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The Detachment Wall: How to Let Go of Your Adult Children

By Christine Field October 05, 2022 Family

Some of us moms have a problem with our attachment to our children, to the point where the bond can become unhealthy.

Can we love our children but not let their choices or behavior make us crazy? Is some detachment actually a good idea?

Is Detachment a Wall?

The idea of detaching from a person can seem terrifying. But is there a way to practice healthy detachment?

Another way of thinking about it is this – when we live detached, we are not placing a wall between us and others. Instead, we are examining our own expectations and dependencies.

With those in perspective, we are freer to love another person because the focus is shifted to them and is not solely on us.

With our adult children, though we love them unconditionally, we try to satisfy unmet needs in us:

  • Our need to be needed.
  • Our desire to nurture someone.
  • Our desire to see that our work and love produces an effect – a child who loves us back.

What we often do is keep a picture in our minds of our child and how they will fulfill these needs and desires for us. What happens when that child rejects us? In my case, and for many other moms, we completely freak out!

What Went Wrong

When we are ‘good mothers,’ we begin to define ourselves by our mothering. While this can be positive and can encourage us to fulfill our role responsibly, by totally adopting that definition we can forget all the other aspects of ‘me.’

When we are our role, when that role is challenging, or when that role is over, what is left of ‘us’?

In dealing with estranged children, we still tend to look within ourselves. We ask ourselves what we did wrong. We obsess over every interaction and question whether we could have responded differently.

Read HOW TO DIVORCE YOUR ADULT CHILDREN AND RESTORE YOUR SANITY.

This Monday-morning quarterbacking neglects some basic facts about humans:

You Can’t Control Other People

We surely have influence over our children, but we do not mold them like clay. When they don’t turn out the way we planned, we neglect this fundamental truth.

You Can’t Rely on Your Children for Your Happiness

We may have looked ahead to our golden years and seen ourselves surrounded by loving grandchildren. This neglects another fundamental truth: People change. If we rely on other people for our happiness, we may be disappointed.

My source of joy and happiness is an inside job, not dependent on the actions of others.

Your Emptiness Is Yours to Fill Up

Your adult children don’t exist solely to fill the void of your unmet needs. Do you need the love and admiration of children and grandchildren to be happy? Perhaps meeting your own needs by loving yourself sufficiently will bring more peace and satisfaction.

Complete People Can Love Completely

I remember well the first time my young daughter gushed about a new boyfriend, saying, “He completes me!” We had many long talks deep into the night discussing how love can be real and true only when two people who are complete within themselves come together.

True love rejects the notion that the other exists solely to please you. True love is therefore not threatened when the other displeases you, because the love is not dependent on the other fulfilling your needs.

Having the other person conform to our desires so we will love them is manipulation, not love. Focusing on “what’s in it for me” is a death knell for true love.

Yet, as mothers, we sometimes forget that in our relating to our adult children. When we can view them with some detachment, when our reactions to them are no longer based on expectations or being dependent on them, we are then able to love them fully and freely.

Do not look at your adult child as completing you, giving you a fulfilled life, or meeting your needs. When you set those aside, you begin to understand love.

What to Do Now?

If you are a hurting mama, laid low in the dust by the estrangement of an adult child, what should you do now?

  • Examine your feelings and thoughts. What does it feel like when attachment hurts? What thoughts are you thinking at the time? Can you begin to think differently?
  • Be with others and love them, but don’t look to them as your source of happiness.
  • Learn to be alone, not lonely. Loving ourselves enough that we can be our best companions is healthy.
  • Quit blaming yourself for the state of the relationship. You didn’t and couldn’t control the outcome. Why beat yourself up?

Here are a few more ideas to help you heal and let go.

  • Journal – Writing or sketching your feelings and thoughts puts you in the moment and helps to get you out of your thoughts. Buy yourself a pretty journal and write in it whenever you feel overwhelmed, sad, or lonely.
  • Find other mothers in the same boat – Join Facebook groups and share your stories with other women who are going through the same thing. Lift each other up and remember not to fall into the trap of wallowing and continuous negativity. 
  • Seek counseling or therapy – Look into talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. 
  • Read empowering books such as:

Self-Love Workbook for Women: Release Self-Doubt, Build Self-Compassion, and Embrace Who You Are by Megan Logan on Amazon.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödron on Amazon

Keep Moving by Maggie Smith on Amazon

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz on Amazon

Mind Over Mood by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky on Amazon.

