I'm an only child…feeling guilty

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 2
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I could have written this. I’m 36 and an only child as well.  My dad also passed away but when I was in Grade 12.  Other than a few times I’ve worked away I’ve lived at home. The understanding always was that this house will be mine eventually (my mom is an older mom and is 78). I’ve always had as much freedom as I want. I’m getting married in November and moving about 15 minutes away from where I currently live. I know mom is going to be lonely first but she’ll be ok. I’m worried about her getting through the winter as she can’t shovel anymore.  The long term plan is for myself and FI to buy the house and put on a granny flat for her. At this point in her life, i don’t want mom worrying about mowing lawns and shovelling snow. Still I feel SO GUILTY!

In other words you are feeling perfectly normal and you’re not nuts. Unless we both are.

Post # 3
141 posts
Blushing bee

Hey, I’m in a similar situation. I’m my mothers only child and its been just the two of us since I was 3 years old. I’m in college right now and am living at home still, although I did live somewhere else for a year when I was 16-17 and in trade school. Unlike you though, me and my mom haven’t always had the best relationship. It’s better now that I’m older but it still isn’t fun to live with each other. She liked living on her own for the year I was gone, and I loved not being under her constant control. Even though being at home depresses me most of the time, I’m still going to feel terribly guilty once I move out, even though my mom says that it’s a normal and good thing to do. We don’t have any family nearby, so I will try to stay as close as I can incase she needs me. 

I don’t thing you should feel bad, your mom doesn’t expect you to be with her forever and ever. Since you will be living so near, you can visit her right? A least whenever possible, maybe invite her for dinner at your place on the weekends. Your mom can still be your confidant even if you don’t live with her. 🙂

Post # 4
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m the same 🙂 I’m 39 now and it’s been just mom and I since my parents divorced when I was 3. So 36 years. I totally get where you are coming from. 

Pi was really worried what my mom would do when she retired And when I got married and wasn’t able to spend as much time with her. She did move to be near me, about 30 minutes away, but I was afraid she’d just become a hermit. She has totally surprised me!!! She’s taking classes. She’s joining book clubs. It’s been great for her! 

Post # 5
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I think it’s made more difficult by the fact that your dad passed away and your mom only had you to focus her energy on.  Encourage mom to get out more, join a meetup group (or two), maybe even date.  If your mom is still grieving your dad’s death it’s a good idea to suggest she get some grief counseling or attend a support group for widows so she can deal with her emotions (and you moving out.)

Since you’re only moving 10 minutes away set up weekly “mom” dates or Sunday dinners for your mom to come over or for you both to go out and spend time together.  For all you know like PP’s mom she may be waiting for you to move out and be fully independent before starting her new life as a single woman.

Post # 6
42101 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Your moving out may actually help your Mom. She may or may not have finished  grieving the loss of her husband. If she has not, because she had you to focus on, she can do it now.

Your moving out will allow her to move on to become the healthy, independent woman she can be.

Post # 7
1793 posts
Buzzing bee

From a MOB POV:  you can’t allow yourself to feel guilty.  I know that is more easily said than done but you are SUPPOSED to move out, have a full life, and really LIVE!!  WE are supposed to make sure you learn what you need to do that successfully.

If you feel you need to talk to your mom about this then I encourage you to do so.  If she is a recluse/homebody, start encouraging her to get out, get established, and get active with friends.  If she has a really close friend, maybe chat with her about this too.

You are supposed to go and live your life!

Post # 8
2189 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Your mom has always known that one day you would move out, she can’t expect you to stay home forever. I’m sure she’s very happy for you and proud of you. Like a PP said, have “mom dates” once a week, go shopping or out to eat or to the gym. My mom is like yours, she’s a homebody but she still has friends she sees at least once a week. I’m also an only child, but my parents are both alive and well. I felt guilty moving away from them, I can only imagine how it feels to leave one behind alone. But it’ll all work out OP 🙂

Post # 9
863 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I will give you the flip side of this situation.

My mother is one of 9 children – 6 boys and 3 girls.  Her mother (my grandmother) made it extremely difficult for any of her children to move out and live their own lives…my mother had to move to the other side of the world to get away from her!  

My grandmother was just not a very nice person.  She always acted like her children ‘owed’ her and what she wanted always had to come first… she bought up her children to have no confidence, no willpower of their own.  Her capacitity for emotional blackmail was incredible.  3 of my uncles have had no lives of their own, as they never left home, and looked after my grandmother until she died at age 82.  No wives, children, homes or even holidays (yep, she always had to be included in trips that any of them planned) of their own….it’s extremely sad.  They are now in their early 70s and will die without having really lived.  

Listen to your mother, she is right, this is ‘normal’ and you should both be happy.  

Post # 10
1463 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Hey there, wanted to give you a little perspective being a mom of an only daughter.  I raised her alone from the age of 7 and, with the exception of her first year of college, she lived at home until she was almost 23.  She moved last August to live and work in Japan.  I miss her terribly, but I am also proud that she is out conquering the world and living her own life.  We, as parents, raise our children to become independent beings, whether we mother one child or many.  Since you two are close, maybe you can plan some fun times together and also some “just hanging out at mom’s house” times.  Even though you are getting married and starting your own adventure, you and your mom can still maintain the closeness you’ve always had. 

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