empty nest drawing near

Shirley - posted on 03/03/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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As a Mother of 4 teens of the ages 16-20, I'm looking at facing the "empty nest". I have varying feelings about this..but mostly depressing ,anxious and left wondering "what really happens next".

Am I alone in these feelings?
Am I going crazy for wanting to keep them from growing up and out on thier own?
Do most mothers Really,.. I mean REALLY embrace the empty nest?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Tracy - posted on 03/03/2010

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My son is only 15 but the clock is ticking....
Absolutely the most rewarding job for women on this earth is that of mother. Yes, we endure a fair share of heartache. Yes, we fall, exhausted, in our beds at night from all the cooking, cleaning, driving, supporting, teaching, and loving. But every minute is worth it because those kids are a part of us. God willing, they go on ahead after we are laid in the ground. They carry with them memories of their time with us and we want that time to be AWESOME, not just for them but for us too! I am certain that I will be a basket case when my son goes off to college; luckily, I have one child who is currently 10. So my empty nest is still a ways off yet.

I do feel that when that time comes for me that it will be absolutely vital to have a good relationship with my husband, so I work on it now! I want my son to come home for lots of visits, so I make sure to work on my relationship with him now! I know I will have less to do then (unless I go back to work full time to pay off college bills) so I am developing good friendships now. And I know it will be a tough transition without my kids, so I am developing a good prayer life now! I hope I am preparing myself well enough so that when my nest is empty I will still have purpose and meaning in my life. Make sure that you know what your purpose is in life, besides that wonderful role of "Mom", for that one shall never pass away!

Tracy - posted on 03/06/2010

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Shirley I know you KNOW these things intellectually, but feeling comfortable in your heart with these things is the tough part. I still feel like crying sometimes, and do. But, each tear that falls is cleaning my heartache and allowing other futures to be possible. Don't be ashamed of your feelings, or your tears. You have earned them from loving your children so completely.

Tracy - posted on 03/05/2010

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Shirley, what have you put off "because of the kids"? My son, and only child, is a HS junior. And I have been facing this issue ever since he started talking about getting an apartment with friends. So, my husband and I have started trying different activities together. We have gone shooting, will be trying golf when the weather improves, and take some ballroom dancing classes. No promises of how well we do these things, but just duck if you hear "fore" near a golf course.

and your feelings are perfectly normal. Remind yourself how proud you are for all your children have accomplished in their lives. YOU made it possible, and now it is time to trust in yourself, and God.

Julie - posted on 03/05/2010

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You are not alone in your feelings. I too have varying feelings about my kids leaving home. I only have 2 left and one is leaving June 2nd on a mission, the other leaves June 3rd for the Marines. I have a lot of anxiety about it, but I know that this is the next step in their lives. I have taught them the right principles and now it's time for them to go out into the world and become the adults I taught them to be. I know it will be rewarding to see them learn and prosper as adults just like it was rewarding the first time they took their first step and the first time they said "ma ma".

As Mother's we will always be there for our children no matter what. I'm looking at the empty nest thing as an opportunity for my husband and I to grow our marriage even more and to reconnect on another level. I'm excited to have him for myself :)

Rhonda - posted on 03/04/2010

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It is hard to let your kids go, i know i have 3 teen 16- 21 and my oldest has left home 3 times and come back again. I am wanting him to finally start his life but at the same time i am terrified of him not being able to do it on his own. So no you are not alone in your feelings. We just have to remember that we raised them and we know that we did a good enough job that if they need us they will call for help.

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Tina Marie - posted on 06/18/2011

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Yes,I HAVE 3 beautiful Daughters ages 16,18,20.they are starting to head off to college. and they have their lives planed out. i try not to let it show but i'm feeling empty and alone already.ive built my life around them and structered my life around them. everything i've done is and was for their bennifit. and now i am wondering where do i go and what do i do from here?so no you are defenatly not alone.

Tina Marie - posted on 06/18/2011

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Yes,I HAVE 3 beautiful Daughters ages 16,18,20.they are starting to head off to college. and they have their lives planed out. i try not to let it show but i'm feeling empty and alone already.ive built my life around them and structered my life around them. everything i've done is and was for their bennifit. and now i am wondering where do i go and what do i do from here?so no you are defenatly not alone.

Chris - posted on 03/10/2010

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i have have a 19 year old girl who is in college and lives at home cause the college is only 5 blocks away from where i live and a soon to have a 13 year old daughter and i do strugle with the same problem i know that when my 19 year old is done with college in 3 more years she will be gone . and it scares me in this messed up world too. hang in there and take one day at a time and just trust God for wisdom to help you thats what i'm doin!

