Empty Nest and the Single Parent

I guess I should just come right out and say it.  I feel very….lonely. For so many years my time has been occupied with the care and worry over the prodigal.  It’s not the first time he has moved out, so I should be used to this by now.  It’s just that there are only so many times I can press on the reset button of this nest.

What is the reasonable amount of contact a parent can expect from their adult children?  I have no idea.

Do I want to become one of those mothers that becomes needy and clingy?  Of course not.  I don’t ever want to be a burden.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know by now that my relationship with my son has not been an easy one.  My heart swells with love for him.  It has been just me and him since he was a little tot of two years of age.

As much as my heart swells with love, it also has broken many times at the hurtful words that he has thrown at me.  Ours is a complicated situation.

Part of me is so happy for him that he has moved in to his very own apartment.  The other part of me is a little worried; I have concerns that he may have bit off more than he can chew with the new-ish girlfriend and her little son.

I am a little disappointed and confused at the moment.  His moods are so up and down, at least with me.  We saw each other at a family funeral on Saturday and all seemed fine.  Then Sunday rolled around and he was in a strange mood.

I guess I’m having a bit of a pity party.  The empty nest is leaving me feeling like nobody needs me anymore.  Like I have been forgotten.

When I tried explaining to a friend that I’m having a hard time adjusting, she made light of it, saying I should be rejoicing.  I have my place to myself and no longer have to deal with the prodigal’s mood swings.

Spoken like a typical non parent.  Its so frustrating.  Nobody seems to understand how difficult an empty nest is to a single parent.  I don’t have a spouse to turn to and to dote one or just get to know all over again.

I’ve been watching countless videos and reading on the psychological effect of the empty nest.  There is a little bit of comfort there to know I’m not the only one who goes through this.

Keeping my mind busy seems to help.  I’ve picked up my guitar this past week more than I have since I bought it a couple years ago.  There’s an app called Yousician that I have discovered and I guess that will keep me occupied on the evenings that I am at home.

This is really hard.  If my son were of even keeled temperament, I’d feel fully secure and relaxed that he is just busy, discovering his new life.  With him though, I never know if radio silence is really a form of passive aggression or not.  As much as I love him, this dance has been exhausting.

I’d love to hear from other empty nesters.  How did/are you dealing with this?  Did you have a hard time adjusting?

Happy Thursday all.

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Ziiiiiip!Woohoo!

I am over the moon happy right now.  Last night I was looking through my wardrobe, trying to decide what to wear this morning.  I pulled out a favorite skirt of mine and stared at it longingly.  I have not been able to wear that thing comfortably for some time now.

What the heck, I decided to try it on.  I was preparing myself for the argument my thighs and I would be having as I attempt squeezing into it.  Hey now…what’s this?  It just slid over my thighs and made its way up to my waist without any muss or fuss.   Interesting…but what say you, zipper?  The answer:  ziiiiiip! All the way to the top! Aaaah! Yes!  There’s even a little “give” in the tummy area.

Ok, now how about that nice top I just bought (without trying it on)?  I held on to the receipt because I was certain a return trip to the store to exchange for a bigger size would be in my future.  Here we go, bring on the battle of the arm holes….to my delight, it was a total coup.  My arms willingly fit into the arm holes and stood there, in disbelief in front of the mirror.  I am wearing a size Medium, and it actually looks nice.

Not sure I understand what’s going on.  The numbers on the scale have barely moved, but since I’ve been drinking protein smoothies in the morning, my clothes fit better, and I’m starting to bring items to the seamstress to take in a nip and tuck here and there.

Anybody else have this happen?  What are your thoughts on protein powders?  They seem to be working for me!

Happy Tuesday, all!

Monday Weigh-In: 183 lbs :)

Yay! Its only one pound, but its one pound less.  Tonight I start aquafitness classes again.  That always gets things moving along.

This week I promise to:

  • track every morsel of food I put in my mouth
  • do a Fitness Blender work out each morning. (check the out on Youtube!)
  • take the stairs at work
  • take a walk at lunch time

As mentioned last Monday, my clothes are fitting more comfortably, but the numbers are slow to move on the scale.

