{ The Shift from mom of littles, to mom of grown kids }

Wednesday, June 07, 2017



Good morning everyone, come on in and sit with me a bit, I want to talk to you.  I really need to get some things off my chest and I also want some advice and suggestions, from those mommas out there who have gone through it or are going through it at the moment.

The IT I'm talking about, is the shift from being a mom of little kids who need me all the time, who keep me busy and constantly on the go without a moment to myself......to a mom of one adult and one teenager who no longer need me for the basic things in the day.

I'm struggling.

The past few weeks I've had a really hard time discerning who I am, what I like, what I want to do going forward and how to deal with all these feelings and emotions.

I know the basic gist of it.  Find a hobby, get a part time job, take up some classes or something that interest you.

Yes, yes, and yes, that's all good advice and I will look into all of that, but until that happens, I want to talk about the emotions and the feelings that rush over us when we first realize that this is it.  Things have changed and we are now left wondering what to do with yourselves.

If you were to ask me who I am, the quickest response out of my mouth would be "a mom and housewife.".

No, but really, who am I beyond that?



And I'm stumped.  Absolutely, unequivocally stumped without so much as a thought to who I really am, what I like or what I want to do.  The easiest response right now would be "I am BORED".

I apologize in advance if this post seems all over the place, but I'm going to try and talk to you as if you were sitting across from me at the table, enjoying a cup of tea.  The words that will fly out of my keyboard and onto this page, are the words that are flying out of my mind, at turbo speed, with no sense and no real direction, just flying out and hanging there hoping that somehow a light goes off and guides me in the right direction.

For the past 18 years, I have a been a mom.  That's it.

I've chased little kids around, I've wiped runny noses, I've cleaned scraped knees, wiped butts, nursed sick babies, took kids to and from school, appointments, prepared meals, popped in kid shows to keep them busy, snuggled in bed, read stories and giggled at their funny antics.  That's it, that's who I've been and that's all I've known.

And now, Jasmine is an adult, Nicholas is 14 and I'm no longer needed.  To be brutally honest, I don't see my kids until about 3pm each day, and Nick I only see when he comes out of his bedroom to eat dinner or talk for a little, then he's back in his room with his video games.

They no longer ask me to prepare them meals, aside from dinner which I make for everyone.  They no longer request snacks, or ask me to get them a drink of water.  They don't need help starting a game on the computer, or finding something to watch on the TV.  They don't tell me if they are feeling unwell, they know what to take and what to do for themselves.

So for the most part, I spend the days by myself, and aside from it becoming extremely boring, I mean, after all the housework is done in the morning and then I'm left twiddling my thumbs....it's also become glaringly obvious that I'm alone, and not needed.

When did that happen?

This weekend, I actually broke down and cried.  We were all home, but hubby was in his office playing some video games and watching Netflix.  The kids were each in their rooms doing their own thing, and I was in the living room, sitting in the quiet, looking around and wondering just what the hell happened and what do I do with myself.  So I cried, I cried for the years when my kids were little and actually needed me, I cried because I felt so lonely, I cried because I'm confused and lost and I don't know what to do with myself, and I cried because I have no idea who I am.

I understand this is all normal, and don't get me wrong, I'm thankful and blessed to have reached this stage in my life.  My children are healthy, they are growing, they are going through all the normal phases of life and I too shall overcome this.

But for this moment, I'm so lost.   I truly feel a sense of loss, and it's so weird to me.

That sense of being needed and loved unconditionally by my two kids.  I've welcome each moment of success in their lives, each time they achieved something, each time they completed a step, so to speak.  From the first day of Kingergarten, to the first time they tied their shoes, the first time they made themselves breakfast, put themselves to sleep, learning how to drive and so forth.  But on the other hand, each time one of these things happened, I felt a twinge inside because I knew that each one of those meant one step closer to independence from me, one step closer to me being needed less. 

So I'm reaching out to you mommas out there, the ones who have grown children and have gone through this change and this shift from one chapter to the other.  Please tell me how to go about it without losing my mind, or reaching for the glass wine.

You know over the years, I've come to treasure each and every single one of you, you ladies have given me amazing support and advice over the years, and I know that you will guide me in the right direction.

I'm wondering, as well, if there are some good books that I can read, some you all can suggest?

This is a new chapter, and part of my journey, I just need to figure out how to move from here, how to find who I am, what I like, and then apply that and find a way to make my time worth it and meaningful.

I know that my children still need me, and always will, but not in the physical sense that I'm used to.  It's almost like having withdrawals from their younger years, when you've done something consistently for decades and then it's gone, it's quite a terrifying feeling.


When I look ahead, I see this.  An empty road stretching as far as the eye can see. 