When we are not attached to any outcome in our relationships, then we can be free and happy. When the state of our internal life is more important than our external circumstances – there lies peace.

Read PARENTING ADULT CHILDREN CAN BE AGONY.

Also, MY ADULT CHILDREN CUT ME OUT OF THEIR LIFE.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you still find it hard to let go of your adult children? Or, do you still worry about them and take care of them more than you think you should? Please join the conversation below.

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sarah

Your words really hit home, thank you, just what I needed today❤️

Kristine

My only daughter, who’s 27 now, has completely shut me out for over a year now! She has told my friends horrible lies about me just to justify her actions! My mother, who promised to take the two most important pieces of my life away, my daughter and grandson! My mother has succeeded and has manipulated my daughter into the bond I had with my daughter! I have been single for a long time because that is how my daughter wanted it due to my mothers brainwashing her that she would be less important! I have no family I can rely on, no
Emergency contacts, not one person! The worst part is I helped my 17 yr old daughter raise my grandson for 4 years and for her through high school and 2 yrs of college and sacrificed a lot for her! Bought her a house that she moved out of 4 yrs later and told everyone I put her and my grandson out on the streets! She even went to churches for donations saying this! It’s horrible and she was not raised like this! I just don’t understand and my heart is shattered especially for my grandson who has been on a roller coaster ride with her the past 5 yrs! Now I have another grandson who is ( months old that I have never met which I will spare that child and not let him go through what the other one has! I will make
That sacrifice of knowing him to save his mind and heart!

Angela

Hi every hurting mom or there in one way or another. I’ve been trying to find a place that has another person in my situation or already gone through it and can help me. That being said, I’m a mom of twins boy/girl almost 22 years old. For that long is just been our little family of 4. We are tight! I have a strong bond with both. They have never moved out for college or other. My son is getting married in 2 weeks and my heart aches so much it physically hurts. I’ve heard it all from people that just don’t get it. From “cut the strings, you should be happy for him, he’ll still come over alot and keep that bond.” So on…. I’ve been through alot of loss starting at a young age. This feels like I’m grieving the loss of a living person. We do so much together and the little daily things I’m going to miss so much. The thought he won’t be sleeping in his bed anymore and all the other small things is killing me. For anyone that’s judging me, please don’t. I’ve tried not to rely on my kids for my happiness and not be over protective. I think I’ve done ok. It has nothing to do with his fiancé, I like her. I think we’ve all(us 4) have depended on each other. My husband and don’t have big families. I only have 1 siblings living. Not that it’s pertinent knowing that. I’ve been waking up paniky knowing it’s the lasts of all the little things we share at home. I know I’ll always be his mom, but I just don’t feel like I’m done being his mom at our house. I’m sure it would be hard if it were 5 years ahead but I might have at that point felt like we all got to enjoy having him here longer in to his 20’s. I also know it sounds like I’m making it all about me and how I feel. I am happy for him and he knows it, but he to is having a hard time with the change coming. Anyway, that all being said is there anyone out there that has has as hard of a time as me, and will actually admit it. I sure hope so for the sake of getting support and not feeling like I’m gonna lose it.

Christi

I feel you, and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one feeling these feelings. My situation isn’t the same as yours but my feelings are. My daughter is in her teenage years and I’m already mourning the loss of her childhood and her not needing me like she once did. I’m already trying to mentally prepare for her leaving and going to college. Right or wrong she is my best friend, my whole world. We have always done everything together and been so close but now she’s not needing me as much, I’m not seeing her as much and I feel like I have no purpose left and feel so alone.

Angela

Christi, how can we help each other? That lonely feeling for your child is excruciatingly painful. Where do you live? Is she your only child? My daughter is my best friend as well. I’m so glad she’s still here but for a hard as it is my son leaving, when it’s her turn I might literally have a breakdown. I know some people don’t understand these deep bonded relationships and that’s ok, but for those of us that do get it and are hurting, we need to help each other through. If love to talk more with you. I’m actually replying to you the night before his wedding day 😢🤗

Virjinia

Hi angela! I feel you.

