I’m struggling a bit this week. My youngest child (6) is moving out and although he has had me in training by staying away for long periods of time, he has always come home.

He will come home again, but it will be forever different for us. He will have become entirely separate from me in his daily life. I know this from experience.

It was hard enough when 3 moved out. I used to lay awake at night worrying about him. (5 has lived with his father since he was 13) – he always was his dad’s boy – but this is my baby! The one that I lived in hospital for months to bring into the world. The one who I once spent hours holding an oxygen mask over his tiny face whilst singing “Incy Wincy Spider” over and over again so he wouldn’t cry.

The one that promised when he was very young to always live with mummy.

None of us believed him when he told us he was moving out at the end of the year when he told some stories about vague arrangements that sounded too good to be true. I don’t think he even believed it himself.

A few weeks ago these arrangements firmed up in an acceptable manner, in that he is moving in with a young couple, one of whose parents are heavily involved, as they own the home. Perfect. Anxiety decrease measurable. The date was still in the ether – vague enough to create a false sense of security in this mother.

So after mentioning early in October “it could be the end of this month”, he suddenly announce 3 days ago that he was moving this Saturday!

Until he started packing his room up, I didn’t believe. Yesterday I started to freak out. Just the beginning. When I’m stressed I can’t sit down. I stand, I do things, I wander – but I stay on my feet. I cannot relax. Even while eating if I’m super anxious I will continually get up and down or lean on the bench. So I had one of those days yesterday and finally fell into bed exhausted after sharing a late night intimate chat with 3 and 6.

Today I’m teary and panicky. I was just giving 6 last minute washing advice like “don’t wash new or red clothes in hot water” and life advice like “all those things I’ve taught you about washing your hands and cleaning up after yourself and food safety and cross contamination? Don’t forget those things ‘kay?”

As he walked down the stairs to put his washing on tears sprang to my eyes because from tomorrow on he won’t be here for me to tell him all the things!

We won’t have these morning conversations. We won’t sit together after the latest Walking Dead episode muttering expletives in shock. Tears again – we fucking LOVE that show…. (we even got in trouble last week from Fitty for taking it waay too seriously.) But those motherfuckers killed Glenn and it took us too many seconds of smartphone research to at least find out it might not be true and in the meantime we squealed like fan-girls.

I will probs die tomorrow – broken heart. I take solace in the fact that I have 7 and 8 still here, because I don’t think I’m ready to be done with mothering yet.

Look at him in those first few pictures? This is the way I snapshot him in my brain, this age forever. (All my kids are still toddling around in my brain as fat little babies!)

As if that baby is old enough to move out and leave his mum?