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Do you ever get over empty nest?

(54 Posts)
Candy6 Mon 07-Sep-20 13:43:44

Hi all, I have posted before on this subject and I’m sorry to be a pain but it’s a recurring one for me and I’d really like to know what others think on the subject.

I still struggle with empty nest. My son moved over 200 miles away 13 months ago and I still feel bereft when he goes back (which he’s doing later today). I’ve found it difficult to get my life together now both my kids have moved out. Truth is, I loved being a mum and everything that goes with it. I’m truly at my happiest when we’re all together and then feel lost when they leave. My husband and I get on great and are trying to prepare for when my husband retires. I should add that I’ve been through an awful lot with my sons health and had to give up any aspirations of a career to support him. I’m also having counselling which helps a little. Of course, I’m so proud of what he’s become and happy that he’s finally living his dream and definitely don’t want it to end for him but it just hurts so much! Can anyone else relate or is it just me?

Smileless2012 Mon 07-Sep-20 13:53:58

No it isn't just you Candy lots of mums go through this too especially if as a child, their son/daughter had health issues.

Don't be so hard on yourself. You say you're having counselling which shows you're being pro active about getting things into perspective.

"I'm so proud of what he's become and happy that he's finally living his dream" the place that you helped him to get too so be proud and happysmile.

Bluebellwould Mon 07-Sep-20 14:13:46

I remember being on holiday with my husband when I suddenly and completely fell to pieces, because on our return my two oldest sons would be moving out of the family home, leaving my third son at home. In a few months time after that he too would be off to uni. I felt as if my whole life was finished. Looking back I think I actually grieved like they were dying.
HOWEVER, after that week long episode I pulled myself together because I didn’t want my boys to know how sad I was. And because I had to pretend and think of them I felt better. I was so proud of them for being adult enough to look after themselves and proud of my husband and myself for bringing up such fine men.
I read somewhere that children are not ours to own but loaned to us for a while, just as we were to our parents. Let them go with a glad heart if you can and that will turn into a self fulfilling prophecy.
If you keep looking back and feeding the grief it will never get better and you will end up a very sad person.
Find something to do, anything at all or perhaps get a pet.
My husband died nearly two years ago so I am truly on my own, but you have to get on with it. Sometimes I spend all day just reading and others I’m productive. You just have to put one foot in front of the other.
It might also be that things are not going to be as bad you think.
I wish you well.

Grandmabatty Mon 07-Sep-20 14:22:19

I was upset when my son moved out for the first time. He was my eldest and I definitely had empty nest syndrome. However he came back (twice) and the last time he moved was to his own home so I was honoured he asked for my help. Once my daughter moved out it was me and the dog and then he died! I've lived alone for years now and enjoy my own company and get on with life.

lemongrove Mon 07-Sep-20 14:22:45

What a lovely post Bluebellwould I think you have said it all
Really, but just to add, for the OP, I loved being a Mum too, the happiest years by far, but we all have to move on, and yes, it really does get better with time, you will see.
It’s a shame your DS has moved so far away, but he may end up nearer to you in years to come, and you can take comfort in the fact he is happy doing whatever job he wanted to.

Esspee Mon 07-Sep-20 14:28:25

My husband and I found a new lease of life when we were finally on our own.
Our previous 25 years had revolved round our family, now we had successfully launched them into the big wide world and at last had the time and money to enjoy life.
I considered it a job well done.

PernillaVanilla Mon 07-Sep-20 14:42:08

The nice thing is that when they have flown the nest they have so much to give when they do return. When our sons were at home we all got along very well but it was very much parent and child relationship, with them asking for lifts, us keeping them and the feeling that they did not expect us to like all the things they did. Like you. OP I was really unhappy when our youngest left.
A few years on we have a different type of relationship, family book club and zoom yoga classes (my husband teaches yoga) We meet up and go to an exhibition or out for a meal, it is now the relationship of adults who are close. We sometimes go on holiday together and it is great when they come back "home" for a break but, 2 years after he left I can honesty say I prefer it this way.

Kerenhappuch Mon 07-Sep-20 14:45:03

No, it's not just you. It's taken me many years to adjust to not being 'Mum', some of my best conversations with my sons took place when I was driving 'Mum's taxi' and I still miss knowing the details of what's going on in their lives!

Allow yourself to grieve - when my younger son was just about to go off to university, I used to walk mournfully round the supermarket thinking of all the things I wouldn't need to buy once he had left. He was also very ill as a child, I do think that makes it hard for us, and maybe all the more necessary for the grown-up child to prove to themselves that they can live without us.

Of course, both sons have been back many times, and it's always lovely.

Marmight Mon 07-Sep-20 15:07:52

My 3 children all went travelling at the same time 2 post uni and one pre. That was not easy but the most difficult to accept was when the middle daughter at 22 returned to Australia having met her future husband, never to return.
It isn't easy and I feel for you but you just have to accept that they are making choices and wanting to lead their own lives. Look forward, plan visits, get out and do all the things you couldn't when you were busy being a Mum! My girls are all now married with children so I slot in & out of their lives as I can. Sadly like Bluebellwoukd I am now widowed which is even harder but life is what you make it flowers

NanaPlenty Mon 07-Sep-20 15:12:19

I have three step children, all living in different countries and two of my own living in different counties. They are all adults, some with their old children and yet it is now that I have retired that empty nest has kicked in! I just feel lonely - yet I have lots of friends and lots of interests. It just seems we went from life being manic to it being quiet and I miss the manic!

