BS: Nest - Empty or full? To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
58 messages

BS: Nest - Empty or full?

21 Nov 03 - 01:47 PM (#1058639)
Subject: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: GUEST,MMario

Question for people - another forum I'm on has a lengthy (for that forum) thread on the heartbreak a mother is feeling when her 22 year old daughter chose not to move back into the family home after having been away at college for four years.

this was certainly not an expectation my parents had - nor, as far as I know any of my siblings with grown children... (not that "flown" children wouldn't be welcomed back under most circumstances- but they aren't expected to move back)

Most of the people commenting on that thread are reporting similar feelings to the original poster (and similar expectations)

Now I know it's tough letting them out to "fly on their own" - but do many/most parents expect grown kids to stay in the family home?

Of course my folks always stated their intention to have us settle coast to coast as an excuse for them to travel in their retirement - *grin* which they have done - but as far as I know so were most if not all of my friends encouraged to go out on their own. Is it a generational thing?

21 Nov 03 - 02:03 PM (#1058644)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: open mike

my nest is empty empty empty..
in the last couple of years
my parents left this world,
my husband is now my ex
and both daughters are on
their own . This is a lot
of change to process.
I am proud and
glad that the kids have gone
(or are going) to college.
I expect that they will
continue moving on their
own paths which are likely
to be away from, not towards
thier parents.
roots and wings...
roots and wings...
now is my opportunity
to try my wings..
flap flap flap

21 Nov 03 - 02:31 PM (#1058661)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Alaska Mike

Hi Mmario, we have five children ages 27, 25, 23, 21, and 20. The only one that has not moved away from home is the 20 yr old. He decided not to go to college yet. He works full time, pays a trifle for room & board and seems quite happy to be where he is.

When my eldest finished college she got an apartment and started working full time. When her student loans came due, she moved back in with us to reduce her expenses so she could pay off her loan. She is planning on moving out again in the spring of 2004.

My second child got married at 17 and moved to Germany for three years. She and her family now live in Anchorage in their own house and visit with 2 of my grandchildren once in awhile.

My third daughter went off to college in Pennsylvania and had almost finished her bachelor's degree when she too ran out of money and moved back home. She is also working full time and living at our house and will probably go back to finish her degree next fall.

My 21 yr old son got married last year and he and his family (1 grand daughter) recently moved down to Oregon where he has not been able to find a job. They are thinking of moving back to Anchorage or perhaps further south to New Mexico.

So currently I have 3 adult children living at home and 2 living on their own. I'm not sure how this compares with others, but I am very glad to have 4 of my kids close enough to see nearly every day. I talk to my son in Oregon quite often and will be ready with the checkbook if he should need a helping hand.

Our children are the greatest thing to ever happen to my wife and I. We are devoted to them in every way. Our children are intelligent and confident in themselves. Although each is quite different, they all possess compassion, inquisitiveness and an understanding of right and wrong. When they choose to fly away, I am saddened and excited for them at the same time. We have never pushed them into things, and we always try to assist them in whatever they decide to do.

Best wishes,

21 Nov 03 - 02:49 PM (#1058668)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Amos


Barky is off at the Conservatory most of the year and decides for herself what she will do in between semesters, with a certain amount of input from us. But when she graduates we expect she'll be making her own head of steam in the world. But she will always have a place under our roof if she needs it -- we just don't expect she will.

Of course, partly, that depends on the economy, as Mike points out. But IMNSHO, a parent should stand ready to watch fledglings fly, even over the horizon if that is what it comes to. You generlaly get as good a return in communication as you invested earlier.


21 Nov 03 - 02:56 PM (#1058672)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: GUEST,MMario

That's what floored me about the thread on the other forum- was the parents who were posting who expected their kids to just move back in - and were devestated when they didn't.

21 Nov 03 - 03:41 PM (#1058703)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Morticia

Hmmmm, well,Pixie moved home after university while she takes thinking time to decide what to next and earning time to finance it. I did not expect her to come home but was pleased that I have her for another year or so .....after that, who knows?

My son left a few months ago....I don't know when I will see him again but I think, aside from holidays,I probably won't.On the other hand, I thought that a year ago and in he moved ( again) so once again, who knows?

I appear to have VNS (variable nest syndrome).

21 Nov 03 - 03:48 PM (#1058710)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Amos

LOL, Morty! MM, I can only suggest that such parents are seriously out of communication if their expectations are that far out of synch with their actual results.


