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Worrying about adult kids

(13 Posts)
Jeanniegirl1 Sat 21-May-22 23:19:43

My 3 children are all now adults who live independently and have partners etc. I have 2 sons and 1 daughter. The issue for me is both DS's have struggles with their mental health and both live in challenging relationships and life circumstances. I also have mental.health issues by the way. When I speak to DS's and we talk about what's going on for them I'm very calm and supportive but after I worry myself to death about them. And i dont just mean for short time. I mean the worry practically consumes me for many days , even weeks after. A friend has advised me just to keep conversations with DS's very light and not about what's going on in their lives . He said they are adults and to save my sanity I shouldn't ask too many questions about their struggles. Still offer to be there for them and offer practical help if I can, like babysitting, etc. But not get myself into situation where I'm worrying myself silly about things that I cannot change. Can anyone offer any advice please? I will just add that I have a lot of guilt about what kind of mother I was when they were growing up due to my own struggles with my mental health which exacerbates the worrying about DS's

Sweetie222 Sat 21-May-22 23:39:39

Perhaps your extreme worry about your adult kids is part of your own anxiety issues, maybe look for help for yourself?

Jeanniegirl1 Sat 21-May-22 23:43:36

I am undergoing ongoing treatment for my mental health issues and deal with every day life pretty well. I just worry so much about DS's

Shelflife Sat 21-May-22 23:47:44

I feel for you Jenniegirl, think we all worry about our AC - I certainly do and it can be very difficult to switch off. You have sons with mental health problems so that must make the situation all the more complex. I have a close friend who is in a similar situation to you and has been seeing a therapist who told her to allow herself ' a worry hour' she chose the time of day for herself eg. 3pm to 4pm. During this time she gives herself permission to worry about her children and it is exhausting for her. However she has found that she can switch off the rest of the time! She now fully accepts that constant thinking and worrying does not help her AC or herself. Might be worth a try !? Please drop the feelings of guilt, negative feelings like that are of no value what so ever! I do hope you feel more positive soon , sleep well tonight and stop worrying. Easier said than done , I know that, but do your best- learn to meditate , it really can transport you to a serene place. It does take time to learn how to meditate properly , not as easy as people think. I learnt in my yoga class and it has been invaluable! Good luck , I wish you well. 💐

Hithere Sun 22-May-22 01:40:57

I would share this concern with your current treatment provider so they can also address it

Goo luck

Jeanniegirl1 Sun 22-May-22 03:02:41

I hadn't meant for this post to become about my mental health issues, although I know that contributes to my worrying. My intention was to ask about whether its best not to know / get involved with adult childrens difficulties too much if theres nothing you can do to change the situation ? And to know these things causes extreme worry ?

BlueBelle Sun 22-May-22 04:06:12

I think your friend in the original post gave you very sound advice and you should try following that don’t ask so many questions you are torturing yourself by delving deep into their lives almost looking for something to worry about
They have partners to sort any problems out and they will come to you I m sure if there is anything beyond that.l.. just presume they are happy and safe and let it be or you will become the problem
Good luck in your treatment

Knittingnovice Sun 22-May-22 05:41:04

Worrying means you care deeply about your family. They're lucky to have you.

mumofmadboys Sun 22-May-22 06:38:05

I sometimes find it helps to make a list of my worries and then have a second column writing down what I can do to help provide a solution or improve things if anything. Then once I know I am doing all I can I worry a bit less.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 22-May-22 06:47:09

I too think that you should follow your friends advice, just ask general questions, like the weather, or what they are doing next week, not ask about their lives and maybe only speak to them once a week?

I know you are getting treatment but sometimes we can obsess about others, to the point where we don’t do ourselves any good.

Baggs Sun 22-May-22 07:16:23

Keep telling yourself this, Jeannie: no news is good news.

If anything actually bad happens to your kids and grandkids you’ll know about it fast. If they are just trundling along through life’s everyday ups and downs, they’re essentially doing fine.

Works for me.

Redhead56 Sun 22-May-22 09:05:14

A lot of people now have mental health issues even if they didn't before Covid.
Speak to your doctor or practice nurse may be discuss your permanent anxiety. If possible ask for counselling such as talking therapy.
Regarding your adult children I am sure they will be getting the support they need. It is up to them to decide how much help they accept.
Your worries about your role as a mum are part of your anxiety.
By being anxious about your adult children this proves you are a loving mum.
The constant cycle of worry has to stop somewhere as it's consuming you. Take yourself out more be with other people you know you will feel better for it.

NurseNona Thu 26-May-22 17:53:12

I can definitely relate. I've always been a worrier, especially about my kids, and my daughter (mom to my gdaughter) has had a lot of issues in the past. She's in a better place now and is a great mom, but there are still things that worry me. I sometimes find myself getting really anxious and obsessed with what will happen, particularly if it affects my gd's safety/wellbeing.

A few things I've found that help somewhat:

First, I ask myself if there is anything I can do to help or change the situation I'm worried about. Usually, it is completely beyond my control. If there is anything I can do, I decide if it's possible, beneficial and realistic before taking any action. I remind myself that my daughter is an adult and needs to take care of herself and her daughter.

If I find myself having repetitive thoughts about the same thing, I consciously stop myself from thinking about it and focus on something else. I continue to do that every time I find my mind there.

Before I give advice, I stop and ask myself; how will my daughter react? Will it be helpful to her or offend her/make her feel judged? If she wanted to, would she be able to follow my advice?

Unfortunately, these techniques don't eliminate the stress entirely, but they have helped me manage it a bit better. And not giving advice every time it pops into my head has saved me from a lot of arguments with DD. I hope this helps. I know it's hard- I often think of the saying that having kids is like having your heart walking around outside your body. So true