Janetpretty66@gmail.com

Hi,i’m feeling just like you.
I’v also had loss of loved one’s over and over.
I’m very caring loving protective and sensitive to feelings.
I have five adult children, one daughter, who has always lived with me.
Also my 17yr old grandaughter.
Cple yrs ago we lost my 2nd eldest son tragically. You can imagine how broken i was.
But carried my grief best i could, and still am.
My daughter closed off from us all, even though still with me, grew cold.Grandaughter who is growing fast, with the awkward sullen attitude, made things difficult.
Fast forward to present. A few heartfelt arguments,with daughter being nasty to me, and my eldest son. He said she’s selfish and ungrateful. She now want’s to move, but can’t find a place, i’m in bits.Crying anxiety panic nausea ect.Really do not want her to leave, feel angry also,as i have no one.No family or friends.I’m aware this transition has to take place, but it’s feeling like a death again. We were so so close. I feel devastated.we are on eggshells around eachother, like strangers!

Smom

Hi Angela,
What your feeling is recognized. I get it. But I want to tenderly relay some thoughts that may help. Please know I went through this. In hindsight, from the glory of birth we as Moms/Dads make it our life work to raise them to be independent adults. Think of that for a moment. We revel in all of it- and are proud of them and ourselves. So when they are (and it’s their right) ready to face their future we want to be on that path- however that’s where we need to press the stop button. Give them the freedom they need. No matter what choices they are making. At this point, they should be able to learn their lessons. Does that make sense ? In order to repair the mistakes I made – I had to have a sit down honest conversation- and admit that I didn’t know what to do or that I wasn’t as good as I should have been with communication of my feelings. I wished I had done this before it snowballed into a non constructive battle. Remember this please- every parent is going to something wrong 😑 and “screw” up their kids in some small way! It’s human nature. Also every child has 1 heartache with mom or dads name on it. These are words from my wonderful therapist! Hope this helps xo

TMS

Your son’s relationship with you will change — girlfriend, fiance, wife, father. It is inevitable. He will put you at an arm’s length as his wife, their friends and eventually their children will be his primary circle. I had a tremendous relationship with my son growing up, every opportunity and sheer joy — when he met his now wife, that changed with her perspective and their growing bond. There were times when he felt judged by me – I think the world of him; smart, talented, capable, handsome. Apparently my enthusiasm for his abilities pressured him and “I never felt good enough.” Go figure. I never pressed him to be a Nobel prize winner or a pro ball player – just the best at whatever he attempted and he has succeeded in his life. Like so well, he was earning good money interning while in his junior year of college. HE is the smart one, HE is the one who pursued more (yes, with my backing), yet I am left being the, what? Aggressive mom? Is loving him and wanting to share in his life aggressive??? He now lives with his wife and two kids, we visit and it is like we are intruding on his life. He and his wife are watching TikToks while I play/feed the small kids. I like being with the kids and ?helping them out?? They live an airline flight away so we only see them 4 times a year for maybe a 4 day weekend. They take the kids to daycare during the week even if we visit – “gotta’ keep their routine.” Okay, sure. It breaks my heart, I love my son like no other. I really feel the distance in our bond; it is not new, better or a new chapter to me. It feels like a loss. Someone said mourning a living person/relationship – too true! My husband says it is my issue – my feelings, my perception, my expectations — my problem. He says “they are grown ups with their own priorities, their own way of doing things; their own way of being. You got him to adulthood and now it is his to do with as he will. He is not going to be grateful to you everday for who he is or what he has.” Nope, even though we still help him out whenever needed, it is what it is …. take it or leave it, but it will not be your version of the relationship with an adult son you hold in your head/heart. It will be his and it makes me sad every time. I have such happiness in my heart before boarding the plane there and such disappointment in my heart when heading home. I know I have to curb my expectations and take what I can get. My son is 30 and I don’t have hope it will change much in the upcoming years. I know they are busy with 2 kids under 3 (their plan) and I too do not want this to sound like it is a “poor me” thing, but all I ask for is some time with him. You are not alone Angela. All I can recommend is keeping it real – change is coming. Lower your expectations so you are not heartbroken and crying, but be prepared to find where you now fit into his adult life. All the best to you.

