Empty Nest Syndrome: Let Go, Mom!

They absorb love through their adorable, bald little heads
They absorb love through their adorable, bald little heads

The Biological Connection

There is no job on earth as rewarding as being a mother. Being a dad is cool, too, but different. Moms are biologically programmed to love, love, love and love some more.

From the minute you hear those blessed words, "It's a boy and he scored a 9 on his Apgar test" and the nurse/midwife/birthing coach places him on your still heaving breast, you are bonded for life. Not only that, you fully understand what it means to love unconditionally.

Your little chick has hatched, your nest is feathered and comfy. Your life has a wonderful new purpose.

I'll miss you more than you'll miss me!
I'll miss you more than you'll miss me!

Nurturing Him/Neglecting Yourself

Okay, sure. Some of you mothers out there have help. Nannies or whatever. This hub is not directed at you. Then again, I suppose you can feel just as let down and lost when your child leaves home as the rest of us.

But let me get on with how this empty nest things builds up. Essentially, it takes years. About 18 to be exact.

We hear a lot about parents sacrificing for their kids. And it's true. To be a parent is to be subsumed into another person's life. It's sort of like being held hostage, but willingly.

The first major sacrifice we make as new mothers is SLEEP. That's ok, who really needs more than 3 hours a night anyway, right?

The next sacrifice we make is TIME.

It starts when our little darling first goes to daycare/preschool/kindergarden/elementary school. Each new phase exposes the child to a brand new set of evil germs. Which he duly carries home. So (lucky you!) you get to drop everything and nurse him back to health ... just in time to get sick yourself. I used to call my son "the little viper."

The TIME sacrifice soon shifts to nights and weekends. Your son starts playing sports. You get to pick him up after practice, often in the dark, in the cold. Then, on the weekends, you get to ferry him around to games and tournaments. You get to spend the night in C-level cities in C-level motels with noisy troops of players and their manic parents.

This commitment to being a soccer mom* pretty much takes over your social life, too. There's no point in trying to fight it. It is what it is.

*Feel free to substitute any other sport or activity that requires investment in equipment, uniforms and pizza parties.

 

Pulling/Pushing Away

The teen years arrive with their own set of challenges. Parenting is more difficult, because your previously adorable, sweet, wonderful child has been replaced by Linda Blair incarnate.

You try your best to do everything those public service ads tell you you should be doing: "Talk to your kids early and often about drugs/cigarettes/drinking/sex/the importance of suncreen and flossing."

Your child, however, has other ideas. And other, seemingly more expert sources for this information. Where you once had total control over your child's life, you now have zero control of most, if not all, of it.

Intellectually you know this is all natural and appropriate. He's "individuating" which means pulling away and becoming independent.

So why does it hurt so much? Why do you feel like somebody's punched you in the heart?

 

I finally understand the parents' perspective

The Physical Break/The Mental Breakdown

Then comes the day you've been setting up for all his life. He's old enough to live on his own. Whether this means heading off to college, enlisting in the armed services, or getting a job and an apartment, he no longer lives in your nest.

All those years you've been so busy pouring your life into his you forget to notice that you've poured your life into his.

Now, not every mother is this extreme. Many mothers are able to maintain balance. They manage to keep their identity intact while also raising their kids. If you are one of those mothers, I say bully for you. But tell me this: If you're so together, what are you doing reading this hub?

On the other end of the spectrum are women who literally fall apart. There really is a condition called "Empty Nester Syndrome." I'd always thought it was just a term like "Baby Boomers" "Snowbirds" or maybe even "Helicoptor Parents," but it's just as real and just as overwhelming as "Post-Partum Depression."

To the rest of us, who fall somewhere in the middle, I offer these five practical tips for getting past the grief and back in the groove:

From Empty Nest to Fulfilling Life

1. Reclaim Your Environment. It goes without saying you should redecorate your child's room. You don't need to make a shrine out of it. He's not dead. He just doesn't live in it anymore. It's in your house. Now that space belongs to you. Make it an office, a crafts room, a home gym, or at the very least, a guest room for guests other than him.

