Finding it hard to cope with losing my 'job' as 'Mom".... (sorry it's so long!)

Della-Marie - posted on 11/24/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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WARNING: Whine/rant ahead. So, if you don't want to hear it, stop reading now.....:o) I apologize ahead of time for the length....just started writing, and this is what poured out!

Sometimes lately, more than usual, i wonder if i am losing my mind. Am i crazy? Or just highly unstable?

I am finding it hard to deal with these Life changes.

It seems my role in Life has changed without my permission. I am a mommy. That's what i do. That's what i love. Taking care of Ryan and Casey. They are my world. They are my little boys. At least they were until Time decided to make them men. Men who don't need their mommy to tie their shoes, or to hold their hand when they cross the street. Men who have lives of their own. Men who have jobs, cars, pay their own bills.

I am finding it hard to hold myself together.

Time has a funny way of whooshing by without letting you know. It can sneak 10 years by in a blink of an eye. One minute you are the center of your little boys' world, with the magic to heal a boo boo with a simple Mommy Kiss. The only one who can make the night less scary. The one whose neck they wrap their little arms around after a 'long' day at kindergarten because they miss you as much as you miss them. The next minute your 'little' boys are men.

I am finding it hard to let go.

Ryan will be 23 in February. He graduated high school early when i realized he was doing college biology in what should have been 10th grade, (I home schooled both boys in middle/high school). He learned to drive. Bought his own car with his own hard earned money. He went out and got the job HE wanted, went to and graduated a career course for a promotion at his job, (he drove by himself to Orlando -- 3 hours from home -- for this course). He met that someone 'special' and together they moved, literally, across the country to California. I have never been away from my 'RyPy'. My sensitive, sweet little boy who grew up when i wasn't looking.

I am finding it hard not to worry.

Casey, my baby, my little Du, just turned 20 in August. After being home schooled for five years, he decided he wanted to go the last two with his friends in public school. Which he did, even though the school he was to go to is one of the worst in the county, (one reason i decided to home school). But his dad and i let him. Our effort at 'letting him grow up'. And he did. He graduated, proving to the dumba$$ guidance counselor that he wasn't a home schooled idiot, (yes, he REALLY said that! He even had the nerve to tell me that he couldn't wait to toss Casey back to the 8th grade after the first 9 weeks, which was a wonderful moment when Casey took his A honor roll report card in to show him!!!!!!). He too, learned to drive, got his own job, saved his money and bought not one, but TWO cars on his own.

I am finding it VERY hard to keep the tears back.

Yes, my little boys are now men. Complete with facial hair, and their own taste in clothing and music. They aren't so little anymore either. Both are now taller than i am. I can't pick them up and kiss them on the forehead. No, now i have get a stool to stand on if i even want to kiss Casey on the forehead. Yes, his 6'2" frame towers over my 5'5" one, and even Ryan's lean 5'8" frame is taller than mine. No more throwing them up on my motherly hips when they have fallen asleep in their carseats to carry them into the house and tuck them into their beds. Those days are gone now, and getting farther and farther away. Just a flicker in the night sky.

I am finding it hard to feel like i have a purpose in Life.

Now Ryan is living in California with his partner, getting things together so that he can continue his college education out there on the road to a degree. His future is bright. So much in it to do. So many things to accomplish.

I am having a very difficult time fighting back the depression.

This will be the first holiday season EVER without both 'boys' here to share the customary holiday traditions with. No RyPy to be mommy's helper. To get the stools out for him and his little brother to stand on so that they can reach the counter to stir the cookie dough, hold the mixer, etc. And even though this year Casey will be here, next year he may not have the choice of being 'home'. Things are never going to be the same. No, this year there will be no whirlwind of baking that starts right before Thanksgiving, and intensifies the week after Thanksgiving with each of us baking our specialties. Ryan making his Cranberry Spice Cake, Du helping me bake Great Grandma Kelley's Jam Cake (with homemade Caramel Icing, thank you very much!), and all of us making cookies. Oh, the cookies! All homemade, totally from scratch. Everyone's favorites chocolate chip, peanut butter, & Gram's famous peanut butter 'boiled' cookies. Ry's favorite, oatmeal raisin. Du's molasses cookies that are Grams' recipe. The traditional sugar cookies, cut in the shapes of snowmen, wreaths, Christmas trees, & a number of other cookie cutter shapes. And of course the gingerbread cookies, shaped like little men, that the boys love to bite the heads off of! The smells that permeate the house during the holidays. Not just the smells but the sounds. The Yuletide music and laughter that fills the air. The stories of Yule and the annual reading of 'The Night Before Christmas' as everyone sips eggnog sprinkled with nutmeg, and takes their turn reading a verse of the story that by now we all know by heart. No, this year, i will be sending Ryan his own ornaments that have been collected over the last 23 years. Along with the recipe to his spice cake so that he and his partner can start their own traditions. I can only hope that some of their traditions will be some that we made together and that they will endure and continue to be passed down through his children.

I am finding it hard to keep the melancholy at bay.

