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with Natalie caine

Empty Nester, what do I want to be when I grow up…

June 23, 2005 | by Natalie Caine | 24 Comments

By Anonymous Mom |

I am an empty nester who loves being a mom.  I don’t love my career
anymore and now I have to figure out “What DO I WANT TO BE WHEN I GROW

Coping with the quiet house and no fussing over meals, and soccer
games is a big hole for me.  That is just part of the darkness.  I was
on committees at her school and did morning car pool when she was

We watched old videos of her with Kleenex and popcorn tossed on the
floor, right before her send off to college.  HOW could this go so
fast?  I never thought about empty nest until she was a junior in high
school. WOULDN’T have done me any good to plan ahead.  I still can’t
plan to not cry.  She is my only baby and there will be no more little
girl twirling, singing old McDonald had a farm, calling my name
everyday, bounding in for a quick bite and then off to practice, no
friends dropping in for pizza or study groups, no Halloween costume
changes, no school events to see those friends I too looked forward to
hanging around with and talking about our kids….the automatic,
belonging club of MOMHOOD. 

To be honest, although, I could fake it and put on the brave , oh it
is no big deal hat, I cried and cried when I drove away from her
standing on the brick steps of her freshman dorm.. She didn’t see me
sobbing . I didn’t see her blow me a kiss.

For weeks I had no energy or motivation to talk much or go out.  I
did work and do my have to list, but then I hid in bed, cried and
wondered, if I should call her or wait for her to call me. I don’t want
to interfere in her new life, but gee, why doesn’t she call or email

I let myself just be a slug . My exercise routine flattened . 

My husband asked how I was doing and I told him I actually felt
depressed.  I was so surprised at feeling lonely for her and not having
much energy or smiles.  The build up of graduation, party at home, hugs
and tears, and then the excitement and anxiety of moving her into the
brick stone freshman dorm, ended and we were silenced from the emotions
and the drain of the intensity and joy. 

The let down  was like a gutter ball down the narrow bowling alley.  “THUD”

After about two months, I began walking, just to get out of myself.

My daughter and I talked about once a week and emailed.

My husband and I saw more movies than ever in our life.  We tried playing monopoly after work and then switched to scrabble. 

 We meandered with no “zippety-do dah” and didn’t have all the
details of life to fill up time or fill up our conversations.  So we
got bored and after all this nothingness, we began to ask ourselves…NOW

What about us…what do we want to do with our life? That was a big question that we answered with one plan.. 

We decided to take turns planning something to do for the weekend. 
Both of us liked taking a day drive to the beach, going for a walk,
reading there and having lunch away from the silent house. That helped
us slow down, and figure out our wish list from the inside out.

Don’t know about my job, yet, making a list of possibilities.

Looking forward to parent’s weekend and of course, not looking
forward to the pain of goodbye, again.  It will be fun to see her room
and meet her new friends.

P.S. My friends thought it would be fun to remodel. absolutely
not…too much work for us.  My brother-in law said take a trip to Greece
, too far away for now.

I think I will wait and see who I am and who my daughter is in her
new independent first year away. I feel this pressure that I am suppose
to dance into a new exciting romantic life with my husband and get
going with my new free time.  That is not me TODAY!

GOOD LUCK to all us empty nesters.


ANONYMOUS MOM, but available to talk to others who are in the dark of this roller coaster!

