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Author Topic: Does it go away after a while?  (Read 271 times)

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Offline haidyl

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Does it go away after a while?
« on: October 04, 2017, 07:05:27 AM »
Well, I've always looked at it as a natural process that never goes away. Can we get over this feeling ever? For me, I think that it never ends and we just learn to manage it. I try, as much as possible, to stay in touch with my kids through emailing, texting and calling.

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Does it go away after a while?
« on: October 04, 2017, 07:05:27 AM »

Offline LannieD

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 03:24:06 PM »
Yes, I think up to a point you can get over the empty feeling. You'll always miss your kids but just trying to stay in touch and keep up with them is a big help. Keeping yourself busy and having other interest is also good. Most just suddenly seem to find themselves with nothing to do after the last leave home because most of their time has been centered around the kids.


So I think we just need to try and get ourselves a life 'after the kids are on their own' and move on the best we can.


Not sure if this was much help to  you or not but another view point.  :039:

Offline Kidless

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 06:56:28 AM »
It was just the opposite for me.  I was glad to see them go at first because I also had other interests and was anxious to see them clean their own house and wash their own clothes.  Now.......I miss them terribly and realize that was the best time in my life.  However,  grandchildren help a great deal.  :13:

Empty Nest Moms

Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 06:56:28 AM »

Offline Indiana

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2017, 08:01:52 PM »
I don't think I would ever want the feeling of missing my children to ever go away. That means the feeling of love for them would go away, and that doesn't feel natural to me.

You just learn to live with it. To manage the feelings.

Offline kismetique

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 10:19:31 AM »
For me,  it took some time and  lots of self reflecting. One day,  you look up and its gone.  I guess I found coping mechanisms.  Mostly,  I found things to do to keep me from thinking about it,  then,  I just gradually didn't think about it any more.


I stopped calling them or  texting them first.  I realized I was setting my own self up for disappointment when they either didn't answer the phone or wouldn't call me back. I stopped texting when I never got a return text and then I would seethe because I felt they were ignoring me.


When they call,  I jump to answer and always call back if I miss their call.  If I miss them on my return call,  I don't leave it open ended.  I say,  this is mom calling you back.  I'm so sorry to have missed you and getting to hear your voice.  I love you!  I don't say call me or what did you need.  I basically end it with no expectation,  on my end, of hearing back from them. That way,  I'm not waiting and wondering.


If they text,  I respond immediately if it is convenient.  If not,  I dont.  I will wait until I have time to be thoughtful in my reply.  And again,  I never leave it open ended (hence,  the time necessary for a thoughtful reply! 😁). Even my immediate responses are worded as though I don't expect a response.  If I get a back and forth convo,  great.. if not, I don't linger.  It's a trick for myself,  not them.  No open ended statement or question,  means no unfilled expectation for me.  I respond,  lay the phone down and walk away.  I busy myself immediately and usually forget about it again,  unless I hear their chime on my phone.. and the same rules apply.  If I'm able,  I respond immediately,  if not,  I dont drop everything,  I respond at my convenience.


These are my ways of coping.  This way I'm never left to my own devices of wondering when are they going to text or call me back, why don't they text or call me back,  are they angry with me,  are they upset, are they too busy for me, or are they ignoring me.  They will call or text when they need something or want to talk.  Otherwise,  I would sit and stare at the phone,  check messages,  check emails.. willing the messages to appear... it was driving me insane!  My anxiety would turn to fear something bad had happened,  then that would turn to resentment,  then anger.  And the next time I heard from them,  I'd actually be angry!  Oh,  that was not good!


Oddly enough,  in the last year,  I've moved across the street from my son and daughter in law and 2 doors down from my daughter in order to be closer to my elderly mother.  Nothing changed...I don't see them or talk to them any more or less often.  I may talk to my son every day for a week,  then hear nothing for 2 months,  waving only if I happen to see him drive by. We both exit our homes from the rear garages,  so we rarely cross paths.  I usually text every other day with my daughter because she lives alone.  But usually nothing more than her saying... I'm home!  I say, great,  love you.  That's it!


I couldn't be happier with the situation.  I almost cringe when they come over.  I love them dearly,  and I want to see them,  hug them,  kiss their sweet cheek,  then turn them around and say... see ya!  I have my own new life with their father,  my husband.  We have our own routine and we are happy not to have it interpreted!