21 Nov 03 - 04:00 PM (#1058719)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: artbrooks

Huuummm...when older daughter graduated from high school, we moved (job) and bought a house with one less bedroom. When other daughter graduated from high school five years later, we moved (job) into government quarters...with one less bedroom. When I retired, we moved again...and have one less bedroom. Somehow, the issue hasn't come up.

21 Nov 03 - 05:47 PM (#1058767)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Ebbie

LOL, artbrooks. It seems to me that children tend to be the ones who can't imagine their parents' daily life without them!

For several years after my daughter left home for college- and marriage during college- I sent her money from time to time, both bidden and unbidden. As my son in law's salary increased - my daughter stopped working for pay after the children started coming - the occasions dwindled and finally ceased. Frankly, I enjoyed sending them money and would/will do it again should the need arise.

21 Nov 03 - 06:10 PM (#1058783)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Catherine Jayne

When I graduated from university I didn't move back into my parents home. I had my own life and was about to get married. When the relationship broke up I did move back to my mum and dads for a grand total of 3 months, things didn't work out and I moved out after a massive row in which we didn't talk for a number of months..well almost a year. Now my mum and I have come to an agreement and she has accepted that I have grown up and now need her in a different way to when I was younger.

21 Nov 03 - 06:23 PM (#1058792)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Liz the Squeak

I moved out as soon as was humanly possible after being told aged 14 that I was going to be the 'good little girl who stays at home to look after mummy and daddy'! 4 years later I was out of there, and only went back for 6 months when there really wasn't anywhere else to go.


21 Nov 03 - 06:37 PM (#1058804)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Rapparee

When my brothers and I came back from war we moved back in with my mother, but it was NEVER expected that we would live there forever. Indeed, when I left Grad School no. 1 I didn't go home, but took a bus to Ohio, slept on a friend's couch, and looked for (and found) a job.

Mother said that she'd provide a roof and meals while we were in college, but when we got that bachelor's degree we were on our own! And she held to it, too.

21 Nov 03 - 07:15 PM (#1058839)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Sorcha

Son finally moved out when he was 24, and I was READY! Daughter just moved out at 18 a few months ago. I miss her a lot, but am glad my house is no longer full of teen age angst. Both live here in town and I see them every day.

22 Nov 03 - 07:45 AM (#1059026)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Jeanie

Two quotes which sum up my feelings about this, and which I'm striving to live by:

(From 'The Prophet' by Kahil Gibran)

'Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are set forth."

(From the song: 'Wings' by Brian Bedford - and sung by Vin Garbutt)

"Why do people cage the things they love the most ?
Is it simply that they fear to be alone ?
If you give your love its freedom, it may stay a while,
If it leaves you, it was never yours to own."

- jeanie

22 Nov 03 - 07:59 AM (#1059029)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Jeanie

I missed out an important line from 'The Prophet':

"You may house their bodies, but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of to-morrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams."

It was in fact through that expression "The House of To-morrow" that I first became aware of this quote - it had been used as a title for a book about a foster home and I read about it, and the quote, in a magazine article when I was recovering from miscarrying a much-wanted first baby. The quote, and the whole experience of desperation for a child that I was going through at the time, made me stop and really think in a very honest way about what I saw "motherhood" as being, and the ways I needed to change that view. The loss and the learning through taking this quote to heart have made me strive to be a very different mother now with my daughter from the one I would have been. I say strive, because being a parent is never easy !

- jeanie

22 Nov 03 - 09:05 AM (#1059050)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: GUEST,Strick

1 1/2 gone and two to go. Oldest daughter is through college and married and the 16 year old is away in college in an early admission program.

I left at 18 and only came back to help out. I'll give my boys a place to stay in an emergency and certainly some financial help if they need it, but I'd be surprised if they aren't eager to be on their own.

Besides, it's the grandkids I want. I've been receiving graduate school education on how to spoil them from my in-laws and I'm looking forward to the payback.

22 Nov 03 - 10:19 AM (#1059075)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: wysiwyg

We wanted one to move back in temporarily because there are some serious brain-wiring issues there that had not been adequately addressed when she left prematurely, and then she also had gotten very sick with 4 rounds of mono, and no change in lifestyle to prevent another crash into three wall-- we wanted a year to get her on her feet and complete the parenting she pre-empted by leaving early. SHe made a plan to return and the, at the last minute, stayed with a bad boyfriend who had lured her away to begin with. (Not actually abusive-- just so immature and co-dependent that she was disappearing as a person.) Another year passed, and she (they) hit bottom. She figured out to leave him. I found the way she experienced this quite inspiring. She said she had been miserable for awhile (homeless-- living in their car or serially with newfound "friends"). One morning looked at herself in the bathroom mirror and saw herself-- and said out loud, "Wait just a minute-- that is not YOU. This is not even your own life you are so miserable about (it's his and he created it)! YOU are a skilled, smart, positive, peppy person, and you need to get back to THAT life!" So she did, that day, take action to leave-- had money wired for a nicely meditative bus ride across the western 2/3 of the country. (She got him to agree to pay the bill for all the things they had left in storage, and she calls the storage facility every month to be sure it has been paid!)

