Am I the only parent who struggled with this?

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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.


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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Kristi

Hi Rob,

I can totally relate and I’m right there with you! My non verbal son is 27 and we are looking for his forever home. My husband and I are not getting any younger and I know the time will come when we will be gone and he will be leaving his life without us. That being said trying to find the right placement for him has been a real struggle down here in southern Florida. given the fact he’s nonverbal. It’s even harder to know if I’m eating what he wants and what he needs or just trying to figure it out based on what I think. Like you, I don’t want him to feel unwanted or abandoned, but I know if we don’t address this now I don’t want to have to do it during a period of crisis. Good luck to you and I wish you all the best. Know your are not alone on this one.

Kristi-RainMomm
rainmomm.com

Sean

Hi Rob, well its been a year now since we moved our son who was 18 at the time into a place of his own of course with constant care. Our son developed the fight or flight reaction to life when things got too overwhelming for him as he hit his teenage years. He often would run away from home or school having the police go out and look for him or follow him home. As he got older and bigger he became harder to handle. Covid happened and sent him into a reclusive lifestyle barring himself in his room. So the decision was made after he graduated and things were not working out with the school system to move him into an apartment with a local organization for people with disabilities. Its been very hard here as the organization has a hard time understanding him and how to convince him of getting involved in activities outside of his home. He is stuck playing electronics in his home every day. So we are now trying to decide what our next approach is. Trust us this whole moving out thing was a very hard decision but was needed. But now still trying to understand what he wants or can handle right now is difficult to say the least. We have one other son who is also on the spectrum and is graduating this year. So now we are faced with more decisions. Fortunatly he is not faced with the same difficulties as his brother with behaviour issues but still has obstacles to overcome. sounds like you are doing a great job with your boys and wish you the best. Just letting you know, you are not alone in this.
best of luck.
Sean

Laurie McGrath

Hi Rob
Our son is 27 now but we also started his “Interdependence Journey” when he was 23. It was a long process with lots of planning.
preparing him (and us ) at home for the expectations and “chores” he would need to do when on his own. We had a “helpful book”of safety rules etc. The first year we eased into it one step at a time. Each year holds new objectives.
Honestly please so not feel guilty. We all have a far better relationship now than we did when we lived together as adults. We had a very good relationship don’t get me wrong but it was time. It was good for him; our daughter and me.
He is proud of his achievements now and feels
better about himself and his future. His confidence has improved and he is more willing to try new things. Don’t get me wrong. There are still tough days. But we get through them.. we keep supports in place. We can now begin to see what his life will be like when we are gone. We still have work to do and will always worry but take the leap if you can, it will be worth it!

laurie