2. Get a Job, a Hobby or a Cause Use all that extra time and energy (not to mention spare cash) to do something rewarding, based on your personal interests. Helping others through volunteer work is another great use of time, and has the added benefit of lifting you out of yourself.

3.Travel. Adults-only vacations, what a concept!

4. Pamper Yourself. I know it's hard to justify "real" pampering when you've got kids at home. I'm not talking about an quick massage and a pedicure here. I mean full-on spa weekends (or weeks!). Or possibly even... dare I say it, a little nip/tuck?

5. Reinvent Yourself as a Mother. This suggestion is in the mode of "if you can't beat them, join them." Don't be shocked if you find yourself wanting to get pregnant again.Maybe you should!  If that's not an option, consider adopting an older child, or becoming a foster parent or a mentor through Big Brothers/Big Sisters or a similar program.

If that seems too extreme, you can always get yourself a cute little

fur baby!

That's what your son will say when he comes home to visit!
That's what your son will say when he comes home to visit!

This song makes me cry

Are You an Empty Nester?

If your kids are grown and out, how did you handle it?

See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 74 comments

cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 6 years ago from northeastern US

My good friend, when her boys went off to college, reached out to acquaintances and turned the promising ones into friends to do things with.


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 6 years ago from australia

Wow MM you sure know how to put a great great article together, and you did this in a time frame for the challenge? Oh wow I am impressed. You rock MM.


pinkylee 6 years ago

I don't have empty nest syndrome however I know when I moved to Arizona it took a toll on my mama. Granted i had moved in and out for years because of different situations and yes I am back again thankfully. But the fact that I moved 1800 miles away was a heart breaker for her. Loved this hub.


travelespresso profile image

travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

Heartfelt hub MM. It can be a wrench can't it? I think parents should try to claim more of themselves as their child grows. Of course that's impossible when they are very young but easier as the kids grow in independence. Hindsight is always a marvelous thing though!

I'm impressed with your hub and as always your writing style.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

Hey Mighty Mom, that's a pretty cool hub. I couldn't help but laugh at some of it, but the overall message is cool. I'm not a father nor can I be a mother, nor am I a parent, so I do not and have not had the opportunity to enjoy or get flustered about a child or raising one. But, did enjoy reading your experiences with it. Thank you so much for sharing and participating in the challenge. Hopefully next time, you'll have a bit better luck. :)


Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 6 years ago

Kind of a sad Hub, but very good. I don't have kids and it looks like I won't have any. Sometimes I just want one so bad I can't stand it. But I also think of all that could go wrong, which makes me wonder if maybe there is a reason I don't have any. In any case being a mother has got to be the most rewarding thing in the world.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks, everyone, for reading and commenting.

BP -- sorry to say I failed the 30 minute test miserably due to technical difficulties. But at least I got a new hub out of the deal and look forward to doing another 30min hub soon. It's great practice!

Many thanks to our Challenge Leader Cagsil


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 6 years ago from Canada

Wow, a great Hub even with the technical difficulties! I'm very impressed. As the son of a mother who kind of experiences empty nest syndrome when I leave for college, I can see where you're coming from. Love the clip with The Sims as well, kind of sad and kind of funny at the same time.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi mrpopo. You are so adorable! How could your mom NOT be sad to see that sweet face go off to college:-).

Thanks for visiting and thanks for having empathy for your mom!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Excellent suggestions for adjusting to a new life style. I had a little difficulty with my middle son leaving as he joined the military and was in Desert Storm at 18 years of age, but it all worked out well. He ultimately went to college and is a computer programmer with a great job. We worry sometimes about things that never happen. I love seeing the grandchildren for a while, then I get my quiet house back. Thanks for a good hub.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

My mom provided a Nanny for me and will go under the moon,still,if I don't call her every week...I'm proud that I had a working Mom and Dad who never drove me the 1/2 mile to band practice...


