Empty nest syndrome.

Priscilla - posted on 11/15/2008 ( 43 moms have responded )

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My son is the only child and is on his way to college. I have structured my life around his. Now what do I do, when he's gone.

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Lori - posted on 04/23/2012

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Been there. It is a tough time isn't it? I created some greeting cards that bridged the gap, kept comunication open and let them know that I loved them and wanted to encourage them! They became a big hit! I now love sharing them with College Moms because we are encouragers! If you are curious as to how they turned out...I put them on a website! All the best, Lori

http://myseedsoffaith.com/

[deleted account]

I highly recommend the book, "Beyond the Mommy Years - How to Live Happily Ever After after the Kids Leave Home", by Carin Rubenstein. I read it after my last child left for college, and all the phases she describes are right on the mark! It was a very difficult time for me at first, but now he's in his second year at college, and I'm enjoying my personal time and special time with my husband. It definitely gets easier!

Tiffany - posted on 02/08/2009

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I know this sounds harsh, but sometimes we have to instigate tough love. As hard as it is. We cannot continue to bail our kids out of the holes they have dug for themselves. Get involved in some charitable activites, start making plans for your own life. Our kids have theirs and the choices they make are theirs. Enjoy life!

Kelly - posted on 11/24/2008

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I am not exactly an empty nester yet...but I am feeling it! My oldest is 22 and my middle child is 19 and lives out of state and then my youngest is 11. So, I'm still deep in homework and extra curricular activities, but it's sooooo much easier with just one and I find I have a lot of free time that I never, ever used to. I was deep in the parenting thing..volunteered for everything and loved being so much a part of my older kiddos lives, it's been hard for me to switch gears. Really hard. This is my daughter's sophomore year in college and it still breaks my heart that she's sooo far away. I just saw a book at the Family Christian Bookstore that looked great..I'm actually asking for it for Chirstmas. It's called ...Barbara & Susan's Guide to the Empty Nest by Barbara Rainey and Susan Yates. It looked like it had lots of practical ideas, much like what Martha gave you and so I'm very excited to read it. I need a new direction and something to fill that empty whole in my heart now that my two older children are all grown up. Just know, you aren't alone and maybe there's something down deep that you've always wanted to do....and you've put it aside because there just wasn't time...well now..here is our chance, our chance to dream and DO! : )

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Glenda - posted on 07/20/2014

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https://www.eventbrite.com/e/empty-nest-moms-3-keys-thriving-in-the-midst-of-change-tickets-11961789033 you are invited to be heard and supported at a Teleclass I too am an empty next mom. I want to welcome you to the possibility of a wonderful life despite what's going in with your life. It was meant for you to write this. Blessings to you. Click on link for details. All empty nest moms are invited

Tina Marie - posted on 06/18/2011

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i have 3 children and 1 by 1 they are leaving home. i 2 have structured my life around them. and i am already feeling lonely.and its only been child 1 right now.so if you would like to talk to me about it that would be great.:)

Tina Marie - posted on 06/18/2011

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i have 3 children and 1 by 1 they are leaving home. i 2 have structured my life around them. and i am already feeling lonely.and its only been child 1 right now.so if you would like to talk to me about it that would be great.:)

[deleted account]

Beth- I once heard a christian motivational speaker who had some wise words. When each of her children graduated she took them aside and said, "I did the best I could with the tools and the information I had. I know I did not meet your every need and I know there were times when I did not love you the way you needed to be loved. You are an adult now and you may need help in dealing with some of your/our history. I hereby give you permission to get help if you need it. You are responsible for yourself now and if you are not satisfied with your life it is your responsibility to facilitate the changes you need to be successful. I will continue to love and support you. I will continue to get help for my own issues. I cannot be responsible for yours."



I work with students and their parents and one of my mantras is no one chooses to change until their current circumstances be come so uncomfortable they can't stand them any more. Being uncomfortable is good! Hard to watch sometimes, but steers us away from that which is troubling us.



Love your son. It's okay to hate his behaviors and choices. Take care of yourself.

Louella Teresa - posted on 06/28/2009

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My eldest is in college....but I don't feel any emptiness in me....what I have is a feeling of fulfillment...I guess it's because my daughter is a scholar of Ateneo de Manila University, a very prestigious school here in the Philippines...Actually, I'm looking forward to her graduation...I want her to succeed in her chosen career and I'm always here to support her...I have never felt any negativity towards her going to college...Loving your children is being happy with their achievements in life and letting go is one of it...but of course,we still need to guide them...

