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I miss my adult children
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I miss my adult children

What would be considered a healthly amount of interaction per week with my adult children?  I seem to be doing most of the contacting...but don't want to interfere with their busy schedules so I call them approximately once every two to three weeks.  I am so lonely for them though...and wonder if I am just going through mid life crisis.  One of them is 32 and has been out of the house since he was 19, is married and has two children and the other is 26 and has been on her own for 4 yrs.  You'd think I'd be over the emptly nest syndrome by now.  

As I observe those around me - it seems their adult children contact them alot.  I guess I have been using my observations as to what is a healthy relationship with adult children. I find myself comparing my situation to theirs and feel that I am coming up short. Perhaps it is because their kids are local and live closer and both of mine live out of state. With all the technology, it is pretty easy to communicate regularly though.  I would like to believe they are just busy, healthy, happy, & productive and that we did our job well and they don't "need" us. But I want them to "want us".  I figure there must be something I can do to attract them.  A little voice in the back of my head says "they don't enjoy being with me" and I want them to.  Any suggestions?
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1394098_tn?1385963734
I totally understand how you feel.  I miss my kids so much.  My oldest has been out of the house for 5 years and the youngest has been gone for 2 years.  I dont talk to them that much either.  I dont want to bother them because I know that they are busy.  I call my mom once a week.  I dont talk to my kids that often.  Its a weird situation that parents are put into.  We teach our kids to be out on their own while at the same time wishing they would never leave us.  But we know that they have to leave to have full healthy lives. When I do forget to call my mom, its usually because Im really busy or Im really tired. I try to believe that my kids dont contact me for the same reasons.  Recently, I talked to my oldest daughter about this and was just honest that I was happy that they were doing so well but I just get sad because I miss them so much.  She is a very compassionate person and was so sweet about it.  I dont know if it will make her call me more but at least she understands.  And she must have told her sister because I got a hand written letter from my youngest telling me that she loved me and that I was still important to her.  I could hardly read it because of my tears.  I dont know how receptive your kids would be to telling them, but I feel a lot better.  Im still very lonely for them.  Im not sure that empty nest ever goes away for some of us.  Sometimes I text them to see if they are busy before I call them.  I think they appreciate that.  In answer to your question,  I think that its not unreasonable to talk to them once a week or so.  Just dont keep them on the phone too long and keep your conversations as upbeat as possible.  Do you have a Facebook acct?  I look at their walls periodically and make a comment here and there.  As long as I dont embarrass them, they seem to be fine with talking to me that way too. But dont feel alone.  There are a lot of us out here that miss our kids like you do.  I do a lot of praying and I have a kitty that keeps me company. I find that it helps to stay busy.  But I still have times that I cry because I miss them so much.  I hope you feel better soon.  
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370181_tn?1408130715
Epic tomes have been written on the empty nest syndrome. It's very real and it's very, very painful and sad. But it's a part of the life cycle, which doesn't make it any easier, we just have no choice..........except how we choose to deal with it.
There is no "right" or "wrong" amount of time that we should or shouldn't interact with our grown children. And I think to put expectations on THEM because of OUR needs is unfair. My boys are both in their twenties, one is 25, the other, 28. Our oldest son, who is unmarried and just recently returned to finish his college degree, has taken to stopping by a little more often than he use to. Our youngest only manages to make it home for  various holidays and even though I've asked him a million times to just drop an email every once in awhile to let us know he's still alive, well, that falls on deaf ears for the most part.
I spent vast amounts of time just standing in their bedrooms, sobbing with what amounted to grief. I think now I was grieving for the end of a chapter of our life as a family. We would be close, always, but we would now be forever changed. The patterns of our lives as a family and as individuals inside that family, had to rearrange themselves, had to morph into what we would become next. We are still in that process and I think we will be for quite some time. But it's OK. The boys know where their roots are and they are flying very well.
Accepting this massive change in our lives is also a process and if you don't want to get bogged down in the past, become depressed and needy, giving up on life and making yourself a drag to be around, then you need to put on your big girl panties and get a life of your own. Travel with your husband or girlfriends, get a job, volunteer, find a hobby, take some classes, start a book club...........do something you've always wanted to do, something you promised yourself you'd do once the kids were "grown and gone." Well, they're gone! DO IT!
I agree with the above poster that talking to your kids, telling them how you're feeling, what you're going through, would be a great way to begin dealing with your pain. They probably have no idea how much you're hurting.
As a last resort, there is always therapy if you just can't get on with your life. I doubt it will come to that, but it's out there if you need it.
I wish you Godspeed as you travel this path. It's well worn and well marked.
Post to us anytime you need to talk. We''re always here, OK?
Be strong
Peace
Greenlydia  



ting home in a house that is now too big and too silent, full of the echoes of something we can't help but feel we've lost...........this is an incredibly difficult transition period for everyone. I am reminded of something written on an old fridge magnet that someone gave me when our first son was born. It said "There are only two lasting gifts we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings."
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370181_tn?1408130715

