I'm new, looking for moms of grown kids

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
I'm new, looking for moms of grown kids
Wed, 09-26-2012 - 11:24pm

Hey everyone. I found this board while I was looking for a group to join who would understand my feelings about having my kids growing up. I've got to get some of this off my chest! First, my introduction:

My name is Erin. I'm 36. I'm married (second husband) to Ryan for almost 15 years. We have 5 kids, DS (20), DS (19), DD (15), DS (13) and DS (11). I'm a SAHM - I always have been, save for a few part time jobs. I live in Central California, and I homeschool my 15 y/o DD and my 13 y/o DS.

Both my 20 y/o and 19 y/o DS's live at home. They both work full time. My 19 y/o goes to school full time as well (12 units). My 20 y/o went to college 3 semesters, failed most of his classes, and decided he wasn't a "college guy".. so he dropped out and went to work full time. He's already the asst. mgr at a large mechanic franchise. He's doing very well. They are both heavily involved in ministry and volunteer a lot of their time.

So, this getting married thing... I need to talk to someone about it who gets what I'm saying. I absolutely ADORE my DIL-to-be. She and my son have been together 4½ years. She is really a good match for him. I've practically watched her grow up. I'm thrilled that he chose her. I probably would have chosen her myself if I'd had the option. but... and this is where I start to feel like a terrible person... I'm starting to get a little freaked out about my son getting married and leaving home. They've been engaged since Christmas Eve last year, so I've known it's coming, and I was doing really well with it. I didn't cry or even feel any twinge of sadness until about 3 weeks ago. I cried once, but then felt like a bad person because I really do love my DIL to be, and I don't want my sadness to reflecton how I feel about her. It's not her. At all.

See, I was 15 when I had my DS. It was me and him (and very shortly after, my second DS) against the world, to put it melo-dramatically (lol). I gave up my childhood to raise him. I don't know anything else but taking care of him (and my other kids of course). I've almost literally always been his mom. I keep telling myself that I'm still going to be his mom, our relationship is just going to change. That doesn't really make me feel much better. I also tell myself I'm not losing a son, I'm gaining a daughter-in-law. That helps a little, but it doesn't take the sadness away. Don't get me wrong, it's not a debilitating sadness. It's just this feeling in my heart... I don't know how to accurately describe it.

I had a dream the other night that my 19 y/o was a baby again. There was no point to the dream at all. I was just holding him and cuddling him. I was watching him smile and coo like infants do. I held him close to my chest and patted his back. I woke up feeling so... refreshed. So... content. It was like I got to hold my baby again. I don't know what my brain is doing. It must be sorting out some issues (lol).

So, I know that I don't know any of you here. I hope you don't mind me dumping all this out here on my first post. I tried to talk to DH about it the other night and he said that I needed to start working on letting go. That ticked me off, so I decided I can't talk to him about it. It's not a matter of letting go. I know he is a man now, and I respect that. I'm so very proud of the man he is. I'm proud of his decisions and his character. I trust that I've done my job and I know he will be ok. This is my first time. My oldest child. I just don't know how to do this yet.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 11:44am
Hi Erin, Your year will certainly being ending with a big celebration! How does the little brother feel about sharing his day? Will he be a participant in the wedding party? Has the bride chose her colors? What about your dress? Made the big decision yet there? We had reservations for a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant too than decided to do a catered pasta bar at the because we had so many vegetarians. The day picked here was the day before our anniversary too. Hearing the same ceremony had my husband crying.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 12:36pm
Hi Erin, I like the color choices for the wedding! I was only wondering about the little bro because sounds like a big day for eating cakes :smileywink: How romantic to return to your first date site. I would not say either of my son or my new daughter is the romantic type ...my boy even had his wife pied at a restaurant on her 18th birthday...their first restaurant date. How many gals would choose to be with the guy with this gift? I bet your daughter is excited to be in the wedding! Is everyone wearing the same bridesmaid dress design or just the same colors?
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 1:44pm

Elle, when did your ds get married? Which ds? Did you tell us about it and I missed it or forgot? (am I having a senior moment already??LOL)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 7:12pm
Hi elc, My youngest married his high school sweetheart. Captain of island football to captain of cheerleading :smileywink: They got married on the dock at sunset after school got out. The wedding made him a legend at the med school because the rehearsal was at 530pm here right after his 1st year Shelf exam in Gainesville ended at 230pm.
Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004


I find it interesting that your son's fiancee has been "away" at college and living at a dorm and yet her mother didn't consider that "leaving home?" Did she simply assume that was temporary and her daughter was "on loan" to college and that was OK? I think your son is going to have to learn how to set boundaries and assume his role as a husband very quickly, i.e. he's going to have some tussels with his new wife and her mother about where they spend Christmas, etc., privacy (No one should expect to just "drop in" on newlyweds!)

I felt like I left home in stages. My father died while I was in college leaving my mother widowed at 52 with my two youngest siblings at home and in high school. I stayed home 2 years longer than I would have because I felt my mother needed my help. Yet, I completed my education, worked, and got engaged. By the time I married at 25 I had a degree, a job, and an apartment of my own. In retrospect it was the right thing to do and life had to go on.

I think you're experiencing a normal range of emotions about your eldest child leaving the nest. It's also a bellweather for you: you define yourself as a SAHM. Well, now the kids are starting to leave. Chronologically you could be an empty nester in less than 10 years. What then? How will you redefine yourself when all your children leave home? Yes, you will always be your children's mother, but have you thought about what you want to do with your time and talents after they are launched?