Marilyn - posted on 06/07/2009

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Quoting Mischelle:



I know what your feeling Priscilla. My two boys both started college this last fall and both live away from home. It wasn't bad for the first few months but now I'm beginning to feel like I need to find a new purpose. I'm not ready for the self-indulgent "me" make-over rather I would like to find something worthy to direct my enegry to besides trying to unravel their checkbooks over the phone once a week. Adoption came to mind but the hubby has put his foot down! LOL! I would like to hear any suggestions from other parents going through this.





 

Marilyn - posted on 06/07/2009

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Now is your time to start for yourself be your own boss with us mary kay ladys make new friends great income and more you can do this. work as much as you want or as little see my web site www.marykay.ca/mwareham or just shop pls advise and send message try my e-mail purdyputts@hotmail.com

Annette - posted on 06/04/2009

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Congratulations Priscilla !! It's a time of transition for sure. I have been through this myself. I love it, although it can be tough, but it's so rewarding seeing our children succeed and grow, now you can do something - fun, exciting or challenge yourself.

I have decided to stay busy and "Pay it Forward" by helping and teaching others to have a successful business. It's fun and so enjoyable - paying it forward.

Charisse - posted on 06/04/2009

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Priscilla, I'm a single mom of one and my son went off to college last year. He will be a sophomore this year and I am so very proud of him! I really didn't know what to do with myself once he was gone. Of course the house was empty without him and I was missing him dearly. But daily conversations on the phone on how things were going in school, really made a difference. He was and still is my life and I've always center my life around him. But I promise you, it will get easier as time goes on. I actually started taking care of myself and enjoying my life. I had him at the precious age of 20 and really did not get an opportunity to do the things 20 year old young adults would do so now I'm traveling and enjoying life. Now that school is out, and he's back home for the summer, I can't wait to have my peace and quiet house back....lol You just wait, you will see. Of course, I don't know what I'd do without him!!!!

Vickie - posted on 06/03/2009

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When my youngest joined his brother at college this past year, I didn't know what I would do with myself. When I mentioned to my cousin I did not know what to do with no one to take care of , she said yes you do TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. So that is what I have done. Now between planning my daughters wedding and the boys coming home for the summer my quite empty nest has turned into a mad house again, but I love it!

Renee - posted on 06/03/2009

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Been there too. I was a single mom. It took me along time to get use to her being gone. It never crossed my mind when she young that she wouldn't always be with me. I moved, changed careers and made new friends, finally started dating. But many many years later I became happy with the changes. Now I have a wonderful son in law and 2 grandchildren that let you understand the changes that have to be made. A male partner in my life now and it's like starting more than just a new chapter. Guess I'm hard headed but life is has it's freedom now. Letting them grow and go on there own lets you know your work and love paid off.

Sara - posted on 06/03/2009

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Priscilla,. If he is going to college near you many now have Parent Boards. My son goes to college in a city that is 25-30 minutes away , lives on campus. I became a member of their Parent Council and when we meet our students are invited to join us for lunch or dinner depending on the agenda. It is also a great way to know what is going on without waiting for your guy to tell you, because they don't always. Sara

Debbie - posted on 06/03/2009

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Been there! I survived by dusting off my hobby of scrapbooking, inviting more friends to go out to lunch and a movie at least once a month, and getting involved in exercising....walking, swimming.....keeping my mind occupied on other things helped. And my best advice...don't be a helicopter mom! Your son will be grateful!

Debbie - posted on 06/02/2009

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Run through the house doing the happy dance and realize being in college does not mean they don't need you anymore. It means they will have a new set of stress in their lives with different challenges they will need support getting through.



The first thing I did was think of all the things I would have loved to have time to do for myself when I was raising my 2 all by myself I got a mani/pedi, read a few books, started putting together the kiddos photo albums the way I always wanted and cried a few tears missing them being young - then called one of them just to hear their voice. Of course mine said "Mom you need to get a life!!"

[deleted account]

My husband & I have had an empty nest for nearly 5 yr now & life truly has been a blessing w/ the kids at home & w/o them at home. He always wanted to be able to have the house to ourselves after the kids started bringing all the friends home. Now that it's happened, I am enjoying the freedom as well. With the last one leaving home it was tough, but honestly when they wanted to move home for hte summer & live by our house rules it seemed like a better choice for him to make to stay & take summer courses at college & work on his internships for permanent employment after graduation. He'll be graduating this coming December & I have never been more proud of my kids than I am today. You really need to look at it from their standpoint & giving them their wings to spread to their horizons like you did when you left home. I know it's tough but the phone, email & facebook makes them seem a little closer. Just keep the relationship open & trust the good Lord that you've given them the foundation to want to come home to visit you often! Hope this has helped w/ your summer activities also if your son decided to move back for the summer. Sherry Weatherly

Margaret (Peggy) - posted on 06/02/2009

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You'll cry and pine for him. I did for my daughter. But, he'll call and make your day. It'll get easier. Just find ways to keep busy and know he misses you too.