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Pamela-- I envy you. We are into the next phase. I'm hoping that when he has kids of his own he starts to "get" how tough parenting really is. I would love to have grandkids. Not yet, but soon enough that I can still enjoy them!

MA -- Every family is different. I know parents of my generation were a lot less hands-on with their kids. Even moms who didn't work didn't become total slaves to their little dragons.

You seem to have a lot of respect for your parents. That's neat. MM


jayb23 profile image

jayb23 6 years ago from India

Wow MM. This is an amazing read. A must for all the young people of our generation. Thumbs up.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Jay. Thanks for always being so upbeat and positive. Your suggestion that young people read this hub took me aback,tho.

What? And admit their mothers have feelings!!?

Wouldn't THAT be nice!


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Okay, MM, your latest hubs have blown me away! You've been in my head, haven't you?? Anyhow, my only son left in 2008 for a short college career and right after he left I had a serious manic episode! I didn't really put the two together at first, but looking back, I see the connection clearly.

Last November he returned to town after graduating and now lives less than a mile away.

My nest is being rebuilt for the grandchild he and his girlfriend are giving me in about a month. You just never know.

Thanks again.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Lorlie, honey, I am ALWAYS in your head, because we are two of a kind, you and I!

The timing of your manic episode makes perfect sense to me.

I know my son has always been a huge trigger for me. I'm learning now to let go of my illusion of control and concentrate on things that are inside my hula hoop.

Hooray for you, soon-to-be Grandma Lorlie! How exciting. And what a great subject to hub on!!!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Mighty Mom, motherhood is for sure a wonderful experience – all phases. And yes, one can drown in the waves of peace in the empty nest, or one can ride them. (I've chosen the latter.) But take my word, grandmotherhood takes the cake.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Great hub! Men sure have this too.


Tom Hellert 6 years ago

MM,

It was a great read- funny and informative- I have 2 boys 8 11 and a girl-16... She has been kept from me for 18 months now-- So I kinda know what it is like-

When the boys- go its gonna be tough. I coach most of the teams they are on so its gonna be tough.

TH


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Having just this minute signed two promissory notes for college tuition I know what I am going to do now that my youngest is off to college... work my ass off, lol!

Great hub and yes, I have moments of total despair where my heart feels it might stop beating. And other times when I think, hey, it might be kind of cool to do laundry for two instead of five and watch what I want on TV without getting bumped out just as the show climaxes, because my daughter set it to record two MUST HAVE shows simultaneously...


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Martie. Yes, I've heard that about grandmotherhood. I am looking forward to that -- but not anytime soon:-).

Micky Dee. You're right. I know men get it, also. Maybe another hub about the dad's experience of ENS...

Tom. I'm so very sorry to read of your situation with your daughter. That's gotta be heartbreaking on a daily basis. You are in my prayers. And I know you're doing it already, but enjoy every minute with those boys!

Storytellersrus. Good to see you! I almost didn't recognize you with the new avatar (which, no doubt,you've had for months. I'm not the most observant sometimes). I'm happy for you. Regaining the remote control is worth it, isn't it:-)?


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

The empty nest is a sad moment for most parents, but the Moms (and Dads) who adjust well and see it as the next phase of their lives do both themselves and their kids a favor. When a parent refuses to let go, the effects can be hurtful. Your advice is wise--use the room in a new way, take vacations, and reinvent yourself--not just as a mother, but as a unique individual.

Very nice hub with profound advice. Thanks.

Mike


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 6 years ago from India

hi Mighty mom this is pretty nice hub and i do agree with your statement that no one can love anyone more than his or her mother .


