Daughter Has now Left Home

enjoyingspringMarch 21, 2007

My daughter is 24 years old and a University Graduate. She recently found a very good job at the other end of the county.

When she was at home we had quite a good relationship, I was always very good to her and did everything I could to make life easy for her while going to school.

Now that she has moved away, I rarely hear from her, she never calls, never e-mails. If I e-mail her she does respond but never has much to say, when I call her we do have a pleasant conversation, but she never calls me.

I find this very hurtful, I have asked her why she does this and the only response I get is that she is busy working, if I pressure her too much she gets angry at me. What could be wrong with her??

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There's nothing wrong with her....she's expressing her independence and she probably is VERY busy with a new job.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 9:11AM
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Sounds to me like she is enjoying her new-found independance. And while that may be painful for you, that's really a very good sign. That what you should want as a parent -- to raise a self-sufficient adult.

Give her some space. At the same time, you could ask her to give you a quick call maybe once a week just so you can be assured she's OK. Don't pry for details or whine about missing her, and be sure to let her know you're proud of her for going out on her own. The connection will be back soon, even if your daughter isn't.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 5:06PM
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I have been wondering the same thing about my daughter.

She moved back to college, she is still doing her course, about 7 weeks ago. She has never phoned or contacted.

I am happy that she is happy, and I am mindful of the fact that she is very busy and I must admit I see this as my "problem". So I know I must make the effort to contact. However, I was beginning to wonder why she did not feel that she wanted to pick up the phone and chat.

When I think back to myself at that age, I think I was totally self-centred. But I am sure I still wanted my "MUM" fix from time to time.

When I had babies, I wanted "mum" fix, all the time ! Visiting as often as I could.

So I guess Mum is just there, at home, ready to talk, if the need be, ready to listen, ready to encourage.

I would say to you....you take the innitiative, you maintain contact, if that is what you want to do.

It must be difficult for you to have her so far away, hugs to you.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 5:54PM
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Nothing is wrong with her!
You raised a strong independent woman... and she is making you proud. It is tough moving away... making new friends, settling into a new job. And the transition from student to employee is tough.
Check in once a week... with my mom it was Saturday morning.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 6:33PM
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I am very happy that my daughter has found a good job and is independant. But it doesn't take very long to pick up a phone and just say "hi, how are you doing".

I speak to my Mother every day, I enjoy talking to her, I am busy too but I make the time to make that call. I know there will be the day when I won't be making the call to her.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 7:40PM
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Different people have different needs for contact. I don't feel the need to be in regular contact with my loved ones and neither does DH. Time flies by, and all those things I meant to do (like call people) take weeks or months to get around to. It doesn't mean we don't love them. DD, on the other hand, calls frequently, and while I love to hear from her, I wouldn't feel slighted if she didn't.
I can tell you from personal experience that if you intimate to your daughter that you feel hard done by when she doesn't call (as my mother did), you will not improve the situation. If you need regular calls, then you need to initiate them.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 10:41PM
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njtea...are you kidding? Do you have children of your own? And you would think it was totally fine if you go through all a parent does to raise a child, and once they left for college ... they never even bothered to call you? And you would be OK with that????? That you came to the slow realization that they really did not care if they talked to you again or not?!?

What is the point of it all then? Yes, we all want our children to be independent adults, who are capable and do well in life. But we do not expect to raise children only to find that they really could care less whether they talk to us or not. That their life has moved on, and their family, and grandparents and everyone who makes up a family is just "dumped", because she has put together a new life?!?

And you would be OK with that with your own children, and siblings and parents? Everyone just moves on, and really does not give a wit about anyone else...and has no desire to talk or really even hear from them?

I bet she isn't too busy to call and e-mail her friends. Busy or not, I imagine she is on her cell phone with friends.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 8:09PM
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I like the suggestion of once a week phonecall. Thats a good idea.

I have been reading about communication. And one point that stuck out...that if we want someone (like close family) to do something for us, we need to think about changing the situation somewhat.

For instance...a child keeps coming into the house with dirty shoes, and leaving mud all over the floor..you say "can you wipe your feet before you come in", he keeps forgetting. Way to get him to remember...lock the back door, he comes running along, cant get in, remembers why, wipes his feet, knocks on door.

So thinking along those lines, perhaps setting up the Saturday morning phonecall will change her behaviour. It will become a habit for her to call home at that time. Perhaps a card setting up this on-going appointment will help her remember.

Its easy to become resentful when people don't do what we want them to, but if we think about it...we can get them to change and then all will be happy.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 3:34AM
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What's your problem, "bnicebkind"?

Yes, I do have children. One seldom called when he went off the college and the second called all the time.

Time passes and I now hear from the first one on a regular basis and the second I seldom hear from.

They both love me and that's all I need to know.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 7:41AM
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Maybe you should call and set up a lunch /shopping date, once a month or every other month, to make time to spend together. To make up for the no phone calls.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 10:04AM
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I am with you bricekind, what is the point of having these children if they just leave and you are not part of their life anymore.

