not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

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not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by cluelessmum » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:49 pm

I've still got 2 at home but the feeling of dread at my dd's impending departure later this week to go off on her next adventure is making it hard to manage.

I'm astounded by the asymmetry - by that I mean the crazy unconditional love that I feel for her coupled with the tolerance and guilt I almost feel towards my own parents. Life is about to get considerably more quiet...we won't have the constant hum of her voice as she learns the latest song. Or the crazy late nights that we wait up for her to finish rehearsal and get home safely. I know that as she leaves the nest the relationship she has with us will change. The need for independence and the need for space even during her visits home will be a challenge as I must learn to let go.

I can't help the feeling of loss as I feel a piece of me will leave with her...

My lungs feel tight and my eyes start to swell as I realise that the clock is ticking and my days with her are numbered...

I am fiercely proud of all that she has managed to accomplish and hugely hopeful that this is a step in the right direction as she tries to follow her dreams but that joy is tempered with an intense sadness that the dynamic in my home will change and my little family will feel different without her presence. I will miss her face, her smile and her warmth but I know that wherever she goes she will thrive.

I just wish that I didn't feel the need to grieve and that the 9000+km of distance between her school and home wasn't quite so far.

Anyone have any ideas on how to manage or ways to cope?
Last edited by cluelessmum on Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by DanceDiva » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:42 pm

Nope.....I can't help at all and it's hideous.
The house is quiet and tidy, I can get in the shower whenever I wish and I can make plans with friends for lunch.
I can open the fridge and our favourite yogurt is still there and my petrol bill is lower.
I haven't heard Ed Sheeran for days and I don't hear snoring at night.

But my heart is half empty and all the above makes me tearful instead of smiling.

She's been gone a week and it feels like months.
I empathise but have no advice xxx

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Re: not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by princess1 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:23 pm

God you guys are setting me off again! Mine is now an empty nest and so so quiet :( and I really don't like it!
The house feels so empty and I guess I no longer had the role I did have - chauffeur, coach, cheerleader, guide, confidante, PA! The list is endless and I'm in a bit of a void at the moment! But it will get better, it's only been a few days! And I'll always be mom whatever!!

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Re: not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by 2dancersmum » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:39 pm

Aw bless, I feel for you both. My DD left at 16 for college and her elder brother for university 10 days later, leaving me with just a 12 year old at home so I do know exactly how it feels - but for me that was 3 years ago.

Advice? Keep yourself busy but realise that some days will just drag on and you will miss them more than others. Make sure that you are set up for skype (or similar) as soon as possible so that you are able to talk face to face but try and let her dictate when she wants to speak - at least during the first few months as she is settling into her routine and getting over any homesickness. When you see them not just alive and healthy but absolutely bursting with happiness and excitement as they tell you about their adventures it really does help offset the loss. be prepared also to give your younger children a little extra time and perhaps help them adjust. My 12 year old refused for weeks to talk to her sister as it upset her to see her or hear or voice because she was missing her so much. However I can say in all honesty that they are as close now as they ever were - all 3 of them are . In fact, being separated in some ways has made everyone closer as whenever DD and DS are home they want to spend time with the rest of us and we get a lot of quality time together. I probably got more long proper conversations with DD when she was away than before she went. Yes I saw her everyday, but she was busy with homework, dance classes etc. It was an unexpected upside to her being away. DD and I also used facebook a lot so that we could leave messages, share pictures and photos etc and that helped. But at the end of the day it is just part of the process of growing up and moving on. My grandmother always told me that you know if you have done a good job as a parent if your child is happy and confident to face adulthood, that a parent is their as an invisible support and not the crutch the child clings to.

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Re: not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by jaybeeyellow » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:41 pm

I really couldn't put it better myself. You have described how I feel perfectly.
My elder daughter went to uni last year, but she is only 40mins away, and is always back and to. My younger one will be 3 hours away,"down south". So I will have an empty nest.
I really felt dreadful last week, not so bad this week, but tears are never far away. I am DREADING it.
To make matters worse, she is leaving her boyfriend behind, which complicates things further. I do know, however that, like your daughter she is passionate about what she does.

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Re: not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by riverdancefan » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:57 am

my oldest has moved out but lives a 5 min drive away so that's been easier although he lived in Northern Ireland for a year and that was very hard and entailed a few flights to George best airport.
With him I was involved in a practical way, he has Aspergers and needed a lot of support and that really did help me to feel included in his life.

With the performing DS2, I am already have a "mare" about him going, he is 15 so it's a while yet but the plans are being laid and he's already quite independent ( which I encourage)
I have always been his mentor, his mate, his no1 fan and his rock I guess, he has fantastic friends to support him with stuff his Mum wouldn't be party to. But I am involved in his castings, his spotlight, choosing his head shots, rehearsing his lines, listening to his monologues, accompanying him to auditions, sharing the latest news about musicals and musical theatre, and we are great mates and have always been to the theatre together.