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

Very good tips on releiving the empty nest syndrome. I missed my girls as they left home one by one to start their new lives. However, I heard from and saw them so much that I didn't get much of a chance to feel the full effects of the empty nest. My husband and I became reaquainted and made our new life together. It became a time for me to become me and try new things. I love my girls and I am very proud of the lives they have made for themselves. You handled a sensitive subject with great finesse. You did a wonderful job.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks, Mike. Of course the dads feel a loss as well. And truthfully, in this day and age the dads have probably been every bit as involved in the child's day-to-day life as the mom (coaching, cheering on the sidelines, etc.). There may be statistics on the incidence of ENS in men. Still, I like your observation that those parents who accept it rather than try to hold on do better.

Hi sweetie1. I'm guessing you are a mother, too! Thanks for commenting.

KoffeeKlatchGals -- Great! So I now know who to turn to when my soon-to-be empty nest feels to hollow and echo-y. You seem to have made the transition beautifully. Kudos. Hey -- if you feel like it, you could hub about how you did it successfully and we can link ours together... just a thought:-). MM


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

My hubby left the nest 10 years ago to join his Creator (positive of that). My two daughters left the same nest to work in the city. I leave the nest from time to time at their beck and call and be back to rediscover and reinvent myself. I enjoy my time gardening and blogging. No commitment but self. Great Moms' reward? Back to being alone in the nest, trying hard to fill the emptiness.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Lita.

So sorry to hear of your hubby's death.

You sound like a very grounded, together and spiritual woman. Glad to have you visit my hub.

Hope you find a good cure for emptiness here at HP!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

We are so reluctant to cut that umbilical cord, aren't we? I just got a reprieve - my 18 year old got into a college in the same city and I went down on my knees in gratitude. So am I prepared for it three years from now? Not sure! Great tips there, MM!


FirstStepsFitness profile image

FirstStepsFitness 6 years ago

Great Hub ! Chicken Soup for the Mothers Soul helped me along the very difficult transition . All Mothers still look around when a baby or child cries , I still look when a child says Mom , the school bus route down our street , children walking to and from school , her empty room finally clean ,for a while it seemed I was listening for her to come home at night , waiting for her to wake up in the morning ,buying her favorite foods for her fav meals at the store , my only daughter is now 23 years old . Now it finally seems better . The bond is always there and always strong , it is so different being with your children when they have moved on .....


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago

What a great hub. I have one left to go and as he seems reluctant to leave, I am almost ready to give him a little nudge. I'm ready to explore me and hubby with some alone time before the nest needs to be remade for grandchildren.

No matter how old the kids get, they are my kids. I cherish the memories of them as little ones and even the struggles through the teen years helped to strengthen our family unit.

Loved your hub.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Shalini! I didn't realize you and I are in such similar circumstances! Being in college in the same cit would seem to me to be like riding with training wheels! You can keep riding like that and when it's time to take the training wheels off!

FirstStepsFitness-- Your words are very comforting. It's good to know someone who has lived through it already!

Thanks for your comment.

Joni Douglas -- You seem to have a great attitude about this whole thing, but of course you've only got one left so you know how it feels to have little birdies fly from the nest.

I wish you luck in your bonding with your hubby!

MM


Queen of the Lint profile image

Queen of the Lint 6 years ago from The Laundry Room

The teen years and "letting go" wasn't all that difficult with my older two, it's the youngest one who is now definitely pulling away and she was always the easiest to handle. Thanks for a great article on the subject!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Well hello QOTL! Nice to see you!!! Good to know there are others who have dealt with this before me.

I guess it's only normal to expect pulling away to feel like a bandaid ripping off a wound. They're teens. Can't expect them to be gracious or grateful about it. LOL!!


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

Beautiful hub for those (especially women) who are in this stage of life. I hope it helps some people. You deserve a thumbs up! My family (15 nieces and nephews),stay centrally located. The heartache is similar. It was me who left to travel back and forth between the US and Canada. I tried bringing them with me, but that didn't work. As I develop my interests and business, it becomes easier. Home is with my husband, but a huge part of me is always with all of them.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks, MWatkins. I feel the same way. My Hubby is itching to move out of CA to somewhere cooler, cleaner and saner. Maybe OR. My heart is not yet ready to put that much physical distance between me and my only son!

