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Hoggirl

Fearing criticism, but posting anyway. A different perspective on kids going to college.

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I wil probably get flamed, but I am going to post anyway.

 

Everyone has different experiences when their children leave the nest. None is more valid than any other. Did I cry? Yes, on the plane flying out to meet ds and dh for move in (they had driven the 1,800+ mile journey). Got a catch in my throat when we said the official good-bye. That's it. Ditched the parent dinner to go back to happy hour at the hotel. Went to Vegas on the drive back. Only heard from ds five days later. The only reason he called was because neither his credit card nor his debit card were working when trying to make a purchase at the bookstore. Did not see ds until Thanksgiving. I DO miss him, but he is living the dream. We talk once a week and have intermittent texting.

 

I am not trying in any way to minimize the poster who is having difficulties with her dd starting school. We all handle this change in our own unique ways. However, my absence of a grieving process does not mean I love my ds any less than those who do grieve. I have had friends grieve the fact that they will no longer color Easter eggs with their children. I am THANKFUL that is behind me. Can I just say that I loathe glitter and all types of crafts?

 

On some level, I feel like there is this perverse "contest" as to whom is the saddest/most distraught mom about launching her kid. And, that somehow, whoever is the most distraught, is the best mom. If that is the case, I am a sucky mom. My FB feed has been filled with laments. It's hard. I get it. The dynamics at home are different. I get it. But not everyone struggles.

 

All that to say, if you are a parent who read that other post but didn't really relate, it's okay. Your perspective is valid, too.

 

Flame away.

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No flame here.  I felt the same way when my son left home.  He LOVES where he's at, and I'm so happy for him.

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No flames here. Honestly, I cannot wait until DS goes back to school. He was gone most of the summer but the weeks he has been home have been a struggle. There are 5 of us in a 2.5 bedroom 1 bathroom house and we are on top of each other. No matter how much we love each other there just isn't any space to get away for some down time. We are sharing two cars and now that school is in session there are three drivers who need to be in different places at variable times and it's been interesting keeping schedules in line so everyone has access to a vehicle. Meal schedules are just as crazy as we have three different diets to account for.

 

Plus, DS likes his major advisor (who is also his research advisor and mentor) at his school and is looking forward to his classes. He can't wait to move into his apartment and once again be completely independent. He's looking forward to it; we're looking forward to it.

 

On the other hand, I still have DD and DGD living at home. I cannot wait until they are able to move out. I doubt I'll drop a tear when they finally get their own place. Will it be different? Yes, but I am looking forward to having a home that isn't filled with pre-school toys and other small child paraphernalia. I"m looking forward to having some quiet time with my husband and not having two other people in the house. I want to be able to meal plan for 1 or 2. Do laundry for 2. Watch something rated non-G or PG and not have to worry about little ears or eyes.

 

 

 

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I'm right there with you. My son flew from MD to CA for college, alone.  We didn't go with him and we are extremely unlikely to visit him at college until graduation.  He will be home in Dec for break, but that's it (just too costly to fly back and forth).  I'm totally fine.  In fact, in a lot of ways, I'm glad for the mental space of not having a teenager in the house anymore.  I love him, glad he's having a good time and getting on with his life, etc.  But I'm also getting back some parts of mine.  My house is quieter, and I'm glad.  My kitchen is cleaner, and I'm glad.  He's one less person interrupting my thoughts 200 times per day, and I'm glad.  It's not like he died.  He's not out of my life.  He's getting on with his, which was always the plan.

 

I saw a cartoon that another family member posted on FB about their kid going off to college this year.  It was split down the middle.  On the left side is a picture of a mom, pulling a little kid off a tree that he's grasping, to put him on a school bus.  On the right, the mom has her legs wrapped around the tree, and her arms wrapped around the teen's waist as he's leaving for college.  I couldn't help thinking, as I always have, that it was completely backwards. 

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Same. I may feel differently when my last one flies the coop, but for now I'm just excited to watch where life will take them.

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It was nice to read your post because I was thinking of posting something similar.  We are a very, very close family and love each other dearly.  But when our kids went off to college, I was thrilled!  It really didn't have to do with me at all.  (It wasn't that I was thinking "Good riddance!  I'm free!")  But I was so happy for them.  I was just tickled inside thinking of where they were going and the excitement and challenges they'd be facing as they continued on their new path.  Sure, there were moments of bittersweet feelings, but mostly, I was just thrilled for them.  At times I have felt like a cold-hearted mom when I read Facebook posts from my friends saying "Last dinner together, last morning coffee together on our porch, silent empty home," etc. etc.  I just haven't felt any of that.  It always just seems like such an exciting adventure, and we were/are together again before you know it.  It doesn't mean I love them any less or that we're not a close family.

