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Old 05-13-2020, 08:35 PM
 
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Sometimes I get so sad that my kids are getting older. I miss the little girls they used to be, running around the house and playing hide-n-seek, wearing princess dresses. They’re 9 and 11 so I know there’s still time to play and bond with them and watch them grow, but I can’t help thinking that I’m at the halfway point for having kids in the house. It’s gone by too fast and it just makes me so sad. How do parents deal with these changes? The thought of them going away to college terrifies me but I know this is incredibly selfish. I can’t keep them home because I don’t want to let them go. At some point, either for college or after, they’re going to move out. I feel like I’m having anxiety in anticipation of empty nest syndrome. I’d love to hear from those with kids in college or older how they’ve dealt with this phase of parenting.
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
48,485 posts, read 46,735,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDS1234 View Post
Sometimes I get so sad that my kids are getting older. I miss the little girls they used to be, running around the house and playing hide-n-seek, wearing princess dresses. They’re 9 and 11 so I know there’s still time to play and bond with them and watch them grow, but I can’t help thinking that I’m at the halfway point for having kids in the house. It’s gone by too fast and it just makes me so sad. How do parents deal with these changes? The thought of them going away to college terrifies me but I know this is incredibly selfish. I can’t keep them home because I don’t want to let them go. At some point, either for college or after, they’re going to move out. I feel like I’m having anxiety in anticipation of empty nest syndrome. I’d love to hear from those with kids in college or older how they’ve dealt with this phase of parenting.
I have two who recently graduated from college and one in high school.

Well, I'd like to take away your sadness over this, but you really need to know that it's just part of parenting. The circle of life and all that.

Right now you're in a sweet spot with your daughters where they aren't as dependent on you as toddlers, but they aren't yet in that obnoxious adolescent stage. They're fun and eager to do stuff with you, so it's natural that you're not wanting to give that up.

But the phases of growth happen for a reason. I think God made kids so difficult in the teenage years in order to make it easier for us to let them go completely, because at one point you WILL be ready for them to go. Not totally, but enough to make it bearable.

I did have a very hard time right before my oldest two graduated from high school because I knew that, when they got to college, not only would I have no idea where they were and what they were doing, I wouldn't even know what they were supposed to be doing. It seemed like a huge void, and it made me very sad.

But technology gives you so many ways to stay in touch these days, and it's cool to see them becoming independent. It also gave me more respect for MY parents for letting me, their only child, get in a car to drive across the state of TN and start college with only US mail and one phone call on Sunday nights to keep in touch. Ask YOUR mom how she dealt with this.

I hope that you're exaggerating when you say it terrifies you, because it shouldn't do that. Live for today, because that is all we have, and be very present in these moments with your kids.

In situations like this, I like that saying, "Worry doesn't take away tomorrow's troubles. It takes away today's peace."

And that is absolutely true in this situation.
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:58 PM
 
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I enjoyed the childhood years with my sons, but I loved the high school years and beyond. To me, watching them accomplish things on their own, and turn into people I enjoy being around was the real reward of raising kids. I'm sure your daughters will bring you many more years of joy OP, don't shortchange them by looking backwards.
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
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My children are in their mid and late 20's. Yes, letting them go off and make their own way at college and adulthood was bittersweet, but it's definitely sweeter. I have two close family members with grade school age children. I told them several years ago that there is joy and excitement in every age. I've found as much joy and excitement in watching them become independent adults, get first professional jobs, fall in love, get married (one of them), etc. as I did in watching their first steps or learn to read or be silly kids. It helps that I've always voiced the idea that I was raising them to leave me. I'll never forget the look of horror from the other toddler play date mothers when I said it out loud

I don't miss them being children. I do sometimes miss having lots of time with them. One of my favorite memories is a few years ago, Thanksgiving morning. They both were home. My daughter's husband and my husband were still sleeping. The three of us sat at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and Mimosas, eating some food and just laughing. My husband later told me he was awake, but he wanted me to have time with them alone. It was a generous thing to do.

My husband and I now can enjoy traveling, going to concerts, being lazy on weekends, going out for a night, etc. without worry about school schedules, babysitters, and the 100's of other things. We've taken advantage of our freedom since they've moved out.