Lora - posted on 05/17/2009

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I know exactly how your feeling I have 3 kids which I have done the same thing structured my life around theirs. it was hard on me the first time around.. when my oldest daughter left for San Diego.. I must of cried all the way home after dropping her off. I tell you I did the same thing with my second daughter. and now my son is going this fall... I know it should get easier after the first but it doesn't feel that way. I am really going to have to learn a whole new way of living. But I can tell you this much I have gotten so much closer to my girls once they were out on their own. it has brought a new respect from each of us. I will let you know how it goes with my youngest he is out of them all going to be the hardest one for me to let. go...

Robertine - posted on 05/09/2009

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Now that my children are all grown up and one getting ready for college, I was feeling useless. My daughter who was once in the Air Force, just gave birth two my first granddaughter and she let me know how much I'm needed in her life. She is the mother of now two children. I feel these feelings are part of the empty nest syndrome. It is also another process of life that we are going through. Pricilla just remember this, your son still needs you.

Robertine - posted on 05/07/2009

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It sounds like you are having a hard time letting go. I have three children who are all grown up and I too know what it's like to let go. I still have one graduating from high school this year and he's my last one at home. It's not easy and you can't hold them back. They have to launch out on their own. Just remember this, your son loves you very much and he will never forget you for what you've done for him.



This is a time for you to do things for yourself. I like to look at this as freedom. We sacrifice so many things for ourselves so that our children can have the things they need. You will be fine. So will your son.

Heather - posted on 05/06/2009

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Well, I had another baby, but that's not going to work the second time around because I'll be 60 then!

Connie - posted on 04/27/2009

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When both of my girls went off to college, I tried to stay as close to them as possible by keeping in contact with them, sending them care packages, exchanging pictures on the interenet, email.....etc. I realized that I had accomplished my goal of giving them a good start in life. Now it is your turn, find a hobby, do things you enjoy doing, surround yourself with good friends and family. Its time for you so enjoy it.

Amy - posted on 04/27/2009

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Priscilla... I am so there, my son is our only child and is in his third year of college. Sigh. He was and still is my life, but it is an opportunity to see what kind of person you are. Try to reconnect and strenghten old friendships. It is also an interesting time to try (emphasis on try-it is so hard) to separate yourself and see the wonderful person you have raised. I can't say that it gets much easier, because with an only child the bond is strong - but with a son - it is important to try not to hover. Blessings to you! Write back soon and let me know how things are going.

Rainey - posted on 04/26/2009

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Now's the time to get involved with what you have put on hold raising your kids. Volunteering, crafts, networking, church, reading, wherever your interests may be. My daughter is 3rd year college. First year was a little rough for me. Our son (24) is still at home, here and there. I think mostly because he has a low paying job, but he does need to do a better job of saving. As much as I would like to see him move out on his own, which I'm sure he wants to, it is nice having him around. There are days when we don't see each other much, then days when he's around. Oh well. When the time is right it will happen for him to move, then I/we will have to adjust again. That's life. Good luck, let us know how you are doing.

Renata - posted on 04/14/2009

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I missed knowing the day to day things but found out I actually did not know as much as I thought. I sat back and waited to see what support he needed. It really did not take long because althought you may have raised him to be independent, it will a bit of a shock for him to and his new life. He will turn to you for support as he is surrounded by new people and experiences. Those quiet evenings, well, always have something to look forward to. Local library activities where there are other people if you are a people person are good. Actually there will be some things you will be glad are over. Good luck.



 

Cheryl - posted on 02/16/2009

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My "baby" son is a junior in college. His older sisters (28 and 30) are teachers. He goes to college in Philly and I live about an hour and 20 away, so we see him maybe a couple times a month. We keepin touch by phone and email. I send him "care packages". We go to Philly to see bball games and he comes home for appointments and on breaks. I work part time now since I retired from teaching and I am involved in several groups like Red Hat and Shawl Ministry. Keep busy with activities and keep in touch with your son. It will be OK. I know tho that this is especially hard for you as he is your only child. But it WILL be OK. BTW, my son was a wrestler in HS and I still go to matches of his younger team mates. That is sort of a connection.