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It's not like he died. He's not out of my life. He's getting on with his, which was always the plan.

 

Yes. This.

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I wil probably get flamed, but I am going to post anyway.

 

Everyone has different experiences when their children leave the nest. None is more valid than any other. Did I cry? Yes, on the plane flying out to meet ds and dh for move in (they had driven the 1,800+ mile journey). Got a catch in my throat when we said the official good-bye. That's it. Ditched the parent dinner to go back to happy hour at the hotel. Went to Vegas on the drive back. Only heard from ds five days later. The only reason he called was because neither his credit card nor his debit card were working when trying to make a purchase at the bookstore. Did not see ds until Thanksgiving. I DO miss him, but he is living the dream. We talk once a week and have intermittent texting.

 

I am not trying in any way to minimize the poster who is having difficulties with her dd starting school. We all handle this change in our own unique ways. However, my absence of a grieving process does not mean I love my ds any less than those who do grieve. I have had friends grieve the fact that they will no longer color Easter eggs with their children. I am THANKFUL that is behind me. Can I just say that I loathe glitter and all types of crafts?

 

On some level, I feel like there is this perverse "contest" as to whom is the saddest/most distraught mom about launching her kid. And, that somehow, whoever is the most distraught, is the best mom. If that is the case, I am a sucky mom. My FB feed has been filled with laments. It's hard. I get it. The dynamics at home are different. I get it. But not everyone struggles.

 

All that to say, if you are a parent who read that other post but didn't really relate, it's okay. Your perspective is valid, too.

 

Flame away.

 

Your post actually made me laugh.

 

Do I miss the boy? Hell yes!  We share a love for current events and politics. He's way less drama-prone than the older two siblings, both of which are in our area and one of whom still lives at home.

 

That said, he's exactly where he needs to be and there are so many opportunities that I have to be thrilled for him. I have to look for a job and it is time for the next stage.  Yeah I "mourn," but it is also really good that he is thousands of miles away from here. Does that make sense?

 

When that boy tells me that he just wants the preliminary activities to be over and he wants to be in class, I am beyond thrilled.

 

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:thumbup1:   Last year a friend irl explained to me that the reason she was upset when her older child went to college and I was fairly calm about it was that she had a more special, closer  relationship with her child than I had with mine.   Umm, yeah.  Okay.

 

 

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I've had four leave the nest. The odd thing is that each one leaving hit me very differently.

 

I won't get autobiographical on this one, but it still surprises me how some kids leaving turned me topsy-turvy emotionally and some kids leaving left me thrilled for their adventure but nothing more.

 

 

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I wasn't truly upset when DS went to college. A little unsettled or jolted for awhile . . . yeah. But things settled into a new, nice normal very quickly. Very quickly.

 

He's not far away so we see him at least a few times a semester and at all the major breaks. He did a study abroad program this summer but then was home for about six weeks.  And I was glad to have him here for an extended period of time but just between us I was in a pretty good mood two weeks ago today when we moved him to his off campus apartment. ;)

 

I think it's likely I'd feel differently about youngest (for several reasons). But at this point he's adamant about attending local state u so he can come home at night. And I'm perfectly okay with that.

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I'm actually glad to see this post and the responses.  

 

I was beginning to feel like there was something wrong with me for looking forward to my girls going away to college next year.  (Possibly all three at once, so we will go from full house to empty nest!) I'm excited for them. They aren't sitting around lamenting leaving me behind, they are eagerly planning their adult lives.  All this work of raising them is beginning to pay off in functional adults!  

I'm really looking forward to this next stage of life.  I'm TIRED, and am looking forward to the break from the daily push and pull that comes from parenting three smart, strong young women that have their own opinions on EVERYTHING! lol.  I'm looking forward to not having to plan around 5 different opinions on food for dinner/shopping/eating out.  

I will miss them.  I'll probably cry on move in day.  But I don't foresee myself being sad for long, especially once I see that they are doing ok.  Then again, I've never been the mom that longed for the baby/toddler days again, and have enjoyed every new stage of independence they've reached.  

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I wasn't particularly distressed by Calvin leaving home, nor by his travelling around the States on his own the summer before.  He's ready, I was ready.  We spoke weekly and it was lovely when he came home again, but it feels right that he is moving on, and so am I.

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I've had four leave the nest. The odd thing is that each one leaving hit me very differently.

 

I won't get autobiographical on this one, but it still surprises me how some kids leaving turned me topsy-turvy emotionally and some kids leaving left me thrilled for their adventure but nothing more.