She then chose a family member to live with (and get well with) where the jobs are more plentiful than they are here where we are. She found an "entry-level" job that trained her, promoted her, and has paid her vey well (with benefits) in a large firm. She's made other good financial decisions too.

I still wish she had come back when agreed, and now she does too; but she did end up making a string of very good decisions and is doing very well now-- including, we hope, better boyfriend choices. And we are closer than ever as the boyfriend's anti-parent messages have worn off over time.


22 Nov 03 - 10:28 AM (#1059084)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Rapparee

My second-oldest nephew wouldn't leave, though he had a decent job and had finished the schooling he wanted.

One day, his father took him out to a decent trailer park and pointed out a trailer that was for sale. The kid was TOLD, in no uncertain terms, that he WOULD either buy the trailer and move out or he would be moved out -- he would find his belongings in the back yard and the locks changed.

He took the hint, took a loan to buy the trailer, and has been on his own now for over a year. He's doing fine, a welcome guest at his parent's house, and would never go (now) go back.

Everyone else in the family was and is anxious to get out on their own just as soon as they are able.

Maybe it helped that there were nine people living in a house with 1.5 bathrooms....

22 Nov 03 - 10:32 AM (#1059085)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Amos

The critical leverage point seems to be the size of the house, huh? If you're offering a luxurious spread, it tends to get more weight than the 1/2 bedroom apartment they can afford on their own?


22 Nov 03 - 11:24 AM (#1059099)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: jimmyt

My oldest came home after college, got a meager job, settled back in to the rut he would still be in if we hadn't told him he needed to get on with his life. He did, soon thereafter met his future wife and lives 30 miles away, happily married with a four year old grandson for us! My 2 daughters pretty much went out on their own soon after finishing college, both live within a hundred mile radius, and we more or less talk to them all everyday. Today they are all coming home to help decorate the Christmas tree.

It seems the natural order of things that they may need to spend a month or so from time to time staying with parents while they transition to new employment , etc but moving home should be no more than a measure to get through a tough few weeks, not a permanent one. I have always said that I put Gidion Bibles on their night stands in their old bedrooms so they knew that although they were welcome for short stays, they needed to not get too comfortable! grin

22 Nov 03 - 11:36 AM (#1059103)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: artbrooks

I have an aquaintance who told his unemployed (by choice) son that, if he wanted to live at home, he'd have to enroll in college rather than using their house as a place to stay between outings with his friends. He did, but dropped out after a week...without telling his father. I also think he kept the refund of the tuition the father had paid. When this was all discovered, son came home one day to find all of his belongings on the front porch in brown plastic bags...and the locks changed. A pretty crude, but effective, way to get the message across. At last report, son had finished college and had a good job...and was living on his own.

22 Nov 03 - 12:02 PM (#1059123)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: wysiwyg

Amos, not really-- IMO space usage also comes into play. They can come home anytime they want, but there may be a Mudcatter in their bed.


22 Nov 03 - 12:05 PM (#1059127)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Amos

Ratio of bodies to bathrooms?

I can think of a few Mudcatters I would not want in my bed. And a few contrariwise also! **bg***


22 Nov 03 - 12:07 PM (#1059131)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: wysiwyg

Ratio of bodies to bathrooms?

Well, if one were really concerned, one could take one's bucket up to the Mudcat Dorm attic and have a go. Of course there is the cold creek or the warm pond (with the free algae spa treatment) for washing up, too. :~)


22 Nov 03 - 01:40 PM (#1059158)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Stilly River Sage

My children are still young enough that I expect to have them here for the next 8 or 10 years, depending on where they plan to go to college. Once they turn 18 the child support stops, and the only assistance I will be able to give them for their higher education is room and board, and hope that their father continues to give them the same amount as an allowance toward school that I received for support.

