Do you miss being needed?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus Archives' started by Suz, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The mommy in me misses being needed. PCson and PCdaughter are so independent. difficult child is working on it, but is still needy when depressed. I missed being needed. I miss being the one they run to for advice or nurturing on a daily basis. I miss being a mommy. </div></div>

    It seems that everywoman's reply to goldenguru has resonated with many of our PE family.

    Let's talk about it. It's an important topic and sometimes manifests itself in our being unable to we hang on way longer than appropriate and certainly way longer than is beneficial for our kids.

    So what have you learned? How have you compensated for this very primal need?

    For me, it makes my heart ache that Rob and I rarely talk or see each other. on the other hand, it makes me proud that he is able to cope as well as he does and I force myself not to interfere with his progress.

    So I have redirected a lot of my "nurturing" to my home and to my dogs. I always have a home improvement project going...or at least being thought about. And I adopted needy little Miss Chloe in March who is still needy little Miss Chloe. :hammer: And my two old girls have their good days and bad days. So there is a good deal of mothering that still needs to be handled in the Suz household.

    How about you? How are you holding up?

  2. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Suz, I'm not QUITE there yet. My son, Greg, is 18, and tells me that he's a "man" now, although he still lives at home and probably will for some time.

    After his 10 months in his group home where independence was very heavily emphasized, he has changed in that he never asks me for rides anymore (something he did multiple times a day in the past) and prefers to walk or make arrangements with his friends. He does his own laundry, although he's been doing this for several years, and cleans up after himself in the kitchen and elsewhere.

    However, and this is a perfect example, immediately after one of our conversations during which he, once again, pointed out that he's 18 and a man, as he was walking out of my bedroom door, he yelled, "Mom, can you find me some matching socks?" Did I mention that, although he washes and dries his own laundry, that's as far as he gets, and it remains in the laundry room in a huge pile?

    What helped me the most with the detachment I had to do while he was in his group home (AFTER I went through the most intense part of grieving his absence) was keeping busy, planning projects around our home (as you mentioned doing), buying a few nice things for myself, and going on dates and trips with my husband.

    At first, I felt surprised and then almost guilty that we were having such a good time but then realized that, at some point, our son would be leaving for good as he should, and this would be our life.

    I'm also planning, once our current dog (whom I love to death, but who is too big to be a lapdog...) is no longer with us, to get a much smaller, fluffy, cuddly-type dog such as a Yorkie to satisfy my nurturing instincts.

  3. fedup

    fedup New Member

    One thing I do is to remember not to call my children too often. difficult child has judt moved out again. I don't hang on too tight, but this past week, I have been ill, and asked him to do a few things for me. He has done them without complaint.

    I am having as much trouble with not being needed in the hubby area as the child area. husband has taken over most of the household stuff, Still can't get him to touch the bathroom, though! He is finishing up the laundry right now- but that's only because I have been ill- to the point of being sent to the ER by my Dr Thursday afternoon.

    difficult child moved only about a block away, and still calls for a ride when needed (the weather has been really yukky here). He calls for a ride to work. Hubby has been staying out of that, but has actually taken him a couple of times this week.

    The other thing I have done is to get a pet- for the rist time in 35 years! No, you did not read that wrong. Hubby is bending a little. In the past, he was dead set against pets due to his allergies. Well, when difficult child was here, he brought his cat, and she had kittens twice. They always stayed outside. But, within a week of difficult child's move, there were two kitties here. One got picked up. Hubby asked if I was thinking about keeping the other. Within a few days, he was asking if I wanted it inside! :flower: My Marmy is about 9 weeks old, and I didn't bring him in until after he had been to the vet. I bathed him, and then have kept him inside. Hubby pretends not to like him, but I can tell....
  4. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    My boys are fairly needy but I think age appropriate. difficult child needs help in a different way than easy child but I have a mentality that we all need someone all the rest of our lives. Not that we can't manage or they can't manage but that it is a more full life when we extend ourselves outside our own self need. .
    I don't think I baby them but they fall under the umbrella of work in progress. I don't think at 18 everyone or anyone is ready to handle the world on their own. easy child is quite capable but he still needed a chance to bounce ideas or to get help problem solving.

