By MaryAnn Feudale
Just recently I have joined the ranks of the "empty nesters". My daughter moved out this past April, and that was because of the birth of her daughter. I found out that my daughter was pregnant last August, and though it is a time of joy, it became a source of a lot of harsh words, blame throwing, and tantrums, all on my end.
She had gotten involved with a man 23 years older than her, you know the kind divorced, with kids etc. I was not happy or skipping for joy when I learned of her dating him. Try as I might I always had the urge to slap his face and ask him "What the hell is wrong with you?" Now I'm not saying that my daughter played no innocent in this relationship, but she is young, she is naive, and she is half his age, just starting out her life.
I always thought that when you start out your life with someone you both start out together, grow old together, not you grow old, he's already there! But that is the way it played out. She was back and forth to his house, he to our house, and so on. This was an established routine that went on for months, there were even talks of getting married, but my daughter got cold feet. I was dancing. She started to see the differences, and saw all the bills and obligations that he had. She confided in me that she wanted to leave the relationship, just finish college and move forward with her life. Dancing, dancing, dancing. That was me, then we found out she was pregnant. I won't bore you with the details, but needless to say they resulted in me fighting for her life tooth and nail. She was hell bent on trying to give the baby a father, he was guilting her, I was guilting her...bottom line, my daughter moved out.
The way I handled it was not a way that any mother should handle this type of delicate situation. Guilt doesn't work, I don't care what you may think. It is best to close your eyes, literally seal them shut. Look the other way, and just hold your breath and pray for the best. I chose to agonize, cry, take xanax, and cry some more. Did it change that my daughter was taking her baby and moving and hour away from me? No, she left right after my granddaughter was born. I was left to deal with the rawness of my emotions and my nerves. So what did this mother do? I got myself off the xanax, learned how to bite my tongue and decided to be there for my daughter, because at the end of the day, when I go to sleep at night, I know that she knows that her mom is still there for her, and that even though we had a hair pulling time of it over the nine months, we both made out in the end. For her she gave birth to an amazing little creature/daughter. And as for me, well I'm still on a cloud every time my daughter brings her baby here and she gives me that big toothless grin.