The impending empty nest has me so sad.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sonic has wanted his own place for a long time. Now I say "good for him!!!!" I was told he would never be independent and never be able to take care of himself and he can and is and will be paying his rent with his own money and I feel he has a safe "safety" plan and he will only be four minutes from us. But OMG I just can't get used to it. I can't. He is excited, getting everything he will need for his apartment and I am helping, picking up stuff here and there, then crying in the car.

    If that isn't bad enough (and it should really be good, not bad), Jumper has to be at college on August 6th because that is the first day of Volleyball practice. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! THAT IS TOO EARLY! I'm going with my hubby to take her there and then the last of my children will be gone and I know I will be inconsolable in the car ride home and probably act like a big boob and cry and hug her and not want to let go. Both of these adult kids have been such a joy and I feel so honored that my Higher Power entrusted them into our care.

    In the midst of all of this, we are also moving to a two bedroom apartment so that Jumper has a place to stay when she visits. But it's a big change, although I am sort of a minimalist and am trying to make this a mission in order to divert my mind and keep my spirits up. Then, of course, my precious granddaughter will be born somewhere around July 6th or 7th while Sonic moves on June 26th and we move August 4th and Jumper is driven to school August 6th. It is so much in such a short period of time and when I am back from visiting my precious grandbaby, nobody will be at home with me except my husband Tom. I love Tom with all my heart, but I will miss the kids. The dogs do help!!!!

    Can anyone shed light on any thoughts that I can hang onto for comfort when I am missing my beloved children? Have any of you ever had to adjust to an empty nest from children that were not difficult children? Before I got my job I was really happy, volunteering, meeting tons of new people, always busy and I thought I'd have the problem whipped because of my busy schedule. My new job slowed that down. I like my job, but it isn't the same as volunteering where you meet people from all walks of life. If I did not need the little money I get from the job, even though I like it, I'd probably just go back to volunteering where I had so much control over my days and could immerse myself in helping others with others who like to help and are caring.

    I have a mood disorder and tend to get depressed if I have nothing to do. My husband is not a doer. It is hard to get him out of the house. How do you learn to like spending time alone in the house?

    I apologize for this whine. I realize most of you are dealing with difficult children and this is a maybe trite issue to you. However, I do trust you all and since I suffer from a mood disorder, even on good medications that help keep me stable enough to function I do get depressed from time to time. Nothing like the old tunnels of blackness, but I do get down. Especially when not busy. Or when I have down time.

    If any of you could spare a moment for a response, I would appreciate it. And if you can't, or have nothing to say, I do understand.

    While I felt relief when 36 left because he was a threat to me and when Julie left I was very sad but didn't feel I had any other choice due to the drug use, this is way different. I feel like I will be mostly alone with myself and I don't know how to find interesting things to do with myself. I come alive more when I'm with others, but after work I'm way too mentally worn out to volunteer and there isn't much to volunteer at during t he evening hours anyway.

    I need mental stimulation to keep me from depression and being alone doesn't foster that for long. I do like to write but can only do that for so long. Working out...I do that. It helps. Again, that is only 45 min.
  2. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    I have been through this and it was tough, hard, sad, painful....empty. But, it gets OKAY. I promise you that. difficult child is our oldest and it took forever for him to leave. Yep, totally different scenario.

    Our other two are (were) easy to live with. daughter had her moments, but would never purposely hurt us. Our youngest is the epitome of sweet and kind. When he moved out, we grieved. But, you know what, in about 6 weeks it was fine. You find ways to fill yourself, perhaps not intentionally, but it just happens. And, yes, I went through mantras such as This is good. A mother bear knows when it is time to let her baby go. and, that helped...for seconds.

    About a year later, he moved back home for six months. When he left, it was again sad/difficult...but not nearly as painful as the first time.

    I don't know how it came to be okay the first time; it just did. And, it did not take THAT long. Please trust me.

    Still, I remember the pain you are about to feel. I remember posting about it on FB ---my pain at the loss of my youngest moving out---and several folks assuring me it would be alright. Not certain i believed them, but i should have. It IS a glorious thing to watch our adult kids spread their wings. It just can take a few weeks to appreciate it fully.

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  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    MW mine will be looking for a new home when he gets out of juvie. I will be happy to send him to you. Two problems solved your nest will be full and I can live in peace.
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  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    SS, thank you so much.That star was from me.

    Pas, I have one of my own I couldn't have home with me. But, remember, I am asking about PCs and that is a different experience than difficult children. I've had both. I have lived in peace with both Sonic and Jumper...and experienced joy and love and many intangible good emotions. It will be hard to send them on their way.
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I totally get it. I miss my daughter everyday and she is 36. She was home for 3 months when their house was being built. We had a good time together, but she missed being in her own home and I missed having my space. It is a bittersweet moment when they do what they are supposed to do and grow-up and become independent.

    Think about things you have always wanted to do but could not because you were raising kids. It takes time, but you will find your passion.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Pas.

