Empty-Nest Syndrome and the Single Mom

It's not easy being a single Mom, let alone being a single Mom of teenagers.

This following article is meant to point out that you, the parent of teens are not alone, feeling frustrated when the kids want to spread their wings.(Too soon)

The only expertise I have on this subject is that I was the proud owner of such "novelties" (teenagers that is and thank goodness they've grown-up). I lived through two of them a few years back, and now one more, as my last Baby just finished College and is on her way to establish herself in her chosen field.

I'm told by authorities on the subject, that the reason teenagers are what they are, has something to do with raging hormones. (that's another kettle of fish we can discuss some other time).

Going back to when my two older children were teens, and if there was such a thing as visual hormones, the air around my place would probably have been as thick as pea-soup.

Let me set the scene, my son and my older daughter both teenagers and my baby girl almost three (who at that time was only in her terrible twos therefore no problem whatsoever $6) then there was me just in my early twenties (ha-right). Anyway, just when I was able to talk to my two older ones, almost adult to adult, it seemed that I had to make an appointment to see either one of them. Now to have all of us at home at the same time for dinner, would have been worth the nomination to be the tenth world wonder.

Do you reading this, know what I'm saying? I bet you understand that frustrating feeling I had. It was not only the kids that had to grow up to start their own life. No, I had to learn to do the same, and I can tell you I really felt the growing pains. I found it very hard to take the back seat in my children lives. After years and years of total involvement, it felt strange for them to decide their course of action and not to ask first or at least discuss it. I can honestly say, up till then I had loved every bit of being a Mom, not ones, not even for a single second regretting the hardships that went along with being a single Mom and sole breadwinner. This new development in my relationship with my two older ones totally floored me.

Don't get me wrong, I knew this to be a natural progression in my life but...And neither of the two were trying to be thoughtless, no, they had been "perfect children", and had become normal teens with the arrogant belief of youth that thought they were invincible. Even though they had given me the courtesy of letting me know where they were but ... They had not wanted to understand that I had not complained just for the sake of it. And being teenagers always in a hurry, naturally they had no interest in knowing I was worrying about them. Impatiently, with rolling eyes, answering 'hhhhhhh we know, we know, Mom, we'll be careful'... They didn't want to know that this Mom had separation anxiety. They had no understanding that this Mom was missing the pitter patter of those size elevens, my sons and those of his numerous friends that seemed to be raiding my fridge on a constant basis. Missing all that giggling and whispering that my older daughter and her friends used to perform at their sleepovers, seemingly week-in and week-out.

I wonder now, had I been selfish? Let me explain I think now and even then thought, it was the right thing for them to go out and have fun, and never stood in the way of the new and exciting experiences coming to them.

A friend, who had some professional authority on these feelings (she and her hubby raised and fostered 14 children), and I had discussed this 'teen abandonment of Mom phenomenon' she admitted having had the same feelings and had written a book on it. She had given it the "Empty Nest Syndrome" name. I guess it can be called that, it had not mattered to me what the name or the title, just that it was a real feeling and very hard to accept.

She had also told me that parents with partners also had these feelings but most often, because they had each other, this "alone" feeling didn't hit as strongly. (Which is another big subject and in need of an article of it's own).

This brings me to now. Lets face it I survived. I was now equipped to handle it, I knew what to expect, after all I'm a pro I've done it twice already.

It is now the middle of November. College started, what 10 -11 weeks ago. Why do feel so alone? Why can I not get my act in gear and just accept that over the past so many years I've given my children values. My job as Mom is done. To the best of my abilities I've given all three as much as I could. I have to try to remember that their lives were mine to lead only, until they're old enough to take the job on themselves.

I don't need to keep reminding them that unconditionally, whenever they need me I'll be there for them. They know this, they call and we do get together, but it just isn't the same anymore. I feel so secluded from their lives...not the important things, those we somehow still talk over, but those silly everyday occurrences. I miss those.

It's all just a phase we all need to grow through. It's an adjustment time for teenagers and parents alike, single or not...

You know, I understand all this with my head but not quite as easily with my heart...