I think my turning point was when I stopped texting first or expecting to hear from them and let it happen organically.  Way easier said than done... but if I (very controlling personality) can,  anyone can!  Of course I don't hear from them as often as I would like,  but finally,  I'm no longer upset and angry when I don't.


Sometimes we have to set communication rules for ourselves rather than letting our children run the show! LOL




Offline Jeanine

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 10:33:31 AM »
What a heartwarming post kismetique and thank  you for that. I'm sure a lot of others here will get some help from it. It does sound like you have gotten things together and have a great relationship going with  your kids. How nice that  you live nearby them too.


Thanks again for your update, it is really appreciated.


 :goodpost: :goodpost:

Empty Nest Moms

Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 10:33:31 AM »

Offline kismetique

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2017, 01:08:23 PM »
Hi Jeanine!


Oh yes.....much, much, much better!  For awhile I thought I might lose my sanity.  My son and I were so close while he was growing up.  We thought alike, we knew each other like the back of our hands.  He was a little me and I was a grown up him.  We took turns tying and cutting the apron strings. I was "his person" and he was mine.  We were inseparable.  I didn't work while they were little and I spent every day alone with that little toot for 3 years before my daughter was born....he was literally my whole life.  My daughter had some learning difficulties and that served to drive a wedge between she and I.  I wanted help with her dyslexia and she didn't want anyone to know about her difficulties.  It put a real strain on the whole family.  Still...my son and I remained quite close.


I think that was the hardest part of him leaving home - the closeness we had always had.  The connection was still there, but it was on the phone - texting wasn't a thing at that time.  He called me daily and would talk to me while he drove home from work.  I knew every nuance of his life.  Then my daughter moved out and in with him.  And I was just sitting at home moping and crying and pining away for them both!  Ohhhh...it was a sad, sad situation.  My husband had no clue how to help, so he just kept his head down and worked.  That went on for a while, then my daughter moved into her own home and things got better.  All that time my son and I were drifting apart with longer periods of untied apron strings, unanswered phone calls, unreturned phone calls, and what I felt, was him ignoring me.  It was so hard....and heartbreaking for me.  I cried buckets of tears, I was depressed, I isolated myself, and life was very dark. I think he was totally oblivious - he was just living his life and having fun with his friends!


The reason I rehash this is for the mom's that are still in this time period right now.  Yes, it went on for awhile - but it wasn't all bad and terrible. I can't tell you what changed.  I threw myself into a whole house remodel and that helped, but I still hadn't made communication rules for myself at that point. I was still initiating contact with the both of them. Something just snapped one day and I realized I was WANTING to be TOO involved with them both!  I had to step back out of their lives and let them live their lives.  And that's about the time I set my own communication rules.  It worked beautifully and still does to this day.


My daughter and I have grown very very close.  She is my best friend, but we don't really talk all that much.  We have lunch once a month or so and spend the afternoon together.  She has her own business, so she will usually clear an afternoon - not all the time, but sometimes.  Sometimes I get to missing her so much that I think my heart will explode, but I think back on my young life at her age and realize, she is busy making and finding her way in the world and that's a good thing.  She's succeeding at life - and wasn't that my ultimate goal in having and raising her? 


My son and I have completely and irrevocably cut the apron strings.  He has left me and has joined with his wife.  But again, that's how it's supposed to happen and I love my daughter in law as much as I love him.  She is great!  So I couldn't be happier for him that he found someone that we all love as well, to share his life with.


So take heart - when I first started coming here and my heart was hurting so - I couldn't have ever imagined my life so content and happy with my empty nest.  It's taken me quite awhile to get here, but as I said - I had to change too.  I had to change my perceptions of life as well as of what I expected from them AND from myself.  I'm a very very controlling individual - so mostly - it was letting go.  Letting life take the twists and turns and becoming more the passenger than the driver. 


My husband and I had lived our lives so much around our children and family, I think we had to relearn how to live our just married lives. 


IT WILL GET BETTER!  I promise.  And one day when you look up and realize it has, come back here and post your triumph and give others hope!
This forum was a huge help.  It helped to know I wasn't the only one going through this and that others had conquered the heartbreak, and I could too!