    I hope they always ask our advice but follow their own minds. So far it seems to be working. I hope the natural progresssion is that we don't bail them out but that we grow into adult friends and family. It wouldn't be long before they don't come to share because we don't allow ourselves to drop the sheild to offer them any suggestions or support.

    Of course this is with a healthy, balanced easy child. If difficult child's take advantage then disengaging is best.

    I don't miss it because they still call frequently for advice or problems. There isn't much chance that they will blindly follow my advice so I feel needed in a different way.
    I don't miss needing to cook, clean, drive or otherwise organize their live.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm still waiting for it to happen. :rofl:

    Seriously. No I don't do the fun Mommy stuff these days. But my kids need me in different ways. easy child and Nichole turn to me for Mommy advice, help with watching the grandkids, work/school advice, relationship advice (which I avoid giving) ect. Travis in many ways is still child like, so I'm still doing alot of the things for him I always have, although he's more independent than he has ever been.

    Plus, I've found it's much more fun to be needed by the grandkids. :smile:
  6. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    Not only do I miss being needed ... it is as though part of who I am is just gone. *poof*.

    It is really difficult to find the new role that our adult kids need us to play. For instance, we went to visit our easy child at college this weekend. I actually found myself doing his dishes while he and his dad watched a football game. Partly because I don't do TV. But, truthfully, partly because I'm a mom and I felt compelled to do ... to feel needed. I almost offered to start his laundry ... but chose to take a walk instead. LOL.

    I have a theory that those of us who were stay at home moms full time have a greater difficulty adjusting to the loss of being needed. Taking care of my kids, my home, my husband ... that is who I was.

    I often joke that my job has been downsized. No retirement benefits, no pension. Just cut loose. It is sometimes a bitter pill to swallow.

    I envy the women who have careers and who seem to move a little more easily into the new phase of life. Those women who were far sighted enough to not put all of their eggs in one basket so to speak.
  7. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    gg, I would have done the dishes or cleaned up. It makes me feel good and helps your son.
    Heck my mom is 80 and she is tickled to be of help to her grandkids and children. She doesn't do what she doesn't want but it gives her a sense of being a contributor to the family group.
    Don't make yourself feel bad. Do what you feel like doing. Think of it as a hobby as opposed to a vocation. :smile:
  8. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I guess I am in the minority but I don't miss it at all. I'm glad both girls are functioning independently and I don't feel the need to call them very often. If anything, they complain that I never answer my phone (usually because my cell phone battery is dead ~ I have the darndest time keeping that thing charged). Between my job and working on my specialist degree, I stay busy, happy, and fulfilled.

    husband and I are also still househunting for a smaller, one-story home. Our current house is just too big for us now. We found one that we really liked today and I'm already busy mentally planning my new decorating projects.

    We were whole people before we became parents. Think of this as a new stage of your life full of possibilities. I've mentioned this before but an author of a book I read recently pointed out that you'll be a parent of an adult child far longer than you were a hands-on mommy. Put the past behind you and look ahead.

    You could go back to school, volunteer, get a job, find a new hobby, travel, and so on . . .

  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I fall someplace in between GG and Fran and Daisy. I am still waiting to completely miss being needed by everyone and from the looks of things, that may never happen!

    I do think that for the most part we have grown into that adult relationship with Jamie that Fran talks about. We dont push our opinions and agenda's down his throat but he does call and ask for advice once in awhile. Most of the time he now calls to just keep in contact though because he is doing ok and wants to have that relationship with us. We share a bond and its only natural I think to keep it strong. Heck...he calls to talk about football scores on

    I dont know if we will ever get to that sort of easy going relationship with Cory. I certainly hope we can. I hope one day he gets his life on track and moves out and does well. Thats all one can hope for.
  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    "Not only do I miss being needed ... it is as though part of who I am is just gone. *poof*."

