A mom will always be a mom, regardless… 14 things to tell your child when he moves out of your house

This year my New Year’s Eve celebration was bittersweet. My son, who just turned 28, moved out to his own apartment earlier that day. He had been in an out of the house over the last few years since college, but his last stay had been more permanent and though I knew this rite of passage was inevitable, I was still sad. Happy for him, yes, but sad. Gone would be the morning exchanges, the family dinners at least four times a week, the belly laughs heard throughout the house when he was on the phone with a friend or relative, the serious talks, the funny ones and I must admit, the access to his technological wisdom that both his dad and I would tap into quite frequently.

Interestingly enough, my son was not alone in having lived with his parents until his late twenties. In fact, a study released in April 2017 by the Census Bureau revealed that more than one third of young adults in the United States live at home with their parents. https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2017/demo/p20-579.pdf

The reasons for this trend range from the economy, lack of employment, and opting to be single, among others. In my case, my son grew up with a Puerto Rican mom and a Greek American father, and though he is American, in our cultures it is not uncommon to live at our parents’ home until we get married or have a serious relationship with a significant other. Which is my son’s case now, and perhaps not my preference that he and his girlfriend are living together not being married. But, I chose to be supportive and trust that my husband and I did our job and he is more than ready for the challenge.

For all of the young moms that are reading this, I am going to give it to you straight: Though you know that one day your child will fly away and you want that, no book teaches us moms the how-to of life after children! Maybe it is a book in my midst! Three things I do know: you did the best job you could; you raised an amazing child and the world is a better place because of him or her; you will never stop being a mom no matter how old your child is!

As for my son, I sent him off with this message and 14 things to remember. Perhaps when it is your turn, they will help you too!

“Dear son: As you embark in your new life, I hope that your years at home are remembered with fondness, kindness and happiness. We truly did our best and if we failed at times, it wasn’t our intent. We tried to be the best parents we could be to you and your sister and in so many ways we are proud of our accomplishment. Both you and nena are amazing people and we like to think we contribute in some small way to who you are today.

Before you go, here are a few things to remember. (And, I am quoting @mariashriver on some of these below, from her book, And One More Thing Before You Go)

I know most of them you know or have been doing already but worth reminding you.

-Fear can be the best teacher. Punch it in the gut and don’t let it stop you!

-Be willing to let go of your plan. Life happens, embrace what comes, adjust!

-Learn from mistakes- failing is a gift, really! (It has taken me a long time to believe this)

-Courage, determination, resilience-all valuable for success!

-Be kind to others, always! It comes back to you in so many ways!

-Find a balance in your life- its not all work; it’s work and play. Enjoy the ride!

-Be grateful-this is the key to EVERYTHING. Trust me!

-Keep a childlike quality-curiosity has contributed to many a successful entrepreneur!

-Get involved-improving the lives of others brings about many rewards.

-Stay true to yourself-integrity is a quality that will take you very far!

-Continue being proud of the heritages you were raised with. It has defined you as a person and we couldn’t be prouder!

-Habla Español! Practice your second language often. It can open many doors!

-Remember this is a new chapter for your parents, be patient and don’t disappear. (ha!) It’s really easy to communicate these days J

– Finally, know that I love you more, always!”

 

To all the moms out there, when the time comes, I am here for you!

 

Bai Bai for now,

Maritere

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