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Comments 66 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Rfordin, you still have a long long beautiful way to go. Some days I wish I was just starting out again with my children still being small... other days I'm glad I did it, glad that I'm done and that all three of mine have turned out to be fabulous, amazing adults.

Enjoy your babies and your time with them

thank you for reading and commenting

regards Zsuzsy


Rfordin profile image

Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

As a single mother of two young girls (3 & 5) I can say my heartaches just reading this. I DREAD the day they no longer need assistance of any sort. Even now as my oldest gets ready for kindergarden (yep I worry that far ahead) I feel like I'm losing my baby girl.

With life constantly throwing in new twists and turns everyday I wonder if I devote enough energy, time, and love to them. When my time comes to suffer from empty nest syndrom (and oh boy I'm sure I'll suffer) I hope to have the same semi-positive feelings you mention; simply being that I did my job as a mother.

Thanks for sharing your story.

~Becky


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Laura Lau, it does get better the trick is to stay busy, busy, busy. I read somewhere a long time ago that we only borrow our children for a short while. They then need to move out on their own so that they can live their own lives.... not easy when we put our whole lives into them... but that's life... start a new hobby or go out more with your friends. You'll be as good as rain in no time.

thank you for taking a look and for commenting

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Heavy heart, unfortunately they need to leave the nest and by that time we, the parent have to hope that we equipped them with the best there is..... and life goes on...... thank you for taking a look and for commenting

regards Zsuzsy


Laura Lau 4 years ago

My son moved to California yesterday. My daughter lives in town (Toledo, Ohio). My daughter is 25 and has been out of the house since she was 17. My son is 19 and decided that he wanted to leave to be with his girlfriend he met on his game system. Unfortunately, I don't know where he is staying. I miss him terribly. I don't have a husband or boyfriend and my son was always a pain in my butt because he had issues throughout his life. His father was never around for him...he moved out of state when my son was very young. oh well....anyway.... I am just a mess from all of this... please tell me that it will get better!!! wheat@toast.net


Heavy Heart 4 years ago

My youngest of my 5 children, just up and moved to Canada at age 20 in June. I thought I would lose my mind. I was closest with him and he was the kindest, most loving son a mother could hope for. It was he and I for years after the divorce. I feel numb, even this many months later, in fact, it's hitting me harder now. I miss him so much that my heart actually aches. Every place I go reminds me of the times we spent together. He was so thoughtful of me as his mother, and so understanding of my emotions as a single mom. I sincerely hope this pain lessens, it almost feels crippling. He was my "baby."


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

feeling empty, thanks for taking a look and for commenting. Look around you its happening everywhere. As hard as it seems to be this is the way of life. Weave children... pour our whole life into them... they grow up... they leave the nest... its especially hard if we do not have a supporting partner.

I had a very hard time but I made it to the other side. Now, I take as much of their time as my children can offer me and am happy and proud that they have become better adjusted adults than I ever was.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

justinkellina, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. Life will keep on going and sooner or later you will be able to adjust your life accordingly. Trust me, it does happen. Keep yourself as busy as you can be and things will look brighter in a few months...

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Feeling Empty 4 years ago

This is a great HUB, I've read each and every post. Are there any tips for when it's time to let them go? Has anyone successfully made it through this?


justinkellina profile image

justinkellina 4 years ago from Greenville, South Carolina

stacy, touched my heart. I sure hope she is doing better. I lost 2 children that are 6 years apart within one week. both out of state, and me left numb. I just read recovery time can take up to 2 years. I'm not sure my body will last that long. I am young, but my mind, body, soul and heart is tired. My kids do not talk to me, as if the devil has took them over. I can only pray. Guilty of placing my world around them, I am and was a great mom. their actions show me different, but I know how deep my love and sacrifice is with those 2. Some times I feel as if my time here is done, but I know the devil is a liar. I am 44 years old, disabled like stacey and left alone. I feel moments pass, minutes, one day equals so much pain. I can't see past this moment, I only wish God's well be done, because mine is lost with the children. signed broken.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Super Single Mom, thanks for taking a look and for commenting. It's important to have a life of your own and to stay your own person with your own name etc. (which by-the-way is not MOM). I loved being a Mom and still do however I miss the 'yesteryears' and every once in a while it does get too quiet around here but thats when I turn on 'my' music really loud and take barky romps with the dogs and stay really busy.

regards Zsuzsy


Super Single Mom 4 years ago

I think when you are a single parent the bond is so strong, especially when you have been raising them alone for so long. My children are ONLY 13, 10 and 8 but not a day goes by where I dont realize that they are growing up.. it is such a lonely feeling. However, I am trying to have my own life.. and I try to focus on all the new stuff that is coming my way, HS, college, Dating (GASP)..