I already feel him pulling away in small ways, and pointing out what he wants, and honestly I WANT him to go and live a fantastic, independent life, I know he's clever, smart, witty and he will be more than capable of doing all the things I do for him, but oh boy! - will I miss him, and it!. I will miss my routine.

When I moved up to London in 1984 to do my nurse training, all we had for communication was a payphone on the landing, my Mum never nagged me about phoning her and going home, but in hindsight, I never considered her feelings, rarely phoned ( unless I needed money or a shoulder to cry on) and had absolutely no idea how she must have felt. It wasn't a deliberate act to hurt her, but it must have hurt.

I feel with us Mums too, we meet our friends through our kids passion, we socialise, we meet for lunches and coffees and chat on the phone with like minded Mums who have become friends, that part of my social life will change and I will have to adapt to that as well as DS moving out.

My DH feels completely differently, he says it will be the next phase of our lives, a choice to do what we want to do as a couple and that we will still be doing mercy dashes to DS wherever he is living and yes, I know we will, but that doesn't help the way I feel.

I guess I will have to wait and see, and report back when it happens, so much of my time when he does go, will be spent working to pay for his training, I will be pretty busy.

Clueless mum, I totally get where you are coming from, keep us posted and let us know how you adapt to this phase of your life. You have clearly done a very very good job with your DD, facilitating her flight onwards to her new adventure, and as Mums I know that's what we strive for. Keep us posted x

"Tall and proud my mother taught me, this is how we dance" - RIVERDANCE

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Re: not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by Welsh Mum » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:13 pm

It's been 5 years since my youngest left to train in London, and I remember how lost I felt. Like you I missed the involvement, the constant singing, the busy lives we shared. But things do get better, though I have to confess 5 years in I am still sad when she goes back after a visit to us. I did make sure I didn't burden her with how I felt - she knew we missed her without me going on about it. I tried to leave the phoning to her, so as not to pressure her. We are still close despite the time apart, which I am grateful for, and I am still the first she contacts with problems or good news.

When my elder DD left I missed her terribly but with one still at home it wasn't as bad. With both gone the emptiness dud feel overwhelming at times.

Life moves on to a new stage. My husband and I re- discovered spending time together ( 2 children just 2 years apart both with very hectic schedules and both of us with demanding jobs, we had definitely neglected that ). I say yes to any suggestions from friends - walks, theatre, cinema trips, coffee, lunch dates. I am fitter than I was as I fill spare time with a variety of exercise classes.

And of course I spend time planning and looking forward to visiting her!

I sympathise with those of you who are going through this ( if you search threads I am sure you will find my old empty nest one) but you should feel proud that your children are following their dreams and have the confidence and ambition to embark on the next stage of their lives. You have done a great job as a parent :)
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Re: not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by missmoneypenny » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:56 pm

Oh my, this thread has really set me off again. You put that so beautifully cluelessmum and seems a few of us know just how you feel. I don't think there are any cures, sadly. Just know you did a fantastic job to make a dd that is confident and strong enough to go so far, and of course, she will be back :) My biggest girl has just gone and I feel bereft, I still have 2 at home and I know I will go through the same with each of them too, but it is so so hard!! Lots of supportive thoughts to you all xx

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Re: not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by cluelessmum » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:13 pm

many thanks...the kind words and the fact that people understand the position I am in as many of you feel what I feel has helped...

Its nice to be able to find such support on this board. I never know what will set me off but I'm trying to keep focused on the good and make the last few days I have with my baby girl as enjoyable as possible.

She performs for the last time here for a little while tomorrow night and I am looking forward to watching her but my husband says he will bring tissues for my inevitable waterworks!

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Re: not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by performmum » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:48 pm

I empathise entirely. I only have one & we are incredibly close. When she left last year I struggled so much, I felt like I had a hole in my chest. I missed her dreadfully & found it hard to concentrate on other stuff as I was constantly wondering how she was.
Also my emotions were totally tied in with hers - if she was happy so was I. However the opposite
Was also true, and as the colleges push them so hard there were lots of challenging times, when she was tired or hurt or ill. Being so far away is difficult because you just want to make things better, and that's not possible as their problems become more complex.
This year, I am finding things much easier. The resilience of these young adults is
Fantastic and that is testament to the way in which they have been raised. Resiliance as a young adult and as a mum is incredibly important to get us all through this transition.
I wish you all luck as your kids fly the nest this year, take heart in knowing that it does get easier and less painful ( sounds dramatic) and the young people are turning in to well rounded, confident, articulate adults x

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Re: not an empty nest...but need ideas on how to manage.

Post by ajbew » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:53 pm

I know how you all feel. DS2 started at Mountview on Monday and DS1 left for a job in Cambridge the week before so we are suddenly down to one 16 year old. They seem so far away but I am trying not to contact them too much while they settle in. The house is so quiet now, especially as I have just finished a teaching job. I am wondering what to do with myself all day! I think I need to establish a routine but I'm not sure what I want to do that doesn't cost. It is really hard, but I'm sure it will get easier with time. It helps to read on here that others are feeling the same way. It feels as though part of yourself has left with them doesn't it?

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