Glad to know there are Hubbers who have done it successfully. Thanks for the comment. It helps. MM


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

What a great hub. I especially like your tips to moving into a fulfilling life. Too often, we define ourselves only by our role in our children's lives. Once they're gone, we don't know who we are. Your advice is spot on.

Namaste.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Deborah. Time will tell how well I am able to follow my own advice. This whole empty nest thing is brand new to me! Thanks for commenting and for reminding me there is life after "active" motherhood! Namaste to you, too!


dawnM profile image

dawnM 6 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

write on hub pages.....lol just one of the solutions to empty nest. Loved this hub and so true about the no sleep, soccer mom, have not done the teenage years yet, but when I get there I will let you know. I have always hoped to travel the world one day so I guess when my empty nest happens I will half way around the world, have to get it all in before they would have the grand kids.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Writing on HP is the solution to just about anything that ails us, eh? Thanks for the comment, Dawn!!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

I was in such a hurry to hear him talk

In such a hurry to see him walk

In such a hurry to start him in school

Couldn't wait to teach him to drive

Now when he drives away

I think "Slow down"

And I can't wait to hear and see him again

We miss the little buggers don't we. Nice job MM. =:)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello my friend Winsome (whose avatar I STILL rank as #1 retro coolest on HP!). You've obviously been there too.

Interesting that you mention couldn't wait to teach him to drive, as that task fell to me not his dad. So I feel a special bond when I see him driving.

Slowing down is something we don't seem to learn until our bodies (and minds) tell us we have no choice:-)!

Thanks for visiting. If you get lonely (or I do) we know who to call! MM


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

As a mother of 4, I see where the nest empties slowly. But, last summer, we had 8 people living here - my husband and I, 3 of our kids, plus several other 'kids.' And 5 of them left all at once. The quiet that fell onto the house, the lack of commotion was rather peaceful!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Enjoy the peace, Dolores. I'm envious that you have such a large brood to come home to nest and then flit off again! Thanks for sharing mom-to-mom! MM


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

I voted on the waiting to find out part!! Have 2 adult children living in my home, and 1 grand baby. I want to know what peace and quiet means!! To be fair, my youngest did just graduate this past June, and she is experiencing her first job, and she did just turn 18.... Oh well.. someday maybe I'll find out all about EN... Great Hub!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Sweetsusieg! I must say you look much too young to have adult children and a grandbaby!

I hope you get your EN peace and quiet soon but that your family stays close! MM


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

Well Thank You Mighty Mom!!! You win the "Complimenter of the year Award!!!" LOL... By February of 2011 I will have a total of 11 Grand Children - (9 biological) with only 1 set of twins. I was blessed with 5 great kids, and now they are giving me EXTRA blessings... grand babies!! My oldest is... gee.. ahem.. (whispering here) 28... Oh that makes me feel old to say that!! LOL I was 20 when he came into my life. Someday maybe I'll write a Hub about how he saved my mind.

As for peace and quiet... Nah, I'll get enough of that when I'm dead.... I'll enjoy it as long as I can!! (but complain quietly)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

"Someday I'll write a hub about how he saved my mind." Now THAT sounds like a really cool topic for a hub and I, for one, would love to read it. Not to mention hubs about raising 5 great kids and the extra blessings. As a mother of an only child, I do enjoy getting other perspectives on motherhood!

And, Ms. Susie, I stand by my comment that you do not look anywhere close to (whispering) the age you are....

MM


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

Ok, Might Mom... You wanted it you got it. Posting it in a few minutes. I hope you enjoy.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

That's awesome, Sweetsusieg. You posted 7 hours ago so you've probably attracted a lot of comments already. Heading over to read right now! MM


websclubs profile image

websclubs 6 years ago

Hi Mighty Mom,

Letting go?