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Mary.Lane, it does get easier. What worked for me was to keep as busy as can be. I got myself a bunch of chickens and ducks, I went out with friends for coffee, lunches etc. learned a lot about the internet, hubpages... What was hard was the evenings and nights. Now I'm in a routine and and things are fine (that does not mean that I don't get in a slump about life passing me by)

a couple of great things I can listen to my oldies, classical or jazz music whenever and however loud I want and the remote is mine mine mine

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Mary.Lane profile image

Mary.Lane 6 years ago from San Diego, CA

You are able to put into words all the feelings I am struggling with. My girls, 18 & 20 are now on their own. I have to keep telling myself not to act the way my Mom acted with me, because even though I am feeling devastated and hurt and sad, they deserve to experience college life without worrying or feeling guilty about what I am going through. Plus I'm afraid if I talk about it too much, they will start to dread coming to see me. And that would be too much for me,

I have to change my entire lifestyle now. I need to figure out what I like (because everything about me is a reflection of them) the music I listen to, what I watch on TV, everything.....how sad is that? My entire existence for the last 20 years has been about being with my girls.

All in all I have done my best and that is really all I can do. As crushed as I am, it makes me proud that they willingly jumped in with both feet fully aware of how hard they will have to work to get to where they want to be.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Stacey, good luck with all you're going through. The one thing that helped me the most was staying as busy as can be.

kindest regards

Zsuzsy


Stacey Sexton 6 years ago

Thank you for your page! My last child of three, my only girl just left home. Yep, I too am a single mom with three kids by three different dads. My oldest is 29, a college professor and rodeo coach, my 20 year old is in college, my 18 year old just flew. I struggled most due to never getting child support from any of the fathers, I was (thought I was) very fortunate to have been employed on the beautiful Buffalo National River as a hiking trail digger...Yep I was "all that"...now I'm disabled (in my back)ha..my new neighbors bought the end of my dirt road and blocked it with a gate (it's a county road on the survey plat, I've used it for 30 year), I have to cross a rugged, creek, that goes over the headlights of my 4X4 truck, however; I did get my girl through her Senior year, college, and work. I also attended college and received 2 degrees. (Then I had a stroke last April, when they blocked the road). I have 9 horses, but I had to put my sweetheart down this year..due to a broke leg because of beaver holes. Then to top off Murphey's Law "If anything bad can happen, it will." My daughter got a puppy rat terrier (Tink) this last year, which I got attached to extremely....and yes, she left her with me when she left..Tink and I did everything together...fished...rode horses, and 4 wheelers...slept together..But I have never allowed dogs or any animals in the house,(adjustments or change?) I have had children since I was 18 and I HAVE NEVER LIVED ALONE .........THEN I ran over Tink crossing the stupid creek..I opened the stupid gate and she got out of the truck...crossed the creek, over on the log then came to the truck...I was going so slow..anyhow, it was devastating. I know I have many, many blessings, and things to be gratefully thankful for...HOWEVER, IT IS SO LONELY,HOLLOW....AGGRAVATING..LISTLISS..USELESS...WHAT'S THE POINT AGAIN...WHAT TO DO..

ANYWAY, ALL YOU WOMEN STAND UP AND FIGHT LIKE A GIRL...AND I PRAY THAT MOST OF Y'ALL OUT THERE...will be in ...well, I guess it would be empty nest syndrome without overwhelming DRAMA. Good Luck!!!!!!!!!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Bernadette in England, believe me it truly does get better after a while. Not that there isn't that empty void there. That's life however, nothing can change it, so you might well get on with your own life. They do get a shocker though the first time they call and realize that you're out and about and they can't get a-hold of you...

take it one day at a time and keep busy

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Bernadette in England 6 years ago

Hi Zsuszy Bee,

Your article was the first one I found that really spoke to me of the difficult, uncomfortable feelings that I am currently having.