Sheila - posted on 03/08/2010

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Although, I am a single Mom of 1-16yr.Daughter..I Hate thinking about the empty nest..She's getting app.s for collages & I am biting my tongue, I know she needs to go..but I truly DREAD it!

Sheila - posted on 03/07/2010

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Hi Shirley,
I too am a mother of 4 amazing children. Our oldest is 26 and been on his own at University in Montreal for 5 years; our only daughter is 25, on her own and just graduated from University with her degree in Elementary Education: our third child to have left the nest already is about to turn 21 and is on his 3rd year of Human Kinetics at a University 1 hour away.............I remember being SAD alot when our first child left home, but after a year of feeling sorry for MYSELF someone asked me WHY I was sad ?? and I truely didn't know and actually realized then that all the tears I had shed and still shed on a daily basis are the same tears I shed at weddings, births, graduations etc etc NEW BEGINNING TEARS. My kids are so HAPPY and heading in the direction they have planned for themselves that I really have NOTHING to be sad about. I cry when they come home and I cry when they leave. We still have our baby who has just turned 16 last month at home......he too is such a great, beautiful kid with a huge heart and ambition like his siblings. In 2 1/2 yrs my husband will really experience the EMPTY NEST as he will be graduated on out on his own (his plans as he loves Basketball and has his HEART set on playing at University). So over the last 8 years when our first child left home, my SADDNESS is nothing now, but HAPPY, PRIDE, JOY and EXCITMENT for tommorrow. If anything I am WORRIED about what my husband and I will TALK about each day with no kids around, but after just celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary I am sure we will come up with some interests other then our kids ?? LOL. There is just so much opportunity out their for our children now a days that if they have the determination, passion and desire to do well........then THEY WILL !!!! BIG HUGS to you Shirly as we go through this stage in our lives ♥ ♥

Tracy - posted on 03/07/2010

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I don't think I am "fooling myself". I am forcing myself to grow as a human being. I will always be a mom, and will always thank God for allowing me the opportunity. And, I know He as a new plan for me so I will look forward and think fondly of where I have been as I "travel down life's highway".

Tracy - posted on 03/07/2010

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Finding out who you are after being a mom starts with answering this question: why are my friends my friends? This is who you fundamentally are. It takes time to find yourself, so don't go placing a time limit to finding out. Do you have any friends that have gone through the empty nest already? They will be your biggest encouragement.

Tammy - posted on 03/07/2010

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You are so not alone. My youngest is graduating from high school this year and I am asking myself the same questions. What now? My husband too is looking forward to "just us". But I am not even sure I will still know who I am if I am not the mom around all of the time anymore.

Shirley - posted on 03/06/2010

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My husband has the same views.That We are beginnning a new adventure, the next phase of our lives. Time for us to concentrate on one another to let eachother needs come to the front. To live our lives more laid back, fufil lost breams and become Grandparents. I Love all that is to come, i just want my cake and eat it to, you can say. lol. I know even though there will be bumps in thier roads, they'll be great at wherevere thier paths take them. I just hope it wont lead too far away. the root of my fears lay in my choices made 20 years ago, and the path that unknwingly took me far from my family, and disconnected from. I fear the same will happen. but I Trust in our relationships. I know with everything in me that they love me every bit as I love them.

Grace - posted on 03/05/2010

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I'm lucky my 18 year old daughter will probably live at home for a couple years after graduating this spring while she attends a local technical school. A small part of me will be relieved that my husband and I will have the house to ourselves. But more than this I will miss her like crazy. I know as a parent it's my job to prepare her to live on her own, but after 18 years of having her here to care for, it will be like part of me is leaving. My husband, great as he is, just doesn't understand. He loves our daughter, but he can't wait until we're child-free again.

Patricia - posted on 03/03/2010

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I'm right there with ya sister! The guy thta I'm with looks forward to the day that all thte children are gone....that's a typical man response though...mother's on the other hand, feel that way, because even though at times kids frustrate us and piss us off, they also give us a purpose every day...whether it's laundry, school work or just talking, kids lives are much more exciting then ours and that's what I think us mother's are going to miss...that we won't feel needed any more...however, if you are really close to your children, you could talk to them all and set a day that you all get together for dinner...whether it's once a week, or once a month. Set a date and than make sure every body sticks to it..that way you will have something to look forward to. And any mother that TRULY says they are going to embrace the empty nest.....they're only fooling themselves.

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