My daughter is 15 and my son is 11. I talked to them about the costs of renting and now of homeowning. I try to make them aware of how to go about keeping bills paid and costs down. I try to teach them about the pleasures of having your own space and at the same time being a helpful part of the team-effort that is this family. I'm on good terms with my ex, so the kids don't get the corrosive drip drip drip of vitreol I got from my mother following my parent's divorce and I think they will feel that they can choose where they want to live when they start college, whether with one of us or on their own.

To answer Leo's question, they are learning now how to live in this world and hopefully to pay their way without building up huge debts to hamstring themselves along the way. They will move out when they're ready, and I hope to keep our relationships such that they know they can move back if they need to but they have to help out around here.


22 Nov 03 - 05:44 PM (#1059248)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: jacqui c

My son and I had a very stormy relationship and he moved out to live with friends when he was sixteen. At the time it was a ral relief and now, twenty years later we get on well, but neither of us would wnt to live in the same house again. My daughter bought a house with her fiance when she was eighteen and took her furniture with her a,d I got a touch of the empty nest syndrome when I went to her room the day she moved out and looked at the expanse of empty carpet, which was usually unseen, generally being used as a wardrobe! She now lives about 100 miles away and has plans that, when I retire I will move up closer to her. She's even picked out the type of house she thinks would suit. I have a feeling that she and I will be having quite interesting discussions on this subject as I have a life in Hertford and don't particularly want to move.

Empty nest, I can understand the feeling but I think that we spend enough time bringing up our children - when they leave that's our time to let go, but I think it depends what you have in your life beside your family. I love my two, but my life now does not revolve around them - I will always be there to try and help out, but have accepted that both are adults with their own lives, in which I am on the periphery and, to my mind, that is as it shoulld be.

22 Nov 03 - 06:18 PM (#1059261)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Amos

The only reason empty nest should be unduly painful is if you lack internal resources to generate new interests and the ability to pursue them.


22 Nov 03 - 08:22 PM (#1059312)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: GUEST,Ely at Mom's

23 Nov 03 - 01:31 AM (#1059387)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: mack/misophist

Empty and it always has been. I like it that way.

23 Nov 03 - 12:04 PM (#1059415)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Rapparee

Hmm...I grew up in a house with between five to seven people in it at any one time, and one bathroom.

Maybe people leave home to get a private bathroom??

23 Nov 03 - 04:07 PM (#1059525)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Deda

I started a thread along these lines a year or so ago. It's here.
Now I'm immensely relieved that my daughter and grandson live in Brooklyn, my son is back at his Dad's house just 45 minutes from me, while he's finishing a degree in modern languages, and my stepson was relieved of Peace Corps duty because Maruitania was getting too dangerous. (My stepson's barber had a photo of Osama up on the wall.) I feel a LOT better when my kids are within easy calling distance, when I don't have to calculate time differences of 8 hours, and when they'r3e not living where the busses are routinely blown up by terrorists.

23 Nov 03 - 05:45 PM (#1059552)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Firecat

I'm 19 and I'm still at home. They won't get rid of me THAT easily! Heh heh heh!

23 Nov 03 - 09:17 PM (#1059659)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: GUEST,Desdemona nest is still quite full. My eldest is a junior in High School, and is impressively consumed with colege-realted concerns. My younger 2 are in 6th & 2nd grade, respectively, and I'm getting ready to go back to school myself with a view to an this point the idea of an "empty nest" seems as remote as a moonscape, but as today is my eldest's 17th (!!) birthday, I must say I'm still eeling a bit wistful for those days of strollers, naps & diapers. IT all passes so very quickly.


24 Nov 03 - 03:07 AM (#1059730)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: mouldy

As I previously said on the last thread, one has left home and lives 250 miles away in Cardiff, having chosen my siver wedding party (one of the few times I'd seen him that year) to announce that he thought he would stay in South Wales, where all his friends were. Another moved back briefly this summer and now lives only 4 miles away. She turns up with her fiance every Monday to be fed, and I sometimes see her once or twice during the rest of the week. The youngest goes off next September and has applied to universities as far away from Yorkshire as Aberdeen and Portsmouth. She says she expects not to come home when she finishes.
I am on only child, and much as it hurt her to do it, my mother was pleased for me to go away to college in London. I also stayed on down there, although I came home frequently at weekends to visit my fiance. My mum said she thought that everyone should leave home before settling down into marriage or partnerships as a first leaving, so that they could learn what it's like out in the world. She herself got called up during WW2, and went very apprehensively, but said it was the best thing that ever happened to her. She even signed on for an extra year at the end of the war. And I have always agreed with her.

