Do you miss being needed?


Active Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: everywoman</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But...I still miss cuddles and tummy aches and bandaids. I miss bedtime stories and...
Well pcson and I had a game that we started when he was really young---probably four or five---We would come up with different ways to say "whatever suits you." Like "Whatever floats your boat" "Whatever sweetens your coffee" and on and on...Those are the things I miss. The little intimate everyday moments.


I know I will not miss being physically needed.......and unfortunately we still have long ways to go. But I miss the little kid connection Mat and I had. He is an only child, and me a single mom, and that connection was so, unbelievably deep. Probably too intense, in retrospect. I know I did not allow him to be independent enough, and feel his own feelings, but rather felt like I always had to fix everything, and make everything better. But we still had the best time together. Exploring lazy creeks, catching frogs, building lego towers, tickling, reading stories.........OMG.........I miss being a nurturing Mommy. It brings tears to my eyes.

Perhaps, though, it brings tears to my eyes, because I remember all the pain he was in, and consequently, I was in. All I wanted was that boy I loved more than anything, to be happy. And no matter what I did, he was not. I feel like his childhood was cruely swept away by mental illness, and that no matter how much I nurtured and loved, I could not make it better.

Maybe I miss not just being Mat's Mommy, but being the Mommy I always dreamed about. I had never thought about that until I just wrote this post. My feelings have always been intertwined in my head into the one statement
"I miss my little boy".
But maybe it is:
"I miss my little boy - but I also grieve over the loss of that little boy's innocence to his illness. I grieve that things could not have been different. And I grieve that I still feel that somehow I failed him."

So where do I put my need to nurture? Definitely my pets. I have 3 dogs, and I baby them like there is no tomorrow. I mean, pleeaaaazzzeeeeee! I used to mock pet fanatics, back when I was young. Now, I am right there with those kooks. :smile: Recently I added the third pup, and he was just a little baby, 4 weeks when his mom died. I have projected every last nurturing feeling I have available on him.......and I love it. I know they are just dogs, but still, it satisfies that need I have to cuddle, love, and nurture.


Well-Known Member
Yep! I miss it! I miss it a lot!

My daughter is happily married now and living out of state. They are doing very, very well. We had kind of a rocky time of it when she was a kid, due to a lot of complications and interference from their father. We actually get along a lot better now in an adult/adult relationship than we ever did as parent/child. A lot of her hostility is gone now and she sees things a lot clearer as an adult. She values my opinion. I won't say that she "needs" me on a day to day basis, but I do know that she wants me to be a part of her life, even if it's long distance. And I WAS the first one she called when she got engaged. :smile:

My son actually still "needs" me a lot more than his sister does. He's 27 now and has been through some rough times in the last few years - he's fine now and I know he'd do well even if I were suddenly out of the picture. But he does "need" me. I'm the only family he has here. Their father was never very involved with him and I've always been pretty much a single parent to my son, even when I was still married to their father. I've become kind of his "rock", the one person in the world that he completely trusts and knows will always be there for him, the one he can always count on. He always knows EXACTLY where he's spending Thanksgiving and Christmas. He never asks me for anything, therefore I don't hesitate to offer my help whenever I can, and he helps me out sometimes too. I have to wait till he comes over to wash my living room curtains - he's the only one tall enough to reach the brackets to rehang them!

But still ... sometimes I look at old pictures of those two little blond munchkins I used to live with and think ... "Where did they go?" I sometimes almost feel like my little ones ought to be still out there somewhere, like I napped for a while, then woke up and they were gone! It doesn't seem like that long. It's hard to realize that those chubby little toddlers have slowly morphed in to these two mature, responsible, gainfully employed ADULTS that now claim to be my children, but I guess that's the way it's supposed to be!


(the future) MRS. GERE
I think the loss of our "identity" is a huge part of what we feel as loss.

