It's Not You, It's Me

Way before my daughter left for college I heavily resisted reading about the 'Empty Nest Syndrome'. I knew what it was, I knew I'd feel it and I didn't want to feel sad before I had to. But one day I did. All of the websites had basically the same information but one I landed on (and now can't find again) said something a little different that I really understood.

It said that it might not be so much that we miss our children but more how we feel about our own life and what it means for us when they leave. It's a new phase in our lives; we're dealing with our parents and our own aging issues.

I was not a young person when I had my daughter and so I could not relate with anyone my age about having a newborn. Now the same is true, everyone my age is a Grandparent taking on whole new (fun) roles. I'm kind of stuck in the middle; an empty nester with an aging parent AND Grandchildren.

So WHO am I? I didn't know who I was before I had her; how in the Hell am I supposed to know now? A part of my life is over and it will never be the same. It feels like I am missing a body part; one that I don't really NEED but sure miss. Some of the advice I read suggested to get a hobby, travel, do volunteer work and blah blah blah. If I could afford to do all of that I would be doing it already. I have no one to talk to; to relate to. As with many things, if you haven't lived it, then you don't understand.

I have known a woman ever since our girls were little. Although not great friends we see or talk to each other occasionally. She lives close by so a few weeks ago I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk. She talked the entire time; about herself and church politics and a little about her daughter. She laughed when I told her how often the Kid and I talk. Her daughter is going to school across the state and is happy to be independent and doesn't have the need to talk to her Mom every day. We walked for maybe an hour and she talked the whole time; I tried to get a word in 3 times then just gave up. As it was time for me to turn at my corner and go home she said "Oh I've talked the entire time again, you should interrupt me. What's new with you?" I give up.

Even while looking for pictures on Google all I see are happy smiling older couples. Give me a break. Where are the sad pictures of crying Mommies? The Moms that hate Sunday nights coming home alone and the lonely Monday mornings with no one to wake up, the ones of Mom restraining herself to send that text or email? I know it will get better in time but for now it sucks and I feel pretty darn alone in it all.


Anonymous said…
Sometimes change makes our world topsy-turvy. It will get better with time, but so what, it still sucks.
Grumpy said…
I'm not a mother or even a parent so I won't presume to understand what you're feeling. But you'll get through it.

Weekend-Windup said…
Spending time with kids is very nice.
I have stopped my job to be with my kid. I have missed many things of my kid when he was small.

Kids growing independent is also good but in some ways they need to depend their parents.

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