I was really looking forward to this stage in my life (freedom at last!), but of late I have been feeling apprehensive, having an overseas-working spouse I only see every 6-8 weeks or so. Ruth, my youngest, who is usually somebody to talk to in the evenings, spends a lot of her weekends at her friend's house - it's a good job I have the dogs for company!
I live in a village where there is no "heart". We don't even have a village hall, and so very little goes on. It's mainly a dormitory. Once your kids leave the village school you start to lose contact with other people. I do my craft fairs from time to time, and that has extended my range a bit, but I am considering getting part time work next year, just for making new friends.

Time for a positive attitude! But I know when I drop my last "baby" off at uni, I will be inconsolable for a while.


24 Nov 03 - 09:49 AM (#1059870)
Subject: Lyr Add: LEAVING HOME
From: harvey andrews


1) Now you're all past twenty-one
We think it's time that you were gone
Time you started on your own
If you were birds you would have flown
We've had a talk your mom and me
We're sorry if you don't agree
You can shout and you can moan
But mom and me we're leaving home

2) You've had the best days of our lives
So never doubt our love survives
But when we think of all we've spent
We think we should have charged you rent
We've pushed the trolleys then we've queued
To fill the fridge and buy the food
The fridge was empty the next day
So fridge and us we're on our way

'Cause there's so much we've never seen
So many places we've not been
So many dreams we'd like to dream
We'll trade conformity for cream
And if you think we won't get far
Well, sorry kids, we'll take the car
You've got ten days, no time to grouse
You see we've gone and sold the house.

3) You've taken all that we could bring
You've never wanted for a thing
In fact you've had it so damn good
You wouldn't leave it when you could
That's why we're taking all TVís
To share our leisured life of ease
And in a month, well, more or less
You'll get our P.O. Box address
'Cause we're leaving home!

24 Nov 03 - 12:27 PM (#1059962)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Mrs.Duck

I never returned home after university but five years later ended up with my mother coming to live with me (if you are thinking of this DON'T do it). I don't think I was expected to return home especially since Mum had sold up and moved into a granny flat in my brothers house - might have been nice to have the option! Geoff stayed on in Cardiff for a while after he finished at uni but ended up back at his parents house when he got a job in Bradford until I rescued them from him fifteen years later.
My own children are coming to that age now the eldest (19) works but doesn't earn enough to move out yet Alec (17) will probably go to University in 2005 and I can imagine he will want to set up on his own somewhere after but it all depends on finances. With huge student loans it may be impossible to do other than return home.

24 Nov 03 - 08:18 PM (#1060234)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Nancy King

I came back to my parents' house after college, but only for a few months, and then got my own apartment. But that was a LONG time ago. Expectations were different then.

One of my Ex's kids had to be pushed out at the age of 21 -- it was obvious (to us at least) that a free room, free lunch and free ride forever was not helping him grow up. He was mildly put out and struggled for a while, but eventually did just fine -- now has a wife, two kids, and his own house!

Neither of my kids moved back in after college, though Dan did spend a summer or two here while he was in graduate school. I have continued to provide a financial safety net, however, and there have been times when it would have been a whole lot cheaper to have 'em living here!

I submit, though, that one is not an empty-nester until they move all their STUFF out of the house. So I'm still not in that category.

Cheers, Nancy

25 Nov 03 - 09:24 AM (#1060545)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Mooh

Full, with wife, two kids, dog, cat, clutter, and guitars. Don't think the guitars will ever leave home for good.

My eldest is considering her post-secondary school choices, mostly universities within 3 or 4 hours drive because she wants (so far) to be close to home. It'll break me heart, however proud I am of her, to see her go. She has made sure already that it'll be okay if she wants to return at any time. I have no expectations of anything either way, but would rather see her comfortable here than starving anywhere else. My youngest is still in elementary school.

My kid sister returned home after she took her degrees, and after Dad died and Mum (her spelling) had a stroke, sis bought a house and had Mum move in with her. No one in this family seems to be able to imagine life without each other close at hand, or at email. When we talk retirement it usually involves relocating closer together if possible, though I wonder what will really happen.

I stayed in my parent's home for 4 years after high school, floundering around between gigs, bands, parties, girlfriends, and jobs. It was a great place to flop with lots of privacy, cool liberal minded parents, cheap room & board, and great meals. I left for the wrong reason, chasing a girl, which I regret now. I was too selfabsorbed at the time to see how my departure affected my folks...I know they cried when my siblings left. I did work hard for the folks while I was under their roof, chores and favours daily, and I liked it. It was cool to know my parents that closely as a young adult.

I don't expect my kids when grown to remain or to return home, but at this time I think it would be okay. I like having them around.

