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Another year, another strand of gray hair, and as shocking as it may seem, your child will be moving away to start her first year of college. You sit and reminisce on how, what only seems to be yesterday, you taught your baby to hold a spoon, tie her shoes, make her own sandwiches, do her laundry and eventually how to drive a car.

college

It was always clear to you that your goal as a mother was to make her an independent, self assured young lady ready to enter the world on her own. Although you understand this is her next stage in growing up, you find yourself sitting with a long face and conflicting feelings. As you try to rationalize with yourself that for the first time your house will be quiet and clean, you notice a tear sliding down your cheek. You are convinced that the ending of this chapter will leave you sad and worried. Never the less you quickly brush away those feelings; you embrace the fact that your baby will be only a phone call away. At that very moment, you realize that your day will begin by checking your emails and waiting for a text message, it will be clouded with ideas for her next visit, and hopefully will end with a good night phone call. You understand that this learning experience is necessary for both of you and all of a sudden you are very proud of your accomplishment. You feel empowered knowing that you did an awesome job and your teenager is ready for the journey called life.

+15
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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Barbaras wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • That good old empty nest syndrome. Takes a bit of getting used to for sure!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jonpaul65 wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • Yana~

         Wonderful!  As I told my son last year when he turned forty ~ “Weren’t you just four the other day?”

         Have you read my Ten Commandments of Aging Motherhood/  It is posted on my web site.

      Chloe JonPaul



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mzd3 wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • This is getting very close for me, and Im not liking it...



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • I was crushed when my oldest daughter told me she was moving out I cried like a baby, BUT glory be to God she has done well, and so has my youngest daughter they both live their own seperate lives outside of my nest and I did well instilling values and morals in them which they live by today so I look at it as being a blessing I looked forward to the silver stands in my head.hearthappy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • I'd say a blessing for several reasons. Now you get to know her as an adult and .... Now what ever you want to do is a possiblility. Parenting is a Lot of work and as parents we've got a lot on the back burner for our "someday" dreams of our own.    

      Cathie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Amykessel wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • Yana,
      I can only imagine how it will feel (mine are still very much in the house!), but many of my clients fit the bill exactly.  It’s a blessing for sure, and a powerful reminder of the fact that we are always at choice—we choose how to feel about every event and happening in our lives.  Taking back the control of our feelings and actions opens up so many possibilities for how to create new life in the new scenario!

      Thanks for a beautiful post,
      Amy

      [Link Removed]


      Amykessel, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • I still have a couple of years left. So not looking forward to it!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Blondechick wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • heartOur oldest child left for college almost 2 years ago, and came back at the end of May to commute her last two years.

      Although I was excited for her to return, I realized how pivtol her leaving was for her success as an individual.  The challenge at this point is how to respect that independence and not compromise healthy boundaries.  

      It has been a growth process for both of us...and one I am very grateful for.  It is as important for us to grow beyond them as it is for them to grow beyond us.

      At least that was my lesson up to this point.
      Thanks Yanna!
      Candace



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Nerissa wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • It is a Blessing for sure! We put the best that life has given us into our children. We nurture them and their talents with love and great care and prepare them for the fateful day when they will go out into the world and build a life of their own. Even though we have raised them for that  fateful day it still tuggs at our hearts to see them go away. heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • My oldest daughter too went to college only to come back in one year and commute. Sasha is the last one, and even though my house has plenty of kids daily, it still feels empty when even one of them is gone.

      I know it will do great things for her, she is the baby in the family, and it’s time to grow up.

      I always said that if we as parents do our job right, our kids will leave.....

      Let me be the first to say, that while the above is true and correct, it doesn’t make me feel any better.  frown



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • My two boys are 21 and 25.  They are still in my house.  Unlike some of you, I am ready for them to move out.  Not because they drive me nuts etc...but because they need to.  They need their own place.  But the oldest works for UPS (not a driver) but technically part time hours but he gets full benefits.  He’s waiting for them to make him full time and change his hours to daytime.  And he is trying to go back to school.  My youngest son is still in college and goes to a local one here.  They are both awesome young men consisting of very different qualities.  I know my husband and I did a pretty good job raising them. When things work out for them to move out, I definitely won’t be sad but will look forward to their next phases of life.  I like my kids ages where they are now.  I’m not afraid of the empty next syndrome.  My husband and I have plenty of things to do that interest us.  That’s why it’s very important to not lose touch with your spouse and not do everything with and for the kids.  When they are gone..and it’s just the two of you...what will you do?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Octoberwild wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • That is a wonderful post,Yana.I remember how I felt when my daughter left the nest,and I’ll go through it all over again when it’s my son’s turn.He’s only 12 so it will be awhile yet!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheekymonkey wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • heart this is a topic I dread. My son is 25 and about to leave and I’m going to miss him terriblely.it will feel like my house is half empty. My daughter is 14 and in a few years she’ll be gone to college then my house will fill empty. I loved every stage with them and I know this is the stage we’ve prepared our children for.and when your job is done it’s time to step bc.
      I know after I’m use to it things will be better.
      Very nice post heart



