I Have Issues

In the morning, my youngest Wolf will be going off to college. I am braced for Empty Nest Syndrome.

Being me, I googled Empty Nest Syndrome. All the images are depressing. The moms all look like the women in ads for antidepressants. Then there are a bunch of standard bird nests, sadder looking than the moms. There is even a website called emptynestmoms or something. There are also support groups. Ha.

I read a new agey thing with a nice mystical angle but in the end, it pronounced:

“There is no more empty nest syndrome, unless you have issues.”

Oh no! What?!? Fuck. But wait:

“It is, and has always been about, discovery and recovery … and best of all realizing you can have fun and create your own reality.”


I just want to start all over again, to when each child was a baby. Everything seemed so easy. I could be a better mother and bake cookies. I would never yell.

I’m so proud of my boy and I know he’ll go on to change the world. But I wish I could stay in bed for around six months rather than contemplate my Empty Nest. You can bet I won’t be creating my own reality, unless that involves the reality of imaginary children who will let me cuddle them and never leave.

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21 Responses to I Have Issues

  1. Andra says:

    I love you

  2. David Duff says:

    Not like me, then! I broke open a bottle of bubbly when ‘SoD’ (Son of Duff) went off to university where he spent three useless years during which he only achieved two things, he learned to drink scrumpy (it was a west of England university), and he lost his virginity! Three blissful years of (mainly) peace and quiet.

    Come on, ‘Sis’, singalong with Babs, “Free again; happy, happy me, free again”, etc.

  3. Sam says:

    And thats all you can really say isn’t it? You wish for what’s passed & want to do it again and again; its what you know, are probably the most proud of and enjoyed the most….thats all, its natural and honest and there is nothing wrong with you or anyone like you when it changes, but time will take care of it. I’m sure there were times where you maybe imagined your life without these screaming brats who were driving you mad, but you got through that and you will get through this so called ’empty nest syndrome’ (why label it anyhoo?)

    Stay in bed for six months & imagine what you want, we won’t judge you – I’m sure we all think you deserve a decent lie down.

    What the fuck is ‘creating your own reality’ anyway? What does that mean exactly? – who else is there to ‘create realities’?


  4. honeypants says:

    Will he be close enough to at least visit every now and then? Not that it’s the same thing. Perhaps you can focus on more of those weird “games” you play with your husband. Is the fork still there? Go out to places where you’ll be sure to encounter lots of screaming, badly behaved children so you’ll appreciate the peace and quiet when you get home? I hope it’s less painful than you think. I’m sorry! I love you!

  5. MG says:

    Get a puppy? That’s like having a baby. But hey, bright side is that your kid is awesome, right???

  6. Ann says:

    You are wonderful and I love you.

  7. Patricia says:

    A big hug for you!

  8. harmreduction says:

    I am sending you a big hug, mommy.



  9. the real andrea says:

    At this very moment, my daughter is moving into her first apartment. She is still in college but it was time for her to move out- her idea not ours. She has already gone off to college and lived in the dorms, but there was always the knowledge that she would be back. Now I realize this may be it. She is leaving the nest for good.
    So I know exactly what you must be feeling. You have so many talents as a writer, why not start the online magazine that you spoke about a while back? You have a unique voice and I know that there are many people who would appreciate it. And you have the support I am sure of the Sister Wolf community. Don’t let yourself fall into the doldrums. You have done a wonderful job, the best you could do, and he is ready to step away. It is a testament to you that he is able to go off to college. And if you do feel depressed- seek help from a shrink- therapy and antidepressants do help.

  10. Cricket9 says:

    I send a hug too ((( ))). I do love the “no more empty nest syndrome, unless you have issues” – raise your hand if you don’t have issues! Anyone? Anyone???
    BTW, I think my parents (or at least my father) had similar feelings to Mr. Duff when I departed to study in another country far, far away…

  11. Andra says:

    Come on now, Sis, think how good it will be for Charlie.

    It’s a wonderful opportunity for him and I wish him much happiness in his new adventure.

    Take up knitting or something.

  12. ali says:

    at least you’ll get about 2 phone calls a day for the first week or two. and they’ll be good and appreciated conversations. you have that to look forward to πŸ™‚

  13. Cricket9 says:

    You’re right Andra! I forgot to say All The Best and Good Luck to the young Wolf.

  14. thrift store lawyer says:

    i love this post and the picture. there is something so intoxicating about cuddling your own child. and no way at all of ensuring you can get the cuddle when you need it. the absence is just a complete emptiness, one that you feel physically and spiritually. i feel for you, and i haven’t even sent mine off to toddler school yet.

  15. Love Duck says:

    I don’t have children yet, but I did go to college (in Australia) and my parents were moping around for weeks before I left. But after I was gone, I think I missed them more than they did me! And when I flew back for christmas, I saw two completely different people. My parents were suddenly doing stuff together, they were flirting, planning vacations and seemingly more happy than I had ever seen them. I guess me leaving ‘forced’ them to change their perspective a bit..

    Or maybe they were just so glad to get rid of me that it was just a big celebration πŸ™‚

    Good luck to you all, i’m sure he will love college!

  16. Oh gosh mixed moments! Fabulous he is off to college. It is exciting but I can understand that the ’emptiness’ is overwhelming. Why don’t you bake the cookies when the moment comes and take them to a food canteen for homeless or similar.

    I do like the idea of going somewhere where there are noisy kids and then going home to enjoy the peace and quiet! Refocus everything. Your ‘nest’ isn’t empty, it changed don’t forget the college hols come around very quickly!! xx

  17. Witch Moma says:

    I was so sad – for 6 months – then I snapped out of it.
    Bake & send the stuff to young Wolf – he’ll love it.
    They come back – alot.
    When he does, you’ll enjoy how smart & savvy he’s become.
    Do fun stuff with your husband, friends & your job = exciting time.
    Everything you said is completely the truth, it’s o.k & the way it’s supposed to be.

  18. Hammie says:

    Focus on the pride & independence. I was in a Day Centre for Autistic Teens/adults this week. It made me want to run screaming up the street but I had to stay and teach the staff to use iPods. Younger Wolf will change the world (or at least hack into the computer of someone in Congress & blackmail them into changing the world) and he won’t end up playing table tennis in a Day Centre. Xxooxx

  19. Dru says:

    I don’t know what to say, other than congratulations to your son, and good luck to him at college! And I hope you feel better too, Sister.

  20. Marta says:


    I’m sorry for the stupid question but I’m in love in this painting since I saw it on your website. I can’t find anything like this by google – who painted this one?

  21. Sister Wolf says:

    Marta – The artist is Pierre Monet. I’m glad you love it!

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