mom and robI have a good relationship with my 21 year-old son.

But I have heard about it — the fate that is waiting for me.

I’ve listened with a tiny bit of dread. “You know, boys just don’t stay close to their moms when they settle down. They are closer to their wives’ family, not to you anymore”.

It makes you feel like you are headed straight into the dumpster with heavy weights tied to your shoes.  Trash. No use. Old news.

“Hope you have lots of pictures from the good old days because you are done.”

Not just done. DUN.

Author Kate Lombardi talks about the many positive aspects of an appropriately close mother-son relationship. The boys tend to do better in school. Are less likely to buy into a hyper-masculine image or get involved in drugs. They show a wider range of emotion. To mention a few.

All good things.

Getting through empty nest has been hard enough.

This dire prediction of losing contact is not something I am going to lose sleep over. I pretty much trust that what is there will stay put.

That’s the mother in me talking.

The psychologist in me however? Certainly I have seen families where tension between mother-in-law or father-in-law and wife or husband causes terrible problems.

I don’t want to come near those problems.

Whatever I can offer that is valuable as a mom, I will always want to offer.

As I have considered the above dilemma – my mom side and my psychologist side feuding a bit – I have decided to try to prevent any issue from forming that might cause my son to feel that he had to choose between me and someone else.

What is that old saying? Prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I look for what I can control to help with life’s transitions. What action I can take, if any, in the present, to do something helpful.

Our Christmas wall! Someone told me to do this when my son was tiny. So glad we did!

Way before we get to walking down any aisles, “I-do’s” or babies, I have started my own MOM Movement.

It’s a concept I keep in my head. I look for opportunities to whisper it quietly to myself, especially when I enter his world.

What is it?

“Move Over Mom”.

Move over and watch him make that decision. Move over and enjoy seeing what other people appreciate in him. Move over and watch. Move over and give advice when asked.

If asked. Not detach. Just move.

After all, it’s his life.

I smile as I enlist in my own campaign, and engage in what I trust will build a solid future. As I continue to deeply love, emotionally invest and let go all at the same time.

Kind of crazy.

But much better than the risk of one day… being kindly asked to move out.


If you are struggling with empty nest, click here for an earlier post that has ideas. Or here for more practical suggestions! Or contact me personally: askdrmargaret@

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Originally published on Midlife Boulevard.



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