Becky

I am so sorry. I often wonder what I did to my kids to make them hate me. Literally I’ve never done anything but be supportive and help them whenever I could. Now they are grown and out of the house One tries her best to destroy my marriage. The other grew up and spends time and has relationships with everyone but me. Dear GOD it hurts. You are not alone.

Denise

Same here… I go back and fourth in thought. For a while I k ow without a doubt my ex husband destroyed my relationship. With all 3 of my children but there are other times I’m sure my children ruined my marriage. In the end there shouldn’t be one person rejected not knowing the answer.
If there was anything right about it there would be no need in secrets, refusal of communication and being left out of the family that you built. And the truth is it’s not one of the other, mine all left because they wanted to. Because they felt no need for me or desire from me. They each decided they could. Live their life without me and so they did.

Rachel

It does. I have days that I literally want to just go to bed and. Not wake up.I am not the same person i was a year and a half ago that’s for sure.

Cathy

I’m so sorry Rachel that your pain is so great. I too get those days and I’m praying that God will give us direction.

Beth

Hi. Me too. I just spent a week driving across the country, helping my 25 year old daughter move. Got sucked in again, to the lure of her wanting to spend time with me, wanting me to see the place, like it and move there, too
Because “she wants me nearby again”. But had to listen to a gruesome book on audible the whole way, no talking…and then started making fun of me, and being rude once we arrived. I fly home tomorrow and know I won’t hear from her until she needs something . I always cave because of the fear of growing older alone.

Rachel

I feel you.. I tell my
Mom all the time I just lay down so she can walk over me again..but when she is sweet, she’s so sweet and I crave those times. She’s my only daughter and I love her so much. I don’t know what I did to make her hate me so bad.

Cecelia

Beth,

We always lead with our hearts, hoping things will be different this time.

It might help to not always help out each time your daughter asks for help. Pick one time to say no and do something for yourself, like go out with friends, get your nails done, or treat yourself to something special. You will feel that doing something for you will make for a better you!

Explain to your daughter that you are sorry, that you can not help this time because you have plans but will try to help out next time.

Hope this helps!

Abby

Omg same here! What’s worse I have little to no friends, my parents have passed only one sister who my daughter calls mom and my grandkids call grandma. We always had s close bond and talked for hours so she knows I am so afraid of ending up alone and one of my worst fears is having no one to share holidays with. So four years ago my sister comes back into our lives and it seemed my daughter changed over night. What hurts the most is she has repeatedly abandoned me when I have needed her the most, didn’t hear one word from her when either parent died and when we ran into each other at store a month after funeral, she acted so happy to see me yet still says nothing about death , but informs me how upset my sister was over my dad’s death and she was so upset couldn’t face the funeral, so my daughter felt she had to support her through that dark time. I didn’t ask what about Mr and supporting me nor did I inform her how I was devastated over my dad as it was but Ghent having to plan and face funeral all alone was one of the worst things I’ve ever faced. In November I was released from a long stay in hospital due to mini stroke and seziures, the same night I was released she got mad that I was out of it and wanted to lay down. Started yet another fight and I spent Thanksgiving Xmas and new years alone as I have done since my sister came back. I can not deal with the pain anymore and iI feel lost but obviously she has no love for me so why try to get hurt all over again. Sorry tldr

Meagan

My 19 year old son graduated top 3% of his class full scholarship to college… within 3 weeks he was non existent in our lives I had to call campus police to do welfare check’s because he wouldn’t even respond to a simple text message. Thanksgiving rolls around and he comes home finally to sleep on the sofa for three days… I drug test him and he is positive for cocaine and marijuana… we talk to counselors at school and get him back on track for spring semester and he drops pit I don’t hear from him for months until I get an Instagram message he has OD not knowing if he is dead or alive I start calling hospitals and find him. I check him into rehab that day he leaves. It’s been an up hill battle and now he isn’t going to be here for Christmas. He is very disrespectful cussing and yelling going off as we try and help him the other night my husband had to physically remove him because I was working from home and his siblings 4 and 15 were scared. We told him to take a walk cool down and come back when he is civil he left and hasn’t returned saying his step dad of 10 years who has been there for him for everything is dead to him. I’m lost idk how to even move forward

Kim

Hi Becky. You’re not alone.

