I knew that one day my children would all leave home, but I didn’t expect my oldest to leave home until she was at least thirty. She was always the child who did not want to grow up and she would always tell me that I would have to ‘kick her out’ as she was not going anywhere. Even when she started university she chose to go to our local one so that she did not have to move away from home. Then she met her boyfriend and fell in love and everything changed.
At age 20 LJ met her first proper boyfriend and after just six months she made the decision to move in with him.
I guess it is always going to be difficult when your first born leaves home. However, I think the speed of LJ changing from someone who liked being at home and doing everything with me (she was like a shadow at times!) to suddenly being out every night and then moving out completely has really hit me hard.
LJ leaving home has introduced a whole new set of challenges in terms of parenting, which has been difficult to adjust too. When we lived in the same house, no matter how busy we both were, we would always have time to talk each day. Whether late at night or over breakfast in the morning we would have that time together. Now that she has moved out it does take much more effort for both of us to make time to see each other and speak regularly as schedules clash and we have to adjust.
From my point of view, I felt quite hurt and angry that this new person was now LJ’s top priority. On reflection, I know that there is a time for everyone when you fall madly in love and especially at the start of the relationship they are all you think about. So, I do think that I was perhaps a bit unfair to LJ but we live and we learn!
At the end of the day, I just want my children to be happy so as long as she is happy then I am too. I have also made it very clear that she will always have a bed at home should she ever need it. I would hate for her to feel that now she’s gone she cannot come back if things did not work out.
It is really strange now and I often find myself putting an extra plate on the table or buying food I know she likes and then realising that she is not here! I miss her so much but at the same time, it is interesting to see what the future holds for her and how our mother-daughter relationship will develop.
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