Offline Jeanine

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2017, 06:52:03 PM »
Goodness, your post makes my heart feel full! It is the very reason that I started this site so many years ago (nearly 17!) and keeps me hanging in there with it. I know it has helped a lot over the years but to see a heartfelt post such as yours is a very rewarding feeling.


When I first started there just wasn't much out there for moms going through this and I know how hard it was on some that I knew personally. I just wanted a place where everyone could come together and share how they were feeling and with a little support and encouragement from others to help get through it. For some it takes a bit longer for others not so long but with time you can find that you can have a life after the kids leave home! You just have to find your own way like you did.


So for those still struggling, hang in there, keep coming here and 'talking', share how you are feeling, there are a lot of others around feeling the same way and we are all here to help each other when we can.


 :hugs:

Offline LannieD

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 02:46:17 PM »
That was a very inspiring post kismetique! I'm sure it will be a big help to all who read it that are still having trouble letting go. Sounds like it took you a while but you did find your way. Sometimes we just have to make 'it' happen that best we can.


And thank you Jeanine for keepig this site going. I'm sure it has helped many over the years and 17 is a long time!

Offline haidyl

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2017, 06:34:08 AM »
I think my turning point was when I stopped texting first or expecting to hear from them and let it happen organically.  Way easier said than done... but if I (very controlling personality) can,  anyone can!  Of course I don't hear from them as often as I would like,  but finally,  I'm no longer upset and angry when I don't.
Kismetique, I have read through every bit of your posts and I have never felt as inspired and determined as I am now. You set your own rules and stuck to them. Was it any easier for you knowing that they lived nearby or down the street? It's been harder for me since the kids relocated several miles away. However, I have picked up a lot of important points.
Yes, I think up to a point you can get over the empty feeling. You'll always miss your kids but just trying to stay in touch and keep up with them is a big help. Keeping yourself busy and having other interest is also good. Most just suddenly seem to find themselves with nothing to do after the last leave home because most of their time has been centered around the kids.

So I think we just need to try and get ourselves a life 'after the kids are on their own' and move on the best we can.

Not sure if this was much help to  you or not but another view point.  :039:
It's been of much help LannieD. The good thing with sharing our experiences is that you get to look at situations from different perspectives, which is healthy because no one ever has a monopoly of ideas.

Offline kismetique

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2017, 12:33:29 PM »
Haidyl,


That's a great question!  You know at first, I was worried that moving closer to them would be a detriment.  I worried that they would think I was spying on them or would come over all the time.  I also worried about me doing those things!!!!  LOL  Not really, but you know what I mean.  I think it helped that we took our time remodeling the home we moved to, so we slept at our old house and commuted daily to the new house to renovate. That took about a year and we sorta slipped into some good habits where visitation was concerned.....we didn't have time!  So although my mom, my daughter, my son and his wife and myself and husband all live on the same block - we rarely go to each others homes, we rarely even see each other.  We all do our own thing. When it comes in handy is holidays....we can walk to the home we decide to celebrate at and walk home.  That's mostly the extent of the visiting. My son and daughter come to our house about the same as when we lived across town - and even so, sometimes stay WAY longer than I would like, but of course, I never say a word and try to make myself remember the empty feeling I experienced at first and be happy they are there!  I know.....that's so counter to what most of you all are now experiencing, and it took me sooooo long and sooooo many tears to get to that place.  But I have arrived!


I set my communication rules long before we bought the house near them and before we moved.  So I started the respond-only communication as a direct response to my depression over the empty nest.  It worked so well for me that I have continued it on to this day.  It sort of is empowering in a way to know that I am in control of the communication, not them.  If that makes sense.  I really think I'm just tricking myself into this feeling, but whatever works! I do it in such a way they NEVER think I'm limiting myself to them or withholding my attention.  I'm always there for them, but on my terms and definitely not waiting around to hear from them or the dreaded...waiting on a return call.  I just refuse to WAIT and HOPE for a return call.  It was the one thing that drove me to the absolute edge!  So....I never left them with the feeling that I was waiting.  I always ended the communication with no expectation.....for my own sake! Oddly enough, I think it also served as an out for them as well.  No expectation to call, no dreaded feeling that they knew they should or that I was expecting to hear from them.  I think it alleviated some issues, 2 prong.