Good luck. I hope the wedding is beautiful and everyone enjoys the day. 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 1:42pm

<<<I'm not trained or qualified to be anything but a mom.>>>  Then there is no time like the present, to change things.  Don't wait for 10 years to try to find a job, or get some training.  No one knows how life will turn out, but the wisest thing you can do, is prepare for the "worst case".  Of course, your husband would NEVER run off with a working woman 10 years younger and more fun than you, or move home with his mother, "lose" his job, and declare bankruptcy to avoid paying child support or alimony.  But what if he were hit by an asteroid tomorrow?  How long would the life insurance carry you?  1 year?  3 years?  What would you do then?     



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 12:59pm

Interesting conversation. 

At almost 46- I've been trying for 2 years on and off to get anything for a job.  I have a freshman in college and a sophomore in high school.  Husband makes enough for us to live on (we have a few bills, but we're surviving).

You don't know how MAD it makes me when a major retailer turns me down for a SEASONAL stocking position.  SIgh.  Just because my resume has a whole bunch of stinking holes in it b/c I decided to put the family first. 

I have been able to find 1 part-time seasonal job that has taken me for the last 2 years, and will hopefully take me back this year.  But it's nothing special- it pays $12/hour and I have to drive 30 minutes one way to get there.  At this job I can't tell you how many other people I've met in the same situation as I'm in. 

I tried school.  Wound up not finishing.  It was a combination of me, and a family that just couldn't get it through their thick heads that "I" wanted to do something.So I'd be doing 40 hours/ week at school. coming home to find people on their butts doing whatever THEY wanted to do. Leaving me to pick up the slack in housework, laundry, running etc, etc, etc.  Made me SO MAD.   I'd had a couple of friends go through the same program as I had and promptly wound up in divorce court (didn't really want that to happen). 

Lately I've been toying around with the idea of school again.  I don't know.  Don't want to go into more debt.  Don't want to deal with family deciding that "their"needs are more than mine so if I have something to do at school "too bad so sad- we need this done and we don't want to give up what we're doing". 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 10:56pm

<<<Lately I've been toying around with the idea of school again.  I don't know.  Don't want to go into more debt.  Don't want to deal with family deciding that "their"needs are more than mine so if I have something to do at school "too bad so sad- we need this done and we don't want to give up what we're doing".>>>  Don't LET THEM "decide" that their needs are more important than yours. 

I went back to school when I was 40, to become a Dental Hygienist.  I already had a BA, and had worked 18 years in insurance.  At the time I decided to go back to school, I was in managment, working 60 hour weeks, and worried for my job.  It was the age of leveraged buyouts, and companies swallowing each other, and "rightsizing" after the consolidation, that involved firing whoever was 1 day older, when there was duplication of people for a position.  Plus, I had a mom with diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson's, and 2 kids with ADD(plus), and I decided I needed a more flexible, portable job--that still paid well.

Going back to school involved not only taking on student loan debt, but also giving up a job that paid almost as much as my husband's job did.  And I had a house, husband, kids aged 8 and 11, and an ailing mother. 

My husband understood my reasoning, and that it was important to me as well as for the family.  We sat down with the kids and told them that we would be "poor" for a few YEARS, so vacations and extras like a cleaning lady were going out the window, and that they needed to help Dad pick up the slack around the house, because I would be in class year round, AND I would need to study at home.  Plus, I ended up selling Tupperware for 3 years so we had some extra money coming in. 

Nobody was HAPPY about having to do all that extra work--not even me.  But they sucked it up, and they did it.  We had our moments.  One day, I brought my dead cat home from Anatomy class to study for a test, and left it wrapped up on the kitchen counter, while I went out to deliver Tupperware (which the kids helped me divvy up and bag, when the orders came in).  Dh & kids came home and thought I'd brought dinner for them.  They opened the bag, and all ran puking.  No one ate dinner that night.  We survived.  I graduated, and they all stood there applauding, with bouquets of flowers for me--except for my mom, who'd died at home with me, dh, and my kids, a few hours after I came home from class one day.  

Now, BOTH my kids are going back to school themselves, while they balance homes, families, and full time jobs.  Older dd for her Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration, and younger dd to explore a career change into Health Information Technology Managment.  They KNOW how hard it will be, but they know it can be done.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 9:24am
Honestly it seems in this day and age, whether you're just out of school or not working or been out there a while and just want a different position, it's like the only way to get in the door is to know someone. I'd say start with networking with friends and family and see if any have any leads to something you could/want to do. Maybe something totally unexpected but open is out there for you to grab.

Right now ds20 is trying to find a job in his field while he's in college, just for that foot in the door. He's hoping to eventually teach so he's been networking with the MS and HS teachers he liked so he might be able to observe or do practicums there. And there's a guy who used to be a nurse, then worked in marketing where I work, and was then downsized/right-sized and has taken up a local franchise doing an after school art program for kids - so ds is trying to get in touch with him.

Best of luck - this is not a great time to be looking unless you have an 'in'.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 11:12am

I agree that in this economy it helps a lot to know somebody, especially with a job lapse on your resume.  For someone younger like the OP, definitely go for more education. Seems like music therapy would be a good field--all us aging baby boomers will need it to keep our brains functioning.

I'm almost 57 and finally feel comfortable calling myself "retired".  I was in and out of the workforce as I earned more degrees while raising our two boys, and while DH began traveling more and more for work.  By the time I got settled after our move to VA in 2007, we were headed into a recession and I knew that I'd be competing with college grads for jobs when we can live comfortably off just DH's income, so I decided to volunteer instead.  Now I've become disillusioned with that (difficult for poor adults working minimum wage jobs to get regular hours, not to mention childcare, and that makes it difficult to schedule the regular tutoring sessions needed to make progress) and have considered working a bit in retail, just to keep moving.  From sneakymom's post, I guess even that kind of job may not be easy to find.  Should've done the yoga teacher training that began last month....maybe next year.  Fortunately, I'm never bored...just feel like I'd like more interaction with others to fulfill my need to help others.