Empty nest can’t stop crying

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  • #50620 Report


    My two sons are my world. I have brought them up on my own whilst going through, divorce, debt, their father abandoning them, illness, the list goes on. My youngest has gone off to uni and my eldest has just dropped the bomb shell, he is moving out to be with his gf. Whilst I take my hat off to him for all that he has achieved in life I am left in a complete state of devastation. He is only 22 and has taken on a mortgage. I understand he wants to put down roots and foundations, whilst wanting to be with his gf. For the last nine years he has been my right hand man always looking out for me. It’s always been just me and the boys. The thought of empty bedrooms, no laughing children, coming home to an empty house is making me feel quite ill. In fact the last 24 hours I have spent crying. It’s also the feeling of being no longer required my job is done. Memories of firsts like buying school uniforms etc just makes me cry even more. Truthfully I feel selfish for feeling this way but it hurts my heart is broken. I would give anything to turn back time. The love I have for my kids is out of this world. Please tell me this gets better because I am not in a good place at the moment.

    #50628 Report



    sorry that your going through all this. My kids are aged 7 and under so now idea how this feels. Take a look at this, has some tips for coping:



    #50652 Report



    I imagine it feels pretty awful right now ,knowing the loneliness that looks ahead.As long as you feel obsolete and that your job is finished you will feel like this.If you have some spare time and some love left in your heart maybe you could help someone else now.Personally as a single mum with no in laws or parents to love my kids I’ve always felt terrible that I cannot provide that for them and ide Love to adopt a granny kind of thing.(not saying ur old btw at all)I bet there’s someone near you who would really appreciate that.It’s so hard to give my kids time,attention and fun when I have to deal with so many other important things.

    Your experience of the struggles of single parents is valuable.Somebody somewhere will bless you!! The world needs people like you.

    #50667 Report


    Thanks for your advice. I also have no parents, no extended family or in laws. I always knew this day would come but not so soon. Still trying to get my head around it all as it came out the blue.

    #50668 Report


    Horrible isn’t it.Not much of a comfort, but there must be loads of people like this.And it’s not like we are in middle of a war or anything.It’s unnatural but people manage it somehow.💗

    #50674 Report


    Hi Spring2121,

    You are right. All good mothers were, are and will feel like you. Mine are 14 and 8 and I will feel like you when the moment arrives. I want to say I believe we always feel our job is done and our nest is now empty. But, we have to be happy and let them to know we always be there for them. We are there for any issue, any problem, any happiness, any moment they want to share with us, now or in the future, for them, for their girlfriends, boyfriends, whatever they need, we are there. I would suggest to communicate your happiness to them so they see you as a mum, a friend, always there. I would suggest you help other mothers they are struggling to combine children and work. You are the best person who another mother can need.

    #50684 Report


    Hi, so sorry you are feeling like that but I hope I can reassure you that it does get better. Start of last year, I had a busy household – me, my husband, son of 22, daughter 20, son of 12 and son of 25 who had only just moved out, which I was heavily involved in. Jan 9th my husband left to move in with his affair girlfriend, my world turned upside down, kids were shocked and I was up to my neck in his debt. I focused on the practical stuff, increasing my hours to full time so I could remortgage and buy my own house in my own name and consolidate onto a huge mortgage. By September,  my daughter had moved into uni halls and my son had started working away from home. My youngest is now of the age, where it’s not cool to sit with your mum but spends every waking hour in his room screaming at the xbox. Within 9 months I’d gone from living in headache mansion, never getting 5 mins to myself, to living in virtual solitude with nothing but time on my hands – coupled with a global pandemic and no friends or family allowed to visit. Like you, I was counting down til they went and I hated it. But 6 months on, I’m actually starting to enjoy my own company.

    I think I’d spent so many years, feeling guilty if I did anything for myself, that it was surreal to have to find things to do and be ok with my own company. I gave myself permission to feel upset and took each day as it came. I also cut myself some slack by not feeling guilty if I did stuff for me. I’d been a mother for all those years, felt odd not to have that role. I will always be mum but the dynamic changes when you realise your fledglings are grown up and independent. I know my youngest is still with me so it’s not quite the same, but 6 months on and I’m ok with it. Instead of feeling sad, I feel proud of the young adults I have created. I look back at when they were little and yearn for them to be like that again and occasionally I shed a little tear, but I accept that’s normal and I’d be a very unfeeling person if I didnt feel like that. Theres now a small window for me to get ‘me’ back before I inevitably end up a grandparent (well maybe) and my house will be full again but on a transient basis.

    Its cos you were such a great mum and invested so much in your kids that you feel broken hearted when they leave. The hurt is testament to how much you love your kids. They havent stopped being your babies but the dynamic of you relationship has changed and you can look on them as your friends. Try to enjoy the quality time together when you see them, but also you can  indulge yourself – it’s your time to shine.

    #50701 Report


    Hi Spring

    I’m so sorry for what you are going through. I can hear it’s heart wrenching for you. I have two boys too and I dread the day they leave. They are exhausting and I often to lose my temoer but zi would do well to remember these days are short.

    Big hugs to you 🤗

    #50702 Report


    I am so sorry u feel so sad.

    When i feel that way, what helps me is the knowledge that nothing is permanent.

    You could walk into the baker’s tomoro and meet the love of your life, but only if u are open to the option.

    I advise u to put a smile on your dial. Lots of us older single men r only interested in getting together with older single women.  I live 8,000 miles away so pls don’t take that the wrong way.

    I’m pretty sure that, like us all, u have already had lots of ups and downs in life. You are just at one of life’s ebbs at the moment, it will get better


    #50715 Report


    I can only imagine how this feels, as i have not experienced it myself as I have 2 young children. My heart goes out to you! Firstly congrats on raising what seems to be 2 well adjusted young men, that in itself is worth just patting yourself on the back (mortgage at 22, impressive!). I can only imagine how the loneliness feels, but you can at least say you have done a good job, and they will never STOP needing their mother, you will always be their no.1! So know you are also needed and wanted. As for the time without the hussle and bustle in the house, maybe it would be a good time to rediscover yourself and what interests you have, any new things you want to take up – woodworking, yoga, getting fit? I honestly believe that if you really want to make them happy and proud, you will do whats right for ‘you’ first. Try to see this as an opportunity to find yourself / your identity… Also support bubble is important, you cant do this on your own. For those who are lucky to have family, go to them, otherwise theres a tonne of forums andgroups online… Just know that whatever your going through you are not alone. Reach out to people for help if you need to . If you have a little extra funds, i would also suggest councelling (go to BACP website) just to talk through things and make sense of whats happening. You need to always MODEL behaviour for your kids – show them that you can make lemonade from lemons 😉

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