I went out for dinner after church last night with a friend and she commented that I seem to have lost weight.  Woohoo! That made my day.

She said that it is showing in my upper body especially.  I too have noticed that I don’t seem as “fleshy”.  My arms are a little smaller and I’m not as thick around the chest area. I know it sounds weird, I don’t know how else to explain it.

I tried on a jacket that a couple weeks ago made me look like the incredible hulk.  You know the look, when you cross your arms over your chest and the fabric is being stretched and squeezed to the point where you’re sure you’re going to hear a loud RRRIIIIIPPP sound.  Happy to report that there’s actually a little give to it and its more comfortable.

Baby steps, but all in the right direction.

Happy Monday all!

Feeling a Little ADHD-ish

If someone were to ask me how I’m feeling today, that would be my answer.  From the minute my eyes popped open this morning, my brain has been busy busy busy.

Many a day I find myself just plain paralyzed by choices.  I’m an artistic type and could very well spend my time solely in my head.  Lots of seriously fun and amazing stuff happens in there.  The trouble is, I have a hard time putting that into motion on the outside, in the real world.

It’s not unlike me to start several things at once, only to look around and find a bit of a mess in just about every freaking room in the apartment.

For instance, I have been trying to finish the dishes since 8:30 a.m. this morning.  It is now close to noon.  Arck!  Time gets away from me.

I have decided that the only way I can keep myself on track is to write things down.  So, here is the list for today.

list

This is just the condensed version, folks.  I should seriously write down every little thing of to do’s that crosses my mind in a day. I’d run out of paper, I’m sure.

If I cross off at least two of these items today, I will be thrilled.

Yes, yes, I could very well pop all all of this into my phone or iPad, but creatives are usually tactile people and that is why I love lists on pretty paper or in funky little notebooks.

These are my two favorites.  One is my personal journal and the other what I now will be jotting everything down from ideas for posts, outings, websites, inspirations, etc. etc. etc.

note-books.jpg

Love me some polka dots!

I’d love to write more, but I’m looking at the clock and am panicking that I’m not out the door yet..sigh…I guess this is what a hamster on a wheel feels like.

Happy Friday all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People Can Be So Stooooopid.

Saturday morning the prodigal and I were packing up some of his remaining odd and ends for his move.  He and his gal pal found a really cute apartment and he was leaving the nest.

I live on a quiet residential street where there is a mix of young families, singletons, and older folks.  Nothing crazy ever happens here which is great, considering I live about 15 minutes away from downtown core.

Then, out of nowhere, we heard screeching tires and shouting.   Very unusual for these parts.  My son was curious and stepped out on to the balcony to see what was going on.  Then I heard “what the….MOM CALL THE POLICE! SOMEONE IS BEING KIDNAPPED”

I poked my head out there just long enough to see a guy wearing a mask and throwing someone into the trunk of his car and scream at the other car to go.  My son ran down the stairs to slam and lock the door.  He had been taking pictures and one of the guys looked up and saw him.

So there we both were, practically crapping our pants, waiting for the police to arrive as I was talking with the 911 operator.

Moments later, they were back.  That’s it, we’re goners.  No, wait, the police is right behind them.  Now everyone is laughing.  What??

Turns out this was a bachelor party prank…..are you freaking kidding me?  Do you know how badly this could have turned out? What if the cops shot them up and asked questions later?  These morons sped down the road at about 60 miles per hour.  There are little kids on this street!  They could have hit one of them.  Morons!

idiots everywhere

Flash forward later in the afternoon.  My friend and I attended a folk music festival on the Lachine Canal.  We found a shady spot under a tree and parked our butts on our lawn chairs and enjoyed the music and people watching.  The atmosphere was super chill.

folk music fest

Then the good vibes were were enjoying was interrupted by what I can only assume was the soon to be bride of one of this morning’s band of merry half wits.