When your children quickly grow up and head out on their own, what to do next? love unconditionally...zero control!

parenting parents empty nest midlife crisis--WOW

"child leaving home"

Advice Parenting Advice and Tips,

Nice hub Thanks.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi websclubs,

Zero control -- that's the one! So hard for us to let go, isn't it! Thanks for your comment. Sounds like you've been here, too. MM


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Some days I do hope they remember I am the only one who wiped their tushy... oh, sigh.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Oh my. I hear that sigh. I know that sigh! Sounds like you are in a contemplative mood,my dear. Might be a good time to write! BTW, I like your "new" avatar photo but miss the cutie dog (was it two or just one -- white, fuzzy, looked to me like wire haired fox terrier).

Sending you mom-to-mom hugs. MM


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota

Wow, this article obviously touches people to their very core. I am an auntie mom who is helping sister raise two kids, 12 and 14. Even on the worst days we feel so grateful to have them and look at eachother and say, "these are the day." Raising kids is an honor and it will be sad when they are grown. I really liked your great videos and the great suggestions to help people stay cool when the kids leave. Great job on this. thx


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

When my only son went off to the Army right out of High School, I was depresses for a year. I still miss his presence in our home.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Minnetonka Twin -- You and your sister must have 2 very amazing kids. I don't know many parents who consider raising a 12 and 14 year old an honor. But it really is -- at any age! Luckily you still have a few good years left with them.

2besure -- Your very simple comment touched me to the core. God bless. I hope your son stays safe.

Thanks for the honesty about your depression. I think it's quite common. I miss my son's presence in our home also.

MM


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

I enjoyed reading this wonderful Hub. Thank you for publishing it. As a child of parents who were married 11 times between them and as a man with four wives I can still relate. I have witnessed this syndrome among other members of my larger family. :)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi James!

Glad you enjoyed this hub.

I don't think you meant your comment to come out exactly as it reads: "... as a man with four wives" LOL.

I know you are religious and spiritual, but I didn't think you were Mormon (ever see the show "Sister Wives" or "Big Love"?). Anyway, I do get your point.

And your parents definitely get points for being hopeless romantics!!!

God bless, MM


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi James!

Glad you enjoyed this hub.

I don't think you meant your comment to come out exactly as it reads: "... as a man with four wives" LOL.

I know you are religious and spiritual, but I didn't think you were Mormon (ever see the show "Sister Wives" or "Big Love"?). Anyway, I do get your point.

And your parents definitely get points for being hopeless romantics!!!

God bless, MM


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Well . . . I didn't have all four of them at the same time, mind you. I have been married since I was 18—just not to the same woman. I am a serial marryer. :D


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 6 years ago from Guildford

This was amazing and now I am just looking forward to and hoping to have children of my own. Thank you Mighty Mom.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Oh my goodness, acaetnna! You have so much joy ahead of you! I hope you will be blessed with kids when you are ready. It's the most amazing, life-changing experience anyone could ask for.

BTW, my own nest is not empty completely. I actually see more of my son now he is living in an apartment. But I LOVE that!

Thanks for your comment!!


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

This hub is so heartfully written. It helps and comforts parents who are adjusting because their children needs to be a little physically away and be more independent. Two thumbs up for a really mighty mom! =)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello DjBryle. I so appreciate your comment. This hub is definitely near and dear to my heart. I never thought I would reach this point -- seems like only yesterday I was sewing his Halloween costumes and taking him trick or treating!

Glad to have you here as an ally, too! Take care, MM


Maria Cecilia profile image

Maria Cecilia 5 years ago from Philippines

Hi, this reminds me of my mother, you know in the Philippine it's different specially if you are an only child. I am an only child and I remember my mom getting sick the first time I went out of town for a week, because of work. I don't have a son but I have a dog that I still don't know how to let go(lol).Good hub how enlightening to some


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hey Maria Cecilia,

Good point. Every culture has a different relationship between parents and children. And even within a culture not every mother has so much trouble adjusting to her children leaving home.

