I'm experiencing premature empty nest syndrome. My daughter is a high school senior, and an only child. I am a single mom. Already I cry most every day.....how am I to deal with this ????

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Beth - posted on 07/05/2009

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I really know what you mean..it hit me so hard and I wasn't expecting it...my children are some of my favorite people and I fel so isolated, especially as a single mum. I've found I have to get myself out there more and start to open myself to the possibility of another intimate relationship after nearly 4 years...Beth

Amy - posted on 07/02/2009

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I too, am a single Mom. At first, I dreaded it, but realized that my daughter was SO excited, that to be sad was selfish of me. You don't want her to feel guilty about leaving. We made plans together about her NEW home away from home. We have become closer then ever before and I didn't think that it was possible. Let her go gracefully and she will be happy about coming home.

Beth - posted on 01/12/2011

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Here's what I do now...I'm fortunate that my college kids (age 20-24) like to get together over the holidays and spend lots of time. We also make sure to take trips together to places like Hawaii or Europe when everyone can manage it (money and time). I fall in love with my children--now young adults--even more and I love their respective boyfriend/girlfriends and am always eager to have them join us....also, I spend more time with girlfriends so I don't get isolated.....we moms love our babies!! and just cos we miss them doesn't mean we aren't thrilled with their successes and progress...Beth

Angela - posted on 08/08/2009

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I've really tried hard to cherish every moment with my kids. You can't waste time fearing a future time you dread coming. You have them now you should make the best of it rather than spend the time crying over the future when they will be gone. Its important to make the best time and memories and build a good relationships and foundation with them. Because they don't ever really leave. They are always your children.

I was terrified when my son joined the Navy, and we had ten months before he left. It was horrible but I forced myself to make the best of the ten months we had. I didn't know if he would ever come home!! Thank God he did and he's out now. That was torture for me. Believe me I was terrified the entire time he was gone.

I have a wonderful relationship with my grown children. It has surprised me and it overwhelms me. It far exceeds what I ever expected. All my kids tell me I am their closes confidante and "best friend". That's what is important. That you spend the time you have now building that important relationship that they will take with them and you will always have with them.

For heavens sake, with the technology today, you are not going to have much trouble staying connected. When your children grow up they become these amazing adult mature intelligent people that are in your life forever!! You are so blessed you can't believe it. You can't find "friends" like that.

I still have two left at home (14 yo twins). So I have three years left before I have an empty nest. Sure I have mixed feelings about it. But its part of the cycle of life.

One more thing... For me, I look at my empty nest as an opportunity for me to travel around to visit them all. It will give me an excuse to get away more often. But I have a bit of road warrior in my blood. I've teased them for years that I'm going to get a motorhome and just come see each of them until they kick me out and I'll move onto the next one. The benefit of having five is that there will be a good space before I end up back again to bother them. LOL.

Plus I can always add my parents and other places to visit in there too. LOL

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Laura - posted on 06/13/2011

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It isn't as bad as you expect. For me the hardest part of my kid going to college was not being able to keep up. not seeing them go off to formals and game and not meeting her friends. I found this application called Pixable which tells me everytime she posts pictures on facebook or gets tagged in pictures and it really helps me keep up. It's not being there, but it's better than not seeing it.

Lisa - posted on 05/29/2011

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I truly know what you are going through. I am a single mom of four beautiful daughters and we are so close. When they left for college, I was heartbroken but I never let them see it because I knew they would be worried, but children always know. We are all closer now than we ever were. I prayed all the time and my faith and the love of my daughters have got me through this. Stay strong and just continue to love her.

Terri - posted on 05/28/2011

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My baby girl started collage this past year it was very hard letting her go, and at the college I did cry, but when she came home in December then had to leave again there was no more tears, because I know she is alright and going to become great business woman. She is strong and independent and a part of me is inside of her forever. Just remember while their at school if they forget to call you can call them.

Priscilla - posted on 05/26/2011

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I'm going thru the same emotion. I'm a single mom with a son who's heading to Uni in a couple of months. For the last 18 years, its been he and I. That's it. I've devoted my life raising him and while I part of me is extremelly proud, the vast part of me feels sad, and simply keep wondering how am I going to do this alone once he is gone?. Alot of it is me, I know that! But, although I am trying to see the positive, I keep feeling as tho he is leaving me, almost like abondoning me. I know, I know it isnt the case but, what my mind knows, my heart feels differently. I keep thinking how quiet our home will be once he's gone. Thinking about having dinner alone sends me into a crying spell...I simply don't know if I am strong enough to handle his leaving.

