Saturday, 12 February 2011

Letting Go

It's official - 
I'm now an empty nester!

My eldest daughter has left home.

My eldest daughter.

My son was obviously the first  - he is 35, and left many years ago (Though when I moved from a major city to the countryside, he followed me and now lives in the same village)

My Son

My middle daughter left about four years ago, and my youngest daughter almost two years ago.

My middle daughter, her daughter (my darling granddaughter) and my youngest daughter.

My eldest daughter sort of semi moved out for a while when she was at Uni, but was always back for the holidays and at that time I still had my younger two, but now she too has moved into a home of her own.

Now I have always said that I would know when my job as a mother had been successful - it would be when my children grew up and achieved independence.

Well it's here - it's happened, I am now a "successful" mother, so why am I feeling so sad?

I've tried jokingly to say I'm not losing a daughter but I'm gaining a craft room!
 It doesn't seem to be working though - on a sensible level I feel so proud that I have achieved what I set out to achieve with the birth of each of my babies:

Independence for them -  and for me.

I should be rejoicing. My husband is not the biological father of any of my children (though I hasten to say in the words of my children - he is more a dad than their real dad) but I have been with him since my youngest was only 18 months old. It will be the first time we will actually be able to live together as just the two of us - and it is something I look forward to -


why am I finding it so hard?

Did any of you other lovely ladies out there also feel this sense of loss when the last of their young fled the nest?

All tips will be gratefully received.


  1. Aw..i feel for you i really do..i am dreading the day ..let me explain..i have 4 older children the eldest was 24 this wk and she moved out 3 yrs ago and i think coz she was my first baby i found it really hard..she was not only my girl but my friend too..and the best big sister her 2 little sisters could other girl moved out to live with her boyfriend 5 yrs ago they now have 2 tots of their own,my other girl moved out when she was 17 to live with her chap and she was having a baby son 17 tomorrow has re-assured me he won't leave for a long time lol..i miss my girls badly to start with ..actually it bloody hurt and i cried..but then i got into a new part of my life with 2 little ones again and things to do..i make sure we all meet up once a week for lunch and chat..i keep in touch with them daily ,a text in the morning and a quick chat then again at night..they understand i have my life with their little sisters and brother and they do their own thing too..i love seeing them and my grandchildren..its a madhouse with their 3 and my 2..but i love it...perhaps the only tip i can give is to enjoy the fact that you and your chap have done a great job in raising these wonderful children and that they know that mum and dad will always be there no matter what,where or when...look forward to seeing them and relish the company of them..also relish the company of your hubby and do those things you always wanted to naked cleaning;) your nest is never empty just proud of yourselves..
    take care

  2. They never really move out.... Believe me. My eldest daughter has lived in England, with a family of her own for 18 years and still calls our house "my home"

  3. I can imagine it's quite sad (and quiet) compared to having your daughter there. I can't compare though as we don't have any kids yet to leave home! Enjoy the time to yourselves. :) x

  4. My daughter left for uni 5 years ago and got a job away from home when she graduated..... but she's never really left. Her room is still just the way she left it ... and I wouldn't have it any other way!

  5. Oh honey, I would take heart in what sl.tudor said, it's not an empty nest just a different one.
    I have this to come and I don't know how I will cope either.
    Hugs for you.
    Kandi xx

  6. Well I have zip experience of this but I hope it's a fun time rather than a sad one for you. And look at what lovely children you've raised - they're a great looking bunch!

  7. It is very hard as a mom to see our babies grow up and leave the nest. Part of our identity gets taken away and our everyday contact and interaction with our children is not longer there!
    Your home is now your new home. Its ok to feel the way you feel. Accepting this feelings will make easier to adapt to a new and different kind of every day.

  8. I'm not quite there yet....but I totally feel for you, and know that it will be exactly the same for me....
    You have raised three beautiful, happy children who know they're loved and cherished.
    They're as proud of you as you are of them...

    Enjoy life .... get in that craft room! ;0)

  9. Sorry, but I was pleased when my sons left home and it was then really MY time. OUR time. As a young widow when I met my husband, we never had time to ourselves, so this was a time to relish.
    All of us knew the time had come for them to go their own ways when they did. One was 22 when he left - he is now 40 this year - the other couldn't wait to rush out as soon as he was 18 it seemed. Both had been raised with unconditional love, to have respect for others, to take care of themselves on every level, cooking, cleaning, finances and so on. I was proud I had raised two independent thinking young men, able to go out into the world. My job was done. What's to feel sad about?

  10. It must be strange but I'm sure you'll grow to absolutely love that bit more space and spending tiome with your beautiful daughter will be a lot more precious to both of you. xxx

  11. I know I will feel just like you when mine all leave. I am sure with time you will adapt to your life, I remember my Aunty having a bad time when hers left but now she loves it :-) Take care. x

  12. I've just found you- what a lovely blog!... but oh, this made me sad! I have no advice, but I wanted to offer my support as this post really spoke to me!
    Mine are 3 and 5, and their dad has his own separate life now which is FINE by me, but daunting at times. I know that I'm going to struggle with this when they leave, because theres quite a bond there now to say the least! I do have a lovely fella on the scene who makes the sun shine, and who I'm gradually letting in! I guess you've been there, (now it sounds like I'll be asking YOU for advice!) But your Mummying has been a success as you say, and this is a happy ending :)
    You've had great advice above, and I'm sure that you'll find yourself contented soon enough, but I'll be thinking about your situation. Sending happy thoughts your way. Families, eh?! x


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