We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

My Adult Children Cut Me Out of Their Life

By Linda Ward January 02, 2022 Family

I have three wonderful moms in my immediate circle of friends who have been ghosted by their children. Dictionary.com defines ghosting as “the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation.” The extreme pain this abandonment brings is their daily life challenge.

The Whys

Some moms have no idea what caused this breach, with no way to find out. If the mom does recognize the source and wants to apologize to the adult child, this is not an option.

Other moms can identify a heated conversation where opinions differed. This could have been about political, religious, or lifestyle choices.

Maybe unwelcome comments were made about the adult child’s parenting style or poor choices that set an unintentional estrangement in motion. Sometimes we make mistakes as parents, and as parents we admit it!

In this brief article, let’s NOT go back to the source of the abandonment issue. You’ve already done this, over and over times one million, to figure out where things went wrong. If you do find your answer, there’s no way to go back and change it, even if you could or would.

Remember, the answer may not be anything you’ve said or done. Seeking the whys will drive you crazy. It’s a form of mental abuse to put yourself through this every day. Instead, let’s talk about your self-care as a deserted parent.

How to Survive

Here are some suggestions from moms who have been there:

  • Distance yourself from the adult child. Time will help.
  • You have no control. Release the child and keep moving toward an enjoyable life without them.
  • Cry and get on with it.
  • Lean on your best friends to help you at those times that hurt more than others – birthdays, holidays, or special events for grandchildren.
  • If you have an open communication channel at all with the adult child, just listen… and listen some more.
  • In this tug of war, drop the rope.
  • Write notes and cards to the adult child or grandchildren. If you think they are not receiving them, put the notes in a box for them to read at a later time in their life. One mom keeps sending birthday gifts and Christmas gifts to her estranged daughter. She’s sure they are dumped without opening, yet she will never give up or stop. It eases her mind.

A Kind Word of Advice

Take Care of Yourself

This unsolvable problem can rob you of your health and mental well-being. You may need to seek the help of a professional counselor to learn ways of handling the ever-nagging and uncorrectable whys. Simply take care of yourself.

Look for Abandonment Support

Check into on-line support groups for abandoned parents or books written on the subject to let you know you are not alone.

Find Your Source of Joy and Courage

Where do you get courage? Is it from your tribe of friends? From your religious beliefs? From self-help groups or books? You can lighten this heavy load and experience everyday happiness even though you will never forget your child or stop loving them.

Take Control of Your Thoughts

When you catch yourself for the millionth and one time asking “Why…?” just stop. Stop yourself and say out loud, “Not today, I’m going to be kind to me today.” You have the choice to have everyday happiness in your life.

As you know, life is short. Enjoy the adult kids that are still in your life, or your friends, or your pets, or your garden. Find what lightens your mood even a little, and do more of it.

Not sure how to be more positive? We give you some great tips in How To Fight Negative Thoughts By Changing Your Mindset.

Forgive Yourself

Maybe you were the reason the adult child stopped communicating. In hindsight, you see it, but there’s no way to say sorry. So, forgive yourself.

None of us know how to parent. We just take a very good stab at it and do our best. Sometimes we have said or done things that can’t be corrected now. If you need help with forgiving yourself, professionals in your church or mental health professionals will help.

Figure Out How to Live in the Moment

When something good happens, sit in that and enjoy it to the fullest. You are worthy of this. Your past mistakes or your child’s rejection don’t make it not so! Next time you enjoy your morning coffee, or a piece of fine chocolate, or the sunshine streaming in your window, take note and let yourself be there for it!

This brings attention to the things that we love and helps us experience the good in each day.

Are you an abandoned mom? If so, I wish you courage daily! How have you learned to cope? What gets you through special days or events? Please join the conversation in how you have moved forward in your life.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Carmen Vandre

I don’t know how to.


Yes, it started a decade ago with my oldest, then my third off and on. The third has mental health and substance use disorders, then when I was very sick my 2nd child ramped up her anger and abuse towards me. Those three have removed me from social media.

that leaves my youngest, who is in. A controlling relationship and lives a 2 day drive away


My husband died on March 21, 2015. My oldest son was mad at me because I didn’t stop his Dad from drinking nor gave him the things he wanted, but I assured him I would give them to him when I died. He completely cut me out of his and my grandchildren’s lives. Cards and gifts were returned to the sender.
My middle son died on February 13, 2020.
I had a catastrophic auto accident on November 16, 2021. My daughter was at the trauma center when I was life-flighted in. After that, I had to beg her to come to see me. As of now, I haven’t seen her or my grandchildren for 11 months.
Why at the lowest points in my life have my children abandoned me???
I now have put my needs and desires before anything else. I still cry every now and then, not for me but for them and what they are doing to their children.

Monica Cleveland

I have been cut out of both my kids lives for almost 2 years now. There is not a day I don’t cry , o try to occupy my mind by making wreaths , flower arrangements. I’ve painted all by cabinets in my kitchen and both bathrooms. I’ve completely redecorated both bathrooms and I’m not sure what my next project will be but I need to figure it out before the holidays have taken a tolll in my mind , my health, my marriage and my job. I have severe depressive disorder and have gotten professional help. And have learn ways to control it . Nothing is never enough though. My kids have destroyed me completely and I just don’t know his not to be a mom. I had my son at 17 and my daughter at nineteen my husband and I have been married 34 years now! I’m completely heartbroken and can’t seem to live a normal lifestyle anymore.

Linda Ward

You know that staying busy and having projects is helpful. You sound quite resourceful! The pain of estrangement doesn’t go away, but I hope you will find ways to ease that pain. Instead of being completely heartbroken, perhaps heartbroken yet maintaining and being OK in health, marriage, and your job, moving up a notch or two from completely heartbroken. Your lifestyle may not be “normal” in the way it was with the kids active in your life…but you are working at and I believe you will find a new normal.


Many of us have only ever known motherhood and grandma hood. For me it’s so unreal that something like this could happen. I’m so sorry for you. Your story reminds me of my own. I had my children young also. Never known much beyond being with them😢 My heart breaks for you and for so many other women experiencing this, “thing”! Did this happen when we were young to parents among our parents generation? or is this some new phenomena? It’s heart wrenching.

The Author

Linda Ward is a Writer and Life Coach living in Minnesota. She specializes in helping mature women find everyday happiness and a satisfying life. She zeroes in on life after divorce, retirement transitions, and finding courage no matter what the circumstances. Her inspiring new eBook is called, Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier. Linda’s Professional background is Social Work and Counseling.

You Might Also Like