I am trying to learn how to cope when my child moves far away. I have been an empty nester when it comes to my 26 years old daughter for a few years now. She got married at 23 and moved about 35 minutes away. We could visit often and even though it felt strange not having her under our roof, I gradually adjusted.
Her husband is military and as we all know it is only a matter of time a military family gets their PCS orders and it is time to uproot. We dodged that bullet for a few years but it eventually came. Hawaii. Yes, it is beautiful. Yes, it is a little piece of paradise on Earth. But, we live in Tennessee. Only 4000 some odd miles away.
Any mom knows the fear that creeps up inside when your child moves far away. So many “what ifs”. What if she gets sick? What if she needs me? Your mind will run you crazy if you let it. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of missing my firstborn and her family as they embark on this new chapter of their lives, I am going to work on being the best long distance mom that I can be.
10 Ways to Cope When Your Adult Child Moves Far Away
Embrace Technology – Love it or hate it, technology will be your best friend while your child is miles away. Video chat, phone calls, text messages. All of this helps ease the burden when your kid lives in a different time zone.
Cherish Moments – When your child moves far away, you will quickly learn to appreciate every moment that you have with them.
Encourage Growth– As scary and uncomfortable as it is for us moms to watch our children fly away to uncharted territories, it is even harder on them. They are venturing out into the unknown. A world full of possibilities and dark corners. Be a good supporter. Always let them know you are there for them.
Stay Grounded – It is easy to get caught up in worry when your child moves far away. The solid advice to follow here is DON’T. Yea, I know, that is easier said than done, but worry is fear and as the song by Zach Williams says “Fear is a Liar”. Focus on the positive aspects of your child’s new life and it will give you peace of mind.
Stay in Touch But Don’t Be Clingy– That precious child that needed you is an adult now. It happens so fast that it catches us mom’s by surprise. It is easy for some of us to deal with and harder on others. Keep in touch with your child, but be mindful to give them their space to grow and thrive as an adult. Limit phone calls, texts etc. to a healthy reasonable amount.
Set Goals to Look Forward To– So your child has moved off. This gives you the opportunity to plan a fun trip to see them when it is convenient for both you and your child. Most of us love to see new places so this should be exciting. Set goals for yourself as well. Maybe there were things you were neglecting because you were more focused on your family. Now is the time to start putting some more time and effort into you.
Find a Hobby– Is there something you enjoy doing, but never had the time? Maybe you wanted to try crafting, sewing, jewelry designing or some other fun hobby. Start a new hobby with your free time. It really is great at reducing stress. I started a new hobby several years back of jewelry designing and it has been so helpful.
Travel– This really is the best time to take a trip when your children are adults. Go somewhere you have never been and allow yourself to have fun.
Start a Journal-Journals are great ways to keep up with memories and fun times. Writing is good for the soul. You will enjoy looking back on the entries as years go by.
Work on Strengthening Your Marriage- When your child moves far away, both you and your spouse should take this time to spend more quality time together, plan fun activities and develop a stronger relationship overall.
I am hopeful that these tips will help you adapt to the changes that come with our children growing up and moving away from home. Don’t let their physical absence get you down. This can be an adventurous phase of life for the whole family. All you have to do is embrace it.