Kim

Hi Becky,
I feel your pain, up until 4 years ago I poured all of my energy into my adult daughter who is now 40 years old. My daughter never really let me mother her she always did the total opposite of my advice; which in turn caused her to spiral out of control, of course I was right there by her side mistake, after mistake. I co-signed for apartments, cars which led to broken leases, and a car repo which I’m still paying for today. Most people say I enabled her, and maybe I did but that wasn’t my intention.

In 2018 my hubby, and I packed up our two dogs moved to Austin TX. We leased our condo to her as she promised to do the right thing; late rent payments, poor upkeep of property, disrespect her and her boyfriend who add fuel to the fire not sure where she found him the hold situation is just terrible.

The thing is she can afford to pay the rent, and pay for the repo car, but she’s materialistic and spend all her money on designer clothes, food she actually brag to me once telling me she spent $9,000 on Door Dash.Poor credit, she rents a Mercedes Can you believe that? So sad.

I helped her raise my first grandson, I took him to football practice, attended PTA meetings, met with counselors, Church, and supported him in every endeavor like I did her.

Since I been living in Texas she had another baby, basically she uses him as a pawn to control me if I talk about paying rent she want let me see, since I live in Texas FaceTime or zoom with him is how we communicate..

As I mentioned she’s living in my condo, and dealing with the ups and downs with her made me mentally and physically sick.
I hired a property management company to manage the property. The company had her sign a lease which her lease is up in May and it will not be renewed. Oh and on several occasions I tried selling the condo, and making repairs and her and her boyfriend won’t let anyone in the home. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but since I hired the property manager and monitor my interactions with her I was to able reverse to prediabetes without medication.
Every time I let my guards down and think we’re on the right track she reverse back to the same behavior. She have lied to people, playing the victim, I know she’s never going to change so I know I have to gloves off, no more thinking that she’s my daughter and I am somehow obligated to allow her to treat me badly, after all she’s down to me..
I’m providing her a roof over her hand and she don’t want to pay rent, late every month.
I’m just looking for a support because it extremely difficult because by nature I’m nurturing and passionate about supporting others.. but she has completely hardened my heart when it comes to her.

My prayer life have definitely improved; and it’s helping.

Frankie

Kim, your daughter and mine are very similar in their actions and behavior toward their mothers! I’ll never understand how or why a beloved child can grow up to betray the one person that loves them unconditionally.
I’ve heard and read so much, trying to come to terms with this. But often I hear to not expect anyone to make me happy. I understand that. I am NOT wanting that. I only want to be a part, only a PART, to be included!!
I want to love and be loved. What human doesn’t?!? I built my life around my family, and now don’t have that.
This is unbearable.

Last edited 27 days ago by Frankie
Nessa

I feel very sad and upset reading these posts but realise I’m not alone in feeling the awful hurt that I have every waking moment. My son has changed to the point that I don’t know him anymore. He married 15 years ago just after the death of his father. I welcomed his wife with open arms. To cut a long story short, she has turned him against me and also my grandson who is now 9. I loved them dearly, never interfered always available to look after my grandson and their cat Never complaining. Used up most of my savings which my husband his father left me so I could help them willingly. I was always glad to help.
Christmas 2022 was the final straw. I’m 70 years of age and my son would not turn the heating up for me and I could see my breath as it was so cold. Then my grandson said to me that I’m not family only his granny and grandad. He was always loving towards me. Now there’s nothing. I live alone and my heart is breaking. I know my daughter in law doesn’t want me in their lives now as I’m of no use anymore. I recently had an operation albeit a small one but my son had not bothered to enquire as to my well being. I’ve endured years of nasty comments and always brushed them off as not to cause trouble between my son and his wife. I’ve left their house in tears many many times and went back for more just so I could see my son. My grandson at the age of 6 spay in my face and they didn’t tell him off he was rewarded by his mother getting his paddling pool out. But like a fool I sat there and took it.
The mistake I made was to allow their bad behaviour to continue towards me. I now know his wife is a narcissist and nothing I can do or say will change the situation.
My daughter in law set out to destroy my relationship from the day of their wedding when she told me ‘he’s mine now’.
She has her family and I’ve been shut out and my son has allowed it.
I have to carry on the best way I can but I too would like to not wake up so that the pain will end.