Think back to when YOU first left home and/or first got married.  I left my parents home and moved into my married home.  I never lived away as a single person. So I got to thinking...oh my goodness, how did my mom deal with loosing her only child....a daughter, from her home?  I'm SURE I didn't communicate as often as I should have....but I was busy building a life with my husband.  We bought a new home the day before we married and I had 2 jobs, he had a very demanding job and when I think back, we were so immersed in our new married life for about 4 years, that I've no doubt my mother experienced great sorrow and emptiness.  I try talking to her now about it, but I can tell it makes her uncomfortable, so I leave it alone.  So, that considered, I figured my children weren't ignoring me, they were just busy living their own lives.  Once I had my first child, I brought my parents back into my life in a huge way...so maybe this is just the way of the world.  At the time of my depression, I was looking for anything, any idea, any explanation as to why I felt my children had abandoned me.  After all, I was supposed to be the most important person in their lives!  LOL  I still am....but in a different way.  It just took me several years to realize it.


Find something..... communication, visits, emails, texts, etc.  Put yourself in charge of that one aspect.  I think the powerful feeling snowballs and helps put you back in charge of your own life, where you can slowly stop constantly missing them.  I can say busy yourself with life affairs, but that only goes so far.  I honestly believe it was the control I felt over the way I communicated with them that helped get me over the hump.  Even if it is only MY perceived control that they know nothing about!   :jiggly smiley:

Offline Quiet Abode

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2017, 01:51:53 PM »
I love your posts, Kismetique!  Great points overall.  I'm not struggling as much as some other parents because I'm grateful for the free time (finally!) and my job keeps me busy.  I've also found great support here, which is a big help.  However, it is annoying when the kids don't respond to calls and messages.  My children always expected me to reply or answer - during work, during meetings, during date nights, and during hospital stays with an elderly relative.  They would leave messages over and over until I did. They still expect a quick response.  At their age, I was busy with a life of my own, yet I responded to phone calls, texts, and emails with a quickness because it was respectful and honestly, it was expected of me. When the kids moved out and still demanded my time, but would not give me the same courtesy.  I put a stop to it!  My rule is that emails aren't a big deal, but voicemails and texts need a reply within 24 hours.  Now, I don't need an essay, but surely they can text "busy now, but TTL after T exam" without it being a hardship.  They've done a good job of being mindful since then, and of course, their father and I give them the same courtesy. 

Offline kismetique

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2017, 11:32:22 AM »
Well....I broke my cardinal rule today!  And I'm paying dearly for it!  LOL


My son and daughter in law are moving - they are building a house and moving a short distance away.  In order to do this, my husband and I have agreed to give him some early inheritance money.  In a totally unrelated issue, I dared send him an email and ask a question (BIG MISTAKE!).  Whelp - his response was short, curt, and very rude.  See....this is what happens when you break your own rules!  I'm sitting here half crying and half laughing at myself for what I've done!  I guess I just thought I could push the boundary since we were being so generous.  Although there are no strings with getting the money, it would be nice if he could at least pretend to be appreciative.   :dunno:


Damn kids!  I love him to pieces, but I certain do not like him at this given moment!


Anyway, just thought I would share.  Even we old timers backslide at times.  It hurts, and there were a few tears, but just getting it off my chest here, helps tremendously!  This is a wonderful forum and I thank [size=0px]Jeanine [/size]so much for her time and efforts in giving us this place to come together, share and vent!

Offline Jeanine

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2017, 02:22:49 PM »
Oh my kismetique, hope things have smoothed out some by now? And  yes, even when we know better we can still 'mess' up sometimes! :blue weird smiley:  Not sure just what it was he got upset about but hopefully he has given some thought to things and is being 'likeable' again?  :dunno:  I know things will be back to normal again so hang in there! Thanks for sharing that too.


 :hugs:

Offline Elizabeth

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2017, 06:57:24 PM »
Well I'm with Jeanine on this one, hope things have smoothed out ok for you and your son? We all 'slip' up at times, hopefully it wasn't to bad of one.

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Re: Does it go away after a while?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2017, 06:57:24 PM »

 

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