Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Mom, What Have You Done With My Life?"

This is my beautiful daughter, Alisha. She came home Saturday, and we took this picture on the side of the highway, on our way to Canton Trade Days. If you have been reading a while, you know she is a senior in College. She graduates in December and in the past four years, her visits home have been fewer and farther in between. She is busy....working, school work, internships, socializing, know...the really important things.

None the less, I know in reality, she will not be moving back home, even after she graduates in December. You may recall this post about when she went off to college, turned my world upside down and I was certain my life was over when I discovered myself to be a empty nester. Over the past few years, things have changed, and gotten easier to accept my baby girl is no longer a baby, but a grown young women...some days..I have to remind myself of that....and it really has become a little easier to accept that she does not feel the need to come home every other weekend anymore.

We are very close and talk everyday, and I guess I have grown a bit myself over the last few years....and now, I have come to realize...I want to use her room for my own selfish purposes...I know...bad mom and I should feel bad, well...maybe I do...just a bit.

Last week, I decided to clean out her room, sort, and box all of her treasures and discard some things, save others. I worked for a full day cleaning, and moving my things into that space. Believe me, it was a task.

Alisha came home this weekend and walked into her room, walked right back out, and said, "Mom, What have you done with my life?".....whoops.....I guess I forgot to mention that sweetheart!

I quickly explained myself, reassured her all her pictures, papers and most prized possessions were safe in the closet in the other room, and well, the rest of the life's memories were on the bed in the other bedroom to be sorted by HER. Sorted by what she wanted to keep and what she wanted to toss. This picture has things for her to sort, along with my seasonal decorations that needed to be stored in the garage mixed in, so it is not as BAD as it seems, with all her things on the bed!

And if you think the apple does not fall short of the are so right. She sorted all right....and she kept more than I originally had thought she would. She can not help it, around here we are keepers, savers, a big way.

Alisha did manage to have a stack of things to sell in the garage sale, mostly of "must haves" that never got used or worn....can you imagine that?

I did sorta feel a tad bit of remorse that I did not really warn her of what extent I had taken over her, her closet houses.........

Some of my vintage quilts and bedspreads.......

....and vintage linens and aprons....and some of the aprons belong to Alisha.....

.....And my sewing things, button collections, fabrics stash, patterns and notions, and craft items.....

Next month, when she takes her vintage vanity to her new apartment, I will get around to painting the walls, and turn this room into my sewing and craft room....remember, I have big plans to become a quilter.....hopefully.

It may look a bit different now, but the one thing I want to get clear to Alisha is that this room is so full of her 23 years and memories that it does not need her boxes of treasures for it to still be called her will just be changed a bit....still hers....always will be.

~Love you baby girl....forever!

Now...What do you think?? Selfish mom? Should I have waited? Do you think I put my own needs over my child's? It's OK be truthful....I can handle it!


  1. That is such a cute line, "what have you done with my life?" I remember when my parents re-purposed my room as a sewing room... Now my son sleeps on a fold-out bed when he stays at their house on overnights. Not selfish, just a means of moving on. With a soon-to-be-14-year-old, I am getting closer all the time to being an empty-nester...and my dream of turning his room into a photography studio. It's a rite-of-passage for every empty-nest mom to turn her kid's room into a haven for "selfish" endeavors... :)


  2. Not selfish at all!! There always comes a time to get on with it. I'm afraid I didn't wait as long as you have, but I figured as long as they always knew they were welcome back home for any length of time (as long as they had a plan!)things would work out. I've had to stick a single bed back into my sewing room more than once. We all adjusted. Sally

  3. Of course you're not a selfish mom silly. It took you just about four years to realize she had grown and wouldn't be back.

    You simply gave her the opportunity to simplify her life of belongings so you could have more room for yours. :)

  4. Oh Dear, I think we all have gone through that or will one day. LOL, no you're not selfish. Life goes on for us just like it does for them. They have their own life and home. It took me awhile to move on just like you. But my son didn't want all his stuff, I almost died when he told me to dump all his thropies and homerun balls and old uniforms in the garbage....
    I didn't of course, they are stored in the attic.
    You Daughter is very lovely.

  5. I saved some of my kids things. They may decide later they want them after all. Now that they both live out of state, I have taken pictures and then email them the pictures and ask "Do you want this?" Well, I have done it with my daughter once when asking about her dolls. She wrote back telling me which she wanted and the other to discard as needed. Doing it that way works too.

  6. You waited a lot longer than I do. I have taken over two out of three kids rooms so far...

    The Raggedy Girl

  7. Of course you aren't selfish. She doesn't live there anymore, it would be a waste of space if you didn't use her room.

  8. I don't think you did anything wrong at all. I can't wait to see what you do with the room. I love those quilts you have, I am just learning to be a quilter too.

  9. Suzanne,
    Life goes on. Theirs and ours. I think being moms, we always feel guilty when we think of ourselves before we think of our matter how old they get.

    I'm anxious to hear how you like your quilting class. Been thinking about it myself.