Christine - posted on 01/19/2011

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Try not to think about it so much and get busy. Try a new hobby now so that when she does leave you will have something to do and maybe meet some new friends.

Valori - posted on 01/15/2011

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I know how it feels. I have two children that are out of the house. One off to college and the other in the work force making his own way in life. They have shown me that I have raised them to be great people and can take care of them selves. I cried and missed them very much in the beginning, but I soon realized that I was crying because I was so proud that they were doing exactly what I had always wanted them to do. Not be afraid to go out into this big world and make it.

Valori - posted on 08/21/2009

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I can relate. when my oldest became a senior in high school i think i cryed at everything she did. My girls keep me involved with everything they do so when it was time for her to go off to college i was right there helping her through it all. I think this helped me alot. Remember that first step they took? Well, thats what every year is for them, and college is just their first steps into the real world. Remember to, that you can get them a cell phone and call them if they dont call you first.

[deleted account]

I was going to say that from what I see its not premature to start crying a year before, it seems we all started crying senior year...lol I just dread the ride home!

Lynn - posted on 07/31/2009

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Try to surround yourself with things and people you love. Your daughter will be fine but she will worry about you and feel guilty if you are not strong. Let friends and other family know you need their support. Plan night out, trade dinner nights with friends and coworkers regularly. I found weekends the hardest. Plan fun things to get out of your home and go out for the day so you are not home thinking all day about how much you miss her. You will miss her, it will get easier as time goes by. You are in my thoughts

Sharon - posted on 07/28/2009

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god pray !

went there last year.You will be ok.I know it dont feel like it now.But i see so many moms that dont have kids going NO any where.We are blessed.That ours are trying to do something with their lives. They will make a mess of things ,but that is part of it.Trust GOD,and trust them.

Tootie - posted on 07/27/2009

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you grew up, right? It's her turn. Now it's time for you. Take a class, take up a hobby, go OUT! go to the beach without having to worry about watching a child in the surf. If you've done you job as I feel you have by the way you're feeling, bee happy for her and be happy for you now knowing that you've done a great job. Enjoy the next stage of your life! If you let her be her own person, you'll see, she'll come back! with wedding plans, with baby shower plans, and the beginning of a new life when you find out that you'll be a Grandma! I'll tell you now, if I had know how much fun Grandchildren were.... I'd have had them first! Enjoy and know you did a job well done!

Sandra - posted on 07/27/2009

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I had a horrible time when my last daughter went to college.
She was home schooled most of her life and that meant that I was there pretty much 24-7 .
I still have tough times. I did learn that Tulsa is over 1,000 miles from home. I made the trip last year and would do it every day if I had the finances.
WE keep in touch and it DOES get better , It helps to send care packages. She says it is always l;ike Christmas when she gets them. It makes me feel like I can still give her treats and know that she has things she might need or want.
A few years ago, the US Post Office sent out a card showing the mother on the Cathy cartoon trying to stuff herself into the box for flat rate. I sent that card to my daughter the same day it came in my mail. ( with my address on it ) when I got a package from her a few days later, she had sent the same one to me ( with her address on it.). We both thought that it fit .
She makes it a little easier, We gave her a cell phone and she can call us whenever night or day on our plan. so no long distance.
know that you have done your very best to instill the rightr values in her and have the confidence to let her go. She is a young adult. I think letting her know that you are still available also will help both of you.
Good luck !
Sandie

Maria - posted on 07/24/2009

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I had just one rule for my son when he left for college...Call me at least once a day to let me know he is ok.It is very hard when they leave but it is also rewarding to know that college is another stepping stone towards adulthood..

Kim - posted on 07/24/2009

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Try to find things you used to do before you had children.. Golf, bowl, garden, go out with friends, read...Volunteer. Do you work outside the home? Keeping your days busy will help you be tired so you can fall asleep at night too. Cell phones and SKYPE help to keep in touch while they are away. i speak with my daughter about every other day while she is at college.. Hope this helps!