My son will be 16 in a few weeks. He has a girlfriend and has started a sexual relationship with her which he insisted on telling me about, PROUDLY! :)

He is out with his friends almost ALL the time and when he does come in we only manage to exchange a few words before he's off somewhere and YES you are right,he doesn't want to hear about my separation anxiety....quite rightly...he has enough to deal with in this amazing/challenging faze of HIS life...

It's been me and him for the last 13yrs and I've loved him as much as I could and I feel hollow now, no one to love and no one loving me...I KNOW that all is well and I stand back and let him do what is natural, i.e. SEPARATE! but it hurts and I feel lonely.

I am very encouraged to see your last posting saying how it does get better...I'm looking forward to that.

On some level I think I have avoided having a serious relationship while I was bringing him up and maybe now I can allow myself to put my own needs first...

Watch this space as they say!!!! :)

Thanks again x


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

tnderhrt, Thanks for taking a look and for commenting. I still find it odd that when my world kind of stopped---or collapsed onto itself---life all around still continued on.

It does get easier though I must admit, the trick is to stay busy, busy.

regards Zsuzsy


tnderhrt23 profile image

tnderhrt23 6 years ago

This so hit home for me. I am a single mom who raised three sons on my own. The youngest is 29, the middle 32, and the oldest is 33. I have spent the last 5 years dealing with that lovely phenomenon of "empty nest syndrome"...There is always comfort in knowing one is not alone...Well written, from the heart...touched me! Thanks!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

KessaM, local libraries have quite a few books on the Empty nest syndrome. They would also be able to direct you to support groups within your area. Believe me this is coming from experience, IT DOES GET EASIER. My "baby" just started her third year in college this past September and from what I gather she's going in for a few more years of schooling after, so I would say that chances are next to nil that she will move back home anytime soon or ever... that means I have to do my own thing and live my life to the best of my ability... and that's the way it's supposed to be, they leave the nest when they are ready, if its good for old momma or not... Now having a good chunk of money in the background would do great for traveling and such but sometimes that just isn't meant to be either.

So hang in there, brighter days are coming

regards Zsuzsy


KessaM 6 years ago

Gosh, i so relate to all these comments. I'm 41 with a 16 year old who moved away to live with dad (who never supported or visited) and a 19 year old who is backtalking and itching to have his own life, yet is scared to grow up and has not yet had a job and is messing up a bit in his first semester at junior college :-(. A year ago I turned 40, found my first gray hair, and realized my kids are making their own decisions and there isn't squat i can do about it. I've always had wonderful relationships with them and we have always been close, but the youngest doesn't contact much and I don't want to push him by being needy, but i do want him to realize that you treasure family and call once a week or something...so yes, i realize i have a lot of life left to live and have spent most of it so far joyfully wiping behinds, what am i to do now/ How will i fill my life? Do i get a bunch of hobbies, find a partner, eat and drink and watch tv with myself until i fall sleep every evening lol....this is also when i realized that i should have taken being a millionaire more seriously LOL, if i had money and can travel or something, that would probably really help! I'm wondering - are there resources, what are the good books - how do we figure out what to do to be at peace with it? And also, for my teen that is afraid to grow up and literally "lost" and doesn't know what to do with his life - what do we call that? I'm trying to look up books, etc..for support, but not finding much!

Thanks so much for writing all this. I wish you all well - maybe we should form a support group LOL


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Emcoll I can tell you for sure you are not alone. I still get those black moments every once in a while and my babe just started her third year in college. When she comes home it's a total delight which quickly turns into a bittersweet because its just for a short weekend.

Unfortunately this is what life is meant to be... we do our utmost to make sure our children get everything that they deserve and need, then they go off to conquer their own world, then they become the moms and dads and we get to be grandmas which in itself is an absolute delight.

I keep busy, busy and try to learn new things all the time or I go on short little trips to new places etc.