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Sunnyduck wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • TOY STORY 3 made me CRY! ! !  What’s up with that??? As I sat there with my 23 year old son - who after doing an online college will be finally leaving the nest next month.  He will be driving cross country PA to CA and starting the next stage of his life in San Francisco.   I already miss my daughter like crazy = now I will be missing him too  :(   On the other hand I now have twice the reason to go visit CA  :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie S wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • I don’t want to think about it. Actually am just starting out. My baby is a year and a half old. Thinking of an empty nest makes me sad although it’s still far away



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Magdalena wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • Thank you Yana for your beautiful post.
      I have been empty nested since I was born.  I had no children, but I am planing to help a lot of children because I believe that if  you help and support a child is the way the child will grow up to support his family and country. I need a lot of your help and support www.steveslodge.com



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • Hey wait a minute! I thought she was going to stay home and commute to school?????? Aaaaahhhh well..... the Baby usually gets what they want ( I am a Baby too).

      I’m with Mary on this tho.....my 2 girls moved out at 18 and 1 has moved back in while the other is comtemplating life with mom again. My SS has never lived on his own.

      I am ready for them to all be on their own. It’s so much more fun to go shopping with them and buying food for their house vs them whining about there being no food in our house.....lol!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mariana Calderon-Thornton wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • Hi I have no kids but a lot of nephews and I know the feeling....well not the same but also !!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Grizzlybear wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • I never had children...I just have a lot of pets!
      I feel fortunate not to have had the stress and
      aggravation of children, maybe because I had to help
      my older sister with her five kids! We must choose to be happy with what we have in our lives NOW. The past is gone; the future may not get here! I strive to live in the moment.
      estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Jul 29, 2010
    • @Vikki89  Sasha got accepted to SDSU, and this is the first year that they’ve made it mandatory to live on campus the first year.  

      Quickly, I’ve decorated her room, and made it all nice and pretty and adult looking, so she will be eager to come home often.  

      I know it will be good for her, I’m just worried, because as the baby of the family she was sheltered, now she will have to make her own mistakes, and hear me day in and day out pointing them out estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote Jul 30, 2010
    • Yana, Last time i heard she had not been accepted to SDSU so congratulations!  My 15 year old daughter says she won’t go to college heartbreak  I sure hope she changes her mind!  loved your blog! I am dreading the day Rachel moves out.frown



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Jul 30, 2010
    • I love my 3 boys, oldest 25, is gone about 8 hrs away for school, he took time off from his life to come back and help me after my last surgery. I would not want the other 2 to have to do that. I’ve always told them they can only stay home until they are 18, then it is time to leave the nest.

      Of couse if they needed to come back I’m sure I’d let them.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Jul 30, 2010
    • Id say it will be a blessing.. my children will be out on thier own, in college, or in thier own place, and it will be a time of growing for us all.. now, i did tell my children they could live with me for the rest of thier lives! lol heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sunnyduck wrote Jul 30, 2010
    • When my daughter was looking at college, she saw one in Philly (about 3-4 hours away) that she was sure she wanted to go to.  I said you can’t just look at one college - I sat on the computer one night and search for Art College and sent to everyone that had an Illustration program and bam we were inundated with colleges trying to get her attention - which is when she saw the book for Academy of Art Univ in San Francisco and she had never changed her mind.  So I sent her of in the middle of the night from the Pittsburgh train station for a 4 day train ride (loaded down with so much stuff she could barely move - I was sure she’d loose her ticket or something).  I tell people if you don’t want to worry about them actually being gone from you (initially) send them off in some manner that you‘re more worried about the actual trip and them getting there (it will distract you for a while :) anyway.  So now she is 3 timezones away and I miss her like crazy - she is still my best friend (and to think I actually wanted another boy when I was pregnant I didn’t really want a girl :)
      She has always been my adventurer and I’ve encouraged it - so I’m not surprised she went that far.  The summer after 4th grade she went 2 hours away to a week long GS Horse Camp by herself when her friends backed out.  When she was 14 I put her on a plane in December to fly to Minnesota to go Cross-country Skiing and Dog Sledding for 10 days in wilderness with Outward Bound (again through GS - in case people think GS is boring :) LOL!)  I was always more nervous than she seemed to be but I let her go - I knew she needed too.  That’s who she is.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Jul 30, 2010
    • I have to say, I love my boys but glad that I can do what I want when I want to, I work with one and see the other 2 daily or at least talk to them, the 3rd one lives in Cali and I speak to him once a month when he’s not so busy that is.  My freedom at this stage is important to me, but of course one of them is always around if I need help with something or a doc appt.

