Reverse Nesting ~ It’s TRUE, When a Child Leaves for College (Happy Mother’s Day!)

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Sunday, May 8th, 2016 at 8:00 AM
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Reverse Nesting is REAL!

Yep, reverse nesting is in full gear.  You see, during my first pregnancy, I was obsessed near the end making sure everything was in place and in order. The baby’s room was painted, spotless and ready.  The baby bag was packed at the front door ready for delivery at least 3 MONTHS before his due date.  I drove my husband crazy.  And every night I would scrub my feet to make sure  that if this was the day my baby was born, my doctor would not have to endure smelly feet.  Not kidding!   My home was ready for a newborn baby.  The nesting instinct kicked in FULL THROTTLE and I had succumbed to its persistent itch like nobody’s business.

Fast forward, 18 years.  The finish line has arrived.  My baby is going to college and the nesting started happening about a month ago.  Yep, the nesting happened in reverse!

I’ve had an overwhelming urge to repaint, redo, redecorate EVERYTHING in my house. I wanted this house perfect again.  Maybe so perfect, he won’t want to leave.  I want this house filled with so much love that he will walk away with perfect memories.  Not the ones with the toilet squeaking, or the stained carpet or outdoor kitchen that was always a dream.

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I want our home to be remembered by our baby as the “safe place”, the one he longs for! It’s like I’m hanging on to that last breath of child rearing, or mile 23 of a marathon.  Yes, I’m wiped out, but inspired to go out with a BANG!

Funny in these last months, I yell at him less and feel the need to do his laundry, clean his room, make his lunch, things that I’ve required him to do himself in order to build an independent adult.  He see’s the things I’ve been doing lately and just hugs me and says, “Thank you, momma!” Yep, melts my heart every time. Am I spoiling him in these last few months?  You bet! He’s my baby. And the real world is cruel, and very soon he’ll be jumping into those shark-filled waters without his “mom” lifejacket on. Gulp.

I’m also rewinding back thinking of all those times where I wasn’t a great mom or a great example. Bad mothering-moments for sure!  Yes, I threw tantrums and they flood my mind now.  Crying in the closet utterly exhausted, being angry at him and frustrated.  Times I would say things that were totally uncalled for, those times my positive parenting were depleted as milk during a bad storm.

Then I’m hammered with these thoughts. Did I leave life lessons untaught? Did I do all the right things?  How did I let my son witness my deficiencies as a parent so clearly?

I now just hope this is just part of being human. Then those things I failed to do come to mind.  Has the exhaustive list of everything he needs to have learned and experienced as a child been achieved? Did I complete and pass the “Produce an Amazing Adult” assignment?

The answer is, I have NO CLUE!  He’s an adult now and acts as an adult. But he is STILL my baby.  I’m still my 85-year-old mother’s baby and I always come first to her, as my son will to me. It doesn’t matter the age, which is both a blessing and a curse. For the worry never, ever, goes away, and neither does the need to ensure that baby never forgets his first home and that no matter what, he can always come back.  That door will FOREVER remain open to him.

The story of a “momma”.  Happy Mother’s Day!

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