As I drove down the road gazing at the beauty of the newness of spring, I realized I was feeling some old familiar emotions. It was Prom night and my daughter made it a primary goal to attend the Prom every year of high school. I recognized feelings of joy as I watched the excitement on the faces of teens dressed and ready for a night on the town. How fun…. new life experiences in all its glory. My baby is growing up. Being a senior next year made me recognize the cycles of life. My child rearing years were almost over. One more prom, one more cheer season and then it’s over. I was saddened that it was coming to an end but so grateful for the joy she was experiencing on this magical night.
But my feelings of loneliness would not go away. I had no one there to share the joy and pain of this special event. I never planned it to be this way – what happened to my life? I started out with such hope for the future and dreams of a family. I never thought I would be standing here alone watching my daughter drive away with her own life.
Milestones are a lonely place for single moms, tremendously exciting but emotionally hard. Graduation is a biggie! You may fear the future without your kids. What will I do? What will my life be like alone? I need to find a companion. Panic and fear is never the emotional state to make life changing decisions. It will only cloud our perception of reality to make the right choices. To rightfully handle the emotions of detaching from our children and the only lifestyle we may know is to fully acknowledge where we are. Validate your feelings, talk to a friend, therapist or support group. They are the right feelings and the same feelings all parents face.
Feel your feelings and then make a choice to let them go. Embrace this time in life as your time. It’s a time to discover what is important to you and how you choose to live this next phase of life. Go back to school, volunteer, get involved with something you are passionate about, but whatever you do don’t sit in your sadness. Your kids need to see you happily living your life. You are in the driver’s seat of your future – you can go wherever you want. Instead of feeling sad, feel glad, be excited and enjoy the adventure!
Written by Renee Blankenship