Denise

My heart felt every word. I also know these thoughts and feelings. When you used the words emergency contact it brought me a memory from a year ago of being in the emergency room right after my third and final child joined this alliance they have formed against me. It was the first time it hit me I had no one. The journey to no one I would never put another human through . To be told I played the victim yet I sit there without a phone number to write on the form or anyone to care about my health or well being. I was desperate to feel care that I called my middle child and told her that I was at the ER and to please don’t hang up. I was going to ask if I could. List her. But she did hang up and I regretted the call because it told me she didn’t carr why I was there. I knew then my children teally didnt care if i lived or died and it’s not a game they hace been plating like ive told myself. They truly are not invested or Interested.
Your mention of your grandchild also resonates pain . My old granddaughter has been ripped from me so many times that I didn’t feel sorry for myself anymore, my heart poured for her. Each time I went on grieving for her while she went on forgetting me. The older she gets she now tells me that she doesn’t want to forget me but she never did. She is 6 now and my middle daughter has followed suit and began the same dangling give and take with the two children she has had. All I ever saw for myself was the things my grandmother was to me. The button tins, dipping little, Fingers in the sugar bowl and all the guaranteed hugs and love a child can have from a grandparent. Maybe those things are nothing, but they sure make me feel silly that long before they were born I was preparing for them and already loving them unconditionally long before they were ever born. They will never know that though. I’ve stopped my end because I do t want to hurt them or them ever think I just go away and they are not wanted. It’s a hard thing to swallow esp. when you thought you had something to offer just to find out your meaningless. Prayers to you all

Last edited 3 months ago by Denise
Rachel

I am right there with you. My nanny was and is everything to me. I only wanted to be the grandmother she was to me to my little granddaughter. She is 17 months old now and I have not seen her since she was 3 months old. My daughter is pregnant with her second child, a boy. I replay every day of her life and wonder where I went wrong and look for the things I did to make her this way. Honestly though, I am guilty of nothing. She was loved and doted on before she was ever born. We read books every night, I took her to the theater and she was in ballet and played violin and I supported anything she ever wanted to pursue. I was a Girl Scout mom and room mother. I just shake my head. Maybe one day we will get it together.

Neen

Denise, I hear this often, adult children estranged from their parents. This isn’t for no reason, if three of your children are against you that’s a definite indication that something was done by parent. I truly truly hope you’re seeing a therapist that can help you look deeper and find the source for your children deciding to keep you out of their lives.

Vicky

It could well be parental alienation done to the kids by the other parent or family member. My ex used the kids as weapons. He missed his target. I’m happy and free, and they are miserable. After our second fake attempt to reconcile, it’s now shame on me if I let them fool me again. I believed reconciliation was us getting back together, but I see now that reconciliation is me learning to accept life without them. Wish to bypass the grieving process but must go through it.

Rachel

I am sorry you’re going through this. I am in a similar boat. I find it a daily struggle. My daughter is pregnant again with her second child and it is so hard for me to have to consciously stop myself from falling in love with him like I did my first one. I won’t survive it- she used my first granddaughter as a weapon and continues to do so I.

Vicky

You will survive it. If Christian, lean on God. If not, lean more on people in same situation. You really can get to a place where you are happy without them. Not overnight but it happens. Do not give up. Love yourself.

Sharon

I’m Christian and hoping to get there too.