24 Responses

  1. Slim Jim says:

    I am a Mom of an only child. She turned 21 in December and has been living & studying in Spain for the past year. When she headed to college, 3 years ago, she told me specifically that “she wanted to learn her own way and gain more independence”, so she purposely decided and told me she would not contact me or I was not to contact her, other than attending her swim/dive meets if I wanted to. It was a hard transition, but it was very good for both of us. We started connecting more after the first semester, although, the first semester she called me here-and-there to share her new experiences with her clubs, volunteer orgs., swim/dive team and sorority she joined. In addition, she had a new boyfriend. During that time and for over three years, I have been working through the empty nest syndrome. It’s funny how you ask yourself the question, “What is it that I want to do when I grow up?” I kept mulling that over and over again in my mind. Luckily, I had some consulting work that kept me busy the first 2 years, and about 6 months later, an old acquaintance introduced me to the club. Seeing that I was a runner, I thought, great idea, I’ll join this to give me some goals to look forward to. I ended up achieving my running goal, running a half marathon in 25 states in 2 years.
    Last year, I ended up getting a sprained ankle and was mending an injury, only doing 5 half marathons during the year, without much running, but a lot of traveling across country for work (which kept me occupied). In the meantime, I kept close ties with my daughter, who we muddled through how we communicated, adjusted as we found things didn’t or would work for each of us along the way. In the meantime, I grew tremendously, learning to see my daughter as the responsible adult that she is, and appreciating the wonderful opportunity that God gave me to raise her for over 18 years at home. It was a gift!
    I find now, that it is more of a gift now, as she shares her experiences, and I see life through her eyes. Our relationship has changed a lot, it took an open mind on my part and realization that I must be like clay, and shift, mold and get smashed, many ways throughout my adulthood, going forward.
    Last year, second year with my daughter away, I decided to take an art class through the university and sign up for a writing and meditation retreat in the Colorado Mountains in late spring. I almost didn’t go to the retreat, and almost backed out 3 times in the process, with tears in my eyes the 3rd time, forcing my way to my room. I made it, and these were the best things I ever did for myself.
    – Just getting my art materials out and working my hands in the materials again, was something.
    – I learned to take time for me and it was okay.
    – I met and befriended a small handful of very good friends, coaches, mentors who have been instrumental in my transformation, supporting me on the peripherals without me asking or “thinking” I needed help. One friend, who is now my coach, went as far as reached out to me and offered to coach me free of charge. I said, sure, what the heck! She has been a pivotal part in the changes that I have made during this past year and a half.
    – I learned that I can write creatively, I wrote a piece at the workshop, and people were crying as I read it. It made a very strong impact on many people in my group (myself included).
    – I wrote my first draft (and illustrated) of my children’s book, which I am still muddling through how to get it published with little or no money (or ways / opportunities still learning). It WILL happen, because the 8 year old that I read my piece to just LOVED it… It was a good way to get the temperature of customer feedback.
    – I can go on and on, there are so many rich experiences gained by forcing myself to go outside my box.
    In December, my consulting gig company, pretty much said there was no work, so in January, I took a cross-country trip to New Mexico, California and Nevada, to see these states, visit family and friends.
    I arrived back home, and circumstances led me to kick off running a half marathon every weekend, starting in February in New Orleans. Helping me complete my half marathon in 25 states goal the first weekend of May. I wrote a press release of my experiences, lots of twists and a wonderful journey for me.
    My daughter comes home from Spain in June, and I’m excited, but also worried about how I am going to adjust my life with her back in the states. Although, she will be working at an internship about 40 minutes away from our home, she also has gained and shared with me her wonderful learned perspectives, one of which is that she wants to spend time with the people who she cares about most, a small handful of friends and she mentions me and her dad. So, this is another thing for me to muddle through, because I am starting to really enjoy free and hobby my time (finally), but also enjoy my time with Staci. But, know it’s also important to make the space available and not allow things to go back the way they were, with my daughter depending on me and us doing too much for her.
    We’ll work it through, but wanted to share this experience that is near and dear to my heart. And seems very similar to your story.
    Thank you for sharing and cheers!

  2. Suzy says:

    Thanks Anon. Mom (first entry) Your story helped me alot…I have two kids off to college and after the second left this year I have really been struggling with depression and ‘what now’ questions… the depression and the isolation has thrown me but I am trudging along…finding this site will serve me well I am sure!

