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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4 thoughts on “Empty Nest and the Single Parent

  1. Hi! I do not have any kids yet so I am the last person to give advice specific to your situation. But what I can tell you is that when times have been rough or on days I have felt alone, leaning on God has always gotten me through. Jesus is always there for you! I will pray for you and I hope things start looking up!

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  2. It’s just me at home now too… I’ve been a couch potato watching movies, my house is a wreck, and I eat more take-out than I ever have. Let me just say, I’m an outgoing person who loves having people around. I just have no friends. I mean…none.
    I’ve been on MeetUp and have found some game night groups, adult coloring groups, and even some ballroom dancing and crochet groups… still, no friends.
    I’ve taken to having crafts all over the house with no energy to continue any of them.
    I text my kids and say goodmorning, send love and hugs, say goodnight, ask if they want to come for dinner a week from sunday, ect.. my daughter usually bails and my son and girlfriend come for a few hours.
    My daughter’s doing alright..good job, lives with boyfriend(also good job)…my son was a musician, now works very long hard hours laying brick and concrete. I worry about him more than my daughter because he’s always been the one worrying about me. When I sported the front that I was very happy and helped him in every decision he wanted help with and stayed out of the ones he didn’t…and continued to sport the front that I was happy…he didn’t feel the need to have a responsibility to me any more. He was able to break away (as they should) and make a life for himself.
    I will always be here for them. I have made it known, and left it alone.
    I am quietly sad and lonely and misplaced and getting fatter lol but the front of being alright with my life is what my kids need right now.
    The more I do it, the more I MAKE myself go to game night, adult coloring, ect… the more I realize for myself there are things I can do to improve the way I feel and it becomes less of a front.
    but for now, because I get energy from doing for others, I have to tell myself…I need to be active and do things because my kids need to see me being active and doing things. I am not there responsibility. Not yet anyway, lol.
    Just thought I’d share. Love to you ❤

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    • Thank you for your honesty and for sharing what many have a hard time owning up to. If your children are not knocking on your door 24/7 needing something, it means you have done a good job in raising them and preparing them to be adults. Pat yourself on the back for that. Keep the lines of communication open and be gracious with what time they do give you. You have the right attitude; force yourself to go out. Making friends as adults is difficult but not impossible. Love to you as well my brave friend. Hang in there and get off that couch! 🙂

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