Now if the cat wanted to leave for good I wouldn't mind.

Peace, Mooh.

25 Nov 03 - 09:59 AM (#1060573)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Dave Bryant

I basically left home when I went to university. I did spend nearly a year back at my parent's home in my mid 20s, but that was because I'd just finished a long contract up north and there was a screw-up about moving into a new flat. Both of my parents are dead now (my father over 30 years ago and my mother almost 10) so I couldn't go back if I wanted to.

Linda has a son who is nearly 15 and has no intention of encouraging him to come back home after university. Linda's daughter is in her mid 30's and married with 2 children - so (fingers crossed, touch wood) we don't think she'll be moving back. We're looking forward to being able to retire within the next five years and do all those things that we don't find time to do at the moment - watch out world !

25 Nov 03 - 05:55 PM (#1060850)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: bbc

Hi, Leo,

My kids are now 18 & 21--both away at college. My older one has told me he doesn't expect to live w/ me again (although I wouldn't mind). My younger has told me he will never leave me alone. Yikes! I don't really *expect* either of them to move home again, but I am open to the possibility, if they need it.

best to you,


26 Nov 03 - 07:50 AM (#1061268)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: mouldy

My neighbours are rejoicing that after a year doing temp work and living back at home, their graduate son has decamped for a year to Leicester Uni to do a Master's. They said they never thought they'd see the back of him! Of course if he doesn't find work when he finishes...

His sister finishes her graphic design degree at the same time too, so if they both come back home their mum and dad will despair, I think.

My elder daughter's friend has just returned home from Leicester, having completed her Master's. I think her mum thought she'd got rid of her!

My absent son has told me one of his friends has suggested going to live in Australia. I don't suppose he will, but the idea bothers me less than my last chick flying the nest! (Thinks - holiday destinations!)


27 Nov 03 - 08:02 AM (#1061939)
Subject: Lyr Add: SONS AND DAUGHTERS (Harvey Andrews)
From: harvey andrews

Sorry, I just seem to have these songs that appear relevant!

Sons and daughters leaving, going far away.
See them sadly waving, wishing they could stay.
All they see about them, darkness and decay.
Sons and daughters leaving, going far away.

Job in South Australia out along a bay.
House with half an acre, mortgage they can pay.
Sandy beach and blue sky, safe for children's play.
Job in South Australia out along a bay.

Letting go the children, telling them goodbye.
See you in the summer. Yes, we know you'll try.
Better life for certain, break the bonds that tie.
Letting go the children, telling them goodbye.

Should have gone in '80. Things were different then.
Now you're so much older, couldn't start again.
Smile and say, ďIt's all right that was way back when.Ē
Should have gone in '80. Things were different then.

Repeat B

So you're on your own now. Thatís the way life goes.
Home's too big and empty. Bid for bungalows.
Learn to send an e-mail leaving out life's woes.
So you're on your own now. Thatís the way life goes.

With sons and daughters leaving, going far away,
See them sadly waving, wishing they could stay.
All they see about them, darkness and decay.
Sons and daughters leaving, going far away.
Sons and daughters leaving for a better day.

27 Nov 03 - 11:03 PM (#1062326)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE FLEDGLING (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
From: Deda

I'm re-posting this from the earlier thread.
Here's a poem about empty nests:

-- by Edna St. Vincent Millay

So, art thou feathered, art thou flown,
Thou naked thing? --and canst alone
Upon the unsolid summer air
Sustain thyself, and prosper there?
Shall I no more with anxious note
Advise thee through the happy day,
Thrusting the worm into thy throat,
Bearing thine excrement away?
Alas, I think I see thee yet,
Perched on the windy parapet,
Defer thy flight a moment still
To clean thy wing with careful bill.
And thou are feathered, thou art flown;
And hast a project of thine own.

28 Nov 03 - 02:42 AM (#1062370)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: mouldy

Maddy Prior wrote a very poignant song about her son leaving home - "Alex".
That's my son's name too, and it makes me want to cry. You can find it on the "Ballads and Candles" album.
Verse 2 is:
I want to show you all my mistakes,
but that would take a lifetime and more.
You have your own to make, and time is short,
and I know you must be gone.
But I hope you'll think of here, sometimes,
as still your home.

Then of course there is the well-known:
If you love something, set it free.
If it comes back, it was, and always will be yours.
If it does not return, it was never yours to begin with.
If it just sits in the living room, messes up your stuff, eats your food, uses your telephone, costs you money, and never appears to know that you set it free in the first place,
you either married it, or gave birth to it.