  3. Ruth says:

    Hi there. I’m from New Zealand. I have been a single Mum for most of my now 18 year old son’s life. It required alot of devotion and so much more. Now he is so strong, independant, intelligent, and knows what he wants out of life. Everything I used to be when I left home at the tender age of 15/16. Now I feel like nothing could ever compare purpose wise to what I have been as my son’s Mum. I have suffered from clinical depression & anxiety alot & been in & out of jobs as my health or my son’s needs required. My dad passed away 3 years ago too & my Mum is elderly. I just feel numb and scared & really unsure of myself nowdays. I really relate to the “what do I do with myself now thing” and I agree that those flippant “get over it” and “its time for you now” comments so don’t help. They only send me into more of a flurry of yeah who am I now, where did my self confidence go, what direction do I head in now? What would be as purposeful? I know this is a huge grief, but a necessary letting go. I would say from here on in its the “refrigerator stage of parenthood” if you get my drift. But yeah develop more hobbies etc vs a great personally meaningful life purpose to replace those voids? Where do I belong now? Who am I now? Who really needs me, (without using or taking advantage of me). So many questions they are overwhelming. It’s like navigating tumultuous seas & never having ever driven a boat this size! Thanks for your site being here, it is really comforting to know I’m not the only one deeply feeling this “letting go” process…..I think it would be great if there was a place for us Mum’s to go like a guidance counsellor that we used to have before we left school!!! but more catered towards empty nest Mums….or an Empty Nester’s Ideas/Support Group…

  4. ladysusn says:

    I can relate totally with these stories. I have wonderful parents whom I try to see every week, 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren. My husband and I have a great marriage. But I feel empty and, after much thought and analyzingm, I think it’s because my kids’ lives are usually too busy to include me. They’ve all created their own niche (especially my 2 daughters daughters who work, are married and have children) and now have their own familiese which really don’t need ‘Mom’ very often. I see friends who have a close relationship with their kids and close interaction and it makes me even more lonely. I tell myself all the time how blessed and lucky I am but I’m still very lonely. I try to create my own life and have many hobbies but usually it’s just busy time. I sometimes wonder if going through menopause is contributing to these feelings.

  5. mommamiaross says:

    I can relate to everyone’s stories. Our similarities in missing our children in our homes/lives overcome all of our differences in number of children, ages, location, etc. I have/had four children, all of whom are now out of my household. I remarried when my youngest was four and now my husband and myself live alone in our home. I miss my children, I miss the noise and the bustle, I miss the school projects and performances, I miss being part of the school community. The phrase empty nest is so appropriate, but, not only is my nest empty, so am I.
    I am part of my children’s lives in varying degrees, but never enough. None of my children have married yet, but they have set up their own households with or without significant others and I am not as close to them as I would like to be. I don’t want to push myself too much on them and I know that I need to push myself into other directions but iI cannot find anything to compare with the pleasure I got from raising my kids. I did go to law school when my children were older and now have a career that I get a lot of fulfillment from, but I hate going home to my empty house at night (I know that’s not entirely accurate or fair to my husband but it’s how I feel). Thank you for having this website where I can express my feelings and realize that I’m not the only one feeling this pain and needing to move on.

  6. emulatrix says:

    Hi All,
    I’ve enjoyed reading your entries. I too, have an empty nest. Our daughter just graduated from college in December, 2011. Our son, is in his second year at college.
    My problem is my husband left his job for another one…3,000 miles away from the kids.
    California has always been our home and when our daughter went off to college in Los Angeles (we lived in Sonoma) I thought that was hard. Our son, of course, wanted to go to college in CA too.
    There’s just a lot of feelings. Fortunately and unfortunately, I have been able to go back to CA for visits and such, but the transition of being back in DC or one of the kids going back to CA makes it hard to adjust again.
    Granted it’s supposed to be a time for my husband and I to rekindle our marriage. But I’m having a tough time finding out who I am in all of this. He’s had the career and every move has been for his benefit. I follow along with the kids, and now without and have to reinvent myself again. This time is harder. Probably because I don’t have a network. Plus, I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I am working on meeting people, starting volunteer work, making friendships but I really want to work. I don’t know how to market myself. I get online and read websites, look at job searches, apply for jobs but I just feel lost most of the time.
    I went to college late in life to get my BA degree and thought…well, I thought.
    Living in DC is nice but we sold our cars because we bought a place in the city. But one other form of freedom I used to enjoy, was driving. I don’t have than anymore either.
    Transitions take time..
    Thank you for reading this, I hope.