Teresa - posted on 02/15/2009

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Believe me, you will feel lost for awhile, but once your over that ..You'll love it. I have had my 24 and 20 yoa living with me and my husband for the last 2 years. Finally got them outta of the house a week ago(also 2 grandchildren )lived with us. For me, it was like- it was when we first married, it has been great. We both looked at each other and asked why we waited so long to finally say ..Time for you to be ADULTS and get responsible for your lives.



Hang in there..we're here for ya !!



Ps My name is Teresa I am from Ky and its nice to meet you

Christine - posted on 02/13/2009

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I separated when my daughter was 4 yrs old, filed for divorce when she was 6, and divorced when she was 7. From the time on, my life was completely structured around providing for, and parenting my girl. Her father didn't use any of his visitation and didn't pay any child support. So I had a hard time when she first flew out of the nest.



I ended up doing as was suggested above - I decided it was time to do some development of me and some exploring. She's a Jr in college now. I expect it will still be a jolt when she graduates and gets a job and her own place; when I won't be expecting her home foe breaks and summer vacations. However, it won't be anywhere near as much of a jolt as when she first went away to college. I have built interests and activities of my own now.

[deleted account]

Thanks, Tiffany. That is what I have done for my middle son. Hard as it is, I had to. I am not going to bail him out of his troubles. I gave him a chance, he chose to do it his way. The worst part is that he wants to blame me for it all, therefore, I choose to not give in to him. He can live where he wants and do what he wants, but not at my expense. (Emotionally draining, but that is all I can do...)

[deleted account]

My twins (youngest of 4 boys) leave this fall on Football Scholarships and will be an hour and a half away. I don't know what I will do. My oldest passed away 6 years ago and my 20 year old is confused and lost in life right now. I divorced their father in 2002 and remarried, when I got divorced my oldest and middle sons were old enough to make a choice as to which parent they wanted to live with (according to the MO laws), the twins didn't have a choice..They have excelled in school and the 20 year old is really smart, but chooses the wrong paths. He's been tested for the gifted program 3 times and intentionally threw the test (even the people that developed the test can't figure out how he threw it like that - he never wanted to be labeled as smart, even in 3rd grade, he would get upset if you told him how smart he was). He didn't graduate and doesn't have his GED and is rebelling in every aspect of life. He has a son that will be 2 this month and my son lived with us from April of last year up until almost the end of Jan. this year and left because of his own choices. (we were trying to get him on the right path to have the ability to see his son on a regular basis - we even flew the grandson and his mother out from CO for Thanksgiving and Christmas so he could be with his Daddy and the mom has some serious issues of her own and assaulted my son the day after Christmas, so she has cut me off too because he pressed charges and because of the situation, they took her to jail and left the grandson here with my son, who promptly went to court and got a restraining order and temporary custody the next Monday - then her parents got an attorney and they gave the baby back to the psycho and her parents - who buy her way out of all her trouble). By the time Family Services in Colorado approached her, she had cleaned her system out and they had pics from a party in CO before Christmas of her drinking and there were drugs in the pics with my grandson's face in the same pics - these were provided by an anonymous person, but CO won't do anything about it because they did a UA on her and she was clean. I told the social worker, yeah, she had at least 21 days to clean up before you got ahold of her and so we are still trying to keep him from closing that case. 4 days after he UA'd her (she is 20), she posted a comment on myspace about wanting to go have a brew...the same place I got the comments about smoking pot So my Empty Nest syndrome is really kicking in and the twins haven't left yet. We give birth with the hope that we can make the best of and for our children and for a better future for our world and it hurts when we have them raised and they are ready to have their own lives, but that's the way it works. Priscilla, you will be fine, enjoy the fact you have raised a child that is going to college. There are many parents, married and single, out there that don't take the time to structure their lives for their children to have what it takes to get to college.

Tiffany - posted on 02/07/2009

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I have 3 kids, none are married, bu they are all off on their own. I went back to school and will be getting my BSN RN degree. I have so much fun. I almost dread it when they come back because they want me to cook and clean again. YUCK! I have made wonderful friends with ladies in the same boat and we have a ball doing things together.

