenging.

  9. coolbreese
    May 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm | |

    I’m a single mom with a 22year old at college and 20 year old I have to kick out because of a drug problem. I’m close to my boys, it hurts not to have them around. I live in a rural area where my exhusband is from and I plan on moving about 8 hours away to be near my parents, more jobs, social life for singles, ect. I still can’t bear being away from my boys, but they have their lives and before I leave, I’ll help the younger son get help. (He also wants the help). I do resent at times that the boys don’t help out much, but they have been my life and I try to look forward to moving and a new life, but it’s hard.

  10. coolbreese
    May 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm | |

    I forgot to add, the comments are validating to me, I don’t know how old this blog is I hope to exchange info with others, as we are going thru similar experiences