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  • jothetherapist

Getting the children to leave home!

I saw an article in the Times in the past couple of weeks about a 75 year old Italian woman who had to go to court to get her grown up children (both boys in their 40s) to leave home. The judge found in her favour as both children had jobs but didn't want to leave home because their Mama did their washing and cooking for them.

Whilst it made me laugh, I did feel for the woman concerned. It was probably bad for the sons in terms of individuation (the process by which a person develops a separate identity from others and begins to consciously exist as a human). But as the average life expectancy for a woman in Italy is 82 years of age, for that mother that would be a grand total of seven years without having to look after her children, before she might die. Not much time for her individuation or spiritual growth.

When I was training I remember a fellow student observing that for a mother, life is a sequence of events where our children incrementally move away from us and mothers have to deal with the grief that each step away from us brings. Whilst grief is painful, there are natural cycles in life and the frustration for that Italian mother because the natural cycle of the children separating from her was not complete, must have been immense. I hope she has many happy years ahead of her to put herself first.

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