I don't know what I'll figure out, I don't know who I am, I don't know what I'm going to become or do, or where the road is taking me.  I guess in a way that can seem extremely terrifying, but if I choose to look at it through positive eyes, I see a blank canvas.  I can do whatever I want, I can make whatever I want, I can choose my path from here on out, so in a way it's exciting?  Now if I can just get my heart to connect with my brain and actually act out that excitement, everything will be good.

So yeah, here I am, at the crossroads of Shift Ville.  Which way to go, how to get over this bump, how to deal with my feelings, thoughts and emotions.  I'm hoping this is where you more experience bunch can help, maybe make this a little easier.

I'll get there on my own, eventually, it may just take some time.

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14 comments

  1. I'm not quite there yet since my kids are still small but this is a phase I think about all the time. I know time is going to go by fast, it already it, and I will be at that place where my children are grown and I know I'm going to have a rough time with it. I'm someone who can never adapt well to change. I remember one day years ago sitting at my desk at work and thinking about the college years and how much fun it was and I had this huge ache in my chest thinking about how much I missed that time of my life. I know when my kids are grown I'm going to have those same feelings. I can't relate to what you are going through as of yet but I already know that time will be hard for me as well. You became so accustomed to being a mom and provider and now things are changing but you will always be a mom and they will always need you, even if it's for different reasons. I wish I knew what to recommend for you and I wish I had just the right thing to say. I can only pray that you are able to get through this time and find out what the next step in your life can be.

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  2. Dear Sandra ~ Be thankful that you have your lovely family. Lean on Jesus/God to give you peace and strength at this time in your life. Have fun with your dear husband, making life sweeter for the two of you, and be there for your kids. Just my humble 2 cents worth.

    I was a wife for 43 years, it's been 4 1/2 years now since my dear husband went to be with God, and I've been learning to live 'differently' without him by my side. I miss him every single day.

    God will see you through this time sweet friend.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

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  3. My children are 23yo, 21yo, 19yo, and 17yo. Since I home schooled my youngest she was done with high school in 10 months, and started college at 16yo. All of my children live at home. Where we live the cost of living is so high that a one bedroom apartment is around $1500.00 per month without utilities, etc. My oldest son has graduated from college a year ago and just this week received his first "career" job offer and accepted it. My other children (2 sons and a daughter)are all attending community college, since on campus tuition is so exorbitant in our state.

    What I can tell you is this, I have been a housewife for 24 years and home schooler as well, but I truly believe this with my whole heart. "Small children, small problems; big children, big problems." My Grammy told me this and she was so so right. Over the last 5-6 years, we have faced college problems, love life problems, career problems (one of our sons is Army Reserves), and so much else. I have found myself nursing broken hearts, broken dreams and more much more frequently than when they were littles.

    My Beloved says that he feels "unneeded" but I tell him the same things that I am saying here - we are needed, desperately, but in such a different way than before. We have had late night phone calls from college, people who changed their major(s), decided that the college that they worked so hard to get into wasn't right for them at all, and more. You are still Momma and that never changes, just how it presents itself changes a LOT!

    Hugs, ~Mrs. J~

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  4. Oh Sandra my heart aches for you.....I know the empty nest syndrome, but they are still there you shouldn't be feeling so alone.....I'd make Nicholas come out and spend quality time each day with you, playing a game of cards, going for a hike take Marley along he'd love it....Jasmine and you go get an inexpensive pedicure together, go to Michaels and take a craft class together she can make something for her new soon to be home....Barnes and noble look at home magazines get a coffee and spend time together....you and hubby need date nights, go for a picnic in a park, take a long evening drive down the country roads get a ice cream sit by the lake.....go fishing, hubby and I love fishing, it's cheap and time together, I always take crocheting with me.....as for yourself, find a part time job in a bakery, a florist, maybe a little shop somewhere......you need to stay busy and focused....don't get down my friend you have so many potientals........

    Thinking of you

    Hugs
    Rhonda

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  5. I am sorry it is such a struggle my friend. Having no kids, I am of no help other than to pray for you!

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  6. Change, even positive chance, brings some sort of loss. We graduate from school and leave our routine as a student behind; reaching toward the future, but not knowing what it will bring. We marry. We leave our life as a single person and become a part of two. We have children. We say goodbye to the days of only worrying about ourselves as we embrace the overwhelming concept of being totally responsible for another human being! Then comes the day that our children grow up and leave. How did it happen so fast? The days could be so long, but the years went flying by! Of course we want our children to be independent. Of course we are so thankful that they are able function on their own. Everything we have done for them; everything we have given them was to bring them to this point. But how do we cope? It's a huge transition! And its alright to grieve. Change brings pain. But soon that pain will turn into the realization that our children will always need us. Maybe our days of caring for them physically are over, but the days of offering emotional support are just beginning. Just as you celebrated their first word, their first step, you will soon be celebrating all the wonderful and sometimes confusing things that come with being a young adult. Deep breath, one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. You've got this!