Our first dog, Brandy, was sickly from the time she was 6 months old with acute pancreatitus attacks. It dang near killed her as a puppy but I finally found a country vet who had old fashioned ideas and with adapting his old fashioned ideas and me teaching her subsequent vets how to treat her when she got sick, she managed to live 13.5 years despite her chronic illness. She was my proof-positive that I was a great Mom because I was the one who refused to put her down at 6 months despite the vet's and my then husband's wishes. Nope, I put my foot down. I was her "savior." Silly as that might sound, when she died, I really stuggled.

And so it was with those very naive ideas that I believed I would be as good as a mom of a human child. I raised Brandy successfully so of course I could raise a human child. Besides, I'd done lots of volunteer work over the years with "special kids" so I was an expert.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I'm not a particularly religious person, but adopting Rob proved to me that God has a great sense of humor.

So I faced that challenge and Rob *became* my Brandy. I was bound and determined to *save* him just like I'd saved Brandy.

Fat chance. :hammer:

Still, when he was taken away in handcuffs and shackles I went through a severe depression and truly felt as if I'd lost my identity.......and not only that, I realized that my perception of myself was WRONG. There was no way on earth that I could save him so what good was I?

Those were terrible times :tissue: and I am so glad I am past them now. :whew:

If I'm honest with myself I miss Rob's young days when he still really liked his Mom and would hold my hand and, oh, he was such a wonderful cuddler! And I really miss the days when I still felt optimistic about his future. And I really miss that naive young woman who thought she could work miracles.

Still........I think having gone through the last 20 years I'm a much better person overall. And I am grateful for that.

And yes, this is kind of a confessional, isn't it? :wink: Thanks for listening. :flower:



Active Member
Oh Suz..........
You said it all. Loosing the sheer hope, that we could somehow "save them". That is what I am struggling with, daily.
That is what I am grappling with, and missing - the more innocent times, when I thought I could take it all away with my love.


I think in a way I am very lucky indeed...I have a two yr old little boy that still needs me to kiss his booboos and play cars with. He still snuggles on the couch and will hug at the drop of a hat. Gfgd hasn't needed me in such a long time and at first it really really hurt...I also felt like a failure because she went from this happy blond girl in grade six to this black dyed monster that seemed to enjoy her sickness. She's slowly showing bits of the girl I knew but it will never be the same.

As for my other two daughters...they are 12 and 14 and don't need me as much any more and they are quite vocal about it.

I have always been a stay home mom and that's the hard part for me...once this little guy no longer needs me, what do I do? I don't want to be that parent who calls constantly or lays a guilt trip on's going to be a long journey to figure this out I think. :scared:



New Member
Great topic, Suz.

I have been crazy busy lately and will not have time now to read the other responses.

I will come back later and post here.

I miss being the mom more than I can tell you. I loved everything about it.

Except that I did not get to be me.

I became a caricature of myself when I was a mom at home and a wife.

But I still think those were the happiest days. All that laundry, all that cooking and always someone laughing or crying or some holiday to decorate for.


Those were good times.

I still love it best when I have my grandchildren, even now.

I love sleeping with them and laughing with them and the way they smell, and I am always sorry when they leave.


Now that it is just husband and's definitely not the same level of fun.

But we are still just learning, too.

There was so much chaos for so long that we needed time just to stand up again, I think.

Now, we are forming friendships and following our own interests in a way we have not been able to do before.

So, things are getting better.

I am more a person now, rather than someone who had no essential self, and whose time was forever someone else's first.



Well-Known Member
Staff member
I always felt overly needed --- pulled, stretched like a rubber band by my two difficult children. I remember for a long time thinking I was TIRED of being needed by everyone (my difficult children, my elderly parents, even my pets!) The burden for all of that was bourne solely by ME for years, and it was exhausting. I don't miss that suffocating "need" one bit.