  7. gnolost says:

    I feel very lucky to have found this site. I am not one that normally expresses my feelings in public, but I do journal and find that it helps. ALL of your stories are my stories, to the “T”. I could not have written any of them any better. I also want to know what am I supposed to do when I grow up. I am married, have two wonderful boys. My oldest graduated in December 2011 and my youngest is a Freshman in college this year. They are wonderful young men that have “old souls” that are truly more grown up than I will ever be. They are on the right track for sure. I have a wonderful husband of 26 years and we have grown comfortable with each other in life, and I have a very stressful job that I have been at also for 26 years,that is very unfulfilling. I have several best friends that I would truly love to see more often. Some of them still have little ones and I envy them so much. I do go to the gym a few times a week, but that is just not enough. I find myself wanting to find more to enjoy than coming home each night and getting ready for the next day. I know I have fell into a deep depression that at times I do not want to do anything. My boys were home for christmas break and made a comment that “you and dad don’t do anything except watch movies all weekend” and he is right. It is hard to hear but it is true. With that I want to look at taking a “fun” class or volunteer work or something. Just not sure yet. I need a hobby, but nothing seems to interest me. If someone asked me what do you want to do with your life or what makes you happy, I honostly do not know. I have been a robot for so many years and did the right thing and went to work every day, then came home exhausted and did the typical after work things. My boys are my life and still are. It has been so helpful to read all of your feelings on this website and I look forward to reading more. Thank you for listening.

  8. Kandi says:

    I always thought that I would be able to manage through the empty-nest syndrome. I even boasted to my friend that “I can’t wait”…knowing in the back of my head I would eat those words. Well…”I have arrived” and I AM eating those words. Gosh, I can’t remember when my heart has hurt so bad. It wasn’t so much my daughters that brought on this feeling (mostly because they’re still living at home…one is 30 and the other is 19)it was my son. He recently graduated from the Marine Corp. The young man that left for boot camp had a poor attitude, took his home life for granted and basically was lost and didn’t know what he wanted in life. He decided on the Marine Corp (which took us by suprise)and blazed his own trail. We were very worried for him wondering if he’d be able to cut it. After the first phase of boot camp he began to embrace the challenge. His letters home expressed a change in his attitude and he confessed how he was sorry for taking his family for granted and how much he missed us. Well this was music to this mom’s ol’ heart. Part of me was thrilled to hear the change of heart in his letters…but a deeper part warned me to be realistic…after all, he was feeling homesick. Well, I opted to embrace he sensational change in my son’s attitude and was expecting to see a grateful Marine once we all got home from graduation. BTW–graduation was an awesome experience and we couldn’t have been more proud of him. But let me share where it all fell apart for my husband and myself. (This is where I invite you to my pity-party…listen carefully for the sad music in the background (sarcasm)
    My husband and I had envisioned these “Walton-family” moments with our new and improved “appreciative” son…not just our ideas but things he shared in his letters that he wanted to do with us once he returned home. What actually took place during his 10-day leave was him spending most of his waking hours with his friends and returning home to eat and sleep. We waited patiently for our time with him but it never came about. Next thing we know the week has gone by and he’s heading out again for MCT. My husband and I were so disappointed and hurt. We felt forsaken, cast aside. (sad background music intensifies here…) We were use to feeling like “cupboard parents” (they take you out when they need you then put you back) for the past 3-4 years…but this was different…this just down right hurt.
    He left this past Monday and here I am on Wednesday licking my wounds and searching the internet for ’empty nest syndrome’ articles and advice. I thought I was going to be exempt from this because there ARE days when I want my nest to be empty. It’s like a razors edge. I love them dearly and all three are such a blessing…but on those days of blatant disrespect, taking things for granted and always wanting more…it gets very frustrating.
    But what transpired with my son recently, took me to a place where I felt displaced as a mom. I knew one day it would be coming but when the reality of it hit me this past week, I really felt it–I was crushed. I guess my son had a greater impact on me because admittedly,he had a big place in my heart. He was so easy to love growing up and I guess through his letters I believed that the loving part of him had resurfaced for his family in boot-camp.
    So–here I am moms. Trying to figure things out.
    I’m encouraged by the posts that have been written and I pray that I can be gracious about this and move forward in a dignified way. The first step is acknowledging that I HAVE ARRIVED…I AM AN EMPTY-NESTER…with a couple still hanging around the nest. Finding a balance in this situation is awkward. Thanks for letting me vent. Glad to have found this site.