    I do understand the wish for peace when a difficult child is in your house, trust me. I've been there. More than Julie, who had a good heart even under the influence, 36 was scary. I was divorced and he would use his great height difference to corner me and threaten me without words. He would stay locked in his room and I'd wonder what he was doing there, but I'd be too scared to tick him off and too happy he wasn't bothering me, but half expected t he police or even the FBI to knock on my door at any time. I had no idea w hat was going on there and still don't, but I did find out later on that he had memorized my ex's credit card numbers and was using some of them for porn. When he left we found extreme porn, some of it twisted, on his computer. Not your normal porn, trust me. Julie was petrified of him, but I didn't know that at the time.

    It was a great relief and very peaceful once I made him leave the house so I get where you are coming from. I wondered about even asking this on this particular forum, because of the struggles we all have, but I trust you posters the very most and some have had PCs with their difficult children. Also, everyone here knows that my life with kids has been no picnic...I certainly am not trying to "brag" in any way.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I understand what you mean.

    I have my two lovely younger PCs...I have split custody with their dad, so they are forever coming and going. I love them so much, and they are moving into young adulthood so is very very sad to see them go when they go, which they do over and over. Sometimes when they've been gone, especially if SO is away, they ask if I've been ok...and I tell them of course, I am practicing for when they are really gone, that that is as it should be. Part of what keeps me from lying down and crying is the need to make it clear to them that this is a healthy good and normal transition and I am proud of them.

    Also, watching good movies helps!

    I find that other hobbies, like exercise or knitting, leave me too much time in my head. Some time meditating so that you actually grow through the process, and some time being distracted...and of course, letting time just be time, pass, and will be OK.

    Hugs for your aching mommy heart today, MWM.

  8. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    When I drove my eldest daughter to university at the far side of England it was a strange time - exciting and happy on the way there, filled with uncontrollable tears (mine of course) on the way back. My son was already living away from home at college and I was divorced and faced with the prospect of an empty house and frightened. I loved it!!!! I had a year of peace, perfect peace, a house that stayed tidy, hardly any washing, cooking, shopping. I pleased myself. It was bliss. I met up with friends for evenings out, did some courses, walked a lot wherever I wanted to with no time constraints on having to be back for anyone at any particular time. I went to stay with my daughter and had a great time and, of course, she was home in the holidays - pleased to see me and full of plans to go out together, which we did. My son was only in the next town and he hadn't yet gone all "eco-warrior-ish" and we had lots of fun nights out watching bands like two teenagers.

    Then I met the man who became my second husband, who was a single father to a baby, and my life changed again. I love my life now, it was meant to be, but I still look back on that year of an empty nest with gratitude for the positive experience of peace and a chance to really get to know myself.

    Embrace this time MWM. It's not the end of your life with your son, it's just a normal, natural change and it will bring so many positive things to your life and to the life of your son and to your joint lives together.

    Start smiling!
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you, guys.

    I was actually all ready to go empty nest with a happy heart...until I got a job. I was so busy and had met so many interesting people and was doing what I liked to do when I liked to do them. I was busier than when I had a job and well ready to let go of my kids. I was honestly having a blast. And at the same time I was helping both people and my beloved animal creatures.

    Then I got a job and I had to quit everything I loved to do because of my job's hours. And when I have my two days off during the week, I'm not in the mood to get up early and volunteer. Every other week I have to work weekends so I feel like have no time off at all. Those two free days off go fast! I did try to keep up a little volunteering on one of my days off, but it wasn't the same. I'm an earlybird who wakes up at five and is ready to go to sleep at nine and I guess I'll have to try to find things to do in the evening and see if I do it when the time

    I know a lot of people love to knit and crochet, but I'm not very good at either and my chosen activities involve other people. I'm hardly a quitter though. I was very careful when I thought up things to do before I had this job and I will eventually look around for night activities and find some. I guess it would help if I enjoyed going out to bars or sports bars to drink, but I don't drink and don't enjoy being in bars, even now that they are smoke free, so that is out.

    Hubby is not a joiner, but he also does not get angry at all when I join activities without him. I am thinking of bowling, which I sock at, but that doesn't stop me from having a good time at it. Everyone likes the person who has a BIG I can join my old singing group again. I stopped going because it's at night, but, hey, night is all I have now. I can try to find things I never thought of. For ages I've been trying to find a group of people who are likeminded to me and believe in spirituality and Buddhist leanings and reincarnation and life after this life. They have groups like this in the college town not too far from me, but I'm not sure they aren't all in the afternoon. I will look.

    Thank you for the kick in the backside :)
  10. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    It IS sad, definitely a time of transition but also a time of some pretty exciting options! And I am not too old or infirm yet to enjoy most of them so that's a bonus! A little of this, a little of that, maybe I will get back to this thing I did once, maybe I will completely reinvent myself! I think it can be a really cool time and a really nice bonding experience between us and our easy child's, with both of us having the freedom to explore new things and meet new people we might otherwise never consider.