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Ottakee

Empty Nest----harder on the mom or the dad?

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Just wondering what those of you in the empty nest stage think.........or have heard from others in that stage.  Is it harder on the mom or dad?

 

I have seen a few families lately where it seems much harder on the dad to be an empty nester than it is on the mom.  I would have thought moms would struggle more with this than the dads but I guess it is quite individual.

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MOM!  I guess it depends on the individual, but my dh will be doing a happy dance.  Me, not so much.  Ds is graduating and I think dh is giddy.  I'm a whimpering mess.  

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A little of both here. Dd moved to Japan and it's killing dh. They text message almost every morning about 4 Am our time, and he loves to 'talk' to her.   Me, I remember her angsty teen years and her messy habits and I'm ok with her growing up and spreading her wings.   I'll be glad to see her when she comes back, but she's planning to spend the next few years there and I'm ok with that. 

But ds is leaving next month and I'm already missing him. Dh isn't having as much trouble with ds leaving as I am, and certainly not as much trouble as he's had letting go of dd!  All in all, I think dh is having a tougher time.

 

I wonder for us if it's this way because moms naturally have more clashes with daughters and dads clash more with sons.  

 

 

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Around here, my husband had a lot of trouble initially. For example, he refused to have our son move into the bedroom our daughter had vacated, even though our daughter and I both thought that had been the plan. He had trouble even walking past her empty room. Then, when our son went to college a couple of months later, my husband would get emotional just hearing songs on the car radio that reminded him of road trips with our son. And he spent a lot of evenings at home not knowing what to watch on TV because he was "saving" all of the shows to watch together next time our son was home for a weekend.

 

However, he seemed to adjust relatively quickly.

 

I weathered the initial separation(s) better than I expected, perhaps because there were things to take care of and I was starting a new part-time job and adjusting to the new routine. But once the dust settled, I realized I just felt . . . lost. I read all kinds of articles and advice online about how to cope, and I've tried to be good and patient and have faith that things will get better. But mostly I still feel like I'm just marking time until the next time one or both of them will be home. A few days after I moved my son out of the dorm and brought him home for the summer, I completely melted down when I realized that an entire school year had passed and I wasn't feeling any better.

 

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Dh had, and still has, a much tougher time. When ds left for college he mourned for weeks. He just left again for a summer research job and dh cried a bit at the airport.

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XH is loving this stage so much more than the earlier years and thriving as the proud pappy of young adults.

 

As far as my own BTDT experience as an empty nester, it's not rocket science to read between the lines of my signature.

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I'm not anywhere near empty nesting yet. But I imagine when the time comes, DH will be the one most affected. He has stuff in common with the kids (fun Dad). I'm just Mom.

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I teared up just a little when oldest left.  I was SO happy for him to start his new adventure.  Plus, I REALLY wanted to concentrate on my middle son who seemed to get the short end of the stick much of the time.  So I was absolutely fine.  My husband, on the other hand, cried..  He had trouble sleeping.  He drove middle son and I crazy for the first few weeks asking if we had heard from him.  ( No, but I really didn't expect to...)  He really took it hard.  For him, it is the end of a family dream...  For me, it means freedom...  I mean, I will miss them, but they haven't died!!!!  I can still talk to them.  I guess I'm just dysfunctional, but I think of all the fun things we can do when it is just the two of us..  

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We're not there yet, but I can't possibly imagine that DH will be affected more than I will.  I am trying to mentally prepare for this day, but I know that I will be inconsolable.  I definitely am not looking forward to it.  

 

That being said, I don't think that DH will be in good shape either.  Our lives will be so much emptier.  

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Not sure why it has to be hard for anyone. I do realize it *is* hard for some people, and I don't want to deny them their feelings, but I'm pretty sure my parents were both happy when my younger brother finally moved out and they had an empty nest. My mom also wasn't one of the moms crying at the first day of kindergarten drop-off.

 

For me, it's way too early to say how I'd feel about an empty nest - that's still too far away. However, one of the reasons I don't want another baby is that that would add about 5 years to the about 13 years I have left before B would graduate.

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Dh is already lamenting this and NONE of ours are moving out any time soon .....if ever due to their special needs. He likes having an 11 year old foster boy.

 

I honestly don't know if we will ever be empty nesters between our kids and continuing to foster.

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I won't have an empty nest--youngest will always be here.

 

However, I will miss the older two.

 

Oldest is taking a little longer to go than the normal life path. I think for that reason I won't miss him so much. I will worry about him. I will look forward to talking to him.

 

I think I will miss dd terribly. We talk. She involves me in her life. We do things together. We take little road trips with her younger brother. I know my youngest will miss her terribly too. She's his friend and his fierce advocate. So, while I'm missing her I'm sure I will have help ds deal with his feelings too.

 

Dh has a good relationship with both the olders, but they don't have activities they've bonded over. They do watch movies together and a few TV shows.

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Not sure why it has to be hard for anyone. I do realize it *is* hard for some people, and I don't want to deny them their feelings, but I'm pretty sure my parents were both happy when my younger brother finally moved out and they had an empty nest. My mom also wasn't one of the moms crying at the first day of kindergarten drop-off.

 

For me, it's way too early to say how I'd feel about an empty nest - that's still too far away. However, one of the reasons I don't want another baby is that that would add about 5 years to the about 13 years I have left before B would graduate.

Our youngest lived at home during secondary education. Dh and I are thrilled he is now living on his own. Happy dances all around because he has become a successful human adult. WooHoo!

 

When I married and moved out, my parents started having a lot of fun. They put in a pool, went backpacking, and other stuff. I was the first to leave home, so they weren't even empty nesters for a few more years. THey just decided to have some fun!

I'm glad because my dad died a few short years later....