Oldest is doing better. She's moving towards more "normal" needs, I think. Youngest is ... a difficult case, I really sometimes doubt her ability to function completely independently, although time will tell. I think I'll be needed by her for awhile to come, although again, it's not quite as suffocating as it has felt in the past.

Being needed by my grandson.. totally different story. It's such an innocent, necessary need. It feels GOOD .. and has the wonderful reward of his smiles, giggles and baby talk (@ 8 months -- he has his own language!) in return for whatever I do for him. How can you not feel good about that?!


I liked being needed by babies and small children and sometimes miss that but I really like having adult kids at this point. It is a relief to not be needed by difficult child 1--her needs were so huge and unhealthy, I am so happy she is independent and we do not have a relationship based on need anymore. Now I can just enjoy her for who she is and I can ignore the stuff I don't like, doesn't have anything to do with me anymore.

My son (23) doesn't seem to need me but that is okay--he still likes my company when he has time.

difficult child 2 is only 16 and has many emotional problems and I sometimes (often) feel like I just want her to grow up and be on her way.

I wouldn't go through the last 19 years again for anything--I don't think I would have had children had I known what I was in for. But then I never really wanted kids til I was 25 and met the kids' dad. Maybe if he hadn't died I would feel differently--my husband is wonderful but he isn't their biodad and can't share the load so much so sometimes I feel like I am alone.



call 911

I don't know if I qualify to be in PE here, but I do know what it's like to miss being needed.

I HATE that I NEED to REMEMBER the bad because there was SO LITTLE of the GOOD. But if I don't remember; it can become very bad, very quick. THAT's What I dislike about not being needed now. I never did get the MOM I NEED YOU - I think he was born grown.

So I've filled my times and days with things that need me to promote a happier and healthier lifestyle. I did the best I could to raise a very challenging child. Now he's 17 I pray that all the interventions, Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s and time away from home have taught him how to live and be happy.

It's my wish - that he still has a shot at life. I know he'll come back around someday, maybe not as soon as I'd like it to be. And hopefully before it's too late for him to ask something of me.

I'm happy in knowing I did my absolute best.

Thanks for asking -


(the future) MRS. GERE
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think he was born grown. </div></div>

Star, I think Rob was, too. Abuse/neglect/hardship can do that to kids, even young ones. Rob certainly thought he was grown by the time we met him at age 3. He already perceived himself to be his twin sis' caretaker. He was incredibly immature and irresponsible, etc., but he had faced such a lot in his life before us (not to mention the damaged gene pool he came from) that he was bound and determined never to "need" us- or anyone- and sought to prove it... until he was gone 13 years later

To everyone, I am so enjoying your stories. Thank you for sharing. I am agog at the variety of responses and how we are at various points in our journey towards FREEDOM :smile: . No matter where we are, it's wonderful to know that we have family here who needs us.



New Member
Nope I do not miss nurturing. I no longer want to be needed. I enjoy being free to do as I please. My only problem is that I have so many things I want to do I have a hard time focusing on just one at a time. But I am a bit of an exception since I raised children through foster care, birth and adoption for 30 years. Twenty two children in all and then I was the primary care giver for my gransson for 4 years. I also was a scout leader a 4H leader class mother forever, and a teacher for a few years. So I am one of the rare few who looked foward to the empty nest and plan to reveled in it.

But the thing is my nest still isn't all that empty LOL. My 26 year old son still lives here (barely) and I do still look out for my difficult child. And then there is husband and my Father- in- law who although in an Alshimer's facility still has needs that I have to meet. Add in the once a week babysit and a very needy pooch and a kitty cat and really I am not all that free LOL -RM


Well-Known Member
Well, I wish I could be needed. My difficult child fights parenting so much lately that it feels like she does not need me. She does not want me.
She needs me, but wishes not to. She is looking for the quickest way out of her parents' lives.

My biggest hurt is that I did not get the best parenting experience. And I never will. I know it can be better and rewarding. But, I will never be the mom I wanted to be, the way I wanted to be a mom.