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  7. No kids here either but In just 8 years I have lost my Dad, Mom, Aunt, Cousins, both my dogs, and now Uncle Mike.
    Life is constantly changing the old you get and this year especially its a HUGE adjustment.
    Lean on God, write a Gratitude Journal, at the top write down the qualities of your children as adults or young adults.
    Before you can blink your house will be filled with in-laws and grandbabies so enjoy the quiet for now.
    My house is too quiet and if I had one more day with Uncle Mike but I cant so I trudge on through this crazy world called Life...You can do it too!

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  8. Hi Sandra,

    Woow... heavy heavy. I have feel this post so deeply. I don't usually comment, but I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your very open and vulnerable post. My only advice would be to allow yourself to grieve. Cry when you need to cry and let those tears flow. The pain is so real. Allow as much time as you need. You can't hurry these types of things. They take as long as they take, and everybody works through this season of life in different ways. When you feel you are ready, start to follow your interests. What topic or activity has always peaked your interest? Then take a class, sit in a lecture, try that job...whatever it might be. A lot of times, you might feel you don't like that thing, but that's ok. Try something different.. then try something else. Again and again, until you find what you like. That's how people figure out what they like and what they are good at.

    Take as much time as you need to grieve and let go. Be kind to yourself and take care of you.

    Big big hug,
    Amy

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  9. Mine are all big kids now, 23 and 21. 23 yo on his own, 21 yo still at home but pretty much on his own. I envy you having the extra time you don't know what to do with. I would so enjoy it! I spend my days working. When I'm not working....we are still working. Guess that goes along with being self employed. Guess I"m not much help either LOL! You could always vlog on youtube more ;-)

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  10. When my children left for college/the military, it just about killed me. Years later I'm still on antidepressants. I would never harm myself, but some days, if The Lord were to call me home, I'd be more than ready.

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  11. Dear Sandra, been following your blog for many years I am at this stage of my life where I do feel that I'm not needed and suddenly at a loss too. I try to look at the positive side, I can finally focus on myself and think about what I have been wanting to do or try. Keeping myself busy with books, crochet and meeting up with my girlfriends sure help. You're such a capable woman, there's so much you can do I'm sure. I do hope you start to enjoy this new season of your life. Our kids do need us...just being there for them is good enough. All the best :)

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  12. Hi Sandra,

    I don't know if you'll even get this post but
    I just stumbled across your blog, and it immediately got my attention. This has been my EXACT feeling for a few years now. I've been a homemaker for 25 years and I've homeschooled for 15 of those. I have a 25,23,and 18 year old. I just graduated my youngest. My advice to you is what I'm doing in this new stage of life and that is to use this time to get to know yourself. If you're like me you've forgotten. Use this time as a retreat somewhat. Reflect and remember the the things that you love to do and the person that you want to be in this next chapter of your life. Think on the skills and interests that you'd like to develop, the new ways that you'll spend your days, and instead of this being a sad time, it will instead be a big adventure!

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  13. What a big change for you! And it's a big change for your kids too, though not as sudden. This change has been happening gradually for them, a little bit every day, from day one of their lives. You were a fully realized human adult when they came into your life, but think how much they have changed in the same amount of time. They have gone from completely helpless and dependent to being able to do everything that adult humans should know how to do. That's because of you and your husband! Congratulations! Yes, it is a shock to your system because you are realizing it all at once and they have been realizing it in little bits from the beginning. But you have succeeded! Raising humans to independence is an amazing feat and you are amazing for doing it! Thank you for sharing your raw emotions on the topic. Please don't think of yourself as less useful now. Let this change be a testament to how necessary and appreciated your work has been up to this point. I'm sure you'll be able to make a graceful transition into other important work/causes in time. And if it's any consolation, I remember still needing my parents well into my 30s even though I left the nest at 18. I just needed them in different ways. Now your kids will be looking to you for wisdom (and money, who are we kidding?) instead of the daily needs stuff. Congratulations! All parents dream of what you have now accomplished. :-)

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  14. My oldest left for the military 5 yrs ago, my middle child has been in college and my baby graduates in 2 yrs. it finally hit me this year that my role in life was changing. I have spent the last 26 yrs as mom, homemaker and caregiver and always needed.....this past year I was at a loss when those roles started changing and I was not needed as much. I was depressed and did cry and felt so lonely. I do have a part time job but I also realized I had to change the focus to myself instead of mom to kids. I started to realize the positives of the more "me" time....I get to read more without being interrupted, watch shows in the living room that "I" want to watch, take a nap if I wanted to and heck even going to the bathroom was easier! I started to like those me times more and more. It took a couple months but think of what "you" would like to do and start doing that.
    Lorie

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Thank you for stopping by, hope you are having a Blessed day!

♥Sandra♥