 

 

I already know that DS leaving will not be nearly as difficult for me as DD leaving. The relationship with each kid is different, which has nothing to do with the parent loving one more than another.

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This captures feelings well. 

 

I have the additional perspective of one of my dc will not leave home due to disabilities. I will miss my other dc, but they need to move on to the next stage and shape that stage for themselves.

 

Sometimes I grieve the fact that I won't move on to the next stage of parenting and won't get that empty nest to regroup and redesign myself. And I feel guilty for admitting that. 

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Sometimes I grieve the fact that I won't move on to the next stage of parenting and won't get that empty nest to regroup and redesign myself. And I feel guilty for admitting that. 

 

Don't.   :grouphug:

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I have had friends grieve the fact that they will no longer color Easter eggs with their children. I am THANKFUL that is behind me. Can I just say that I loathe glitter and all types of crafts?

 

On some level, I feel like there is this perverse "contest" as to whom is the saddest/most distraught mom about launching her kid. And, that somehow, whoever is the most distraught, is the best mom. If that is the case, I am a sucky mom. My FB feed has been filled with laments. It's hard. I get it. The dynamics at home are different. I get it. But not everyone struggles.

 

All that to say, if you are a parent who read that other post but didn't really relate, it's okay. Your perspective is valid, too.

 

Flame away.

 

No flames, but, as one who really did grieve, I want to clarify that, for me, my feelings had absolutely nothing to do with competing or proving how much I love my kids. Nor were assurances that my kid would "be fine" at all helpful. I had no doubt at all that either of my kids would find their own way and do well in life; my feelings were entirely personal and selfish.

 

I LOVED the crafts. I LOVED homeschooling (even when I hated it). I LOVED baking for the fundraisers and volunteering for the activities. I LOVED attending every interminable, mediocre dance recital and choir concert (and all of the really good performances, too). I had a "career" before kids, and I never had a job I liked anywhere near as much as I loved being a SAHM. For nearly two decades, I built my life around that identity, and I threw myself at it with passion and absorbtion. When my son transitioned to online courses, then dual enrollment and then on to full-time, residential college, I was bereft, especially since my daughter moved 1,800 miles away about two months before my son moved into his dorm.

 

I missed them, as people, of course, but that was only part of the grief for me. The other part was the loss of my role, my vocation.

 

I absolutely don't say this to imply that other moms who didn't/don't struggle as much aren't wonderful parents. For me, though, being a mom was What, I. Did, I went to sleep at night thinking about what was on my agenda for the following day and woke up in the morning thinking about that day's plan. I carried around lists in my purse of homeschooling topics for the next two years and books/materials I wanted to teach them so that, if I found myself killing time in a used or discount bookstore or a library sale, I could search for those items. Much of my leisure reading was centered on education (still is), because I've always found the subject fascinating (still do). When one of my kids developed an interest in something new, I researched and read up on it so that I could enjoy it with him/her. It was messy and frustrating and exhausting and also my whole life.

 

So, when my kids were "done" with me, I felt very much like I imagine that many 65-year-old retirees do: Everyone is telling you how great it is that now you can "relax" and "enjoy your time" and "work on your golf game," but all you can see and feel is that yesterday you had meaningful work you loved and today you don't. Your purpose is gone.

 

I tried. I really did. I threw myself into a new part-time job and set myself all of these goals and made lists of hobbies and things I used to enjoy before motherhood took over. But -- and this is still true two years on for me -- none of it interests me or excites me or absorbs me as much as being my kids' mom did. At this point, I am trying to learn to accept that I probably will not find a substitute and that my life will simply be different (which, for me, equates to less) than it was.

 

To be honest, I really had no clue how hard this would hit me. For many years, I assumed that, as a person who had always had more hobbies and interests than I had the time or energy to indulge, I would miss my kids, sure, but I would bounce back. That's kind of my thing, actually, bouncing back.

 

But, two years later, I'm still not feeling the bounce.

 

I'm not saying my feelings are healthy or normal or "right," but they are real and they are mine, and they have nothing to do with "proving" anything to anyone.

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Sometimes I grieve the fact that I won't move on to the next stage of parenting and won't get that empty nest to regroup and redesign myself. And I feel guilty for admitting that. 

 

You shouldn't feel guilty.  We aren't "supposed" to be in this stage of life forever, so what you are losing is hard and worthy of your grief. :grouphug:

Edited by TammyS
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No flames but a different perspective.

 

My impression is that you are experiencing exactly what you are "supposed" to. I don't know anyone IRL who admits they have had a hard time with their kids leaving. I was supposed to be happy for my kids and thrilled to have my life back now that they are gone. I am happy for them, but I loved my life with them in it, which isn't to say you didn't. I just miss them and in my circles that isn't acceptable. 