Barb - posted on 07/24/2009

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Oh I understand!!

My oldest moved out about 8 months ago. Now he tells me him and his girlfriend are moving to Toronto the end of next month. I'm so worried and scared for him.

Kym - posted on 07/23/2009

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Priscilla,

Wish I could give you some helpful advise but my son is about to leave in Aug for college and I have been crying since last August. If or when it gets better I will let you know. He doesn't like for me to show that I am going to miss him, but he is my only child so what can we do.

Avis - posted on 07/22/2009

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I had the same problem last year when my son left for college 10 hours away; but after his first year in college I can proudly pat myself on the back. You just have to trust that you have taught your child to make good judgement callls and to ask for help when needed. I must say my son did well his first year despite constant roommate issues but he handled them in a very adult manner. And I did well also I started getting out and enjoying life and realized the empty nest was not as bad as I thought. Help my son's home for the summer and the nest is full again!!!!

Marsha - posted on 07/22/2009

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take in a foster kid one that is not to young but old enuff that you can have fun with it will help you and a kid that just want;s to fell needed and like they matter

JACQUE - posted on 07/22/2009

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I have been a single mom most of my kids lives. You have to look at it like the first day of school. I have gotten my oldest son through college now it's time for the baby to leave. The senior year is always hard and I will try and be a big girl when I take him off to college but once I'm gone who knows. It's time for us to think of us and not our kids mommy's any more. They still need us but on their terms now.

Dennette - posted on 07/21/2009

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The empty nest syndrome is very hard to accept. When my first daughter moved out I became depressed and felt like no one understood what I was goning through. I felt like I was loosing my best friend. It just something over time that you get through day by day with a ton of phone calls then they gradually slow down and you realize that you raised them the best you could and hope you get to see them often. You really start to appreciate the time you get to spend with them as they get older. My second child has also moved on now, I have one 18 year old left who already pretty much takes care of herself. It's hard not to be needed constantly... I am just starting to enjoy the freedom I have now but it's sad to accept their gone and the noise that leaves with them, and you have to entertain yourself through the next chapter in life...... :)

Mona - posted on 07/21/2009

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My oldest (17) graduated in June. I had been crying since September so I know how you feel. He wanted to move out right after graduation but I told him he has to wait until he's 18. I'm not sure if he plans to move in the fall or not...I'm too scared to ask.
I have started a list of things I would like to do. I'm getting into the Green thing. I want to start a garden. I need to get my home organized. I bought a carpet cleaner (project).
I've decided to find me. Not the married, mom me. The me before kids and marriage me.
Everything is changing. My relationship with my son needs to change. I can't baby him. I need to keep giving him the tools to help him be successful in life and his own relationships. He doesn't ask permission to go anywhere (although he tells me) and that needs to be ok. He's a young man. Although I will never let him go and never stop being his mom, I do need to change what being his mom means. He's not 5 anymore - I have to keep reminding myself.
Now it's time for you to do things for yourself and not feel guilty about it. It will give you more things to talk about with your daughter. She will be happy knowing that you are happy.
http://moremilestones.blogspot.com

Judi - posted on 07/20/2009

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Hi, Priscilla. I'm Judi. I have 3 kids. 28, 24 and 16. My 24 yr old graduated college last year. It was hard to let her go at first. Her school was an hr away. We helped her move in and talked to her all the time. All 3 of my kids are pretty independant, but they always come home to Mom. After she graduated, she wanted her own apartment. That was even harder to accept, cause there was plenty of room at home. But she wanted her own space. She now has her own apt about a half an hr away from us. I also have 2 step-kids. 30 and 32. We have developed a "Family Nite" that almost all the kids (and Grandkids) come to each week. It is so much fun. My point is, your daughter will go to college, but it is not the end, just the beginning of a new chapter in your lives. You will enjoy all of the stories she will tell you about the new and exciting adventures she will have. Be happy for her. You will be surprised at how much time she will be calling YOU when she is away. I have not regretted letting my daughter go away to college. She even went to Denmark to study in her second yr. That was scary taking her to the airport. But when she came back and told us where all she went, it was amazing. I was jealous. It has been a real blessing. so don't worry, she will be fine.