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Not empty nesters as in all kids gone since I have large age gaps between older two and younger two. My oldest moved out about year ago at first it was hardest on me but now it seems harder on his dad. Second son is getting ready to move out and it seems harder on Dh. I know dsl 2 is ready, it's time for him to be out on his own.

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It's been much harder on me than on my dh.  Like dc said, 'we hardly ever saw him anyway'.  Dh just kept on working his 12-hour days, business as usual for him.  I've had to (am having to) redefine my whole life.  I suppose it didn't help me much that they all basically left at the same time either.  Maybe if they had left one at a time over a space of many years .... 

 

Yes, I think those two things have made this more difficult for me, too.

 

My daughter graduated from college early and then moved back home for about three years, working and waiting to get old enough to rent her own place. Then my son decided to go to college a year earlier than we had thought he would, which meant that my daughter moved out (1,000 miles away, no less) during the same summer that my son graduated from high school and moved into his dorm.

 

That one-two punch was really hard.

 

I was also in the process of coming to grips with leaving the church of which I had been a member for 14 years.

 

So, basically, within the same year, I lost my kids, my vocation (homeschooling mom) and my faith community, and all I've so far found to replace those is a couple of part-time jobs. I still kind of feel like I haven't caught my breath.

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Not sure why it has to be hard for anyone. I do realize it *is* hard for some people, and I don't want to deny them their feelings, but I'm pretty sure my parents were both happy when my younger brother finally moved out and they had an empty nest. My mom also wasn't one of the moms crying at the first day of kindergarten drop-off.

 

For me, it's way too early to say how I'd feel about an empty nest - that's still too far away. However, one of the reasons I don't want another baby is that that would add about 5 years to the about 13 years I have left before B would graduate.

 

I had no clue how difficult this would be for me. 

 

In fact, I suspect if you searched the boards a few years back, you might find posts in which I talked about how I knew I would miss my kids, but I was looking forward to time and space to pursue all of the things I hadn't had an opportunity to explore during my mommy years. 

 

I also really thought that I would adjust. I had sent my daughter to college already, which I expected to be very tough but turned out to be okay. And I fully expected I would handle this transition, too.

 

I had no clue.

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I had no clue how difficult this would be for me. 

 

In fact, I suspect if you searched the boards a few years back, you might find posts in which I talked about how I knew I would miss my kids, but I was looking forward to time and space to pursue all of the things I hadn't had an opportunity to explore during my mommy years. 

 

I also really thought that I would adjust. I had sent my daughter to college already, which I expected to be very tough but turned out to be okay. And I fully expected I would handle this transition, too.

 

I had no clue.

 

Well, it happened somewhat unexpectedly because your son moved out a year sooner than you thought, and whatever happened that made you lose your faith community probably wasn't fun. Under different circumstances an empty nest might have been easier. Which is not to say it couldn't have surprised you in being harder than expected.

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We aren't there yet. The oldest is in college now and the baby is ten months. ;)

 

But DH is already excited at the prospect of time with just me and him. I'm e cited for that time too but hoping we'll definitely gave grandkids around to help fill the nest part time! ;)

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I still have 3 at home, but when my older dd was moving out, dh and I were cleaning out her room.  I walked in to find him sitting on the bed with tears.   He said he needed a few moments alone.  I knew I would miss her, but at the same time I was so excited for her next adventure in life.  Looking back, I think I did take it better than dh.  Fortunately, our older two live in the area so we see them frequently.  I think it would be much harder if they were moving out of state.

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I miss my oldest kids but not excessively. Do positively gets depressed that three are gone. Heaven help me when the last one leaves. I think he feels time going by and I see freedom.

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Can't speak for others, but there is absolutely no question that it is/would be harder for me.

I don't have an empty nest yet, but already miss my oldest when he spends the night elsewhere--no, I am not a clingy mom, but I can torture myself with a picture of the future and how lonely my mom was (my dad died when we were young) when we all left.

I am having empty nest feelings for my friends whose children have already left the nest.

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I know with my parents, it is my dad. My 27 and 25 year old brother and sister are finally leaving, and he really has tried to keep them home as long as possible. (They were gone for college and long mission trips)

 

It wouldn't surprise me if he found a poor college student or homeless highschooler and moved them into the empty rooms. He is an extrovert and will be so lonely. But my step-mom says he'd better not.

 

Our kids are tiny, so it's hard to tell. But my husband is so close to them now, that he will probably miss them as much, maybe more. The mom usually has the job of nagging them to do things and clean up, and helping organize their schedules, do paperwork. It's understandable that the mom would want a break more if the dad mostly does the fun stuff. Also, I think about things ahead of time. My husband won't believe his baby girl is old enough for college till the day we drop her off.

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Loosing DD to college and marriage was harder on DH than I. They were super close. But, after all three boys are gone - one graduates this year, one next year, and then I have only two years left with the youngest - I think my period of adjustment may be a little tougher because in a whirlwind I'll be out of the job that has kept me busy for so long...at that point a sixteen year stretch of homeschooling that was preceded by a two year break from a four year stretch prior to that.

 

But, I'm planning on going back into the workforce so will have something new to keep me busy which I hope will make it all smooth over fairly quickly.

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Although ds and ex haven't lived together for a few years, I'm pretty sure ex will take it much harder. Ds and I have discussed his plans on where to live as an adult and where he wants to transfer. I know ex will miss the physical closeness and really has no clue why ds wants to live abroad. 

 

I've had years to mentally prepare for him to leave knowing that's his goal. However, I do worry about being lonely. I like ds being around. My cat is old, my dog is old. I don't imagine the cat will still be around when ds moves out for good. I'll be fighting against my own desire to get a new pet after their gone. I may distract myself with grad school instead. 

 

 

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