Chin up my dear, it will get easier... the black moments will come less often and will stay shorter times. It will come together soon.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Emcoll 7 years ago

Thank you for your site. I have such a difficult time and it has been years but I still grieve not being the mom I want to be.I have a wonderful daughter-in-law, 2 terrific grown sons , A job that requires me to be focused and knowledgeable and yet, Every now and then something triggers the depression on being useless to my children...not being the mother I want to be and never being able to go there again. I appreciate the forum to hear I am not alone, but I wonder, truly if this will ever pass? Today I cried all the way home . Tell me that there is hope that one day I will know who I am and enjoy a new role I just cannot seem to find.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Good to hear Rose.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


RoseL123 profile image

RoseL123 7 years ago from Long Beach

...correction, I just reconnected with two old friends from church who are also moms and newly single-they're being the same great friends they'd been when we were kids so, I'm feeling less and less alone...:)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Rose, glad you popped in for a visit. Your eldest leaving for Africa is a tough one...so far away from your help.

but as you said "...they leave to live their lives"

which is as it should be...

all the best to you Zsuzsy


RoseL123 profile image

RoseL123 7 years ago from Long Beach

You touched me. Mine are 24 and 18 yrs. I went through a 'thing' this year that I was in denial of, I'm probably still going through it, the empty nest syndrome. My oldest is volunteering in Africa the first of next year and my youngest spends less and less time with me, but that's life. You raise them right, and they leave to live their lives.....hopefully coming back when they have their children though, (I remind them that I'll be the free babysitter).

It's been hard, I think I'm the only mom I know.

Thanks for writing this, it helped me not feel so alone in that regard.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Lafenty, thanks for taking a look and for commenting. It does get quiet around here but thats what loud music is for and barky romps with the dogs. My granddaughters live about 3+ hours away from here. If I get too lonely I just pack a bag and jump on the train and go visiting every few weeks or so.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Dottie I do miss the noise and rigamarole... it's okay though because I now have control of the TV remote, the dogs don't sass back and I can eat eggplant and collards whenever I want without any gripping, and best of all I can listen to classical, jazz, blues or even the big bands whenever... life goes on regards Zsuzsy


lafenty profile image

lafenty 7 years ago from California

I'm a single mom of four and my baby left this year at age 16 to go to college.  I am fortunate, though because they are all still close by and I see them often, in fact my oldest son is back at home for awhile due to the economy.  Also have 3 grandchildren that have lived with me on and off over the last 4 years.  So my nest isn't quite empty and I hope it never will be.  But of course it's inevitable.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Hi Zsuzsy, this is a really heartfelt hub. 

I have not completely experienced the empty nest syndrome because neither one of my children have moved out but are both gone most of the time.  I have to say when they were growing up in teen years things were noisy around here and to make up for all that noise I would find solitude in no tv, no radio, just quiet and have come to love it.  I know lots of people who are afraid of silence.  It's really a beautiful thing and when I have had enough of it, I call friends and do volunteer work which has been supportive.

I was not a single mom.  My husband works 3 jobs so I've often felt like one at times.  It's good to know no matter what we do in life we are never really alone, we just need to ask and that's a challenge for mom's who have given for so many years.  I believe the best years are still ahead!

The best to you and life.  Live it well! ~Dottie

 


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

I agree with your wise words Jerilee! It is so thrilling to see your children as awesome successful grown-ups. A couple of weeks ago when we were all able to be together and sitting around the after dinner table and here were my kids, my babies discussing world issues. I looked around me and it felt as if I'd woken up from a deep sleep... wasn't it yesterday when I had to help them with their homework...

time is a flying by thanks for coming for a visit.

regards Zsuzsy


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

Great hub and a subject women need to talk about more. Went through the same thing when my youngest "baby" flew the coop.

I think it's a lot like the typical man when he retires -- you define yourself by a job or role for so many years -- then without that -- you find yourself floundering -- as to "who am I." Moreover, you worry that your babies don't need you any more.

The good news is "you are still mom" and a few years from now, if you did a good enough job (and I'm sure you did) -- after a few years they'll need you just as much and it doesn't matter how far away they roam. This is especially true when they become parents.

