Dear Veteran Moms of Bigs



Dear Veteran Mamas of Bigs,

I need your help and advice more now than ever before. 

Can you see the S.O.S. distress calls coming from this island I am on? 

Why…why does no one tell you how hard it is to parent adult children? AND how excruciatingly painful it is to let them go? 

I am not sure I have ever experienced such a broad spectrum of emotions all at one time in my life. The immense pride, excitement, coupled with fear, doubt, intense grief, and overwhelming gratitude. Throw in the pure chaos of Senior Year with the college essays, scholarship applications, achievement ceremonies, grad parties, final banquets, and last dances and it’s a wonder I haven’t been curled up in the fetal position all year long. 

HOW DO I GET THROUGH THIS without pickling my liver or attaching myself to their waist and screaming “Don’t Go!” as they did on their first day of school?

I am trying so very hard to see myself as a ‘bird launcher’ and not as a soon to be empty-nester, this perspective shift helps, but man oh man. The doubts, did I do enoughs, what ifs, coulda, woulda, shouldas take over my brain some days. 

I have one bird successfully flying on her own, but those few years between high school and post college were hands down the roughest season for us (I mean, Covid didn’t make it any easier), but I feel like I made so many mistakes with the first bird launch and I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes with my next one. 

I am trying to find things to look forward to post college drop off, but it’s so hard to imagine a life without them in it. Relationships are built in the little moments of doing the dishes together, the Target runs, or fixing their hair and I am not sure how to organically cultivate the same type of moments over the phone when they are so far away.

Is the answer found in Pickleball? Is there a MOPS group for those of us without kids home anymore? Is there a magic mindset, mantra, or meditation you have found? I don’t have much of a frame-work for what a post adolescence ‘mother/daughter’ relationship looks like or any blueprint for how to build one. Please share with me the lessons you have learned along the way. 

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