    I think gg stated well what I feel. It's not, however, what I do. I don't call everyday. I let them live their lives the way the choose. I don't even offer advice unless they ask. I enjoy their independence---and their successes. I am proud that I have raised them to be so...I just sometimes miss that mother and child connection. PCson used to tell all of his college buddies that I was his best friend (and he attended a macho military college). He has since moved on to form a bond with his wife---and he should have. PCdaughter tells everyone that I'm her role model, her best friend. difficult child even admits that I am okay. But...I still miss cuddles and tummy aches and bandaids. I miss bedtime stories and...
    Well pcson and I had a game that we started when he was really young---probably four or five---We would come up with different ways to say "whatever suits you." Like "Whatever floats your boat" "Whatever sweetens your coffee" and on and on...Those are the things I miss. The little intimate everyday moments.

    I teach high school, so I still get to play nuturer a lot, but I miss MY babies being babies. It seemed to all go by so quickly. Just yesterday they were here---and now they have lives seperate from me---and sometimes I would like to have a moment back in the past to relive it all---but just a moment!!!LOL
  11. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    Thanks for starting this thread, Susie. It is very interesting.

    I agree with Fran---and to some degree, we are all "works in progress" for a long time. My mother was a stellar parent to me as an adult until Alzheimer's took her. I strive to be like her for my own kids.

    It's not that I am not needed--it's just a different need. I also lived with husband for 13 years before easy child arrived, so we were indeed grown-up people with lives, before kids. I find it easy to be that person again. Through your help, I have been able to re-engage in research that I let go when ex-difficult child was at his worst--an afterwards, too, when he was doing well, but he still needed A LOT of my time. Teaching s a constant of my job, but the research waxes and wanes, is something I enjoy, and I now have time to pursue again.

    Just for the record, I do not miss CARPOOLING, IEP meetings, or the day to day monitoring of behavior.

    Thanks for the insights,

  12. Penta

    Penta New Member

    I like Fran's idea that we all need someone all the rest of our lives. I know I do! I rely on my son for tech information all the time, my daughter in law for her keen sense of style and my 18 year old for her knowledge in the retail area.

    My daughter in law calls me for advice on certain recipes. My son often asks my opinion on things he thinks I know about. My 18 year old thinks she is grown, but she too, comes to me continually for information and basic facts of living that a young adult needs to know.

    It's a different relationship with adult children...more equal in many ways, but we all still need each other.

    GG, you are a young have time for a whole new life! I am in my mid 60's and still exploring possibilities for the next stage of my life, nothing spectacular, small pleasures, just for me!
  13. jamrobmic

    jamrobmic New Member

    I miss something, but I haven't figured out what it is. difficult child still needs me, although in different ways from when he was younger. I think it's partly what everywoman said about missing her babies being babies. I think what I miss most is the connection difficult child and I had when he was little. It dawned on me not long ago that I will never have another relationship that intense again, not even with difficult child (which is a good thing, I know, because it wouldn't be healthy for either of us to be that wrapped up in each other, but I still miss it). He wasn't a difficult child until he was about eight, and didn't get really bad until he was about fifteeen, so I don't know if I feel that way because I feel like we lost him when things got bad with him, or if I would have felt that way anyway as he grew up and naturally pulled away from us.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    One thing I have did ask this to throw myself whole heartedly into nurturing the next generation. I adore the grands. You couldnt drag Keke out of my arms with a blasting cap. We cant wait to go visit Hailie.

    I spend my time searching for things to buy them, things to make their lives more fun. It isnt the exact same thing but it is close.

    Actually I think being a grand parent is even more fun.
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Actually I think being a grand parent is even more fun. </div></div>

    I sooooooo ditto Janet!! The first grandchild cured any desire I had to go back to those good ol' Mommying days forever.

    I also spend alot of time looking for ways to make the grandkids lives more enjoyable and creating that wonderful grandparent/grandchild relationship. Like Janet said, not exactly the same thing. But as far as I'm concerned, it's better.