Look forward to a job well done.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:27 PM
 
1,188 posts, read 739,380 times
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Enjoy this stage, you put in the hard work of the baby/toddler years and now you get to see their personalities and beginning of independence.
Put greater emphasis into other aspects of your life. Your marriage or love life, your friends, your profession, your passions, your community. They are sources of great gratification when parenting becomes less active and time intensive. You have a long life after they leave your house so decide what you want from that next chapter.
As adults, their decisions are theirs and you may not always be so thrilled with their choices - but it is their lives to live in the ways that make them happy.
It’s an adjustment for sure, but not being so responsible and having to teach and model is also freeing.
I actually enjoy being with my adult children more than when they were living under my roof. They teach me and I appreciate their insights.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:03 PM
 
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It isn't as hard as you might think. At 9 & 11, you are involved in and have knowledge of virtually everything in their lives. But they will steadily become more and more independent and you will be proud of them! By high school, they will most likely have friends who you don't really know and will be taking classes about which you know little. The clue is for you to begin a life of your own too, before they're gone. Part time work, volunteering, hobbies, learning a new skill, etc. This isn't to say that it isn't hard when they each leave, but you'll get over it quicker if you are prepared to "fill the gap" with activities of your own. My kids were really glad (and a little surprised) to see me helping troubled kids at their former elementary learn to read. I also took painting classes and met new friends. Now I have a pre k aged grandson who I help with reading. There's something to that phrase : LET GO AND LET LIVE !
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:16 AM
 
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Each stage of their life consider it a Blessing and savor that time. I was a little sad when they each left for college, but so proud of how they each made a good life for themselves and really enjoy the adult relationship we have.

Enjoy the present time you have with them, teach them to be independent, encourage their interest and career dreams. I’ve enjoyed each stage of my kids life and now I’m enjoying my six grandchildren and blessed to babysit 3 of them.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:42 AM
 
Location: Southern New England
1,190 posts, read 598,150 times
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Our grown children are in their early 30s, happy, married, upstanding moral citizens and fully supporting themselves financial. They are still in our lives enough to be happy and independent enough to be healthy.


It's lonely sometimes and we occasionally yearn for the old days. But more importantly, there is a satisfaction and a sense of pride in a job well done. What was supposed to happen has happened.. A successful launch.


It wasn't always easy. Parenting isn't always easy in what can be a complex world. There are things we would do differently if we could go back.. (I'm not sure anymore exactly what.. I seem to have blocked some of these things.. maybe the way we block the memory of child birth pain)


OP, you have some of the most complex years in front of you still.. Keep up your parenting skills. Broaden them. The sense of pride you will feel as your children launch will be a great comfort. And when that happens, you will find that you are ready to happily move into the next phase of your life.
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:49 PM
 
32 posts, read 8,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyMae521 View Post
Our grown children are in their early 30s, happy, married, upstanding moral citizens and fully supporting themselves financial. They are still in our lives enough to be happy and independent enough to be healthy.


It's lonely sometimes and we occasionally yearn for the old days. But more importantly, there is a satisfaction and a sense of pride in a job well done. What was supposed to happen has happened.. A successful launch.


It wasn't always easy. Parenting isn't always easy in what can be a complex world. There are things we would do differently if we could go back.. (I'm not sure anymore exactly what.. I seem to have blocked some of these things.. maybe the way we block the memory of child birth pain)


OP, you have some of the most complex years in front of you still.. Keep up your parenting skills. Broaden them. The sense of pride you will feel as your children launch will be a great comfort. And when that happens, you will find that you are ready to happily move into the next phase of your life.
Well said, even though at times I miss those days, still seeing them thriving and with families of their own is such a blessing.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
26,264 posts, read 16,915,291 times
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I lived pretty much in the moment. I enjoyed much of the time I had with my kids as they grew up. We had some few tense moments, but overall, I enjoyed them.

Leaving for college might not be the big break you fear. They will be home intermittently, and they will like having a home base. As they graduate, they will come home less. That was the harder time for me. I could not plan on seeing them at holidays. Those years, we traveled to see them.

Each phase has been interesting and satisfying. There is nothing better as a parent than seeing your grown kids happy and established as functional adults.

From the very first months of life you are preparing them for adulthood. You should be having them learn how to do basic things now. But, live in the moment. And, take candid photos. Looking at them later in your life, seeing their happy faces will help you remember how much you enjoyed them.
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