I do NOT have empty nest syndrome. In fact, I am ecstatic that I have finally taken my remaining child at home (he was on a gap year) off to University. Rather, Amor drove while I navigated (with the help of SatNav). If I am ecstatic, it is for two reasons: (1) I am so happy that my son is going to University to further his education, and (2) I will now be able to have the freedom to do what I want in my own home, again!
I love my children dearly. I do not love the mess they create and the arguments that ensue when asking them to clean it up. My children are very lucky to have me as a mother, even if they don’t realise it. I don’t interfere in their personal life. They come and go as they please. All I asked is that they help keep the place tidy, as I have been trying to sell my home. Oh, and leave me some milk for my morning coffee. I loved it when they were at boarding school during the week. The cleaner would come on Tuesday and the place would still be sparkling until 5:30 on Friday night. I had the whole week to do what I wanted and eat what I wanted and then I was in a happy frame of mind to see them on the weekends. That is, if they weren’t with their friends, at which point, I would go out dancing.
My children are very entertaining at times and I will miss the banter. They make me laugh. We talk about everything. Nothing is taboo. I do not love arguments. I refuse to argue. There were times, when they didn’t get their way, they would tell me they were going to move out or live with their Dad. Ha! Go ahead, I would say. After all of these years, I could use the break. Tell me when you want to go and I will take you there myself!
Raising children is not easy, especially alone. I have been at a 3-1 disadvantage for many years. I have looked at them occasionally and wonder how they survived these last 20-something years. Children can push you to the brink of your sanity. Living with them in the teenage years can be hell. I am surprised that I haven’t ended up in prison or the loony bin. They owe their lives to me in more ways than one.
While the children were at boarding school, I learned to appreciate the benefits of having some me time. It is amazing how quickly one can get used to it. I had my work and my hobbies, a clean and tidy house and no yelling or screaming. No hormones to deal with unless they were my own. Life was peaceful. There was a bit of chaos when they were home for the holidays, but I knew that it would be short-lived. Life was very good.
Life is still very good. Some aspects could be better than others, but on the whole, I am very happy. This summer has been interesting as far as my relationships with my children are concerned. Although they are technically no longer children (they are young adults), they are still my children and always will be. I try not to treat them that way, but it can be difficult when they refuse to act mature. The relationships are changing. It hasn’t been the easiest of times, but I am hoping that things will improve. I have been trying to teach them to be responsible and to fulfil their obligations, without being asked. You know, sometimes things can get worse before they get better. They have to find their own way in life and I need to be strong and not be a pushover. They test me to my limits and I must always stand my ground. It hasn’t been an easy time and I feel that I might have missed out on something this summer. I am hoping that the future will be better. As far as I am concerned, I’ve done my job, the rest is now up to them.
My eldest has finished University and lives in his dad’s flat. He is working, but not in his chosen profession, not yet anyway. These are interesting times for work. I have been inviting him over for dinner about once a week. I really enjoy his company. On Friday, I invited him over for dinner. A sort of farewell dinner for the last remaining sibling. Amor came up to London and my remaining son and his girlfriend were also with us. It was a full house and one I probably won’t see for quite some time. (My daughter had gone back to Uni earlier in the week.) It was a lovely evening. There was banter and hilarity.
My eldest popped in yesterday evening as he had left his phone behind from the other evening. He noticed the leftover Thai food from the night before and invited himself to dinner this time. I didn’t have a problem with that. We ate, chatted and watched some TV together. He decided to spend the night and go to work from my house. Just goes to show you that you can never get rid of your children! Especially if you have a spare bed in your house! The thing is, I don’t think I would ever want to. Well, not permananently anyway. 🙂