  9. Seamimr says:

    I’m so glad to see others struggling with the same issues as me. My second (and last) child is fully involved with her life, now living in an apartment hours away from home. My oldest is about to graduate from college and plans on traveling the world for a year before settling down.
    My situation is slightly different from other parents in that I have been a show mom for so many years. With my daughter now excluding me from the life style we have shared for so long, not only have I lost my role as “Mom” but have also lost the network of friends I developed and the excitement of weekly horse shows, the thrill of competition.
    Friends and family tell me that it’s time to let go. Intellectually I understand that, but inside I feel hollow and sad. Purposeless, I wonder what it was all for. I gave up making a life for myself in my efforts to establish my daughter in her chosen career path and now feel desolate without those activities.
    My husband and I are still together, physically at least, although our extended separations have left us living at home almost like polite strangers. My own riding has lost it’s zing. Without my daughter as my riding partner, the activity is not longer fulfilling.
    I’ve started writing, attempting to complete the novel I began years ago, and have actually completed a children’s picture book, complete with illustrations, and that’s all good, but where do I, as a 50 something adult look to find people to fill the void my children have left?

    • PM says:

      I also am a show mom. My youngest is a senior in high school and still showing but I too think about what will happen in the fall. I will lose a daughter and a whole community that defined us for 15 years. when I think about. the empty void that is looming on my horizon I get a panic attack and am just so scared. I use to think I would get back into riding but I feel older and more fragile then I thought I would. the show community has been such a large part of our lives and our support system – I am going to miss it as much as I will
      miss school. I wish I just didn’t feel so scared.

  10. Sheri says:

    Thank you for the posts, it helps hearing others going through this too. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great job and friends that listen and support me but I am not connected with anyone locally going through the same thing. I have two daughters, a college freshman and a high school senior. Also, a military spouse to a yet again deployed soldier. In the twenty years we have been married we have spent about seven years apart due to the military. He has been trying to encourage me (by messenger) that we are all going on new life adventures and I try to be positive about it. I have poured my heart and soul into my children and have had wonderful adventures and beautiful memories with them. Now they are very much into their friends, new lives and upcoming life changes. Crazy thing is my husband and I are going to be stationed in another state later this year after our youngest goes to college (also in our current state but far apart from her sister). So WE are leaving THEM. Neither of these states are “Back home” for us, so we are scattering all over the map. I am finding myself happy and sad every time I see my college freshman daughter. I am not a writer and the most I do is a quick bit on Facebook, this felt good to write it down to others like me. Thanks for listening!

  11. Maria peppard says:

    I am feeling better just knowing I have found this website and can connect with others through r words. I have three grown children one married he moved a few hrs away another lives not far and one at home who won’t grow up and move on. I thought when they all went to college I would feel empty. I was excited to have 3 active at times very difficult teens go away to college and catch a break. I enjoyed the changes in my life. I did miss terribly going to the high school games, seeing other parents events to look forward to go to and that did go away. My husband and I remained active for ourselves until his cancer returned and then r lives really changed. Then the kids starting coming home after graduation and only hearing how they could not wait to move out. It is one thing when the kids go to college but it is another thing when they move away and especially when they marry. I have worked very hard on rebuilding myself no longer as their mother and I loved the role but now as a supporting role. Talk about having to let go. I went to therapy no help and I started reading books on spiritual strengthening that encourage you to gain inner strength. I am much happier now. I still cry my heart out everytime I have to drive away from my sons home saying goodbye to grand kids,. I have a book I check in daily with daily inspirations and devotionals. I stil cook too much but now prepare individual meals that I freeze and give to my kids to take home. They love it and they have told me it is their comfort food from home. So that is my way of continuing to give and share my love for my family.

