7 Ways to Cope with a Child Moving Out

My Heart-ached When It happened to me

I never imagined how difficult it would be when a child moves out. There was so much pain because I didn’t want to let go. I felt depressed and I felt worse as the days went on. I thought it would get easier over time but it became harder. Every day that passed made it more real that she was not coming back. I learned how to overcome this difficult time in my life.

Dear baby girl:

It hurts so much. How do I accept this change I wasn’t ready for? I miss your presence in the house. Without you it will never be the same. I miss the smell of you baking cookies and cake. I miss  Seeing You play with the babies. I miss your laugh. We would laugh so hard together. The 3 of us, just cracking up together. I miss how you’d come into my room at night and ask me for advice. I miss how you would enjoy my cooking. It’s so hard to breathe without you.

I had you at 17. You’ve been with me my whole adult life. You grew up so fast. You were a little girl just yesterday. How I wish I could experience that again. Last year when Covid happened it was some of the best days of my life because we were all stuck in the house together. Spending every day together. I think it was the most time I ever got to spend with my kids. I miss those days. Now you’re busy with college and studying. You’re such a dedicated student. I am so proud of you.

I love you.


I felt deeply depressed about her leaving. My house was not the same and I just kept seeing her everywhere but she wasn’t there anymore. She is my best friend. I love talking to her.I’m so used to her being home. I cherish any time we can get together. I want to take care of her. I want to see her come downstairs on Saturday morning to eat my pancakes. The thoughts were nonstop.

 But I was able to get through it. I had to change my mindset. I told myself, manifest your destiny. Manifest your destiny. How do you want your life to look? Create the life you want. She is happy and busy with her life. She’s going to keep growing older and more independent and this is a good thing. I raised a strong, intelligent, independent woman. The pain is there because I miss her but it’s okay to feel that pain because I got to love her. My kids don’t need me to be dependent on them, they need me to have my own life. They need me to have my happiness outside of them too because that responsibility is too much for them. I need to learn to adapt to the changes, accept that she is okay without me, keep moving forward in life, decide what I want my life to look like, and believe that it will happen. That’s when I decided I need to create a path for myself. I still miss her but I’m not depressed. I’ve accepted that life changes. I know what I want my life to look like and I know that it will happen.

It’s still hard because change is hard. I miss her. I didn’t want that chapter in my life to change yet. But it did, so I must accept it.


1. Reach out

Technology is so great. We can stay close to our loved ones virtually. I can face time, call, or text anytime I want to. I like to text her goodnight and good morning. She doesn’t have to reply right away. But I feel better knowing that she knows I love her and am thinking about her.

2. Make dates

I can call my daughter and schedule dates with her. I can spend more quality time with her now. We miss each other more so we appreciate our time together more.

3. Change your focus

It was hard because I kept thinking about her. I imagined her sitting on the couch and watching tv together. I imagined her in the kitchen cooking with me. I see her photos and I remember those moments. Every thought made me want to cry. So I had to stop those thoughts. How do I stop thinking so much about her? I had to turn my focus to something else such as: hobbies, exercising, weight loss, reading, meeting new friends. I turned my focus to my writing and my health. I turned my focus to a positive path instead of focusing on depressing thoughts


4. Improve your social life

All our kids will eventually move out one day. Will I tell them they can’t move out because I’ll be depressed without them? That would be selfish. I have to build a life outside of being their mother. I need to focus on building and improving friendships. I need to have other people to talk to other than my kids. 

5. Positive affirmations

Positive affirmations can help with depression. Depression can make you feel hopeless. Your mind becomes filled with negative thoughts. Replace those negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are positive statements to confirm your higher-self. Repeat the statements to strengthen the power of the words. Learn more about the power of positive affirmations on positivepsychology.com

“I am a wonderful mother”

“I am a strong warrior. I can overcome any challenge”

“I am a leader. I will lead my family up a positive path”

“Life is continuing to change and I will change with it like a beautiful butterfly”


6. Self-care

I am more than a mother. Mothering makes me happy but other things make me happy too. Yoga and meditation makes me feel good. I appreciate it when I take the time to do Yoga for myself. I really enjoy Boho Beautiful Life. She is inspiring and motivating. I do not get any proceeds for recommending her, but she has just been great for me.


Spend time on yourself, whether it be a bath, face mask, or getting your nails done. You are showing yourself you are important by making time for yourself. 


7. Gratitude 

I appreciate my mother so much more. I realized how much pain a mother feels, to let her child go and become independent. It’s hard to explain the pain but it makes me sad that my mother had to feel that pain. I appreciate that I was chosen to be my daughter’s mother. I am so blessed to be her mother. I appreciate that I have her in my life. I appreciate that she is happy and focused on school and her future. What more could I ask for?

It is painful when a child moves out. I did get depressed but I was able to move forward. I had to accept the change. I can still reach out and talk to her everyday. I can still hang out with her. I needed to refocus on myself and my life. I needed to refocus on my friendships. I replaced the negative and hopeless thoughts with positive thinking and gratitude.

Change is difficult but you and I are strong enough to overcome any challenge.

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2 thoughts on “7 Ways to Cope with a Child Moving Out

  1. I like the point 4. Building a sense of purpose besides being a mother. Accepting their independence.
    Thanks for writing on such an important topic.

    • Yes. I think it’s good for us mom to focus on goals for ourself and not just focus on our kids. Of course they take priority but we need to have our own activities that create happiness. Kids will leave the nest one day, and then what?

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