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Empty Nest Syndrome For Single Parents
The nest is worn and empty
Do Not Be Mad the Youngest Child is an Adult
I fought with my mind knowing that my children were getting older, yet I had one more at home, she was my youngest and soon to be eighteen years old. With her child to take, care of now. I thought she would stay longer because of the help received in taking care of my granddaughter that was born deaf.
Boy to my surprise what empty nest syndrome means. Sure I heard of it, and how it can make you feel depressed, but as a single mother as many of you are we have no spouse or mate to talk to or to even hold us while we cry. So many times, you hear how at eighteen they are out of the house. This is false. Only nature and your GOD know and understand this change. Such as the anger and the hurt, we can tend to feel. Our children do not quit loving us; they just must back away... FAR AWAY!!, As the single mother or father feels unappreciated, you hear them say they dislike you, even say they hate us, because of whichever reason they can come up with. Where that leaves us single parents is hurt, and then the anger steps up side-by-side with the hurt.
So we tend to take it right back out on the child who was the last to leave. As if, they did some major crime. We love them as well, yet we can act as if we are the immature child. For example, and be honest with yourself. How many times have you or your friends have said to their child (who wants to move out) “You want to be an adult, so you cannot take the bed or furniture I bought.
Who is in the wrong now? We are! We single parents grasp ahold of anything to try to make it harder on the youngest child so that maybe they will not move out, even though all throughout the years we said, “As soon as my son / daughter turns eighteen they can go anytime they want.”
Go ahead and shake your head with acceptance, as they are excited their lives have just begun, leaving us alone, and lonely. Causing us ways to put the blame on them, then the fighting happens and there is one way to stop it.
Ease up, take baby steps as it is okay that the last one at home is moving out, and leaves you feeling it will kill you, and what about the “ How dare they”.
· How dare they buy new furniture and leave me with the old ones they dirtied
· How dare they find such a nice place to live while we gave up all we had to keep them in a home
· Who do they think they are to not be home when we call – they answered the phone when they lived with us
· What do they mean they are going on vacation or Spring Break without even asking what we feel is right
· Why are they hanging out with that person after they have been told time and time again that friend is trouble
What we are doing is being afraid of the quiet house, not seeing them each day. In addition, we are lonely, bored, the house is clean now … BUT …. It is not the same. Even without all the laundry, we once had to do. However, if they need we can help catch theirs up. D
o you see the web we weave in our own lives, causing the fighting to a point where our own children do not want to come over and listen to us bitching? Additionally, they do not have to come to your home to hear you complaining, comparing, or judging, because you feel hurt and alone.
The best explanation is one my youngest who moved out a few months ago said, “ Mom, if something were to happen to you, and I live with you forever, than how will I know what to do when something goes wrong, or I cannot pay the bills. What if I lose my job, my partner, and I have to learn how to pay bills.” “ Mom, it is time for me to learn or I will not make it on my own until I learn and I want to learn while you’re alive in case I need you to catch me when I fall.”
I still want you home you can learn that at home. Nevertheless, they cannot and we as the single parents need to face our own fears and struggles alone. Without blaming our children for growing up and become self-sufficient, this does not mean they do not love you. They must learn to love themselves more.
Step back and take a breath, cry and cry as hard as it comes, it is okay. Miss them, and feel like your life cannot go on. Pout and pick fights just to get their attention. Be upset because you cannot go out of town on vacation and they are or did. It is all real emotions, and the fear, feeling lonely, hurt, and angry blaming them for our break down. However, tread carefully as you can and will push your children away and may even break the parent and child relationship for life. Heed my warning on this. Again, your emotions are real and cry all you need. However, treat your child with respect as they too are going to be in your spot one day, do you want them to act like a small child and make their kids feel guilty. No, no parent wants to leave their children with bad love. It means you are learning to live on your own. As they are ready to live on their own.