Another part of the equation with the empty nest is -- that it often coincides with peri-menopause or our actual change of life -- it's a time of great reflection and great growth. Something to be savored and time to redefine yourself and rediscover old hobbies and passions.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

ReuVera! How awesome for you both to have each other. It's a funny thing we do to ourselves. My Baby is in her second year of college and talking about where she will have placements when she's finished after her third year and it sounds that she wants to see some of the world... which is the way it should be... I know in my head, but my heart is weeping already about her being so far away (not that I would tell her that though).

Thanks for taking a look and remember to keep busy really busy

regards Zsuzsy


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA

Hello, Zsuzsy. You are so much right that we should keep ourselves as busy as possible when our grown up "babys" fly from the nest. We lived all together most of the time- my mother (who also raised me all by herself), my son and I. Some time my Mom lived not with us, but nearby. When my son and I moved to USA, it was my aging mother who got an "empty nest syndrome" and it was really hard on her, though she wouldn't show it (I used to call her often), but I felt that she was going down. When my son moved away to college, I wasn't really lonely, as he was calling me every day and now I took my mother to live with me. So, we are helping each other - I saved my Mom from that notorious syndrome and she saves me:). And when my son comes for a visit, it's a great joy for all three of us.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Joanne! I know exactly how you feel. I really had a hard time when the baby left home. I keep busy-busy-busy and take one day at a time. My college girl calls most days so that helps. I get to see my granddaughters every couple of weeks too. Your young guys are just busy feeling their way, being a little thoughtless is the way of youth I would say. They will soon realize where unconditional love is always to be had. Hang in there Joanne, it will get easier

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Joanne 7 years ago

The hardest part for me is that their lives are so very busy that I rarely hear from them. I had a fairy tale going on in my mind that once they left we would see each other frequently and they would do special things for me because they knew I did this all alone. I'm not talking about expensive things, but cards now and then. I love my two young men unconditionally and all their lives I had to do this totally alone, no backup from either side of the family and definitely no support. I know I'm supposed to be making a new life for myself but I'm stuck and just stay isolated. I see no worth in my life anymore, it's like all I need now is just to hear their voices. I send e-mails and text messages and don't get any response. The only time I hear something is when they need help with something. Then I feel used. They both turned out to be wonderful young men and I just wanted to be able to enjoy them as adults. Do they ever reach a point when they do come back in some way? I just want to know I'm still loved by them. Does that sound childish?


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Michelle! Thanks again. zs


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Glad to know it's getting better. I believe it gets better and better in time and also because you seem to be a woman who doesn't sit around moping. I guess we just need to go through the "phase" and allow ourselves to feel and share all this feelings. And then when the heart is ready and sees the light more and more each day, beautiful experiences take over to replace old ones. Congratulations with your "baby's" wonderful accomplishments in college. Take care :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Michelle! You're a sweetheart. Thanks, I can feel the hugs from all those miles away. My "baby" has had an awesome first year in college. She was home for a week then she started her internship for the summer. She'll have another week at home at the end of the summer then back to school. I'll be spending some time with my granddaughters over the summer too.

With other words life goes on. We follow the course we have to and that's that. And I'm getting better.

Thanks again for your nice warm comment and kindest regards Zsuzsy


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Zsuzsy, I just want to run to you right now and hug you. I understand all the logical and seemingly right reasons to have to be okay and then the heart just couldn't take it yet. {((( hug )))} now I'm teary eyed and I'm not even a mother.

--michelle


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hello Marisa! Glad you came by. I think it really hit me so hard because I've been a single parent for so long. There were too many changes in my life all at ones. Not only did my last "baby" leave to go away to college but a fire destroyed my sewing shop and as I was underinsured I couldn't rebuild. All of a sudden felt and questioned my usefullness. I know this is life...I know this is the way it should be, has to be, but it still doesn't help take the quiet out of the house in the evenings. You know sometimes you don't even want to go out with friends in the evenings because you know at the end of the night you have to go home to an empty house. I'm getting better.............Thanks for your comment Marisa and I'm sure you misunderstood your Mom too. zs


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Marisa Wright 8 years ago from Sydney

Zsuzsy, I just had to pop back in and share some thoughts. It's only since I hit my fifties and my friends' children started leaving home that I had any idea of how mothers felt when their kids left home!