  12. Videomama says:

    This is my second round of empty nesting. My son came home after his first year away and stayed for four months from May to September. I couldn’t have been happier. Life filled up again while he was here. Am I an errand runner by trade? No! But I would drop it all to take care of my family because I’m damn good at it! I quit my job last year and traveled to the Far East during my first go round with having no kids at home. This year, I traveled again to California. My husband travels a lot and golfs on the weekend. I have NEVER had trouble finding things to do that make me happy but today- the worst day of all, I am home alone (day 3) since my husband has traveled for work and I can’t move. I did get dressed, I did cook a lot ??? Why? I don’t know- it was something to do. I have never been this low key, unmotivated. This is really an empty house. My two family pets passed away last year which only made the place feel really empty. I want this boredom and sadnss to go away. I don’t like trying to figure out what to do next. It is painful watching people living their lives and me, I have lost my purpose. I have got to get it back. But I don’t want to do anything but wait for inspiration again. WIll it come? It better come soon! I’m stuck!It is enough already. And I need to be remember to be kind to myself. I am feeling alone and lost and empty. No supposed to’s anymore. Just time to be free and all I want is to wait for something to turn on my light so I can shine. Is this depression? I don’t think so… it must be me just mourning my loss. A HUGE loss. I don’t wanna make light of this. I don’t want to be empty. This is seriously a weird time of life.

  13. kat says:

    I am in search of something and I don’t know what it is that I am looking for…I do know that my spirit feels very unsettled. I am a parent of one daughter who is 18 years old. She just graduated from high school in June and decided to join the Marine Corps. She left in August to boot camp. Since then all I do is cry everyday. I haven’t had a dry eye day yet. I send her a post card everyday-I have not missed a day yet and as long as I have power over my legs I will continue to walk to the post box and send her a post card everyday.
    I am not sure why I feel sooo sad that she is gone, well actually I do. She has been my support person for the entire 18 years, inspiring me to face challenges, encouraging me to keep moving towards a higher goal and just always being there for me no matter what. And now, she is no longer there to listen to my stories or laugh at my jokes. Feels a little painful. alot painful…
    And although I have a great husband who is very understanding, he has somehow recovered and I am still feeling pretty bummed out…
    The message that I am getting from most people is : “You should be proud – your daughter is a Marine” and I am proud but the feelings of being proud can not overpower my feelings of sadness. Others say” You should be living it up with your husband” but I’m just not there yet.
    I have a great job that is fulfilling and I attend the college of my dreams and I drive the car I have always wanted to drive but I still feel very dissatisfied. I keep asking myself when will this feeling go away. I keep saying: this is gone on far too long, yet everyday I wake up feeling the same way.
    I wish I could follow her, but I know realistically its just not the answer. My heart feels like it is torn in half.
    Its kinda funny because I have to force myself to move forward each day and wait for the perfect opportunity to be alone to cry and let it out. I don’t want others to feel pity or to say: “she is such a downer” so it is very draining physically to hold this stuff in everyday and so for the first time ever I chose to look online to see if there are other people who feel like I do. And it made me feel better to know that i am not the only one who feels this way.

  14. Tendai says:

    I think I and everyone who has expressed themselves here deserve a congratulations. We are becoming aware of how we feel and where it is coming from. I experienced an empty nest 2 times and didn’t get it the first time. My daughter left me at 16 and went to live with her father. I was just remarried and my step son went to live with his mom. With my new husband, who had a job waiting for him, we left the city I had lived in for years. We moved to a new place and I was alone, no kids and husband gone most of the day. I don’t think I even knew the term empty nest. I tried to replace the life I had had and it caused a lot of problems with my marriage. We didn’t have the same money, but I didn’t realize what I was doing. Finally, I started working and that filled my time. I made new friends and we did different things. So, when you are aware of what’s going on with you, you are a step ahead in the game. Now you can make better choices and just allow yourself to feel what you feel and move through it. Thank you all so much.

  15. Cynthia says:

    This is my baby and he is a sophomore this year. I dropped him off at school this past Sunday. I didn’t go to work Monday to hangout with friends. I went to work Tuesday and was miserable. I didn’t go to work on Wednesday, just wallowed in my grief at the loss. I thought it would be easier this time. It was not. This house is empty again and the silence is way too loud. I dread going to work tomorrow, I just hate it. And it’s too quiet at the house. What a mess, what a mess. I’m crying all of the time. It’s hard to go anywhere because I’m afraid I’ll burst into tears, but I gotta start somewhere, right?

