Writing some words of advice on How To Cope When Your Child Leaves Home is not going to be easy because I haven’t a clue how to cope. I have braced myself to deal with a child leaving for university in the expectation that they would never come and live at home again, but so far both of them came back home to live after university. This time though, my firstborn son is officially moving out to go and live with friends somewhere in deepest darkest South East London and it’s move day.
Typically he isn’t home from Notting Hill Carnival yet, so I can’t wait for his hungover efforts. It will be hopelessly haphazard no doubt. I will be trailing behind him in my car, filled with his worldly possessions to see the house he’s chosen to rent and to help him set up his room.
What an exciting time for him and I must try not to feel too sad. He’s not going to be far away and it would be worse to have a child who didn’t ever want to leave home. He’s got a job and appears to be a relatively fully functional adult, so my job is almost done. Obviously parenting lasts forever, but the day to day stuff is over. He’s off on an adventure and it’s very exciting for him. He can cook (spag bol), he can wash his clothes, clean his teeth, brush his hair, shake someone’s hand properly and wipe his own bottom. What else could you want from your child?
But I’m really going to miss him. Mess and all. That’s the thing about having children – they’re full on, exhausting, messy, loud, drink your alcohol, empty your fridge, use all the towels (once), leave stuff everywhere, lie about watching Friends on a loop, keep you up late, make you tear your hair out with frustration…and then they’ve gone and you are left with a little black hole that you need to learn how to fill up again. It’s heartbreaking how fast they grow up. Especially when you’re a single parent and haven’t really made plans for your own future without your children. I need to find some new ways to fill my time, the other two will be gone soon as well.
It’s been an absolute pleasure having him in my life and so to my son, I say thank you – for making all these years so amazingly brilliant – for being such a happy, joyful, lovely child, for being who you are. Thank you for being such a support during difficult times (you know what they are), I couldn’t have done it without you.
So many positives to your new stage of life:-
and just remember, when it all goes wrong, blame your parents – I find that always works:-
I will always be here. Love you loads xx