Children may love their parents, but it's nothing like the lioness-love of a mother. They can leave home blithely because they have no idea how you feel. They don't realise that you feel the loss as deeply - or even more so - as they would if their partner walked out. Most people have no idea of that until they have children of their own.

My mother wasn't the demonstrative type, and I always thought she was relieved to get us off her hands. Now I wonder.


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Lisa! That is a super idea. Keep as busy as possible and before you know it you feel better. Foster parenting is a great program...there are some classes available too.

best of luck to you regards Zsuzsy


Lisa 8 years ago

Some days are way worse than others. Today I feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I just signed up for foster parenting, I guess I'm reaching out to fill the VIOD. But I feel that there are children out their who may feel the same abandonment by losing there parents. So why not help each other. Now two VOIDS can be filled. I hope this helps the pain some what. But it can only help me and someone else.


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Very sad D that the son-in-law is not someone who you'd be able to love. Hopefully he will grow on you. Life can be hard enough...my tought are with you

regards Zsuzsy


8 years ago

Thanks for the encouragement. I love my other son-in-law with my other daughter. This one has added to my daughters debt and her life stress. He is not very smart and hasn't learned much over his 40 years on how to take care of himself. He has been married twice before, has a son who has mild autism and his family is over the top religious (I am a Christian, but I believe that you have to be a Christian and still be able to relate to others who are not). His conversation is always signs or visions or something to that nature and I don't have a clue how to talk to him. He is very insecure (and unattractive)- which is why he constantly calls when she is away from him. SHe wanted to be married and she is - and 5 months into the marriage is hoping to be pregnant any day - her time clock is ticking loudly! I know I have to figure out how to live without them, but it is really hard. I am an introvert and it is hard for me to move outside of this....I just ten to withdraw and stay to myself. I do see her on Sat. for a while. We have lunch and get groceries together, so I am grateful for that time. I think if it hadn't happened so fast and it was someone I had liked it wouldn't be as painful. And being a mother - I wanted her to find someone who would be a help to her - not more work for her. It seems that she is raising him or trying to overcome the doting mother he had who never taught him to be self-sufficient and the father who was verbally abusive. And of course me and my daughters are very self-sufficient way, so it is hard and strange to me to see a grown man who isn't! I know time heals, but it is hard for the relationships to change so drastically so suddently. I know it will never be the same again. It is just sad. She knows I will always be there for her. Even if I tried - I couldn't NOT be there for her. Just have to fake it around him which isn't a fun thing for me..


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

D! I have an awesome son-in-law. I guess I'm lucky. Maybe you should give the guy the benefit-of-a-doubt. After all you raised your daughter...your values are there in her...possibly she didn't choose badly. It's just so important to let her know that no-matter-what you are there for her with love and support.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

D! I hear you...It can feel very alone at times. I have found a great outlet for my alone times here at hubpages. The most important thing I found was to keep busy. Unfortunately for us this is the way of life...this is the way is has to be...I know raising my children is the best accomplishment of my life...and will always be. Now it's time to do what I want, when I want, how I want.

Chin up D it will get better and easier to deal with soon...

kindest regards Zsuzsy


8 years ago

" I feel so secluded from their lives" I was just reading your article over again and this is exactly it. From the day they are born, we are told to bond and be the best parents we can and they are there and they enrich our lives and give us purpose....then they grow up and leave to have lives of their own and all of a sudden we are supposed to just "adjust" and move on.....it is a very difficult thing and it feels like being abandoned on a remote island or punishment for loving them so much (the grief and the pain).


8 years ago

I know your pain. And then some.....My last daughter just married. She was my best friend and I now feel like I have lost my daughter and my best friend and it is a very difficult thing. On top of that I think she just married in a hurry because she thought she would never marry - and I don't like the man (or 40 year old boy) she married. There are so many issues that I would have a long list if I added them. I was and am very baffled by the whole thing - and it seems that everything has changed completely. Tomorrow is mother's day and if I want to be with her I have to be with HIS whole family too (which I declined) And on the days I do get to spend a little time with her, he calls every few minutes and texts her.... I had already dealt with the lonilness of both my girls moving out years ago, but now it seems so final and permanent. And my other daughter is living in another state.