 

I think everyone's experience with their kids leaving is unique and right. It is hard, it is easy, it is happy, it is sad. It is all mixed, it is solidly one emotion. No one can tell someone else how to feel. Anyone who feels pressured to experience a major life change in the same way that someone else does will struggle. The experience is unique to the person experiencing it. It is nice to find others that share similar experiences no matter what yours is though.

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My older has wanted to be on his own since he was 12...didnt have the executive function to do it, but it caused so many conflicts that I was happy to drop him off and give him more responsibility for himself. It may cost an extra semester for changing majors, but staying here proved more costly for his classmates as they didnt take responsibility for themselves...lots of legal issues as they stay home and work min wage. Younger ds was my buddy while I was very ill when he was in 9th grade....he wasnt sure he was going to meet any people who were in touch with their souls, but he did and that made it easier for him to fledge. Its great that he found his group. I joke that we are the Rozhenko's.

My mil doesnt want any of her children to leave and made it very difficult for them to do so. The fallout from that helps us with our emotions.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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No flames but a different perspective.

 

My impression is that you are experiencing exactly what you are "supposed" to. I don't know anyone IRL who admits they have had a hard time with their kids leaving. I was supposed to be happy for my kids and thrilled to have my life back now that they are gone. I am happy for them, but I loved my life with them in it, which isn't to say you didn't. I just miss them and in my circles that isn't acceptable.

I find this fascinating. Among my circles, talking about (or posting about) how hard it has been for your child(ren) to leave is worn like a badge of honor.

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I still have three years left before my first will leave though that suddenly seems short.  I suppose I won't get to choose what my feelings will be, but I'd like to focus on the thrill of my child's adventure.  Perhaps I can look to examples like this?

 

I never really noticed the leaving-for-college blogs linked on FB until this year.  I don't like getting too wrapped up in them, as sometimes the emotions can be contagious, like crying at a movie.  Though I am not known for my homemaking skills, there was one part of a blog that I oddly identified with - a mom expressing a great need to make the dorm bed.  I'll probably get over that one before the time comes.

 

What worries me today are all the things, random life skills, that I have yet to teach dd15.  So. many. things.  I know she'll be fine if she can dig deep, learn to rely on herself to figure things out the way I did.  My thought process is starting to get very complicated...

 

Edited by wapiti
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nearly two decades, I built my life around that identity, and I threw myself at it with passion and absorbtion.

 

I missed them, as people, of course, but that was only part of the grief for me. The other part was the loss of my role, my vocation.

 

 

So, when my kids were "done" with me, I felt very much like I imagine that many 65-year-old retirees do: Everyone is telling you how great it is that now you can "relax" and "enjoy your time" and "work on your golf game," but all you can see and feel is that yesterday you had meaningful work you loved and today you don't. Your purpose is gone.

I do understand this loss of identity. I struggled with that when ds moved into his charter school halfway through 9th grade. I had the label of "homeschooling mom." That label was gone as was attending my monthly homeschooling moms meetings. And, it was more abrupt compared to leaving for college, since the change occurred in about two months time and was not really anticipated. I did find my way. I'm sorry it's been difficult. Hugs to you.

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<snip> I don't know anyone IRL who admits they have had a hard time with their kids leaving.<snip>

There is a mom here who is so shaken by her oldest leaving that her group of friends formed a meal train for her. She's having dinner delivered for two weeks while she mourns her change of life. She has four children still at home. I understand that this is one person out of hundreds but I wanted to share an example of how open people in my area are with their emotions.

 

My FB feed has been similar to the OPs - lots of posts about sadness and emptiness. Pics have been posted showing empty bedrooms, empty spots at the dinner table, an empty driveway. There have been pics of dogs and cats lying on the student's empty bed. Of course, when one pic goes up other moms jump on board and follow through with similar pics. There have also been lots and lots of memes about college drop off.  At least there has been a respite from political memes.

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There is a mom here who is so shaken by her oldest leaving that her group of friends formed a meal train for her. She's having dinner delivered for two weeks while she mourns her change of life. She has four children still at home. I understand that this is one person out of hundreds but I wanted to share an example of how open people in my area are with their emotions.

 

My FB feed has been similar to the OPs - lots of posts about sadness and emptiness. Pics have been posted showing empty bedrooms, empty spots at the dinner table, an empty driveway. There have been pics of dogs and cats lying on the student's empty bed. Of course, when one pic goes up other moms jump on board and follow through with similar pics. There have also been lots and lots of memes about college drop off.  At least there has been a respite from political memes.

