Hello, my name is Sunny Durrington, welcome to our Blog page and by way of introduction let me share with you some thoughts of this past week.
What a week I had! Soon my oldest child will be off to her University. For 18 years she has been with us day in day out. In a couple of days, she will move out and move into her student accommodation.
I was confident, thinking I have been prepared for her departure. I will be so cool and utterly excited for her new journey and adventure. I was having a bit of mixed feelings, uncertain of what they are. All I knew was that it was a mixed feeling sitting deep down inside of me for many weeks leading up to this week.
Then, BOOM! – One week before she goes off to University, the reality hit me. It hit me hard through my heart. I felt the small waves of sadness, then it was becoming a magnitude tsunami of all kinds of mixed feelings: anger, frustration, regrets, betrayer, anxiety, worries, and so on. First, I was not aware of those feelings. But I knew something was going on inside of me. Tears welled up. I could not look at my child. I was avoiding the reality of her departure all that time. IT IS TIME too for me to face my loss and her new life as an adult. Aha! I realised at that moment I am losing her. I am losing my baby. I won’t be able to “mother” her anymore as I used to. Whatever “mothering” meant to me or to her, she won’t be my baby anymore. She is a proper young adult, getting ready to live her independent life without me lingering around her all the time. I am losing my parental authority and power over her decision-making process. What else am I losing? It literally felt like the list goes on and on. Some might say, “Sunny, you are such a narcissistic mother!” “Heck yeah! She was mine for 18 years and I am about to lose my baby!” I would respond.
However, deep reflection set in my mind by asking this genuine question to myself, “What have you truly lost?” It is not just my 18 year old baby I have lost. I also have lost my baby inside that used to interact with my daughter. My inner immature baby with all her infantile urges, wishes, and desires that were force upon my own child. I could not glean any replacement satisfaction or achievement anymore through my daughter’s life. I can’t impose my own preference, values, and belief on her either. She is a complete individual who needs to build herself with her own set of emotions, values, belief, preferences, and so on. We are not mother and daughter anymore, we are an adult to another adult.
I have lost the old relationship between me and my child, as mother and a child. Yet again, I realise with such a big loss, I can also see I have gained something invaluable. A New friend, lifetime friend. I have gained a new friend to myself. I have met a a new friend with whom I can share my tears, joy, failure, success, silliness, jokes, aspirations, passion, pain, and so on. I just gained a new friend with whom I can grow together and become mature with each other.
Altogether, this week has been a life of loss and gain. What an emotional rollercoaster ride it has been! But it was worth it! My pain was worth it. My sleepless nights were worth it. My goodbye to my own immaturity and my baby was worth it. Because it opened up a whole new chapter in my life and brought one very new special friend into my life.
So looking forward to spending time with my new friend in a Cafe!
During the next couple of weeks, many High School students will leave their homes and head to University and start their own life as an adult. This is a very emotional time for many parents. Some might suffer from “empty-nest” syndrome. Come and talk to me about your experience. Let’s find some new meaning in our children’s future and development.