Illte Mon 07-Sep-20 15:25:53

In the space of a year my last child moved out, my husband became ill and died, I quit my job to nurse him and the house was sold.

I remember saying I don't know who I am anymore.

But in a weird way it was liberating. I had to make a whole new life with little bits of old in it rather than having the same life with a hole in it, if you see what I mean. I think having that hole is harder.
No advice really.
💐

Millie22 Mon 07-Sep-20 15:58:24

No you're definately not on your own with this. It's actually one of the main reasons I joined gn to see if others felt as upset as I did when my ac left home. It does get easier with time and I was told on many occasions to remember that it shows you've done a good parenting job to have independent children.

AGAA4 Mon 07-Sep-20 16:19:30

All I can say is that you get used to it. My children now have families of their own so one of the benefits I have had is grandchildren.

morethan2 Mon 07-Sep-20 16:38:23

I still miss mine a little. They left over 20 years ago. I love seeing them but I don’t want them back.

Candy6 Mon 07-Sep-20 23:56:30

Thank you all so much for your replies. You are all so brilliant especially those moving forward on their own. I’m in complete admiration. I’ll just keep plodding on. Once a mum, always a mum, however far or near or how old they are. Thanks again xx

Marketkat Tue 08-Sep-20 00:39:36

Don’t know if I should put this here. But I am
Be positive, sounds like you’ve done a good job bringing up your son, his leaving home is just a transition and it may take you a while to get used to it, but you will see your son and be proud of him. Enjoy the times with him when you can, he has not gone from your life completely.
I don’t have my son to see, visit, talk to, he didn’t live at home when he died, I missed him when he left home I’d got used to the empty nest knowing he was happy and living and independent. Now I wish that I would see my son in 3 months, 6 months, a year, that is not going to happen.
So I say be happy for your son that he is living his life the way he wants to live it.

boodymum67 Tue 08-Sep-20 14:14:43

Both hubby and I hate empty nesting.......but guess what? After 28 years of flying the nest, our eldest is coming home due to ill health.

It`s bitter/sweet........so worried about her health, but happy to have her back where we can give her some tlc.

boodymum67 Tue 08-Sep-20 14:17:01

Marketkat

Don’t know if I should put this here. But I am
Be positive, sounds like you’ve done a good job bringing up your son, his leaving home is just a transition and it may take you a while to get used to it, but you will see your son and be proud of him. Enjoy the times with him when you can, he has not gone from your life completely.
I don’t have my son to see, visit, talk to, he didn’t live at home when he died, I missed him when he left home I’d got used to the empty nest knowing he was happy and living and independent. Now I wish that I would see my son in 3 months, 6 months, a year, that is not going to happen.
So I say be happy for your son that he is living his life the way he wants to live it.

Hi Marketkat, so sorry to read of your late son. You are right to air your feelings here....we all know how much our children mean and your heart has been broken in the worst way possible,....sending love sweetheart.

Toadinthehole Tue 08-Sep-20 16:17:28

So sad to read about your son Marketkat💐. You are so right of course. When they leave...it is the sign of a job well done. Just enjoy all moments, live day to day, and try not to look too far ahead. I hope you settle into your new routine Candy.

morethan2 Wed 09-Sep-20 06:35:11

Marketkat I’m sorry for your loss but grateful for your gentle, kind reminder that we should be grateful for what we have. thanks

Marketkat Wed 09-Sep-20 09:56:16

Thank you the comments after my post. I appreciate it.
X 🙏💕💐

Coconut Wed 09-Sep-20 10:15:23

I took one of my grandsons to show him the home that I bought my 3AC up in ..... I stood in the woodland behind our old house crying ! Just remembering their wonderful childhood, playing in the woods, climbing trees, picnics etc so nostalgic .....

polnan Wed 09-Sep-20 10:19:52

Bluebell wood... I so understand what you say.. I am with you. hugs... cyber hugs are good, .

and my two sons are early 50`s, late 40`s.. and no.
you never get over the empty nest,, if that is the way to describe it... sadness that life has changed so much, being needed and becoming needy! ugh!

kwest Wed 09-Sep-20 10:20:22

The other day my husband, who incidentally adores our two grown up married children and their families, said to me "I've never been so happy in my life". We have spent the lockdown together, the longest period of just the two of us in our 52 years of marriage. I feel so happy that he could say that and I have loved this time together as well.

Neilspurgeon0 Wed 09-Sep-20 10:22:01

Oh God I would love it, our three bounce back and forth, here one minute then one, then back p, then grand kids in and out. I pray for a day when it is just me and they all are gone so I can, finally, relax. The best few days if my life is when they all go on holiday and I get a few days of peace, but I can’t see that happening any time soon