 

I have not seen any on fb, because I don't have friends who are sending their kids to college this year. Most of my mom's group had their kids start last year, but I was not paying that much attention since DD had started a year earlier than the others.

 

I had wanted to use DD's room as a study, but could not bring myself to work there; for the entire first year, I had a hard time even going in there.

For me, it was partly loss of her companionship, and partly loss of identity. Two years later, I think I have managed the transition.

 

An older friend of mine who had four kids and homeschooled on a secluded farm told me she could not go into her youngest daughter's room for several years after she had moved out.

Edited by regentrude
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<snip>  Though I am not known for my homemaking skills, there was one part of a blog that I oddly identified with - a mom expressing a great need to make the dorm bed.  I'll probably get over that one before the time comes.

 

<snip>

That was me (not the blog but the behavior). When I dropped off DS last year that's all I wanted to do - make his bed. I would strip it and bring his linens home every break and remake it when I dropped him off. Bed making is my love language. :D

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I do understand this loss of identity. I struggled with that when ds moved into his charter school halfway through 9th grade. I had the label of "homeschooling mom." That label was gone as was attending my monthly homeschooling moms meetings. And, it was more abrupt compared to leaving for college, since the change occurred in about two months time and was not really anticipated. I did find my way. I'm sorry it's been difficult. Hugs to you.

 

Mine felt abrupt, too, because my son decided to go ahead and graduate a year earlier than we had anticipated. Basically, one minute he was in his junior year, planning two years of dual enrollment and just starting to look at colleges, and within a couple of weeks, he was a senior and I was helping him figure out essays and applications. The busyness of that year distracted me from what was actually happening.

 

Then my daughter, who had graduated from college young and came back to live with us while she worked and saved for her big move, decided she was going to be ready during the same summer. She bought her plane ticket, booked a temporary place on AirBnB, gave notice at both jobs, packed her stuff and hopped on a plane in June.

 

So, in the space of less than three months, I went from a full-time, SAHM of two teens to an empty-nester with a couple of part-time jobs. What social life I had, which had been based on hanging around with parents at my son's dance school and choir, dissipated overnight. My calendar, which had been filled for years with driving kids/teens around and attending performances to support them and their friends, was suddenly blank.

 

I'm "finding my way." I've been working on nurturing my "encore" career. Six months ago, I started a much more professional job that is more meaningful to me and has potential for growth. In fact, I have an interview this week for a potential promotion (not feeling optimistic about it, because there is at least one more really strong candidate in the department who has been there much longer), I'm enrolled in a series of online courses. I'm doing stuff, but I still mourn the life I had.

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I just dropped oldest ds off a bit over a week ago.  I was so ready for him to go.  Not because he was unpleasant because he really is a fun and compliant kid.  I just felt like it was really time for him to go do his own thing and for our relationship to move into the next phase.  Someone upthread mentioned the daily push and pull of parenting teenagers.  That is what I was feeling needed to end.  It was time for him to go off and make his own way and I really don't want to know his every movement anymore.  He has been such a great kid and easy to raise.  I am just tired.  I have three younger children- two of them teens.  I am tired and ready to start launching.  I have felt guilty like there was something wrong with me because the others in my circle all required theirs to stay home and commute or theirs are going away and the moms are distraught.  This was always the plan.  He was always going to go away.  This is what we all worked so hard together to accomplish.  I really feel like celebrating.  

 

I will say the last day at home was difficult.  Dh, ds, and I were all snapping at each other and generally anxious and grumpy.  I did break down and weep and think I had it all wrong.  But, the next day we took him and dropped him off and there was no teary goodbye and there have been no tears since. I am really happy about the situation.

 

 

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There is a mom here who is so shaken by her oldest leaving that her group of friends formed a meal train for her. She's having dinner delivered for two weeks while she mourns her change of life. She has four children still at home. I understand that this is one person out of hundreds but I wanted to share an example of how open people in my area are with their emotions.

 

My FB feed has been similar to the OPs - lots of posts about sadness and emptiness. Pics have been posted showing empty bedrooms, empty spots at the dinner table, an empty driveway. There have been pics of dogs and cats lying on the student's empty bed. Of course, when one pic goes up other moms jump on board and follow through with similar pics. There have also been lots and lots of memes about college drop off. At least there has been a respite from political memes.

Are they all first gen to college?