      I love them a lot and this is a real good post.

      Dee



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jul 30, 2010
    • I do want my boys to eventually move out and get their own place but I would never tell them they had to leave when they turned 18.  I’ve always told them they are welcome to live in my house as long as they are working, going to school,and not doing anything illegal.  Other than...I’ll never turn my children away.  But it will be nice when they are out on their own...footing their own bills. :)

      I told them both that when they eventually get a good job making decent money....they needed to buy a house and I would help them furnish it.  So that is the goal here.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Jul 30, 2010
    • Strangely enough we moved this week and we are between properties so I’m with a friend who is childless and having a ball and Alice has gone to her friends and I’m hoping she will just take the chance to stay out.

      Not that I want her gone but I think she needs to assert her independence and do this ......plus I’m having a break from that Biggie estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      19tinamarie wrote Jul 30, 2010
    • My son is a senior in college this year...It was crushing when he moved out. Now I love that he’s independent and we share a completely different relationship. My daughter will be a senior in high school this year and I am much more prepared for her to move on next summer. She is very self-sufficient and I KNOW she will do well on her own. We are very close and have experienced some crazy changes in our lives over the last year. I only want to see them shine and grow.
      I am ready for the nest to have some room. estatic
      Tina



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Jul 31, 2010
    • 2 of my boys have well paying jobs and I’m proud of both of them, the other 2 we will see.  I have told all my boys that if they find an apartment I will take them shopping, of course me being me I have been buying them stuff as time goes on, so when they get there own place they are ready, right now they rent a basement at a friends house so really not the same, they use the kitchen and bathroom.

      Have told them any time they want to come home they can, but they like there freedom(not sure if this is a guy thing or not, would be nice to find out though)

      Dee



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Jul 31, 2010
    • Our son is 22 and still living at home..he works a full-time job, come to think of it, we rarely see him and I miss his happy face...when he had his accident and was home for six weeks, it was tougher on him than me.  We are encouraging him to live at home as long as possible, save his money (he does give us a weekly amount of money that is agreed on by us all) and to take his time and plan out his future..I am still encouraging night school or on-line schooling, but for now we are all healthy and maintaining things the best we can...who knows what the future brings..many kids may find themselves back at home due to the economy and living situations...I told hub to build a small studio apartment onto our house, they all laughed at me!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne Lyken-Garner wrote Jul 31, 2010
    • Reading this made me sad even though my oldest is only 12 and a half.frown
      I know the day will come sooner than we expect. I think it would be even harder when our baby (our last child) moves out, because it’ll mean we’ll be on our own. We haven’t been on our own for a long, long time.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jul 31, 2010
    • Marya.....you are right about the economy...it’s hard for young people to start out these days....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Alison Kelly wrote Aug 2, 2010
    • Both our grown up children have left home now and its awful.  We still have our youngest son at home and he will always be at home because of his disability, but the house is so quiet and theres nothing to do.  That said, when our eldest son comes home its like a whirlwind has gone through the house,  but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love the hustle and bustle when they‘re at home and all the extra work that I have to do.  Maybe I should stop running around after them and enjoy the peace and quiet and I should relax and have some me time.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michelle05 wrote Aug 2, 2010
    • My hubby and I have NEVER been together without children in our home, since we became a blended family 12 yrs ago.  Him and his boys, 16 & 18 now, daughter 22 now(wasn’t around much), and me and my daughter, 18 now.  Together we now have a 3 yr old son. So, I’m trying to get my daughter to develop her own life now that she graduated HS.  First she was going to JC, then decided she didn’t want to go to school, then it was the Army or Air Force.  I don’t want her to move out yet, but I want her to get a job, pay her bills and make a decision about her life.  Because life flies by too fast and I don’t want her to have the same regrets I have about not acting on my gut instincts and doing what I wanted to do.  The biggest thing for me is she causes undue stress between my husband and me, (she doesn’t care for him much), so I feel it would be better for my marriage’s sake, if she was out on her own.  