Then there's Casey. My baby. My little man who still loves to lie in my lap as i run my fingers through his hair. I am not sure if it is more for me or him. My 'Hungry Jack' boy. My scary movie buddy. My fearless little man with the heart as big as the moon. The handsome young man who just told us he was enlisting in the Marines. It was at this moment more than any other that i felt my world fall away from me.

I am finding it almost impossible to hold on.

It's hard enough watching and SEEING the little boys grow into successful young men. Young men with their own lives that have just a small space available for their 'mommy'. It is hard as hell to be 2800 miles away from my little boy, knowing that if anything happened to him, (good or bad), i couldn't be there right away. Hard as hell not being able to have him drop in for a chat. Sure we can and do talk on the phone, email, and even text message, but that isn't the same. Now my other little boy is not only going to be far away from me, but in these times, i don't know if he'll even be safe. I can protect him even less now. And in that sentence, in that thought comes the biggest issue of all.

My inadequacies. Intentional or not. Real or not. They are still there and they are still inadequacies.

Did i do a good enough job as a mom? Did i prepare them well enough for Life? Did i take it for granted that they would be small for longer than they were? Being a mom is the one thing i have LOVED being and i am good at it. But have i been good ENOUGH? I know we have to let our babies go sometime. We have to let them 'fly'. But i'm not ready! I don't want it to be time for them to 'fly'. To leave the nest.

Being a mom is something i have always been able to do right, no matter what else was going on around me. I could kiss boo boos. I could tuck them into bed. I could read them stories. Educate them about various things. Bake cookies and cakes. Hold their hands as they crossed the street. I made sure they knew they were, are, and always will be loved. I made sure they knew they could ALWAYS talk to me about anything and that i will always be here for them.

But now things have changed. Without my permission and i am being made to realize for the first time that I can't protect them. I can't kiss the boo boos. That I am out of my element. Totally. This frightens me. Hell, i am TERRIFIED. I don't know how to be a 'MILITARY' mom. How do i reassure either of the boys about anything when i can't even reassure myself?

On top of it all, i am angry at myself for feeling this way. I mean, how can i be so selfish? Isn't it selfish to say i am terrified, when my son is giving the ultimate gift so that people like me are free to feel all these stupid emotions out loud? There are SO many other moms out there with sons, (and daughters) doing the same thing Du is about to embark upon, and they are surviving....proudly. Is it difficult for them? Absolutely. But they continue to get up every morning. Live through their day. Go to bed every night, prayers still fresh on their lips and continue on with their lives. So that they will be there when their children need them again. I want to be confident like that. I want to know that i can do this. I want to DO this, not only for me, and my sanity, but for my boys, and everything i have taught them to believe in.

Yet with all of my inadequacies, i am SO incredibly proud. Of Ryan, for everything he has accomplished and everything he WILL accomplish. He has amazing determination and i know he is going to achieve everything he sets out to. He will go farther than i ever imagined. His individuality and love of Life touches anyone he comes across. I am proud to be his mom. Of Casey, for his fearlessness, and his sense of pride in everything he does. He has a giving spirit that no one i know even comes close to. He is always there for the 'little guy', the 'underdog', the one who needs his help the most. Which is why, when i stop to think about it, it doesn't really surprise me that he would do something like join the military. He's a teddy bear in a grizzly's coat. I am proud to be his mom. Of both of them, for NEVER being ashamed to say, 'I love you, mom', no matter who might see, or hear. I am so proud to be their mom. I could not ask for two better children.

I guess even after putting this all down in writing, it still comes down to one basic human feeling: FEAR. I am afraid...and i don't know how to not be afraid. Things are changing, and they will always continue to change--nothing stays the same. My head, and all that is sensible and sane in me knows this, yet my heart and all that is not sensible and sane is terrified and i don't know what to do about it.

That, my friends is my dilemma.

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3 Comments

View replies by

Deb - posted on 12/19/2009

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Hey I went through the same thing, It's hard to just stop being a mom and become mother/friend. My children are 26/24 and I still catch myself at times wishing I could go back, and have it the way it was, It was easier then. Don't be angry with yourself ! There's nothing wrong with loving and missing your children,missing the job you've done and loved for so many years.You just can't turn it off over night.. Maybe you might want to start looking into a career where you help someone with a disability or the elderly, I'm a nurturer, I'll admit it but I'm also a CNA and I love it.

Bernadette - posted on 12/02/2009

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your job as "mommy" will NEVER be over.

As Moms, we worry about our kids when they are at home and when they are not.

I have 2 kids who are not at home because time told them it was time to grow up and make a life for themselves. Like you, the empty nest syndrome kicked in bigtime. I didn't know what to do or who I could talk to. I finally talked to my hubby and told him how I was feeling. He told me that he was also scared because now he felt the pressure of trying to be the man that I fell in love with over 28 yrs ago.

We decided to go to therapy and that one of the best decisions that we made! We fell in love with each other all over again! We even renewed our wedding vowes.

I also talked to my kids and told them how I was feeling and they have made a effort to stay in touch with me by either phoning or by email. They still ask me questions of "how do you cook this or what would you do if this or that happened to you. Its a change in how they need me but the still need me!

heck I am 50 yrs old and I still need my Mom! (thank god she is still here for me to need!)

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