Tracy

Your story is so close to mine. My son is 27 and I have a 1 year old granddaughter I was allowed to hold 2 times. I’m not trying to blame it all on them but our misunderstandings stem from my hysterectomy and my emotional behavior I was bombarded with . He is my whole heart now has been cruel and I had a knee jerk reaction to a couple of surprising comments that he knows cut me deeply. I gladlyvwanted to make it right but did not feel I could until I worked on my rejection sensitivity among other things but my DNL wrote pages of things they blame me for not remembering a appointment to check baby’s murmur
I had cancer a surgery snd never saw my son whom has pages of notes he sent me about us and his love and appreciation through the years I’m devastated I was told being a mom was my super power. It’s the only thing I thought I’d done right. I don’t want baby to get close and be used against me. I havevto clear this up with him but I’m so sensitive I cry too much and just can’t face his judgements yet. I had no idea I would tell all this here. Today is her 1vyear bday. I am just letting them be for now

Last edited 3 months ago by Tracy
Pauline

finding it overwhelming that my only child is moving out and buying a house with her boyfriend.. it has been just me and her for 27 years.. I am happy for her but can’t stop crying the nearer it gets, I have never lived on my own before, I dont want to burden her with my feelings either. Most of my friends are married too 😪😪

Rukhsana

Hi Pauline, as a single mom I can relate. I just moved across country, going back home, from my only daughter,18 years old, and it was gut wrenching painful. We had been through so much together, a lot of tough times, but we made it through. We really started enjoying each other’s company, and didn’t want it out to end.

But i realized that moving away, although not ideal, didn’t mean that our bond ended. With all the technology these days there are so many ways to stay in touch. Also, it was necessary for us to have more individuality in order to be healthier. It was like “ripping off the bandage”.

The tears still come, but that’s love. She knows you’ll always be there for her, she just has to spread her wings. Big hugs mama ❤️

Sue

Hello i totally understand and feel your
Gut wrenching heartache! I have been a single mum since my daughters were 5 and 7 years old. They were my life, my function, my happy, my sad. Now within 6 months of each other they both left home to start their own futures. They have great jobs and careers and they are thriving. Meanwhile i am a wobbly emotional mess to say the least. I look back at my life, all the things we did, i taught them to read write and ride a bike. I am proud they are strong independent women but i am lost. What do i do with myself now. I feel my life is behind me and nothing to look forward to or fix or do.

Judy

Hello Sue,
You have done a great job of raising your daughters because they now have their own lives. It’s your time now to invest in yourself and your life. Get some fun hobbies! Read, learn how to play the piano or guitar, take online classes in art, knitting, cooking, get a pet. Go to yoga classes, or lead a quiet relaxing life however you want! You can still see your daughters and talk to them. They can still be in your life.

Vickie

My son is 45. Says I’m dead to him. It really hurts and the grandkids are done with me also. I can’t eat sleep or function. Been so sick but they don’t care. Broken hearted

teresa

what do you do when you are in your 70’s, have one child, are estranged. who do you use as an executor (can’t depend on the nieces, they have parents) who do you put down as an emergency number! i’m fine with moving on without her it’s the aboves things i worry about. thank you – p.s. friends die so they can’t help all the time

Maryjo

I hear and feel your worries. My story is pretty much the same. I moved 1800 miles to be closer but that was a mistake. So I got a lawyer had all the documents (will, living will, power of attorney’s etc) completed with the lawyer the executor. I am trying to carve out a happy life here and live in my new to me reality. It’s not too bad but was scary when I ended up in the ER but I made it and know that strangers can be kind. I hope you find your path.

Virjinia

Would like to be buddies talk with you. Am 70 too

Judy

Do you really need an executor? Or could you make arrangements to leave your possessions to a charity? As for an emergency contact you can ask your doctor (s) or put your daughter’s name down and tell her why you chose her despite the estrangement.

Inessa Levitan

Thank you so much for incredible article! It was exactly what I go through right now. INessa, looking forward to read more, inessa

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The Author

Christine Field is an author, attorney, speaker, listener and life coach. She has four grown kids, mostly adopted, mostly homeschooled. She provides MomSolved© resources and reassurances to moms facing common and uncommon family life challenges. Christine helps moms rediscover their mojo for wholehearted living after parenting. Visit her website here http://www.realmomlife.com

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