I LOVED being a mom for about 6 years. After that it was up and down. As a teen, it is mostly down. She is not always unpleasant, but she is just not a kid that you can feel much with. She just pushes away so much that I feel cheated out of it all. Not doing well in school, socially, job, driving, dating, etc. None of it is ideal that I know about. I do not know about much. What I do know I have to struggle to know. Just keeps pushing me out of her life. That is the sad part. To me, that is more hurtful than her going after me with a hammer.


hearts and roses

Mind Reader
I just miss the endless days of making play dough, finger painting, digging little holes in the garden, sunbathing, watching my girls swim in the kiddie pool, putting them down for naps, storytime, and early morning kisses over cheerios. God, that seems like eons ago!!


Well-Known Member
Jog...what you just described is what I dont remember really ever getting to do a whole lot of with my boys. Maybe we did and I just dont remember it. They seem to think we had a wonderful

However, those are the memories and activities that I crave with Keyana and Hailie and any future grandkids I have. I want those moments. I want to take my time this time. I dont want to miss one single minute this time. I know now that time goes by so fast. I will never again choose washing dishes over playing with the baby. Someone else can do that. I will have my time this time. I will savor every moment I get on this earth with these kids. If I get to be here until they are grown, it is a gift. I wont take any of that for granted like I did the first time.

Maybe that is the gift of grandparenting.


Active Member
"Maybe that is the gift of grandparenting."

It goes so fast. And I was too young and naive to recognize that they wouldn't be little forever. So with JJ I plan on enjoying every minute I get with him.


New Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dammit Janet</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Jog...what you just described is what I dont remember really ever getting to do a whole lot of with my boys. Maybe we did and I just dont remember it. They seem to think we had a wonderful

However, those are the memories and activities that I crave with Keyana and Hailie and any future grandkids I have. I want those moments. I want to take my time this time. I dont want to miss one single minute this time. I know now that time goes by so fast. I will never again choose washing dishes over playing with the baby. Someone else can do that. I will have my time this time. I will savor every moment I get on this earth with these kids. If I get to be here until they are grown, it is a gift. I wont take any of that for granted like I did the first time.

Maybe that is the gift of grandparenting. </div></div>

Janet, that's beautiful.




Active Member
I'm not at the point yet where I'm not needed. Although both my difficult child's are adults - I'm learning the consultant role through them. I'm a Grammy so I get to play with a 2 1/2 yr old every wednesday and every other weekend.

I do feel older though. I don't have my pulse on the current stuff going on. Maybe that's a good thing. There are many things I've learned that I wished I hadn't.
I so miss my children being small. The four of us had the greatest life "back then", late 80s-mid 90s. I miss Friday night family nights, sitting at the dinner table and just cracking up hearing my kids talk about school, vacations, the kids sleeping in sleeping bags on our bedroom floor during spring storms, etc. Then the years of h*** came and I don't miss those, or the way my children acted during those times!! Now I have a 25 year old son who is closer to us than ever, although he lives 4 hours away, and our difficult child daughter who is in TX and expecting her first child. She calls NUMEROUS times every day just to talk, advice, etc. She was our homebody till drugs became involved, and has returned to her foundation. There is a Hallmark ornament out this year I'm getting for her - it's a mom and daughter on cell phones, Mom's shirt says 1-800-MOM and the daughter's is something like help or advice (my memory is going quickly).

I thought the empty nest would be hard, and it WAS!! But just last night, husband and I were eating our dinner on TV tables in front of the TV (our kids crack up at this "old folks" behavior), talking and catching up on our "shows". It is just so comfortable now, my best friend, being able to do whatever whenever. I do miss the chaos sometimes, but this is just a new stage. I probably feel just as needed, but it is in a different way. Rather than needing to meet their physical needs and wants, they want conversation, your ideas, etc. I just wish they were closer so we could see them every week or so