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Lissie! that's the real point...nothing will be the same ever again...they come to visit me then they go HOME which is not with me anymore.

Oh I'm just such an old sentimental fool. Thanks for your visit.

regards Zsuzsy


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Lissie 8 years ago from New Zealand

U do get over it my mum was a solo parent before it was fashionable I left home and the country when Iwas 21 my brother was 5 years younger but he finally moved town at about 19 - I guess it was the first time she had ever lived alone - and I guess she had to adapt to it - but I do remember both my brother and I being home and unemployed about 3 years after bro had left home and she enjoyed it for about a week or 2 and then started making pointed hints about us moving on! It was the first time I realised that although I would always be welcome in "HER" home it wasn't "MY" home anymore!


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Amy Jane Thanks for your comments. My Granddaughters are great and somehow they feel like an extension of your own daughter but somehow it's still the everyday little things that are missing...I'm getting better though and my "baby" is awesome she manages to call daily from college.

regards Zsuzsy


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amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

Zsuzsy, this is a wonderful hub, and although my kids are still young and I haven't gone through this yet, I feel for you! It's bitter sweet -seeing your kids grow into these awesome people, but then you miss they way it was before.

I hear that grandchildren make up for all of this :)


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks C-Lee! I am as proud of my children as can be. They are the kind of "Mensch" I always wanted be. It is a total shocker to me to hear them discussing "Adult" things etc. They are so well balanced...me on the other hand I am still trying to connect the brain and the heart thing...it probably has lots to do with getting older too and not being needed as much as before.

thanks for commenting regards Zsuzsy


C-Lee profile image

C-Lee 8 years ago

Zsuzsy!

You did a great job describing the dilemma between what you want for the kids and what you want for yourself. In my opinion you chose correctly: They got to enjoy the carefree joy of youth without worrying about mom--and I mean WORRYING (not without being considerate of her feelings).

I personally believe it will balance out later, when they become parents. In the meantime, it can be lonely, which is why it's good to have a forum, a community, and a writing pad!


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Deb! I was asking myself similar questions. The only answer I came up with is to find as many things to do as I can fit into my day and evenings as possible. Sooner or later the brain and heart will reconnect and then I'll be at peace with the way things are...the way things have to be...I'm waiting for that day too...soon

best of luck regards Zsuzsy


Deb 8 years ago

I am a single parent who has been going through empty nest for a few years now and I still do not know which direction to go. I became such a caretaker that now I work in homecare. Go figure! I need a change and I dont know which way to turn with lack of $$$. I wish I knew.


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Marisa! Thanks for taking a look. In my humble opinion it is the hardest thing that we 'Moms" have to face, but if your friend has a net-work of supportive friends she'll over-come this challenge too. (Evenings are the hardest times, going home to an empty house, some days it is more comfortable not to go out so one doesn't have to face coming home alone) As I said in the article...kids and parents have to 'grow' through this. Best of luck to your friend.

thanks for your comments

regards Zsuzsy


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 8 years ago from Sydney

Zsuzsy, I don't have children but one of my "single mom" friends is going through exactly this right now. She's been lucky that her two boys stayed at home right through their twenties. When her thirty-something son started to get really serious about a girl, i was alarmed to see that my friend was (without realising it) actually sabotaging their relationship. Luckily, she woke up to herself before she did any real damage and her son has now moved out with the girlfriend, on good terms. But it just goes to show what stress it was causing her, because she would normally never do anything like that.


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks for visiting Sukritha...

regards Zsuzsy


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sukritha 8 years ago from Cochin

Really Informative. Thumbs Up for you


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Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

THanks Angela! As I said in the article it just doesn't get easier...even though the older ones have been gone from home for years, my Baby leaving has done it again to me...I know I'll settle into this new life sooner or later that still doesn't lessen the uproar feelings in me

thanks for your visit I'll let you know about the chicken salad

regards Zsuzsy


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Angela Harris 8 years ago from Around the USA

Wow, really well-written and I completely understand. 'Separation anxiety' is a perfect description for it. My kids are not yet all moved out and I still feel lonely sometimes. It's a difficult stage for us parents.

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