I’ve worried he would feel like I was kicking him out. I worried that he would feel abandoned. I worried that I was putting everyone else’s needs over the needs of Gavin. I’ve asked myself things like if he wasn’t adopted, would I still be doing the same thing? It’s awful, and my head likes to take these kinds of thoughts and run them on an endless loop, so I can’t escape feeling like shit.
I struggled with this for years, but I’ve realized that Gavin moving out can serve a dual purpose, and that’s okay.
First and foremost, he wants to build his own life, and part of that journey takes him away from home, just like any other young adult flying away from the nest for the first time. This is quite literally what he wants, and it’s absolutely in his best interest.
Gavin’s taken up so much of the air in the room forever because his needs were rather extreme. The other boys have needs that have taken a back burner at times, especially since becoming a single dad, because Gavin’s needs were so great. I’ve always tried to balance things as best I could, but they sometimes got short-changed.
Secondly, and what I’ve come to realize, is that Gavin moving out allows me to focus on better meeting the boys’ needs. It’s a numbers game. Gavin moving out and building his own life frees up resources I can use to help his brothers prepare to develop their own lives.
Thirdly, this will help me as well because I’m exhausted. I mean physically and emotionally drained from two decades of trying to be everything Gavin needed. I feel like I’m always walking the fine line between doing okay and caregiver burnout. With him moving out, some of those resources can be redirected to me.
It took me a long time to reach this place. A place where I fully understood that Gavin deserves his independence, and moving out is part of that. Just because it’s best for everyone doesn’t mean that Gavin is somehow being disposed of.
The reality is that I’ve reached a place in life where helping him achieve his independence will help not only Gavin but the rest of us as well. That’s a win-win in my book.
I plan on writing more about this as we move forward. There’s a lot that goes into this process, and hopefully, something can be gleaned from my experience navigating this.
Can any of you relate to this? Do you or did you have to overcome any emotional hurdles with moving your adult child out of the house? They deserve their independence but as parents, it’s scary. I’m interested in hearing your story.