Empty Nest - am I doing this right?

Jane - posted on 08/18/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi all -- I am a single mother (widowed) of a 32 year old son and a 27 year old daughter. My husband (their father passed away in 2003). I am 59, although most people think I am in my early forties. I ran a health and fitness business for years. I have always been a tremendous mother to my children -- always put them first while raising them, always saw to their needs in a loving manner, set boundaries when necessary and displayed follow through regarding tough situations. We've always had an extremely close relationship...now they are grown and gone. My son living with his girlfriend and my daughter just got married. Now, I am an afterthought. I am on the sidelines. I am included if they think to include me but I am not a priority to them any longer. I certainly do not feel that things should be the same. Life is change and always moving forward. I am over the moon happy for both my son and my daughter but I can't quite figure out why I am now pushed off to the side. I know they both love me but the love has become more of "Mom, if you need anything...." Is this what happens? Mom becomes an obligation? Both my son and my daughter are close to their partner's parents; and both have their father and their mother. I have put a lot of energy into trying to carve out a new life for myself, not bother them, always be upbeat and happy when they do check in but it gets wearisome at times. Any thoughts? Thank you :)

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Ev - posted on 08/18/2013

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Jane, I kind of sense a bit of the same thing I am dealing with in my own daughter. She is married and has a family but she does not yet quite call very often or visit. I know she is in her own life and trying to get her family established and so on. I have to do all the calling etc. My son is still in school and my nest has been empty for 11 years now but for visitation with my kids. I let them live with their dad and its been lonely for me off and on. I have gone back to school, I have found some interests and hobbies and other things. You might try to find some your age to hang with so to speak. There is a lot you can do for yourself with friends and even volunteer too. Just some suggestions. I think that my daughter will come around eventually...I put my parents through the same thing when I was her age (early twenties). But now I am closer to my parents and I am always going up and staying the weekends with them and doing things with them too....

Jane - posted on 08/18/2013

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Thank you for posting, Sandi. I do appreciate it. Yes, I've spoken to both my son and my daughter several times. They just do not want to hear it. They both say they will try to do better making plans with me but it remains the same. I feel it is up to me to just let them be and to focus on making the next chapter in my life as happy as possible but its difficult because for most of my life, my focus was them. It's also a bit of a challenge because I am doing this alone. Sometimes I just feel lost.

Sandi - posted on 08/18/2013

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Have you spoken to them about how they make you feel? They may feel like you're doing fine on your own, or that they don't want to bother you. Open up a discussion with the two of them together, and in person. I'll bet they aren't excluding you on purpose.

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