Mischelle - posted on 01/26/2009

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I know what your feeling Priscilla. My two boys both started college this last fall and both live away from home. It wasn't bad for the first few months but now I'm beginning to feel like I need to find a new purpose. I'm not ready for the self-indulgent "me" make-over rather I would like to find something worthy to direct my enegry to besides trying to unravel their checkbooks over the phone once a week. Adoption came to mind but the hubby has put his foot down! LOL! I would like to hear any suggestions from other parents going through this.

Cindy - posted on 12/03/2008

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my son is a junior at school 4 1/2 hours away and my daughter is a freshman at a local school & lives at home, but has a part time job as well. So I am alone a lot too. my husband works lots of overtime and i work part time also. i have picked up extra days at work as well, but that doesn't fill the empty evenings when both are working. my daughter says it's weird that i am on face book, so we are not friends on here and my son says i really don't want to see his page so we aren't friends on here either. So i have joined a gym and am trying to get the motivation to go, maybe the 5 lbs i gained over thanksgiving will help. and just trying to find things to do that i enjoy...hmmm i have to rethink what i used to like to do and guess what, it's not easy, but that's kinda what we have to do so good luck to you in trying to remember what was once fun and see if it could be what you like to do now.....

Jen - posted on 11/24/2008

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Leslie,

I have to laugh because my frind and I now do "puppy playdates" every evening! we walk to the park and let the dogs run - and we have a woman to talk to every evening about all the things our husbands do not understand.

Carolyn - posted on 11/24/2008

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I swear I put on weight everytime my kids come home from school. I'm lucky because they (the boys) both go to a college that is only like 30 minutes away. They may pop in at anytime..usually when they're hungry or need money. When they're home I feel like I have to go to the grocery store and cook their favorites, which means leftover, which means I feed my face. They come home like once every two or three weeks, and I'v gotten to know their girlfriends that they met at college as well. This only makes my family bigger, NICE. We lived across the street from the high school, so my house was always the hang out before and after school. It's funny because now, since we live so close to the college, I have a whole new set of kids coming through. Holidays, are nice, short and sweet, and I'm always sure to meet a new friend or two that didn't have a family or ride to Philadelphia.

Leslieseitz - posted on 11/24/2008

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I just got a dog that needs lots of attention and walks. I knew I would need to take care of something, and by having my dog, it makes me get up and go for a walk twice a day. I have more time now that the kids are on there own, and maybe I'll lose a lb.

Carolyn - posted on 11/23/2008

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well, i can tell you my kids have been my life as a single mother, two boys/men are in college and my daughter is a senior in high school( literally, I say goodmorning to her before i leave for work, and at night she comes in my room and says I'm home)...It's like my house is always empty. When my younger son left for college it was the hardest because I knew basketball and football was gone forever...I cried for a month before he graduated and a month after.

I can say it gets better...I look back know and can't believe I was so upset. I joined the YMCA and go to aquasize twice a week, joined weight watchers, made new friends, and lost 40 pounds. It's nice not having to cook everynight. When I do cook, I have enough to take for lunch the next day and freeze. I come and go when I please..and the good thing is they still come home on breaks..believe it or not i can't wait for them to go back to school, and I'm a single mom. I don't worry about them when they're at school as much as i do when they come home on breaks. I could go on and on and look forward to sharing more and talking more....keep ya head up

Jen - posted on 11/21/2008

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My daughter is an only also. When she left for college it was so hard on me! she kept me busy on the phone for her freshman year (it actually got to the point that I wished she would not call so often) Now I have learned that she will be married right before begining her sophmore year.

I have no idea what we are supposed to do once they are gone. But it has been great for my husband and I to have time alone for the first time!

Martha - posted on 11/15/2008

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Priscilla - I know that feeling that you have - the "empty" part. But rather than thinking of this as the end of something, maybe you can think of it as the start of a new, different chapter in your life. If your son is going away to school, I'm sure he will still be coming home during vacation times and obviously you will be talking on the phone, etc. But maybe now is the time to focus on YOU. The role of mother never ends, but it does change and evolve. Now your son doesn't need for you to be part of his day-to-day life, so now you can think about the things you are interested in. Do you work outside the home? Maybe a job of some sort would be a good idea, or volunteer work. Or maybe you always wanted to take a course in something - libraries often have good (and free) courses that introduce people to various areas and activities that are interesting. I found that I had to kind of re-create myself when my kids moved out on their own. My youngest is a junior in college, and I have two older children who live quite far away, so I really can sympathize with your feeling. But there are really so many things to get involved in - maybe through your church (or other type of house of worship) or local civic association, etc.

There is life after kids grow up!!!

Let me know how you make out,

Martha

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