DEBBIE - posted on 07/20/2009

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one day at a time....i have only one child also who is now a senior in college...we are so very close and when he comes home to visit i still cry everytime he leaves to go back...i dont think it will ever really be easy...but im slowly learning he neeeds a life also...if i had my way he could live with me forever...Debbie

Vanessia - posted on 07/20/2009

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i feel your pain. i also have one child and i can;t bear to be away from her for 24 hrs much less couple of days. thinking of her going away to college is frigtening.

Billie Gail - posted on 07/19/2009

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I went through the same thing for three years. I had severe empty nest syndrome. I have three sons and they are 18, 19, and 20. I had severe anxiety about them leaving home, but I am a lot better now. After my first one I stressed over everything with him after he left. I could not handle not knowing where he was at all times and I am still that way with all three of them, but I'm working on it. I think that is the real underlying issue with empty nest syndrome. We wont know what is going on and we wont be there to protect them all the time like we are use to and our lives revolve around them so, we won't know what to do with ourselves once they are gone. Also, We remember the mistakes we made because we did not have our parents making choices for us after we left home and we just can't stand the thought that our children might make a life altering decision that we can't fix. That is the real issue with me anyway!
Also, I was a single mom and their dad was a part time of a part time dad, so my kids and I were all each other had so we developed a strong bond. I am also afraid that our bond won't last through separation, but I know that isn't true, but I am working on that as well.
I know this is just another chapter in my life that will include GRAND CHILDREN!!! Yippie! I can't wait for grand children! There are none in the works as of yet and none of them want any for a while so, I am taking this time to really enjoy being married to my husband. We are really enjoying this time together before our lives get hectic with all the grand children schedules.

Good luck
Billie

Cindy - posted on 07/19/2009

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My son is an only child and will be leaving in August to be a foreign exchange student in Germany. I won't be able to see him for almost a year. With all the technology with facebook, e-mail, skipe, etc we plan to keep in contact but I know it will be hard to adjust at first. We have followed all of his sport games and have centered our lives around his activities. He is a home-body kid so it will be different. He went over to Germany for three weeks two years ago, and we got a taste of empty nest. It was nice, but it's a change. I plan on spending more time with my family as I have one sister with terminal cancer. I work full-time and I volunteer by taking meals to the families at the Cancer Hospice House. There are so many things to get involved in, but it is a big adjustment. Start by doing things for yourself before they leave, but still spend some quality time with her before she goes to college. If you look at the different hospital or hospice house websites, you can find many volunteer things to do to help others adjust to their circumstances. Kids grow up and you have to let them go on their own sometime. Daughter's usually stay close to their mothers, and if you have a good relationship, she will always be there for you.

User - posted on 07/19/2009

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Hi Priscilla,



I'm also a single mom and I can relate to your situation. My daughter just finished two years of college and will be returning to schoo mid August. She attends college four hours away and I struggled the first year. My son will be attending college about two hours away in August as well. I have one son who's 10 at home. The advice I have to offer is to trust that you've taught your child the basics and trust their instincts. If you have a strong, close relationship, it will continue to be except now they have the opportunity to express themselves and explore. It is important to allow them to explore but be able to call you when they feel homesick or frightened. It's not easy for them either (despite what they say). By the way, it's okay to cry. It may be helpful to join the Parent Council or Family Association at the school even if the school is far away. This way, you will be involved on a parent level.

LaVeda - posted on 07/08/2009

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OMG, Priscilla. I recently took my daughter to a University one hour away from home so that she could take her ACT test. Just having her there caused me to hyperventilate. We live in Mississippi and she wanted to go to Houston but I am hoping that she will choose to go to the University she went to to take her test. I am glad to know that I am not the only parent going through this. I am trying not to be selfish but I am not yet ready for her to go to a larger University 10 hours away. Thanks for the post.

SHARON - posted on 07/07/2009

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IT IS REALLY NOT AS BAD AS IT SEEMS. I AM A SINGLE PARENT. MY YOUNGEST MOVED OUT FEB 08 & MY OLDEST APR 08. I WAS AN EMPTY NESTER ALL @ ONCE. YES IT IS LONELY @ TIMES BUT THEN THERE ARE TIMES I FIND I ENJOY IT. I TALK TO MY CHILDREN ALMOST DAILY & THAT HELPS. FIND ACTIVITES TO KEEP YOU BUSY.