 

What I miss most is dinner music...daily instrument practice. And chatting with their private lesson teachers, who were neighbors and moved about the same time as mine went to college. The sad thing is that I have a jealous SIL...so ignoring her jabs takes effort as she tries to convince her brother and mother that college away isnt worth it, the kid is horrible at music, and we are foolish. The good thing is that I have a professional recording of ds's last jazz concert, and I was able to see his summer- in- the- Catskills musical. I am so lucky to have had the neighbors I had.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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I admit I was glad to see ds1 head off to college this fall. There is something about a 19 yo male that needs to be away from his mother. For the good of both of them. I was telling dh that while I miss dd2, I wouldn't want her to come back home. She is doing what she is supposed to be doing and having a pretty good time doing it. I have very few regrets about the time I spent with them when they were home. Which, because of homeschooling, was a lot of time.

To make a purely anecdotal observation, the parents I know who are having a publicly hard time (only a few) are the ones who never saw their kids when they were in high school. Either by kid's never being home or parents who were busy all the time. Since I was boring and we only had one car available, I had probably hundreds of hours with my kids, just in the car, driving to practices. 

 

So while I miss them, it feels normal. And...I have three kids at home to drive around and educate.

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No flames, but, as one who really did grieve, I want to clarify that, for me, my feelings had absolutely nothing to do with competing or proving how much I love my kids. Nor were assurances that my kid would "be fine" at all helpful. I had no doubt at all that either of my kids would find their own way and do well in life; my feelings were entirely personal and selfish.

 

I LOVED the crafts. I LOVED homeschooling (even when I hated it). I LOVED baking for the fundraisers and volunteering for the activities. I LOVED attending every interminable, mediocre dance recital and choir concert (and all of the really good performances, too). I had a "career" before kids, and I never had a job I liked anywhere near as much as I loved being a SAHM. For nearly two decades, I built my life around that identity, and I threw myself at it with passion and absorbtion. When my son transitioned to online courses, then dual enrollment and then on to full-time, residential college, I was bereft, especially since my daughter moved 1,800 miles away about two months before my son moved into his dorm.

 

I missed them, as people, of course, but that was only part of the grief for me. The other part was the loss of my role, my vocation.

 

I absolutely don't say this to imply that other moms who didn't/don't struggle as much aren't wonderful parents. For me, though, being a mom was What, I. Did, I went to sleep at night thinking about what was on my agenda for the following day and woke up in the morning thinking about that day's plan. I carried around lists in my purse of homeschooling topics for the next two years and books/materials I wanted to teach them so that, if I found myself killing time in a used or discount bookstore or a library sale, I could search for those items. Much of my leisure reading was centered on education (still is), because I've always found the subject fascinating (still do). When one of my kids developed an interest in something new, I researched and read up on it so that I could enjoy it with him/her. It was messy and frustrating and exhausting and also my whole life.

 

So, when my kids were "done" with me, I felt very much like I imagine that many 65-year-old retirees do: Everyone is telling you how great it is that now you can "relax" and "enjoy your time" and "work on your golf game," but all you can see and feel is that yesterday you had meaningful work you loved and today you don't. Your purpose is gone.

 

I tried. I really did. I threw myself into a new part-time job and set myself all of these goals and made lists of hobbies and things I used to enjoy before motherhood took over. But -- and this is still true two years on for me -- none of it interests me or excites me or absorbs me as much as being my kids' mom did. At this point, I am trying to learn to accept that I probably will not find a substitute and that my life will simply be different (which, for me, equates to less) than it was.

 

To be honest, I really had no clue how hard this would hit me. For many years, I assumed that, as a person who had always had more hobbies and interests than I had the time or energy to indulge, I would miss my kids, sure, but I would bounce back. That's kind of my thing, actually, bouncing back.

 

But, two years later, I'm still not feeling the bounce.

 

I'm not saying my feelings are healthy or normal or "right," but they are real and they are mine, and they have nothing to do with "proving" anything to anyone.

I could have written this post.  I am in a similar boat ... the loss of identity and, for me, the loss of community.  I had this long-winded, very emotional, over-sharing reply, but I thought I'd save it for another day. 

 

 

 

I find this fascinating. Among my circles, talking about (or posting about) how hard it has been for your child(ren) to leave is worn like a badge of honor.

 

I am so sorry that this is your experience.  Is it really like that, or is it a genuine sharing of a loss that they are struggling with, but one that you just can't identify with?  I haven't seen anything like "badge of honor" posts, but some women who are sharing their lives ... the good and the bad.  

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I have never encountered a mother sharing her grief who was doing it to one-up someone else.  I just think that now with Facebook and social media, people are more open about sharing their feelings online.  I imagine I will be absolutely bereft when DS leaves for college, because I am already feeling the sentimental twinge of having only a sliver of time left with him at home.  I get teary-eyed already thinking about it.  But, as for the mommy wars, and who loves who more, I just don't believe in them.  I think that 99% of us just want someone to relate to, someone to tell them their feelings are valid and okay, whether those feelings are happy and excited for your children's next phase of their journey, or sorrowful and mourning for the loss of the everyday-ness with them.  Or some of both.  Because that is absolutely possible too.  

