Our youngest child is in boarding school in the UK, having returned there from South Africa in 2013 ready to start his GCSE's. On July 6th 2017, his school days will be over and we can pat ourselves on the backs for successfully raising 5 children into adulthood, who currently still all talk to us, so we've done something right.
Our children have not gone to University, but they have gone into careers with further training. Our eldest child is disabled and in a care home in the UK. 2 of the boys joined the British Army and 1 went into hospitality. The 3 boys all had accommodation with their employment, 2 have now moved on, changed jobs and have their own homes, living with their girlfriends. 1 is still in the army, but the youngest is an altogether different challenge for us now.
The 2 older boys left home, from our home, the family home in the UK. We were at hand to help them move, prepare them for their move, move them in and have them visit on weekends, or us to them. The 1 who is still in the army, left home from South Africa and moved 6000 miles away to make his application, living with family while he waited for his starting date. He however asked all his questions from me, but he knew what he wanted to do, where he wanted to go and then he was off. We attended his passing out parade in Catterick and he moved on his own to Northern Ireland, where he has made a new life for himself, mates, a car and a girlfriend.
I stopped parenting on a daily basis in 2014 when the last child left home and then we moved from South Africa to Dubai. I went through empty nest syndrome, but I guess a move from one country to another softened the blow a little.
The youngest is proving to be a bit more difficult in regards to his future. He is applying for apprenticeships, we have no idea where in the UK he will end up living and working and we need to be there to help/sort him out over the coming months.
So on July 6th 2017 I will become a full time mum again to an 18 year old, an adult. We have a base in South Wales which I'll be moving into in mid June. I'll be staying in the UK until his apprenticeship starts, paying his deposit for somewhere to live and purchasing the basic items he will need.
I'm hoping we can get him a room in a house, with his own tenancy agreement, bills included, so he can start life with everything he needs, no additional bills to pay and his own space where he can feel relaxed, safe and comfortable as he transitions from the safety and security of boarding school, where he has had a slightly more sheltered life than his 3 older brothers.
I will find returning to Dubai difficult, as I won't be there for him to pop home to see on weekends, bringing washing or just wanting a home cooked meal.
I was able to be there and do just that for the 2 oldest boys, but not the youngest 2 and being so far away, makes it difficult for me to manage.
Not managing my children's lives, but managing my emotions as I go through yet another transitional stage in my life.