It’s Not About Me

Dedicated to all Empty Nesters out there.

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Sometimes I long to turn back time to when Branden was a wee little boy.

 

 

 

Let him fly and stretch his wings, they say. Let go and live your life, they say. Empty nest, they say. There comes a crucial time in motherhood when you hear your friends and family’s thoughtful advice about your child’s departure. I guess it eases my mind that most moms do get through it and plow ahead in their life, but I won’t be free of worries. There will always be random thoughts or questions lingering, does he know what to do when he’s sick? Will he call us when he needs to? Did we raise him right in serious and difficult situations?

 

 

 

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This is about him and his hopes and dreams.

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Now we’re in crunch time, just a few weeks away from drop off in a different state 2 1/2 hours away from home. Many essentials are bought and packed. I bought new underwear and socks, against his judgement. All that’s left is to scan Amazon and rent a few text books and connect with roomies about who’s bringing what. Amid all this fantastic organization, my heart feels like it’s being shattered. I suspect that Branden will miss home and his predictable life in a small town, but I know even more that he will excel and persevere because that’s the guy he is.

 

 

 

 

Even though I dread drop off and turning away, ( just as I did in Kindergarten) I know it’s not about me. This story isn’t mine…it’s his. It’s not about my sense of loss, lack of purpose ( other empty nest moms, is this familiar?) or racing mind. It’s not about passing his bedroom down the hall and missing him on his computer. It’s not about missing interesting dinner conversations with him leading the show.

 

 

 

One important thing I will emphatically miss is knowing what he did that day or if it was good or not so good. I’m just getting used to missing that with my oldest son Dylan. I trust he’s doing okay and check in when Dylan stops by for his bowl of cereal. Maybe Branden, Tom and I will connect through FaceTime or Skype. Maybe there will be distant phone calls with my motherly longing to grill him for details, something I’ll have to deviate from.

 

There is a bright side…all these feelings are normal and part of the motherhood package. Who said I could keep him home forever? Who would want to keep their offspring from pursuing their dreams…not me. Raising children has stages and this is one of the final ones, letting go. It’s a new start, an adventure for the books and it’s his story, not mine. You see, I already know that it’s not about me.

 

 

Are there any empty nesters out there with stories or advice? I would love to hear from you!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

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8 thoughts on “It’s Not About Me

  1. What a touching post, I’m welling up and this is many years away for me. My uni was about three hours away from home and it was my first time away. We didn’t have mobiles or FaceTime then so I came home as often as I needed to that first term. Having said that, I was thrilled to be at uni, learning so many new things. I loved it. I hope Branden does too. Maybe you could have a new project to take your mind off him leaving?

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  2. Mary, I love this article. You are a wonderful, and thoughtful writer ! Your writing is so heart felt and vivid . You really described the feelings of an empty nest mother so well.. I had a hard transition when each of our sons flew the nest and went away to college, especially our youngest . He was also nearly 2 and a half hours away. There were many phone calls & e-mails & there still are today. By the first family weekend in October , he was settling in nicely & enjoyed showing his parents & brother around campus while introducing us to friends .There may be some sad moments but you will be OK . You & Tom have raised both sons so well & this is the next chapter for you and your husband now Mary. It will bring you and your husband even closer . The boys will always come home, call, & now Skyp . They do seek out their roots & will want to share their adventures with Mom & Dad. You can be so proud that they have such a firm and loving foundation . Branden and Dylan are following their dreams to become the young men they were meant to be. God Bless You. Doreen

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  3. Doreen, this is so beautiful and supportive so thank you for it , I appreciate it from my heart. I feel you’re right about Tom and I getting closer and I know the boys will always be connected in ways. Family is family and will always be. See you Saturday at the reunion. Love you❤️

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  4. Tara, you do have years before Freya goes off on her own. If I would give you advice through those years, cherish every moment making memories because it goes so fast! Thank you for your support and your story, I love to hear of people’s connections and it does help me. I am thinking of a new hobby, possibly writing a book from my blog entries, continue gardening and some traveling with my hubby. ❤️

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  5. You reminded me of the day I dropped my youngest at Kindergarten and promptly fell apart after she went through the door. I wasn’t expecting it and another mom walked with me across the playground so that I didn’t feel alone. This same “baby” will be moving into her own condo next month and I’m not sure how it will go for me. I think I’m ready but, who knows, right? When my eldest, a son, moved out, I didn’t know how to behave. I wanted him to know I care but I didn’t want to be “that” mom who couldn’t let go. The best thing I did is ask him how he’d like our relationship to be and from there we’ve co-created a pretty nice connection. It sounds like you have a great foundation that will keep you connected.

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  6. Hi Kathi, yes I have good relationships with both my sons. It was harder to let my youngest son go because he’s the youngest and the last in the house. But Im okay and will adjust. Thank you for stopping by.

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