For past 18 years, my life revolved completely around my children. I’ve been a doting mother; my husband has not been around much due to work commitments. I’m always focussed on their lives and needs, heading to their demands, and showering them with loads of love and affection. Whether you’re a working parent or not, the fact is having children at home takes a huge chunk of your mind, energy, emotion.
Rafe will be off to college next year and Sharon forays into sports. I know I’m going to experience the empty nest syndrome. Care and concern is lifelong, and to guide them is natural, but good parenting also means letting go and to stop controlling their lives. They are now adults, and we as parents need to respect that.
But honestly, thinking about my children leaving the den and going off, started making me feel sad. So, I thought to address the elephant in the room and talk to them about it. It was dinner time; both the children were on their phones. I told them to take a seat and confessed about how I felt about them leaving home. To my surprise, they assured me that they will keep visiting me. That comforted me for a while, but still I was a bit sceptical because I felt that they may get busier and won’t get time for their mother.
I have always been a fun mom, being more like a friend to my children. But now that my children will be in another city, how will I play my role with ease. Gradually, I made peace with the fact and decided to go with the flow. Both set-off for their respective journeys.
Initially, things went smoothly, we all used to call each other twice a day. Deep down inside I knew it wasn’t enough as most of the conversations used to be about their regime and
overall well-being. I was completely unaware about what was going on in their lives and gradually the fun mom vanished with their busy routine. To divert myself I even decided to go on a trip with few of my friends. The trip went well, and I returned to my empty nest again, filled with the same void.
I thought maybe I am the one who isn’t making efforts. So, to make a difference I paid them a visit. I visited my daughter first. Unfortunately, I was informed that the girls have gone out for a birthday celebration. I waited for long, when she came back at 2 am, instead of a warm welcome, I received a baffled one. She was unhappy that I didn’t inform her and made a sudden visit. I tried explaining to her about how I felt. We had a conversation. Which ended up promising to visit me soon.
As days passed, the calls decreased and so the frequency of their visits. I was happy that they are enjoying their college life but couldn’t help missing them. Fortunately, one of my old college friend was in town, she decided to drop by my place. It was great to talk to somebody after so long. In between our conversations she mentioned messaging her own daughter through an app. Little surprised, I opened to her about my situation with my children and how things had changed between us.
She confessed that she too went through something similar in the past with her daughter. And suggested me to send my children friend requests through the LYK app. According to her, this way we can remain closer to them and at the same time, they won’t feel smothered.
I added them to my friend list and soon the fun mom was back. At first my children were surprised to find me on the LYK network but eventually it worked to get me closer to my children. They started responding more than the usual routine calls. Sharon shared all the fun activities going-on in her life. Rafe and I started discussing his future at length. Moreover, I connected with few of my
ex-colleagues and college friends too. I realized, times have changed so has the approach, but the love and friendship remains the same.