Monday, October 11, 2010

Empty Nest

For those of you who can't read the writing on the t-shirt ...... it says:

"For over 2 decades my #1 pursuit was raising my children well and now the job is over and here I stand like a high level, high stress, but low paid CEO who's company just got bought out"

For over the last 9 years actually I have been struggling with the empty nest syndrome. Only thing is I never identified my struggle with empty nest.

Almost from the day they were born I raised my girls to be independent, free thinking women, who would one day strike out on their own. It was (no it is still my belief) that the best gift we can give our children is to give them the strength to be independent self sufficient adults.

I know I did my job well.

So why then does my heart ache??

Because I realize there are other people filling the space I once filled in their lives. Both my girls are now married with "mother-in-laws" ......... and I have seen a slow shift in the way things were...... from "mom" to "mother-in-law" and I am here to say it hurts.

Baby daughter's mother-in-law lives with them. She is the babysitter for the children when mom and dad are at work. She is the extra pair of hands when company comes. She is the one who tells me .. ME.. to go and sit down when I visit. She is the one the grandbabies run to when they need something or are hurt. I am the "visiting granny". She is the one to tell the grandbabies to go and hug granny - kiss granny - thank granny. And it hurts deep inside.

Oldest daughter has a mother-in-law that has stepped in and adopted the daughter I guess she always wanted. She has more than taken over my job as mother. (though truth be told - I guess I was never really the "mother" my eldest wanted) She fusses over her like a mother hen...... from a - z and everything in between.

I sat on Saturday and watched with interest the interactions between my eldest and her mother-in-law and honestly I felt redundant. Yes I was the CEO and my company has been bought out. And I have been put out to pasture. And yes it hurts. A LOT.

Perhaps I was not as good a mother as I once thought. Perhaps I strove too hard and long to create independent women. And maybe I have worked so hard making them independent that I have kept my needs and desires to myself - for fear of not having independent self sufficient daughters - with an independent self sufficient mom.

Perhaps it is all my fault.

I do know that there is very little I can do about has happened. I do know that my daughters will always be MY daughters in my heart, and that I will love them with all my being.

But sometimes empty nest sucks ........ big time.


  1. Morningstar, I was wondering if you might be interested in joining us at The "Empty Nest" /

    Thank You; Ngoc Bui Gray

  2. I am all this week babysitting for me 2 year old grand-daughter, while he "other" grandmother takes a week off. She lives here with them, i travel from another state. I feel your pain...and agree, but we would not want less for out daughters. abby

  3. I always -- ALWAYS -- told myself and everybody else that I was raising adults not children. And, like you, I have two adult children who have lives in which I am an occasional visitor. It is what I wanted, and it is not entirely what I want sometimes. But, I still think I did the right thing. These days, I can feel myself chafe at the access the "other" grandma has to Xander. These days, I can feel myself growl when He-who-shall-remain-nameless's new wife gushes about how much she loves MY daughter. I can't wall off those contenders for the affections of my children and grandchildren, and my logical and sensible self doesn't want to -- really... But still. There is that place where it feels a bit lonely and sad to see the things that are not part of my reality.

    Oh well. It is the fact of the choices made, and I would not make any other choice -- even knowing where it would ultimately end up.

    Hugs, swan

  4. Anonymous6:53 am

    Swan, Is there anyway you can keep the grandbaby on the weekends? Or some evenings after work?
    That is what I do with my grandbaby, an though it can get very tiring on top of all my everyday routines, it is WELL worth it. :)

  5. My heart is breaking for you. I'm so sorry you're feeling this pain. I hope you can somehow create the closeness you crave.

    Hugs to you.

  6. I don't have grandbabies yet ....
    But I know that I will feel the way you do when my boys get married and have kids of their own.

    Take pride in the fact that they've grown up so well.
    YOU did that.


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