Epic tomes have been written on the empty nest syndrome. It's very real and it's very, very painful and sad. But it's a part of the life cycle, which doesn't make it any easier, we just have no choice..........except how we choose to deal with it.
There is no "right" or "wrong" amount of time that we should or shouldn't interact with our grown children. And I think to put expectations on THEM because of OUR needs is unfair. My boys are both in their twenties, one is 25, the other, 28. Our oldest son, who is unmarried and just recently returned to finish his college degree, has taken to stopping by a little more often than he use to. Our youngest only manages to make it home for  various holidays and even though I've asked him a million times to just drop an email every once in awhile to let us know he's still alive, well, that falls on deaf ears for the most part.
I spent vast amounts of time just standing in their bedrooms, sobbing with what amounted to grief. I think now I was grieving for the end of a chapter of our life as a family. We would be close, always, but we would now be forever changed. The patterns of our lives as a family and as individuals inside that family, had to rearrange themselves, had to morph into what we would become next. We are still in that process and I think we will be for quite some time. But it's OK. The boys know where their roots are and they are flying very well.
Accepting this massive change in our lives is also a process and if you don't want to get bogged down in the past, become depressed and needy, giving up on life and making yourself a drag to be around, then you need to put on your big girl panties and get a life of your own. Travel with your husband or girlfriends, get a job, volunteer, find a hobby, take some classes, start a book club...........do something you've always wanted to do, something you promised yourself you'd do once the kids were "grown and gone." Well, they're gone! DO IT!
I agree with the above poster that talking to your kids, telling them how you're feeling, what you're going through, would be a great way to begin dealing with your pain. They probably have no idea how much you're hurting.
As a last resort, there is always therapy if you just can't get on with your life. I doubt it will come to that, but it's out there if you need it.
I wish you Godspeed as you travel this path. It's well worn and well marked.
Post to us anytime you need to talk. We''re always here, OK?
Be strong
Peace
Greenlydia  


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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you both for your input.  It is comforting to have a network of those who understand the emotional changes that happen with the transition and to see it through others eyes helps with new perspective.  I have always worked full time, am a licensed minister, real estate investor and run a small non proft that serves the poor in my community. I never really had the mindset or a plan to be able to do something after my kids moved out.  I've done it while they were living with me too.  Fortunately, I have lots of activities that I love to do that keep me busy and lots of venues for social interaction. But first and foremost - I love being with my kids.  "Quality time" is my love language.  In most cases I am completely transparent and an open book.  I have taught classes on conflict resolution, etc, etc....but have held back from talking with my kids because I didn't want them to feel obligated, and/or have another pressure in their lives which would appear as an "expectation".  I don't want them to pursue me out of obligation, but out of desire.  I think I just need to stop defaulting to the thought that their being too busy for mom and dad right now is because they don't want to be with us.  I could never tell them I have felt that way because I don't want to lay a guilt trip on them.  Perhaps it is what it is...they are both healthy, happy, active adults that are trying to balance their lives like everyone else.  I have a mother that lives locally too.  She is 80yrs old. Now that I have come to this season in my life, I have wondered if she and my father felt the same way when I was in my 20's & 30's. It is just too bad we learn some of these lessons so much later in life.  I have a scheduled coffee time at her  house once a week before work now to stay connected.  My father passed away 2 yrs ago so she is living alone now.  Still at 80, she does yoga once a week and maintains her own home.  I am doing most of the pursuing on both ends...with my mom and with my kids :0).  Perhaps I'll just keep doing that until there is a season in their lives when they start coming around more often.  Thanks again.
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Avatar_f_tn
The empty nest syndrome is part of the American culture - it is NOT a part of the life cycle but speaks more about the devaluing of older women in this country.  I think it is very sad that so many mothers (and fathers) are cast off and discarded when a child no longer needs them to do things for him or her.  Empty nest speaks more to the selfishness of young adults and a culture that encourages that selfishness by calling it normal or desirable.  A lack of respect and love is not normal for an individual who is an adult.  Americans need to look at the rest of the world to see where older women have important respected roles in families and in society throughout their lives. All those women who feel sad - lonely and discarded after children leave home need to work together to change this country so this cycle of cruelty ends.
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