 

I enjoyed reading this article that was passed around recently from the Momastery blogger:

 

http://momastery.com/blog/2013/06/21/quit-pointing-your-avocado-at-me/

 

OP, I think it is awesome that you are celebrating your children's launch!

 

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I'm not sure you're right in your assessment that people are trying to one-up each other with grief.  Here on the boards is the only place where I've heard parents being sad at their kids leaving.  My oldest is 14 so I have time before it's me with the child leaving, but I know myself and I know I'll be very, very, very sad.  Probably cry quite a bit and hurt inside for a while.

 

But I'm the only person in my circle of friends who thinks like me.  I have two of them very loudly and happily proclaiming with glee that their kids are finally (!) out of the house.  The others figure they'll be a bit misty-eyed but overall have raised their kids with the idea that they'll move out asap and they are looking forward to that day.

 

I guess it all depends on where you are and who you're around.  Most of my friends feel as you, the OP, do.  I come here to catch a glimpse at the people who seem to be more like me. 
 

And, actually, rather than thinking I'm the Best Parent for being sad that they'll go, I've wondered what the heck is wrong with me that all my friends are glad their kids will leave and I'm the only one sad at the thought.  I figured I was probably overly involved and too dependent on my family.  I certainly don't think it makes me the Best Parent.  I've worried that it makes me weak or clingy.  (Which is kind of funny because my dh and friends all tell me I'm overly-independent and should learn to rely on others more.  Sigh.)

 

It's ok that you're content moving on to a new stage in life.  It's ok that other people are shaken and sad at the change.  I think you're right that none of us should feel bad for how it plays out in our lives.  It's ok if we react differently.

 

 

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Well, I have 2 college students still living at home.....they are messy and seldom present to clean up after themselves. I love them; I'm glad they have jobs and like school and have friends, but I find myself wishing they were somewhere stuck with their *own* mess sometimes!!

 

DS graduates this spring and plans to live @ home and pay rent for awhile....the money will be nice, but we are going to have some new RULES!! (Since they've been so effective so far. hahahaha)

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No flames.  Everyone deals with loss and grief differently.

Your way is definitely less stressful. I've been on both sides of this fence, and I choose not to spend my life in grief from all my losses (not just this one of the kids leaving). 

That doesn't honor God and it doesn't make anyone else happier either, including me. 

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No flames.  Everyone deals with loss and grief differently.

 

Your way is definitely less stressful. I've been on both sides of this fence, and I choose not to spend my life in grief from all my losses (not just this one of the kids leaving). 

 

That doesn't honor God and it doesn't make anyone else happier either, including me. 

You really think it is a choice?  That those of us who keenly grieve these losses can just choose not to do so?  Oh, how I wish I could just CHOOSE not to.  Really, I do.  I am sick to death of grief.  Sometimes I would wish to just not feel at all.  But that isn't a real choice either.

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You really think it is a choice?  That those of us who keenly grieve these losses can just choose not to do so?  Oh, how I wish I could just CHOOSE not to.  Really, I do.  I am sick to death of grief.  Sometimes I would wish to just not feel at all.  But that isn't a real choice either.

 

This. I was going to comment the same thing.

Nobody chooses depression. Grief can put a person in a ugly downward spiral. To imply that this is a choice is  insulting to people who really struggle.

Edited by regentrude
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 I choose not to spend my life in grief from all my losses 

That doesn't honor God and it doesn't make anyone else happier either, including me. 

 

I am happy for you that you handle losses this well.

 

For most people, grief and depression is not a choice. Many who struggle would give everything NOT to be grieving. Comments like this are, frankly speaking, insulting to them. It's like telling a depressed person to pull herself together.

 

Not cool.

Edited by regentrude
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You really think it is a choice?  That those of us who keenly grieve these losses can just choose not to do so?  Oh, how I wish I could just CHOOSE not to.  Really, I do.  I am sick to death of grief.  Sometimes I would wish to just not feel at all.  But that isn't a real choice either.

 

I've lost nearly everyone in my life, so I know a thing or two about grief.  Sure, you wallow for awhile; we are all human.  At some point, you've got to pull it together and go on and that is a choice.  That's what the people you no longer have would have wanted. 

 

I've been mired in something bad for a few years, actually.  I was having no effect on the issue by grieving all the time, except to be miserable myself and make others around me unhappy too.    That's not going to help anything, and only hurts me. 