  10. Your daughter is beautiful!

    I don't think you did her wrong by taking over her room. My mom redecorated my room ~ new carpet and the works when I got married. She didn't wait but probably 3 months or so after I left home to do it. Funny thing is she didn't decorate it when I lived at home??? What's up with that??? lol It did hurt my feelings a little but I'm over it now??? 17 yrs later.... hehehehe


  11. When you're feeling the empty nest syndrome, the ONLY thing you CAN possibly do is move on by repourposing your child's room. It is healthy for you and healthy for her to see that your life has not come to a stand still because she's gone. Love the way she phrased her question (not "what did you do with my stuff", but "what did you do with my life". Sure makes a great post title. laurie

  12. You should explain to her that the sewing/craft room will be where you spend most of your time, so you chose her room for the purpose of feeling like you're always with her :)

    My mom was a pitcher. She never kept anything... at all. I'm not entirely sure she still knows where our baby photos are!

  13. I think your sewing room is going to be great! Love your closet full of vintage quilts and linens! and I can't wait to see what you're making in your quilt class.

    We've been through this twice...both married kids still have stuff stored here! The empty nester trauma will be when the last one leaves...we're in a trial phase now, he's on an extended visit to his sibling before starting college.

  14. I understand the empty-nest feeling so very well---that was probably the hardest thing for me---she might have felt better if you had let her do the moving of everything---but she already knew she would not be living at home---just probably a shock to find her room gone.

  15. Suzanne,
    I'm going to have to read the post you mentioned about your daughter leaving for college. My oldest daughter will be off to college next year...and I'm not ready for it, either! No, I don't think you were being selfish, at all!

  16. You can throw away everything or move it out, but cannot erase the memories. Alisha girl, I wish you the best when you get out in the real world on your own.

  17. I have to be honest, with my kids turning into teenagers, I am trying not to think about them moving out. It's all going by so fast all of a sudden.

    But I do joke with them that the minute they turn 18 I'm changing the locks on the doors and taking over their rooms. It's a natural transition.

  18. nah totally NOT selfish mom!!! My parents started re-purposing my bedroom the day I moved out! Its just the way life changes. You will always be her safe haven to run to, that has nothing to do with the room and everything to do with you as her mom.

  19. Sounds as if you've done your job quite well...grew her up to become a productive adult. The cake's topping is that's she's beautiful as well.

  20. I think it was a good time to clean out/reorganize... though maybe you could've warned her a bit more, that must've been quite a shock. Still, good for you for reclaiming the space, and good for her, for realizing in the end that she didn't need a lot of it anymore.

  21. First of all, Alisha is a knockout beauty! Second of all, could you please come & sort & organize my closets like you did yours? (WARNING--I don't discard EASILY) but I would throw out a lot of hubby's JUNK! You should be very proud of the baby girl you've raised into woman-hood & I know you are! ;-) Bo

  22. Selfish? I think not. If you leave the room exactly the way they left it they might think they can come back any time they want. Moving on is what kids are suppose to do. Too many kids are just "vegging" at their parents homes these days. It just enables them to never start a life of their own. There are good reasons for children to come back home in this economy and I know it's harder than it use to be but a re-purposed bedroom just lets them know that you think they will make it out there and a bed in the corner means you want them to VISIT..., once in a while.
    Happy empty-nesting Mom!!!

  23. how nice to have a room for your crafts and goodies. i can see how it is hard to make the change though.
    little girls growing up...i don't even want to think about that.
    {{la la la la la~ i'm not listening}}
    have a wonderful day.

  24. Selfish? Absolutely NOT.

    I kept so much of my kids stuff for Soooooooo long (can you just imagine how much stuff - as I have 10 kids) that it was to the point of needing an entire home, and not just one room! I finally sorted through bins and bins and more bins...chose a few special things of each child's, and then gave the rest of the stuff to the kids, for them to sort through. It was amazing at how little each of them actually wanted.

    Enjoy that room - you earned it.

  25. what you are for sure, is *hilarious*

    but not at all selfish
    you crack me up!

    my favorite line: never worn must haves for the garage sale- can you imagine that?

    YES I CAN!

  26. Been there done that and I have tears in my eyes readiing this because I have 3 Daughters, oldest is 25, twins are 24. In and Out ours go. It is a revolving door at our house. I had a sewing room only to be taken over by DD#2 (oldest of the twins) so then I sewed in the kitchen, DD #1 moved out, I moved my sewing room into her room (Same thing, boxed up her stuff etc) well she moved back home so I HAVE NO SEWING ROOM. And it is hard to see them grow up and become their own person. :) Great Post and I am right there with ya. :)

  27. O....I can so remember when our son went off to college and I realized he would never LIVE at home anymore. I was so heartsick, I just knew my world had surely ended...THEN..I thought...SEWING ROOM, CRAFT ROOM, FUN ROOM...
    so, aren't the only one that might feel selfish or mean or anything like that. WE ALL DO empty-nesters !! :O)
    Look for an email from me soon regarding the rental of your cabin in Colo.
    xo bj

  28. Your daughter is so beautiful. Sounds like you have a great relationship!

  29. She IS beautiful, and you are right: it will always be her room. It's funny how our children want to be children and be grown up at the same time! LOL

    You say you've missed me, but see... when you visit, I visit back. So come every day!

  30. Enjoyed your post. You were not selfish at all. My oldest son got married in January and moved out. It wasn't long till we put down new carpet, painted and my middle son took over his room.

  31. I'm not a mom yet but I know what it was like for MY mom when I moved out. She really had a hard time and so did I, we really miss each other.
    On another completely random note, that photo of your daughter's garage sale item, are those grey boots? They look adorable! Those would be must haves for me.


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