      Hubz daughter is out on her own thanks to her mothers parents buying her a condo - they let her stay home and raise her child (out of wedlock!) no job, no husband, no responsibility - I’ve stayed out of this one.  She lives close by, but is too busy most of the time.(?)  I get together with her as often as I can.  My hubz boys, well, they aren’t coming over anymore frownheartbreak

      We figure we have at least 15 more years of having our son home!!!  heartheart

      Doesn’t seem like we will EVER have an empty nest!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Middlesworth wrote Aug 3, 2010
    • I relate totally. My oldest will become a Mother herself in December. My youngest will be graduating this year and then both of my children will be on their own journey’s. They are doing what we have taught them to do. Be responsible, independent, work hard. Now that they are, and I find myself wondering why I taught them these things....LOL Just kidding!
      I am very proud of them, I’m just not ready to let go of them yet.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sunnyduck wrote Aug 3, 2010
    • Lisa - I agree - I raised them right, so they are fun to be around - so it’s like having my best friends move away from me after having shared a living space for so long.
      Kim



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jan Orga wrote Aug 4, 2010
    • Definitely NOT a curse and yet at the same time it’s often hard to see as a blessing. Our children are 24 and 20 - both left - and both have temporarily come back. Our youngest is still in school and commuting, our eldest has moved back to town after graduating from college and is getting settled in a job and currently looking for her own apartment.  

      I know, in my head, that it’s our job to raise them and then let them go. My heart struggles with MISSING them! Even though mine are living with us, I can go DAYS without seeing them because our schedules are different. And as mentioned before, it’s only temporary.  

      During all the years we were raising the kids, my social activities were pretty much dictated by their schedules and their events. I loved it. And it’s over. I have declared this time in my life - my REINVENTION!  

      It’s time to find out who JAN is and what she wants to do with the rest of her life!  

      It’s fun to see the kids blossom into adults and I’m having FUN figuring out who I am and what this next phase means for me!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sunnyduck wrote Aug 4, 2010
    • Jan - the funny thing about this time in my life is that in Reinventing myself I find that I really love teenagers and being with them.  So what am I doing - running the Teen Summer Reading program, working at Ren Fairs, and going to Anime Conventions, also considering becoming a Big Sister but will be looking for a teenager :) My Senior Girl Scout (grown, flown and gone - all in 19 - 21 - still come to me :) - I just love their energy, and the way they think.   Most of the world thinks I’m crazy and I probably am.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Aug 4, 2010
    • Sunnyduck,

      Your lucky, my boys hate when I get a new piecing or new tattoo, they tell me to stop trying to be young, yet I’m not, I’m finding myself.  They call to see how I’m doing and on occassion with do things with me, but they‘re boys and even though I work with one, no one wants to spend much time with me, so I shop or get things done to myself.  It’s me and after raising 4 boys I get to wear pink, they think it’s to young looking, I tell them I might only be 45 but I ain’t dead yet and can do what I want when I want.

      Good luck on all that you plan to do.

      Dee



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda Mundorff wrote Aug 6, 2010
    • Oh I went through the empty nest syndrome with my first child a few years ago.  Still having trouble dealing with that one. She went to Japan to teach english as a second language.  It just hurt my heart to see her go.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Darlene Sabella wrote Aug 10, 2010
    • Hello my dear friend, us Mothers are never far away from our children no matter how old or young they are...this reminds me of my situation right now, me here now with my 42 year daughter while she is dealing her radiation through her breast cancer.  I was first happy when all five of the kids finally left home then day by day it was a reality.  Love this thought, thanks for the memories...heartestatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Roschelle Nelson wrote Aug 11, 2010
    • my oldest son (18) left the nest last summer to join the military. i share custody of my youngest (9) with my X. so i’m feeling the effects of empty nest syndrome double.

      i’ve always been a loner. so, i do enjoy the quiet. but there’s nothing like having my boys around :(



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda Mundorff wrote Aug 11, 2010
    • @darlenesabella Oh! I am so sorry to hear about your daughter’s cancer!  My thoughts and prayers for her full recovery and for you to emerge from this emotionally and physically strong.

      Linda



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Alina Bartell wrote Aug 16, 2010
    • Thanks for sharing. It is so helpful! Our kids are still few years away from leaving but I am dreading that moment. Hopefully I’ll be more ready by then. But yes, all the ends and new beginnings are not easy!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Barbie Larsen wrote Aug 26, 2010
    • Empty nest never the same when you divorce, remarry then move thousands of miles away from them.  Outta touch...outta life.  Only maybe seeing them once a year.

      My ex cheated on me like Tiger Woods did his wife.......  

      Empty nest is worse after this.......



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Aug 27, 2010
    • All of you are right, but now I can start my own business and I get the help I need from my 2nd oldest.  Yes, divorce is hard and so is the second marriage and the divorce that followed.  Even though we live together in the same house, my 2nd son comes over twice a week for coffee with me.  I am thinking he is my most reliable one if something were to happen to me.  My 3rd son came up from Cali and I gotta tell you I miss them all being small right now, where I have them all together.  Empty nesting does hurt.  I know I like my freedom but there are times I wish they were small again.  Makes me wonder if my mom feels the same way when she sees me.

      Dee



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