29 Nov 03 - 04:50 PM (#1062940)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: jacqui c

Mouldy - I love that last bit and will be sending it to a good friend whose stepson is driving both her and her partner totally bonkers! I hope it will make her laugh!

30 Nov 03 - 03:06 AM (#1063107)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: mouldy

It made me feel that the 6'4"lump sitting at the computer hours at a time a few years ago was only being normal.
We all know the cry of "There's nothing to eat in this house!" uttered upon opening the door of a full-to-bursting fridge.
Reply - "You mean there's nothing YOU want to eat in this house".
Then when there's something they like, they go at it like a swarm of locusts until it has gone, and they can then start bleating the above again.

I had a distinct feeling of deja-vu yesterday afternoon when #1 daughter, nearly 23 years old and living with her fiance, opened the fridge and, having already attacked my specialist Swaledale cheese asked, "Haven't you got any snacks or anything?" (We'd been out shopping in York, and she had already had a tortilla wrap while out).
She then discovered the teacakes in the bread bin and got busy with the toaster.

Plus Áa change!


01 Dec 03 - 12:40 AM (#1063462)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Mudlark

Jeanie...nice quote from The Prophet, and inspiring follow-up story as well.

Amos: "The only reason empty nest should be unduly painful is if you lack internal resources to generate new interests and the ability to pursue them."

I agree completely. Maybe easy for me to say, as I have no children. Still, I've always thot truly good parenting results in strong, independent kids, kids that will want to make their own way in the world. And only by way of coincidence would that mean sticking close to family of origin.

25 Dec 03 - 09:40 PM (#1079956)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Mrrzy

8 yr-old twin boys at home, am single with new sweetie (!) and the X does help some, these days, but am also geographically second with Mom recovering terribly slowly from heart surgery (they call it the squeeze generation).
My niece has moved back home to attend college closer to home, and we think it odd. But when I was living in Europe various summers, I tended to find that Europeans live at home, or are expected to, till marriage, however long that takes. Nothing odd there in a 30-year old single man living with his mother, but it would be odd in the US. Or so it seems to me. Can't think of it coming up in Africa, where the issue of going away to college didn't come up, and most of the Europeans and Lebanese I knew went back to their parents' country after high school, while the Africans had stopped after middle school anyway and gone off and been married whether they liked it or not, I thought.

25 Dec 03 - 11:26 PM (#1079997)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Amos

Right on, Nancy!


26 Dec 03 - 03:00 AM (#1080078)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: mouldy

Last night the nest was lovely and full around the table, with the inclusion of my overseas working husband, all my kids, plus my daughter's fiance. I knew I was back in a full family again when my environmentalist son (nearly 25) and pharmacist daughter (nearly 23)started play-fighting like a pair of puppies. One day they'll grow up, I suppose.

The day after tomorrow it will be back to just myself and the youngest when my husband and son go away again. I will probably see my older daughter around New Year.


31 Dec 06 - 09:02 AM (#1923083)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: GUEST,Guest snivelling wreck

Knew it had to happen , saw it coming, tried to be supportive and smooth the transition for both my lads,but had absolutely no idea how bereft it would leave me. Have given myself stern talkings -to, awarded myself treats , talked encouragingly to myself, found lots of distractions to take up the slack and tried so hard not to collapse into a snivelling wreck in front of them but I just cannot find anything to fill up that yawning chasm.I know that it's ridiculous, neither of them are dead for gawd's sake,they live only a few miles away,I can and do email occasionally and they do pop in from time to time,but d'you know that makes it worse because I know they're not going to stay. Miss their loud, idiotic, boisterous company .Even just telling you I can hardly see the keyboard and my sleeve is wet through. Pathetic, I agree.What else should I be doing ? Besides fetching a new hankie . Does it get better?

01 Jan 07 - 03:50 AM (#1923790)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: JohnInKansas

"Mama, all the kids at school called me a momma's boy."

"Yes, dear. I heard them. I was there."

(From today's comics)

I never thought of moving back home once I left for college, married, and got a job elsewhere. I suspect that my parents might have permitted it as an "interim" thing, but it was never seriously considered. It was much the same for my sister, who married while in college and "joined the Navy" with her new husband.

My own children were a bit "rebellious" and daughter moved out almost immediately after high school. Son pulled some strings with his mother's psychiatrist to get permission to take an early GED exam, and "finished high school" at 14. He went to live with his sister in another state almost immediately after. (Both kids moved back to town almost immediately after their mother left the state with her new boyfriend.)