    We get to be the Good Guys. :smile:
  16. Penta

    Penta New Member

    I have been a grandparent who raised my grandchild for the past 18 years, so my relationship with my girl has been more of a parent/child. However, when she was little, every once in a while I would say that today would be her G-Ma spoiling day and off we would go to ToysRUs so she could pick out a special toy.

    I guess I'll get my turn at being a real grandparent when I am a great Grand!
  17. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    Grand parenting is the best. All of the fun ... none of the work.
  18. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I think the way each of us feels when we feel we are no longer needed, relies a lot on the reasons we aren't needed so much anymore and where our difficult child's or easy child's are in their lives. I know I missed feeling needed for a short time when it came to difficult child, but as soon as I realized I wasn't needed as much because he was learning to be independent and take care of himself, which was what I was working so hard all these years for him to accomplish, the feeling went from missing being needed to be proud of his accomplishments and feeling my hard work had finally paid off.

    easy child has never needed me in the same way difficult child did, but I know she needs me in a healthy way, as I do her.

    And we all know the story of where s2bx was when I needed him, and I'm beginning to thank god everyday that I don't have to feel needed by him any longer :smile:
  19. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I guess I'm not 100% there yet as far as having to check in with difficult child and making sure her medications are taken, etc. But she's always tried to be independent to a fault and by the time she brings me into the loop, things are wildly out of control. So, the need is still there, just not on a daily basis. I am learning to let go and allow her to figure stuff out on her own moreso and also, I simply cannot allow myself to be that emotionally entangled in her stuff.

    With easy child, I don't miss being needed. She still talks with me, still confides in me and still lets me know that I am very much loved and that my thoughts and opinions are very much valued. It's funny because she had always been mushy with me and allowed me to be her confidante, however, she's the one who has actually been more driven and independent. I miss her being around and seeing her at dinner and knowing her daily comings and goings - but I don't feel that her 'needing' me is too much or overwhelming. We have more of a 'shared' relationship of give and take more than her being the child and me being the parent and her needing me all the time. Ahem, there are times, though, when she needs me too much...for instance when she's having a relationship problem with her boyfriend, but even that has changed to where now I am more of a sounding board for her without fear that I will tell her what to do or what to say like a regular girlfriend would. I just let her get it all out and ask thought provoking questions that make her think things through.

    I tell you what, though. The weeks that difficult child was living at her dad's gave me a taste of freedom from being needed and I liked it - A LOT. I enjoyed having my laundry done in a single afternoon, keeping normal hours after dark, chilling, having easier dinners, less clean up and less mess. H and I finally fell into a sort of routine and then difficult child came back home. :rolleyes: HAHA~

    Right now, with both difficult child and easy child home I notice that I've fallen right back into picking up wet towels from the floor, throwing shoes downstairs, picking up and putting away, clearing the kitchen counter, ugh. I won't miss that.

    Like some others here, I am kind of looking forward to having grandchildren (though not any time soon, thank you) and being able to be less of a parent and more just enjoying them and loving them up.
  20. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Life with Copper got so rough the last few years of her childhood, I was counting the days till she was 18. I do not miss caring for her at all. And Tink is 50X more challenging to care for than Copper ever was. So I have my work cut out for me for quite some time.

    What is funny, is I also cared an awful lot for my mom for the past 20 years or so, because she was so sick. She cared for Copper more than I could, and I cared for my mom, because caring for Copper was causing a lot of her ailments. If that makes any sense. As soon as Copper left, my mom's health issues improved to the point where she could work (babysitting, care for the elderly, etc).

    Then I got sick, and my mom had to turn around and care for me.

    That was the absolute weirdest thing ever. It felt so wrong. My mom was so sick for so long, it was second nature for me to step up and help her, whether it was take her to the store, balance her checkbook, help clean her house. Also I was working, she was not, and I helped her out with money. It feels SO wrong for my mom to give me a roll of quarters and say "this is for your laundry" or for her to call and say "Do you need me to come over and help you clean the house?"

    I don't even know where I am going with this. I just started thinking about needing and feeling needed and caring, and I got to thinking about that. And I realized I had never expressed it out loud.

    Thanks for being a sounding board.