 

 It finally penetrated when I read somewhere that if a burden is too heavy for you to carry it, put it down.  Instead, I had been praying for God to help me carry it.  Jesus (for the Christian here, but sure there are similar ideas in other faiths) said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  It was too heavy because I wasn't supposed to be carrying it.

 

I'm sleeping at night again. 

 

Just sharing my thoughts.  I don't know what your issue is, of course, but keep on moving through the valley of the shadow of death.  Don't live there.  Life is too short and everyone else suffers too when you do. 

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OP, no flames. Just happy for you that you process this differently and that you can identify it as such. I wouldn't wish the heart wrenching grief on anyone. If you can deal with it differently, and with a lighter heart, all the more power to you! There really should be no contest when it comes to being moms. It is just so pointless and unnecessary. We already have so much to bear.

Edited by quark
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I am happy for you that you handle losses this well.

 

For most people, grief and depression is not a choice. Many who struggle would give everything NOT to be grieving. Comments like this are, frankly speaking, insulting to them. It's like telling a depressed person to pull herself together.

 

Not cool.

 

Not right.  For goodness sakes, I'm only talking about ME, just as the OP was only talking of her own reaction, not smearing everyone else who responds differently.  Do what you want. 

 

I don't handle them well, actually.  I'm pretty sucky at grieving  and have spent a lot of years grieving over various losses. starting at a rather early age.  I can get down in the pit with the best of them.  

 

But I'm not staying there.  Life is too short and too much time is gone.  I'm not robbing those I have left of whatever little bit of good I have left to give.  I'll still fall down every now and then and maybe frequently, but, by golly,  I'm getting back up until I take my last breath. 

 

So have a bad day or hour or weekend.  I've even made appointments with myself to have them.   Then, I say to myself, in true Scarlett O'Hara fashion, "Well, I'm not going to think about that today.  I'll think about that tomorrow".

 

No wonder my mom took me to see that movie half a dozen times, starting at the age of 6.  Funny. 

Disclaimer: Just talking about ME.  How *I* have to handle it and have chosen to view it.  Others can do what they want. 

 

Edited by TranquilMind
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You really think it is a choice?  That those of us who keenly grieve these losses can just choose not to do so?  Oh, how I wish I could just CHOOSE not to.  Really, I do.  I am sick to death of grief.  Sometimes I would wish to just not feel at all.  But that isn't a real choice either.

 

I can't tell you how many times I have prayed not to feel at all.  Just to be numb.  It didn't work. 

 

We are going to feel. 

 

 

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OP, no flames. Just happy for you that you process this differently and that you can identify it as such. I wouldn't wish the heart wrenching grief on anyone. If you can deal with it differently, and with a lighter heart, all the more power to you! There really should be no contest when it comes to being moms. It is just so pointless and unnecessary. We already have so much to bear.

That's it, in a nutshell. 

 

We all have so much to bear, which is why we need each other.  Someone has to be strong when I am weak, and I can be strong for others when they are weak. 

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No flames.  Everyone deals with loss and grief differently.

 

 

Not the OP, but for myself, I don't feel it as a loss.  I feel it as the next right thing. I'm not grieving.  At all.

 

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Not the OP, but for myself, I don't feel it as a loss.  I feel it as the next right thing. I'm not grieving.  At all.

 

Now that's a good attitude, and one I try to keep too, regarding the kids.  I'm successful, a lot of the time.  That's something. You are right. They are doing what they need to be doing. 

 

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I am so sorry that this is your experience. Is it really like that, or is it a genuine sharing of a loss that they are struggling with, but one that you just can't identify with? I haven't seen anything like "badge of honor" posts, but some women who are sharing their lives ... the good and the bad.

I have no way of knowing what people's motivations are. I do know that I don't identify with it, so you are correct there. I have encountered people in life who are chronic one-uppers, regardless of whether the topic is achievement and success or loss or difficulties.

 

The social media angle is interesting. I have one friend who refuses to be on Facebook - she refers to it as Fakebook. Ha ha!

 

As I originally posted, I'm not trying to minimize anyone's feelings. As many have said or alluded - everyone handles life changes differently. I don't like mommy wars either.

 

We all come to the place of launch with different experiences and backgrounds. I have certainly known grief. I just didn't experience it with ds going to college.

Edited by Hoggirl
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:thumbup1:   Last year a friend irl explained to me that the reason she was upset when her older child went to college and I was fairly calm about it was that she had a more special, closer  relationship with her child than I had with mine.   Umm, yeah.  Okay.

 

Oh my.  That's horrible.   :mellow:

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