Being home alone sucks.

As parents we fantasize about being alone without the kids…yes we all do it!

Dreaming about having a night off.  Experiencing an evening of bliss when we don’t worry or talk or ponder about our kids.  Especially if it happens in the midst of the tough parenting stages, which occurs from the time they’re born until you die.  Because parents are never NOT parents.  Once we take on the role, it turns into a life-time appointment, like a supreme court judge.

The only trouble with fantasizing about having a night off from parenting is that it’s never as great as we imagine it would be.

Having teenagers in my house means my kids have grown into little adults with whom I can have a conversation with.  (As long as their friends are not in close proximity, because that would make them extremely uncool!)  The older they get, the more interesting they become.  The Wife and I encouraged conversation since they started talking, so they’re fairly comfortable to discuss most of the things that’s happening in their lives.  And it is fascinating to listen to the stories they tell. (We are blessed with two kids who talk all the time.)

So when they decide to do other things and leave us alone, like Dude going on a rugby tour and Princess spending the night with her BFF’s, our place of joy becomes a real dreadful space.  A boring house where dreams go to die and the air is saturated with emptiness.  It’s filled with a longing for overly loud music, complaints about the speed of our Wi-Fi, requests for food, sounds of motorbikes and the voices of friends.  We stroll around searching for empty plates, school bags and piles of clothes.

I’m not sure what other couples do when they’re left alone but we couldn’t stay in the house.  We went for dinner and wondered what our kids were eating.  Then we got home, watch some series and wondered what our kids were doing.  And then we went to bed and wondered where our kids were sleeping.  Wife even had a dream about Dude surprising us by coming home a day sooner.

Isn’t that the saddest thing you’ve ever heard?

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It involves a lot of weeping

What’s even worse is how we realised that this is how our lives will be when they finally go off to college.  And for our youngest that’s only THREE years from now.   Dude’s finishing high school next year!

The problem with the mind of a parent is that we never remember the bad stuff, the nasty things.  We don’t recall the nappy changes, or the tantrums, or the fights, or the disappointments.  We only remember the pride and joy and indescribable love we feel for them.  So how do parents retain their sanity when their kids are ready to move on with the next chapter in their lives? How do parents get up every day and not just sit and cry?  How do we NOT move to the same city where the kids will choose to study after high school?  How do we let them go?

I can only imagine it is by stocking up on barrels of wine and mountains of prescription medication.

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34 thoughts on “Being home alone sucks.

  1. Er…I got to be honest…I love it when my kiddo goes elsewhere for the night. I might feel different if it were many nights in a row but he’s young, so one night a friend’s is a treat for me. A day off. And I enjoy it as such.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww this makes me wistful. I am a long ways away from the point of an empty nest and most days if i even get a 30 min break for my toddler, i am dreaming of all the amazing things I can do without her there. Do I fold the laundry unhindered or do I read a book? Do I lie down and stare quietly into space first or do I go to the bathroom all on my own? But i know my parents had a rough time when i moved out and away from the city and it’s a few years of growing away pains and then it becomes the new normal and you start looking forward to the weekends when they’ll visit and you’ll cherish every moment you have together 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still struggle with this. We have been empty nesters for some time now, both of our children living in their own homes & a ways away from the town we reside in. I often find myself breaking into tears after a visit from them or to them.

    When our firstborn went away to university, I was so excited for him. He chose a university about 2 hours away & would come home on the occasional weekend. Each time he returned to school, I would find myself in a puddle of tears. After this happened about the 3rd or 4th time, my husband asked why I still got so upset. Wasn’t this what we wanted for our children? To raise them to go out & be confident, to follow their own path, to be independent & live their lives? The answer to all of this was a resounding, yes of course.

    But what I realized was exactly what you have described in this post. Our home was the place where our kids & their friends hung out. I so missed & still miss the energy they brought to our home. As much as people kept telling me, it will get better, I still miss my kids. I have adjusted to our new normal but I can tell you, I don’t always like it very much.

    Treasure your time with your kids my friend. In the meantime, stock up on that wine!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When they were littlest-iittle, having time away from them is such a treat. As I read your post and in the last few months seeing how our kids have grown, that feeling and knowing the kids will be out of the house somehow does not seem appealing anymore. And we have at least another 15 more years to go! :p

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s good to know…not so sure my parents felt sad when I left…I think that party is still going! We have been empty nesters for some time now, both of our children living in their own homes & a ways away from the town we reside in.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved the honesty in your post. Although my children are not yet in the teenager age they are nearly there and we find ourselves more and more in these situation. And you are right – it is quiet, dull, what now? But you know what? I tell myself following: I have the responsibility as parent that my children don’t have to worry about me, correct? I have the responsibility to show them what independence and happiness is – not just hard work and taking care, but also fun and laughter, having a balanced relationship, etc. . What mother would I be if I sit at home sulk, start drinking, take the prescription drugs you mention, not talk to my husband, give up and my children start worrying – because they will pick up on these emotion. Don’t I have to show them all will be fine so they can fly? And for that I need to fly too. It is hard. I will fall. We as partners will fall. But it is our responsibilities as parents so our children can always come home to a happy nest and ask for advice and not feel scared or overwhelmed with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, as parents we need to teach them to be independent and go out into the great big world and become the best they can be…BUT

      As parents we also sulk alone in our rooms at the thought of them leaving.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very true indeed. We do. So where does the sulking become a bad routine we have to act and be honest to ourselves. Not saying this as a attack but rather as an observation I made. Happiness is a healthy internal responsible act no one can do for us. Too often I caught myself to fall into black whole of thoughts. But grief, the feeling of loss, tears, sulking, feeling alone – you are absolutely correct – are a natural part of it too. We should not always hide in the room and thankfully to your article some don’t.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Yikes .. I think it comes down to that changes in our lives are always an adjustment. But eventually it will become normal again – and you’ll wonder how you ever lived with kids home with you! I think my parents went through some difficulty, but they found things to keep them busier .. and over time it just became “their house” again.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I dread the day my daughter will leave! We live half the world away from the U.K. And if you want to study you need to leave the islands. My mum lives in the U.K. And she always tells me how hard it is being away from us, I never really understood until now

    Liked by 1 person

  9. i am not a parent yet, but i can say i partially relate to what you say. I won’t say that you should be happy and somehow relieved when you see your child going out, because you already know you should! But after all, this thing woth leaving, pretty much sums it up to every person in our life, more or less, especially those who are close to us. I suggest you just take life as it is, be happy your child has friends to go out with! And keep up with the great job you are doing here, on your blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m feeling all those feelings and will be ever more so when my kids all leave the house which will be in the next 6 months:( My girls are actually in the process of moving out THIS coming weekend!! I hang out with them, I talk to them about my day, we laugh about stupid stuff etc. I’m excited for them, but it won’t be the same without them. But the great thing is they have a pool and a gym so I’ll be hanging out in style:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s kind of weird how as the get older, we want to spend even more time with them. And they’ve reached an age where they sometimes prefer the company of their friends…

      Like

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