Both kids have on occasion asked if they could come and stay with me, but for the most part they've found other arrangements. I've taken in the daughter's two kids for a few months once, and the son has stayed with me for short periods a couple of times.

Our daughter in law lives with us now. Son is driving long haul truck and is in town only about 3 days out of every month. Daughter in law spends all her time caring for her invalid mother and grandmother, so comes "home" only to sleep and let their two dogs out. It was supposed to be for "a week or two until we get a place" but he's out on the road and can't look, and she's generally too worn out to do much without him, so we don't feel bad that they've been here (nominally) for 21 months now, but ...

Fortunately (I think?) we have 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, so it's not too "inconvenient."

It seems more common for "grown-up" kids now to consider parents as somehow "responsible" even after they might be mature enough to be self-sufficient; but the appearance may be just because there are fewer now who never left home to begin with. A generation or so back it wasn't too uncommon for the kids to just "help around the homestead" or buy a few acres just down the road. It seems now that most of them leave home at least once, so the coming back is a little more obvious.

But that could be just my imagination... .


01 Jan 07 - 09:09 AM (#1923922)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Sorcha

Economics is also involved. With both halves of a couple having to work to meet ends meet, there are not many singles who can afford a place of their own.

Neither of ours has come back permanantly, but I'm not sure the daughter has actually moved out. She lives with her fella, but is constantly saying that is over, comes home, goes back. (And yes, the attic is full of her possesions! LOL)

Mostly, I'm just happy not to have to deal with the emotional angst on all sides that they provide when they live here.

01 Jan 07 - 02:11 PM (#1924147)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Mo the caller

When I left college I looked for jobs all over the country, the ones in London were on the other side so I'd still have lived away (but near enough to go 'home' at weekends, so felt that I wouldn't have a real life at either place). So I moved 200m north.
I had expected that my children would also move away, but it seems to take longer now to get a 'graduate job' - there were fewer of us, so we had firms sending recruiters round, offering good money in our final year.
I was glad that my young daughter and partner moved in with me after college, as it had been a very empty nest in term time, with my husband and myself taking turns to spend 2 weeks at the other side of the country looking after his mother (just meeting in passing)
When we decided, 3 years on, that it was time to move her over to us, they quickly found a house to buy (there would have been room for us all - at a squeeze).

01 Jan 07 - 03:05 PM (#1924188)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: dianavan

I think its just good financial management that enables families to live under one roof. If it means a child has an opportunity to attend school or pay off a student loan, more power to families who live together. Whats wrong with giving your parents $300.00 a month instead of paying $600.00 rent to a stranger?

Its a fairly modern concept (a few generations) that encourage everyone to live independently. It wasn't that long ago that children stayed home until they were married. Capitalism encourages the idea of young people living on their own. Its far more profitable for business if you have to set-up multiple households.

Many East Indian and Chinese families (even in N. America) continue to combine finances and work toward family prosperity rather than individual prosperity. It seems to work for them. I actually think this concept should be encouraged. It might turn out that our dependence on pensions and assisted living homes might also decrease.

01 Jan 07 - 09:51 PM (#1924459)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Scoville

On behalf of my parents, they have one at home and one flown. I finished college but couldn't find a job, then couldn't find a decent job, and finally found a decent job but went back to school, so I'm (gulp) 29 and still here. I pay rent, my own car expenses, have health insurance through work, etc., and they are not helping me with school expenses this time. I'm not thrilled to be at home still but it seems to be what I have to do to stay ahead. My mother also has some physical limitations so it's helpful to Dad to have another ablebodied person around to housework, yard work, housesit if they travel, etc. But I'm single, childless, and pet-less, and try to do things on their schedule.

My younger brother is married and he and his wife are graduate students.

01 Jan 07 - 11:49 PM (#1924502)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: dianavan

Scoville -

Thats the way it should be. Consideration is the key.

They have considered your circumstances and hopefully, when either of your parents find themselves in need of your support, you will be there for them. Parents aren't always in a position to financially help their kids but lets hope we will always give them a home if they need it.

02 Jan 07 - 01:52 PM (#1924926)
Subject: RE: BS: Nest - Empty or full?
From: Scoville

I'd certainly help them all I could.

Most of the time, though, when people hear you're an adult living "at home" (which is a stupid phrase--everyone lives at home), they assume you're a couch potato playing video games while your mother does your laundry and your dad forks over your car payment. At least, that's what people in the U.S. hear. They don't keep tabs on me and I try to stay out from underfoot. I also know that if I screw up, they're not going to bail me out.