dailybread asks:

I'm going through depression. I have 3 boys aged 15 through 21. My self esteem is gone. How can I be a role model that they need?  

I miss their love...They were my best friends and past time when younger and now are doing things with out me.  My husband is out of town a lot and we have moved frequently... I am lonely and confused even out of work...
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Motherhood
> 60 days ago



Jul 6, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

I'm so sorry that you are feeling this way. It is actually not at all unusual for moms to feel sad as their kids grow up and move on, especially when it feels like so many other things aren't quite where you would like them to be. But, you are doing the first, most important thing: you're talking about your feelings!

It's not always simple to shake sad, lonely or depressed feelings, but it's really important to start taking steps in the right direction. So here are a few steps that can help you, and I bet many other moms who feel exactly the same way as you!

1. Begin by recognizing that just because your boys are growing up and loving you in a different way, it doesn't mean they don't love or need you at all. Look carefully, beyond your sadness and you'll see that they do love you and probably need you, just in different ways.

2.Start to think about ways to fill your life beyond your sons. Even if you're not working, think about what you are interested in, how you might help others and what are your passions. Then join a group or begin volunteering. The more purpose you have in your day--especially through volunteering--the better you will feel. Search deeply for things you loved to do even before you were a mom. You will also start to make friends in this way.

3. Consider that perhaps your marriage needs a bit of help. Maybe you are feeling sad and lonely and your self esteem is poor at least in part because now that your boys aren't filling the void, you can see the flaws in your marriage. Do you and your husband need to talk? Do you need counseling?

4. If you aren't exercising, start to do so right away. Even if it is just a slow walk to begin. Exercise is an excellent way to alleviate depression and make you feel better! Perhaps you'll meet people in the neighborhood as you walk too!

Work on these four steps and you will start to feel better really soon!

Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book “The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask”

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Additional Answers (1)

BigSis writes:
I'm so sorry to hear this. I know how difficult it is when children grow up and start to do things on their own. Just always know in your heart that they love you and maybe when they get older, you will be able to get to know each other again.

Perhaps focusing on yourself and activities you enjoy can help ease the pain. Are there any activities/hobbies that you always wanted to do? Taking a class at the local Community College can help or even becoming more involved in your neighborhood will give you additional skills while meeting new people. Your Community College should have a list of classes that can be accessed online and your City's website should have a directory of resources that might spark your interest. Another great activity is volunteering at your local food bank, pet shelter, etc.

I hope this helps!
> 60 days ago

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