Your are right, I am sure she has time to chat with her friends.

klmkm, I wish I could meet her once a month for lunch or shopping but she lives in Vancouver and I live in Ontario Canada.

I just want to be part of her life, knowing what she is doing, if she is sick maybe telling me.

I have another daughter that calls be at least twice a day, we just chat for a couple of minutes, that is all, not much to ask.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 6:24PM
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I understand how you feel. My eldest daughter only calls if she needs a dog sitter or something else. :-), but that is her way. My second youngest calls or e-mails more, but not much. My son, in NC, calls every weekend, or I call him. He has a wife, but still likes to talk to Mom.
His wife has no problem with it at all. He tells me about his latest project, or we discuss politics, weather, etc., just mundane things, but it is the contact we like.
My youngest has stayed home the longest, and has just now shown signs of wanting to move out, maybe with a boyfriend. I think she will keep in touch more, but then, who knows?
My own Mother drove me crazy when I first married; if I didn't call every day, she called me, crying. That got better after a while but when she became very elderly, I called her at least four times a day, and sometimes more just because I wanted to see if she was ok. Fortunately, I was by her side when she died unexpectedly one evening at dinner.
Now, guess what?? I would give an awful lot if I could make just one of those calls that used to seem "too much", and hear her dear voice on the other end of the line. People need to remember that Mom and Dad won't always be there to answer the phone. Maybe that realization comes with age, but it will come. I hope your daughter gets over the "independence streak" and starts to contact you more; if not, just contact her and hope for the best.
I think kids nowadays would rather e-mail than talk on the phone.
Take care.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 8:02PM
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I think you are right Mary, as you get older you realize how important your parents are to you and unfortunately sometimes you realize this too late.

Unfortunately my daughter doesn't do any better with e-mail either, but I always e-mail her to keep her up to date and I call her too. If she is not there I leave a message. I think she is just to self absord with her life to be interested in mine I guess. But, I guess she will find out someday when she has children.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 9:31PM
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I wouldn't count on her realizing anything. Most children just go their own way and are not interested in Mom and Dad anymore. I first noticed the absence when they got a washing machine and dryer. LOL The best thing you can do is quit calling and emailing her and see if she calls to see if you are ok. It's hard to be deserted, but the sooner you get over it the happier you will be. I am lucky because I can "get over it". I have had a very difficult year because my husband went to a care home and have no family for support, but have found other women my age who lunch and shop together. I am having more fun than I have had since high school. Next week I am going to the local senior citizens center and check out the pitch games.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 10:16PM
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EnjoyingSpring, if you are still reading these posts, here's a note of irony. I answered your earlier post and mentioned that my youngest showed signs of leaving. Well, the very next day she told me she is going to move out. Here's the kicker. She is 40 years old, but looks much younger. She is a college graduate, makes an excellent living and in fact is a VP of a nationally known advertising agency . We basically have been just sharing the house, of which she is a part owner, so it isn't a case of an inept child hiding behind mom. If anything, I have been hiding behind her. She has paid the bulk of the bills since I retired, and I have contributed all of my SS earnings, which aren't too bad. I think she stayed because it was convenient, we have room for our dogs and cats and everything worked out well.
Now she wants a place exclusively of her own, just as I did when I was young. She wants to have her friends, and her boyfriend over without having to skate around mom, and I fully understand, and support her. She is beginning to fear the age thing I think.
Now, here's my problem. I feel like someone has died. I cried all day yesterday, and I am not a crier. I feel like I will not be able to stand it here in this house without her, we have lived here all her life. Also the anniversary of my Mother's death is coming up in April, and that always depresses me.
I do take medication for depression, but it doesn't seem to help here. I do not want to make her feel bad and am not trying to guilt her into staying. I think she should make her own place, but, wow, I never expected this mourning period. She hasn't even found a place yet, and I am acting like a nitwit.
Has anyone else had this experience, of an adult child of this age leaving home?
I will be all right financially, I have some reserves and the other kids as well as the youngest want to make financial contributions. She will continue to support the animals, vets, grooming etc, so that isn't it. She will stay in contact with me I know, so that isn't it.
I don't think I will have any more interest in fixing up the house, or even cleaning it, as I mostly did it for her benefit.
I apologize for this long story but hope someone else has had this experience and can give me a ray of hope. I guess I should be ashamed for feeling this way, and actually I am. Just can't seem to help it.
Thanks for reading,
any comments welcomed.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 11:11AM
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I understand you completely, it does feel like someone has died, my daughter is a lot younger but I feel like I am in mourning. I cry a lot too.

Yet, it is funny how some people just can't wait for their kids leave and not be part of their lives anymore, I just can't figure it out.

Keep strong.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 1:46PM
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Thanks a lot for your note. It does help to know someone else knows the feeling. Misery loves company? :-) I don't love misery, but the company sure is great.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 4:42PM
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