Valeria - posted on 07/06/2009

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Find something you like to do and start doing it. Yes, you will miss your daughter, but at the same time you want her to have a chance to step out, spread her wings, and experiene life. You don't want her to feel guilty or that she has to to cling to you in order to make you feel better. My daughter just finished her freshman year of school and it was different having her away. She is now spending the summer in NY city doing an internship. So we are even further apart in terms of miles, but even closer in terms of love. We talk and text every day. We look forward to her coming home and have made plans for what we want to do before she leaves for school again.



I love my daughter and I'm so proud of what a fine young lady she has turned into. I guided her the way God directed me to. Now I'm leaving her in God's hands and He seems to be directing her path. In the meantime, I'm working on other things to fulfill my life, including trying to get back into the dating scene. Something totally new to me.

Sherrie - posted on 07/04/2009

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Staying busy is good advice. Start thinking of yourself first and foremost - this doesn't mean not being there for them anyore, but remember to think of yourself first and tell them
to take a number. This comes from a mom that suffered from many illnesses from worry when my teens began driving. I think back on my years of trying to obtain my independence and how I didn't realize what I did to my parents until I became a parent.
I pray them there and back and have given them to the Lord for his guidance. He is bigger than we are and he can handle it!

Connie - posted on 07/02/2009

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pray Sweetie my oldest son is in Nashville TN and we are in Richmond Ky which is about 31/2 hours away and i have prayed more in the last couple years since he got his drivers lisences then i ever have in my life and it helps. I worry constantly but i pray for peace of mind and just ask GOD to watch over him and keep him safe. I am sure you have done a wonderful job it is up to her to make the right decisions and just like God does all of us you will catch her when she stumbles...good luck

Angela - posted on 07/02/2009

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My daughter is leaving 8-22. I know I will see her again a month later for the schools fall parent week. So, like the calender idea, I am focused on seeing her again soon. Believe it or not I also encouraged her to be active outside of home NOW, before she leaves, as it is giving Me more of a space to get used to her being gone. Not easy, but it does help. She is loving the freedom, and I'm happy she comes home and shares her adventures.We just make our together time count and I can truely say my happiness for this exciting time in her life, helps overcome my sadness.

[deleted account]

What an exciting, emotional, wonderful, stressful time!

I recommend doing something for yourself- take some classes, join the YMCA, pick up a hobby you dropped when you became a mom or pick a brand new hobby.

I was far more worried about my freshman until I went back to school myself.

Yes, you can 'be there' for counsel & moral support, but once they go off they are paddling their own boat and we moms can't do it for them. Worrying does not help our adult kids & it doesn't help us either. I say keep 'em in our prayers and stay busy.

God bless!

Lori - posted on 07/01/2009

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You need realize that you have done the best job you could for her, and trust that influence will guide her from this point on....You must also realize that just because she's going to graduate doesn't mean your job as mom is over, heck its just beginning!! There will be lots of advice, phone calls, and wow the level of apprehiation that comes when they leave the nest!! Another thing I would suggest is donating your time to something to keep you busy...

Deb - posted on 06/29/2009

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Hi Priscilla,

I can relate to how you feel. Mine is an only child too and I'm a single mom. I started a year before he left too. We have the first year of college under our belt now, and he's home for the summer. I think it is partly all of the unknowns. A year from now you will likely feel so much better. My advise is to take it one day at a time and to cry your way through it as needed. The tears will subside, eventually. I think it is a grieving for the loss of our minor children so that we can begin anew with our adult children. One thing that helped me was to print out a calendar that had all twelve months on it, and highlight all of the days/weeks that I knew he would be home. I saw that there were a lot of hightlighted home times and was able to push on to the next highlighted time. Try to find your peaceful center in all of this, and if it helps, hand the reigns that you've held for the last 18 years over to the Lord to guide her rather than mentally handing them to her if she isn't quite ready for them. It's a wild ride - with many highs and lows - but you'll do it - your way and that will be the best for you both!

Eileen - posted on 06/23/2009

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I am having the same problem even though I have an 11 yr old at home still. My daughter leaves Aug. 1 and I have spent the last year mourning her leaving. I guess it is typical when your child leaves and I just tell myself that other mom's manage to get through it and so will I.

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