Your story of your mom is funny. I hope it doesn't happen every time you have to go out of town!

I also know what you mean about your dog!If that's the one you're talking about in your avatar, I can definitely see why! Cheers, MM


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Maria Cecilia 5 years ago from Philippines

Hi Mighty mom, the one is my avatar is my second dog PM (Pissie Marie) she is only 1 year old, I am most referring to my senior dog Mario Peso... he is 10 years old.

My mom got used to it because my job then needed me to be out of town every week, but of course she was complaining a lot and threatened not to help me with my clothes (LOL), she died 2005 and I knew she had a hard time leaving me, a few day before she died, I heard her as if talking to someone (but there was no other people in the house bit she and me)she said Pano si Maricel? (How about Maricel?) mu wild guess was, she probably saw my father (he died 1997) and he was telling her that she will need to go with him. quite unbelievable but true. She died when I told her to let go, but leave me only when I have other relatives in the hospital.. and she died when my cousin arrived.


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tarajeyaram 5 years ago from Wonderland

Thanks for the hub. My parents are getting used it to for years. My mother laughs and is waiting for me have children of my own. Well written.


Mamakim 4 years ago

I seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place. They need me to do this or that and then they need me for nothing. They call 10 times a day and then they don't call for a month. They move away and I heAr nothing for weeks unless I look at Facebook. I'm having such trouble figuring out who I am now that I'm not a needed mother AND sometimes I feel like they will go and never come back if I were to stop reaching out. I feel used up and spit out.


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Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi mamakim.

I feel your pain. They are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing. Learning to live independent of their mom. The only solution I've heard (or found myself) is to be there consistently when they DO need you. And suck it up when they don't. They will come back in their own time in their own way. It may not be on the terms we would prefer (like having them around all the time), but as their lives take shape and they recognize the huge importance of your contribution to their lives and the importance of FAMILY (which right now is low on the totem pole) they will come back. I know they will.

Hang in there. Glad you found my hub. Thanks for the comment. MM


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

To MM: This is a great hub. There are indeed parents who are so involved in the parenting role that they frankly do not want to relinquish this role. Maybe, they do not have lives outside that of being parents. Also, their own marital relationships with each other may be less than positive. Birds have got to fly so to speak!

Furthermore, there are parents who are extremely needy and want to keep their adult children NEAR because they want to feel useful. There are so many intricacies and nuances to being a parent. It is so important for parents to have their own individual lives and interests even though they have children. Because, guess what? Your children will no longer be children but adults with their own lives.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thank you for your thoughtful comment, gmwilliams. Sounds like you have some experience in this area.

I see it coming with some of my friends and relations and worry how they are going to survive the transition!

I particularly liked your comment about parents of adult children needing their adult children to be around so they can still be "needed." That gives me pause. There are so many other opportunities to be giving in life. Don't want to smother our children (or get between them and their spouse and their own children, who they need to raise their own way).

It's taken some effort for me to let go of the being indispensible role with my son. But it feels so much better knowing he is independent. And because I've allowed him that space, we are closer now!

Thanks again. I really appreciate your insights here. MM


anonymous-reader 4 years ago

Reading this gave me a little more insight to some very manipulative and needy words from my mom since I've moved far away. She's taking everything so personally, as if she's genuinely hurt that I want to live a life independent of the "family nest".

I've heard it's easier for some mothers as their kids move away; somethings I wish I had a mom like that.

She makes it so hard to have normal easy relationship since I've moved. I just hope she can "get it" someday, and I don't have to keep fighting against manipulative games for much longer.

Makes me want to move further away.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

I've known adults kids who had to put a continent and an ocean between them and their mom. For many years I was very happy with 3,000 miles between me and my mom. That changed when I matured and had a baby.

But you're doing the absolute right thing!

Stand your ground and assert your independence. It's healthier for both of you. She's get used to it, but the manipulation may just be a reaction pattern she'll never break. Some mothers are like that.

Good luck to both of you! MM

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