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WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN ARE GROWN UP AND MOVED OUT? I HAVE EMPTY NEST SYNDROME AND CAN'T QUITE FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF.

I HAVE THREE GROWN CHILDREN, TWO OF THEM HAVE CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN. I MISS THEM VERY MUCH AND HAVE BEEN VERY DEPRESSED SINCE MY YOUNGEST MOVED OUT ON HIS OWN AND HAS BEEN GETTING IN A LOT OF TROUBLE. HE HANGS OUT WITH KIDS THAT ARE A BAD INFLUENCE ON HIM AND HELP HIM GET INTO TROUBLE. HE HAS ONLY LIVED ON HIS OWN SINCE SEPTEMBER 1ST AND I CAN'T BELIEVE THE TROUBLE HE HAS GOTTEN INTO! EVERYONE TELLS ME TO NOT HELP HIM AT ALL BECAUSE I AM ENABLING HIM. I JUST CAN'T STAND TO SEE ANY OF MY CHILDREN HURT OR NOT HELP THEM IF I CAN. BUT HE ONLY HAS COME AROUND ONCE SINCE HE MOVED OUT WHEN HE DIDN'T WANT SOMETHING. WHAT DO I DO? I CRY ALL OF THE TIME AND I WORRY SO MUCH THAT I AM GOING TO GET A CALL THAT HE HAS GOTTEN IN AN ACCIDENT AND IS DEAD OR HE IS IN JAIL. KEEPS ME UP AT NIGHT, I AM TYPING THIS AT 3:35 AM CAN'T SLEEP BECAUSE MY SON HAD COURT TODAY. WHAT DO I DO?

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LONLEYMOM68

Asked by LONLEYMOM68 at 3:36 AM on Nov. 7, 2008 in Adult Children (18+)

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Answers (23)
  • What is he getting in trouble for big stuff or speeding tickets or something?
    Best thing you can do is tell him you love him and talk about choices and consequences. Try not to enable him he will grow up faster. After helping my son get out of jail once right away. I realized family were right and left him in awhile next time. Several days in fact.
    Another time my son moved out and then came home after 3 months when I stopped helping him.Decided life is hard and he wasnt ready. He is now grown married and has a baby living in his own house. Tough love is hardest on the mom sometimes. Hang in there hopefully he too will settle down before he gets in too much trouble.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:12 AM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • I have no idea what I would do in your situation. I guess the best thing you can do is find something you enjoy doing and do it. Try out some new hobbies and focus on making your life better. Unfortunately, making mistakes are part of growing up and you have to give your son room to screw up and grow up. He won't grow up if mom continues to hold his hand through his troubles, it's time to let him take responsibility for himself, and time for you to enjoy not being tied down with kids. Or you can do what my parents did to cure thier empty nest syndrome. Adopt.

    Lornamay

    Answer by Lornamay at 4:14 AM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • My husband and I are planning to buy a motorhome and travel for a year around the USA.
    But we will wait till all kids are settled into their own lives first.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:14 AM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • I took classes, experienced things I had not experienced before (made my Bucket List without having to die, so to speak) even dated again. That was scary for me but now I'm happier than I ever have been in my life. I "found" myself again and have let go of some of the strings on the kids so they can live their life and yes, make their own mistakes. Perhaps your youngest is making those mistakes now to show you that he's his own man and in control of his life (as he sees it). We all make choices and for some reason he's choosing to act out. All you can do is love him and remind him that they are his choices but also his consequences. Don't interfere. Don't bail him out. He's choosing to do this. Let him spread his wings and fly even if you see him flying for a tree trunk instead of the sky. He'll figure it out. Meanwhile, you sign up for classes or join a group or invite friends over for cards. Enjoy life a bit.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 8:52 AM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • Get a cute little dog!!! My grandma raised me for a portion of my life and when I moved away she got a chihuahua and now that's her baby. It helps keep her from getting empty nest syndrome again.
    MarlyeGirl

    Answer by MarlyeGirl at 12:02 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • I hear ya, my 18 ds moved out about the same time, is living with a big loser, I am crushed. I put my whole life into that kid. I am trying not to enable but how can you just let them go and I know he has very little money. I can't just let him starve! How old is your youngest? I know it makes you feel like a loser parent but I don't think its us, it's the age and the people they hang around with. I read somewhere if they had decen t values they will come back to them around 24-25. Alls I can do is pray. Someone on this site told me to get a book "praying God's will for my son" and I got and read it every time I am majorly stressed.
    njt320

    Answer by njt320 at 8:06 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • P.S. One other thing I have noticed, if I don't call him and bug him, he seems to call me. Mine doesn't come over much either.
    njt320

    Answer by njt320 at 8:08 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • For my emptynest syndrome I got into Yorkies.I show and breed so I always have something going on in my life.
    Tikismom

    Answer by Tikismom at 9:02 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • I also have a dog now and I help at the nursing home too.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:35 AM on Nov. 8, 2008

  • Well, we raise them to be good adults, and if they don't act like we raised them the right way, its their choice. If he goes to jail, let him stay(I know thats hard, but, if you get him out, thats what he will expect) Let him live his life,let him make mistakes, and let him learn. I do know how you feel on the lonely issue, tho. I do keep busy working or anything that I can. What you need to do is find something that you like, and go with it. Keep busy, and stop dwelling on his mistakes. My Mom put it best for me...It doesn't matter how old our children get, we still worry, and we always try to fix their mistakes, but, at one point we have to stop and let them grow on their own! Let the next call be his to you!
    Kat122

    Answer by Kat122 at 8:49 AM on Nov. 8, 2008

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