  16. Beth says:

    It’s going on 2 years now for me. I have one daughter, and I was a single mother for most of our time together. I think that made me closer to her. It was just the 2 of us!! I’m less ~sad~ now, more numb. I miss her so much still!! I think another hard part in all of this is not knowing where I fit now in her life. We’ll have conversations that feel like we still have a connection, maybe, and then I wonder if she called me just because no one else was available at that particular moment. I want to know I matter to her. I don’t always know that. So it’s not only that we apart now, we’re APART.

  17. barb wild says:

    i too am a single mom of twins that are now 25 and a 20 year old in her third year of college. One lives in Indiana for her first job, her brother in ny and last one in ny. I have lived in ny my entire life in upstate new york. I had to move with my sister because I have fibromyalgia and lymes disease. I have my own room above the garage which is really nice but I can’t really have the kids come HOME. I can’t work, i only have 12000 a year but I am partial owner in this house now. I know my kids love me and are a great success story but I have never WANTED to do anything. I just did it. Now i don’t know what i want, i dont want to be selfish and travel is out of the question. oh what should i do? I live with my identical twin as well and she is the flip side, never stops doing things. i use to be like that but no more. Im Sad.

  18. Danielle says:

    I am a 43 yr old mom of twins that just left for college. My son is in Wyoming and my daughter in Idaho. I am absolutely lost and my 2nd husband just doesn’t understand why I’m not ecstatic. I love my husband and I want us to have a long life together but I feel like he thinks I should just be ready to have all this hot intimate time with him and that I should be smiling and happy. When the reality is I just feel dead inside and I just want to be anywhere but at home. I never thought that the one place I used to love to be is the place I dread so much. I am fine during the week because of work but the weekends come and I have the darkest of days. My husband works weekends so I feel like there is no time to connect there either. I feel so lost, alone and want to fade away.

  19. Steph Allbritton says:

    I am in the pit right now. I have been crying and teary for days now and I am not yet an empty nester. I have a son who is a senior and another who is a freshman. I am 41 and can’t believe how fast the time has gone. I had been fine with all of this until last year during this time when symptoms of paxil withdrawal began and in nov-jan went through a major depressive episode. I still have good days and bad days. I have been a sahm for most of the boys life and now I can’t seem to find new purpose, meaning. I have been to hell and back and now worry about things I never thought about before. No motivation right now. I just wish something would show me the way.

  20. Heidi says:

    I was so glad to find this website today. My son just left for his freshman year of college, in another country 🙂 For the past 16 years, it’s just been him and me. I have yet to remarry, despite coming close. I was prepared for him to leave, as i’m a psychologist and I knew what the grief was going to feel like intellectually :0, but of course that is useless when you are actually there. I have been doing what all the advice out there says to do- working out, new hobbies, old hobbies I forgot, friends, etc., but I just feel grief. I miss him. I revolved around him- when was he coming home? when should we eat dinner? what did he buy on my Amazon account today???? He has been good about keeping in touch but I know I need to give him space to get settled into his new life. It really does help to hear everyone’s story so we can grieve together. This too shall pass as my grandmother always sad, but it’s a hard passing.

  21. Linda Hornor says:

    I am a strong woman, just turned 60 and raised 3 children, with a wonderful husband. My oldest, my daughter was 3 years old when i met my husband. I owned two homes before meeting my husband. Had a great career, but decided once we had two more kids, boys i would be a stay at home mom. I loved being a mom, involved in all the school and sports activities. I loved being on the neighborhood boards, making new friends and planning parties for the community. So my grown children all went to college, came home at different times to regroup, one even traveled the world for almost 2 years with her now husband. We had an empty house for 3 or 4 months, i got kinda use to it. Then we have all three plus one live with us and i loved keeping busy with games, food and activities. So now im 60 and yikes, time has gone to my family and i have the empty nest depression for missing the fun times as a mommy. I feel like im frozen i cant look ahead, seems like it will be funerals ahead and just getting older and missing being a mom is a killer of joy. I’m anxious about every thing , i try to cook like i use to love, now that’s no fun, I don’t have any energy and i just feel sad empty feeling. It’s so hard to move forward.

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Natalie Caine, M.A.