My Teen Son Doesn’t Want Me to Let Go Yet, Here’s How I Know 

And, this mama isn't ready to let go either...

by Nancy Reynolds

This post: My Teen Son Doesn’t Want Me to Let Go Yet, Here’s How I Know 

Written by: Morgan Hill

Ahhh, teenagers. Just when they’re getting ready to fly the coop, they look down, realize how blasted far the jump is, and decide they want to hang out with mama bird just a little longer…

At least that’s how it is with my son.

He’ll be venturing off to college soon and even though he’s made huge strides in his independence and doesn’t need me as much as he once did, I know he loves me, still needs me, and isn’t quite ready to make the giant leap in life without me. How do I know? Well, sometimes, he tells me. But mostly, he shows me by clinging to these precious pre-college days at home as tightly as I am.

And, I have to admit… this mama is loving this tender, quality time with her boy still in her nest. My teen son doesn’t want me to let go just yet… here’s how I know.

My Teen Son Doesn’t Want Me to Let Go Yet, Here’s How I Know


He Keeps Reminding Me He’s Going to College Soon

It always happens when I’m busy or totally exhausted. Whether I’m working, watching a show (finally), or literally crawling into bed, he decides he wants to hang out with me. If I ask him for a little more time to finish whatever, or I tell him, “Hey, can we talk about this tomorrow?” he’ll say, “I’m going to college soon and you’re going to regret the times we didn’t hang out.”

Boom! Right through the heart! Of course, he’s right, so I always try my best to drop everything and take advantage of the opportunity. The truth is, I love knowing he thinks of his mom as his “buddy.”

He Wants to Be Pampered 

Whether he had a rough day at school or he’s just worn out from “teenagering” and life, he loves a little pampering. Sometimes, I’ll make him his favorite snack, other times I’ll wrap a blanket around his shoulders and turn on his favorite Netflix show. He might be taller than I am and sound like a man with his deep voice, but he still loves a heaping spoonful of TLC from his mama. 

He Loves Car Rides Together as Much as I Do

My son constantly has his Air Pods in. But when I pick him up or we’re just running an errand together, sometimes he’ll surprise me and wants to drive around and share his music with me.

He puts it on shuffle and brags about how he knows every lyric. Sometimes, he’ll even take requests for my favorite “old-school” songs. (Did someone say “Piano Man?!”)

He Wants Mom’s Home Cooking

My otherwise semi-competent teen’s love language is, hands down, FOOD. While I did buy him a cookbook for his last birthday, it remains unopened with its spine intact. Making him breakfast before he goes to school, whipping up his favorite dinner, or even packing his lunch makes his day and, more importantly, makes him feel loved.

I know, I know…  he’s perfectly capable of doing it himself, but he genuinely appreciates it and I secretly love spoiling him just a bit

“You Didn’t Ask About My Day”

I never know who I’m picking up after school. Happy teenager? Angsty? Irrationally hangry or cranky? I try to read his mood when he gets in the car so I know what kind of ride we’re going to have. Do I try to engage in conversation or zip my lips? The answer is both because if I don’t ask him about his day, at some point before bed he’ll remind me. “Sooo, mom… you didn’t ask how my day was?” He still wants me involved in his life. Don’t worry, baby. Mama is right here. 

Random ILY Texts

Occasionally, out of nowhere, I’ll get a random “ILY” text. Even with his raging hormones and burning desire to separate, it’s a good reminder for me that even though he’s growing up way too fast, in so many ways he’s still my little guy. (I hope this continues forever!) 

Would You… Could You?

Like the classic “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss, I’m constantly being asked if would or could do something for him. Whether it’s folding his laundry or getting him a snack, he loves when I help him. When he goes to college, I’ll only be able to aid from afar, and I think he’s slowly beginning to realize that. So, for now, I’m happy to help. After all, a little laundry folding or grabbing a bag of Goldfish for him won’t set him back in the grand scheme of things.

He Still Wants My Hugs

Mornings before school can be emotionally fraught. I have a teenager who doesn’t want to wake up for school, and I, as his mom, have the challenging task of waking him and telling him he must.

But sometimes, he sleepily mutters “hug.” This is my cue to sit quietly next to him and rub his back until the next alarm or give him a long, tight squeeze. These days are fleeting and I think we’re both hanging onto them with a vice grip.

He Picked ME!

My son loves hanging out with his friends. In his element, joking around and doing goofy teenage boy stuff, it’s not uncommon for him to have a gaggle of friends packed into his bedroom like sardines. But sometimes, I get chosen over those gangly teens. He wants to show me funny TikToks, prank videos, and just chill. He still wants mommy and me time, even if he does squeeze me in between time with his friends.

He Always Wants To Know Where I Am

I’ll run errands, go out for “me time,” or go out to dinner occasionally. But if I’m gone too long, by his perception anyway, I get a phone call. “Hey, mom… so, when are you comin’ home?” (God forbid I don’t answer. I’ll get 14 calls or texts in a row until I respond.) You’d think a teenage boy would love the house to himself for a while, but my son still wants me there. Like his blankie when he was a baby, I’m a comforting presence… even if we aren’t in the same room.  

In so many ways, it’s obvious my teen son doesn’t want me to let go just yet. And, as his mom, I’m letting him take the lead on this. If he needs more time in the nest, that’s okay with me. Because this mama bird isn’t quite ready to see him fly just yet, either.

About Morgan Hill:

Morgan Hill is an essayist and humorist. She has written for many online and print publications including Insider, Your Teen Magazine, Revel, and MASK Magazine. She is the mother of freshman and senior sons in high school. When not writing, she can be found at flea markets, in her garden, photographing architecture, taking cooking classes, or eating the stinkiest cheese she can find. You can also find her on Twitter @MorganHWrites or Instagram @MorganHillWriter

If you enjoyed reading, “My Teen Son Doesn’t Want Me to Let Go Just Yet, Here’s How I Know,” here are a few other posts you might like to read!

To My Teen Heading to College, Let These Lessons Sink In Before You Go

13 Ways I Sneak in Quality Time with My Son

55 Best Quotes for Moms of Teen Sons

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