Yup, a bachelorette party was in full swing.  While waiting for the light to change, they were leaning out of the limos, screaming and waving penis shaped balloons while honking their horns.

balloon

Oh hello, am I distracting you? Sorry…

Sigh….ok, we get it, you’re getting hitched….now will you kindly shut the eff up and move along?  It was embarrassing, even the performer on stage was momentarily distracted by the sight of a giant pink pecker waving to and fro.

There was a family with little kids sitting near by and before you know it, they were wailing that they wanted balloons too.  Awkward….

Never a dull moment, folks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Weigh-In: 184 lbs :(

This is so ridiculous…one step forward, two steps back.  I am up 2.2 pounds this week.  So, I’m back at 184.

Mind you, I did not track my food or exercise at all last week.  It’s also been crazy humid out here and I know I tend to retain a lot of water when humidity is high.

What I don’t get is my clothes are getting loose around the waist.  I bought two pair of shorts a couple weeks ago that fit perfectly.  They had a little give but nothing crazy.

Around the same time, I bought protein powder and have been having smoothies every morning.  Those same shorts are now loose enough at the waist that I need to wear a belt with them.

Any thoughts?  Could the protein shakes be helping trim down while adding weight?  I don’t really want to give up my morning smoothies.  Since adding protein powder, I feel full much longer and am not reaching for a snack at 10 am at the office.

Do any of you have experience with protein shakes?  Is this normal?  Although I like how clothing is feeling on my body, I really don’t want to see the numbers on the scale get any higher.

I will be extra diligent in tracking food and getting some form of exercise in this week and hope for the best.  Weight loss really is a science, isn’t it?

Happy Monday, all.

The Nest is Almost Empty

Yep, the prodigal will be leaving the nest once more.  I have mixed feelings about it.  Last time he left I felt a great sadness wash over me.  His departure came on the heels of argument.  He was still in school, had a part time job that paid a pittance, and he moved in with his then high school sweetheart and her parents.

Do not get me started on how NOT on board I was with this.  In my mind, this was not how you are supposed to start off your life.  As a parent, it embarrassed me that my son was living there, rent free, with 24/7 access to their daughter.  These folks barely scratched out a living for themselves and now they had an additional mouth to feed.

As predicted, it did not work out.  No too long after he moved there, he started nit picking at little things and complaining.  Their relationship came to an end and since he was still in school and broke, he returned to the nest in November of 2016.

He finished school, worked through his depression and feelings of isolation and started feeling better.  True to form, within about two months, things started turning sour here.  I won’t bore you with the details again, but it can be found in a previous post.

So, take off part 2, is on the horizon in a couple days.  He will be moving out with is new-ish girlfriend and her little son.  This time, I’m not feeling sad.  As much as I love him, I have come to realize that my one and only beloved son is a person with a difficult disposition.  In his mind, every cruel word and feeling of entitlement is justified and deserved.

In a way, some bridges have started to burn between the two of us.  My need for kindness and peace has begun to outweigh family ties. I love him dearly, warts and all. That will never change.  I am just too tired to continue to try to show him how his actions not only hurt others, but himself as well.  The day of live and let live is upon us.

So, I’m releasing him out into the world, wishing him the very best.  He will remain in my prayers, but my days of constant worrying are over. I have to trust that I’ve given him the tools to survive out there and allow him to learn by his mistakes and to grow independently as an adult.

He has hinted a couple times here and there that he needs this, that, or the other thing for his upcoming move.  Once upon a time I would have jumped in and saved the day.  No more.  Now I’m offering suggestions or simply saying nothing.  My job is done.  I know I have been a good parent, even if he does not think so or find fault in every little thing.  I could not have loved more than I have.

It’s a good thing parenting does not come with a manual, folks. If so, I think many of us would have stopped populating the world.  It is a SCARY ride at times with no guarantee of what the outcome will be.  All we can do as parents is do our jobs with love….and a steady supply of wine and/or chocolate!

Stay tuned for more news on the flight of the prodigal.