I sent my son away, and I don’t know if I want him back, in this week’s Dear Prudie extra. | #bumble | #tinder | #pof | #onlinedating


Every week, Dear Prudence answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.

Dear Prudence,

I am a single mother to a 12-year-old son. At the start of the pandemic, for various reasons, my son went to stay with my sister out-of-state. He will have been there for 18 months. However, we are now making plans for him to come home.

Prudence, I’m sure I’m not alone, but in some ways I don’t want him to come home. I feel like a terrible parent for even thinking such, but it’s true. In the past 18 months, I have managed to finally get my apartment clean and in order; picked up extra shifts at work; gone out a few times with groups of people; and I’ve even started to overcome some of my social anxiety issues and branched out into online dating. In short, I really have been enjoying my life as a single person! It wasn’t something I’ve really had the chance to experience before.

I miss my child, but now that I’ve had a taste of what things could be like, I find it hard to reconcile. I also think my sister has probably done a better job of raising my son than I did! I’m introverted by nature and my job requires dealing with a lot of people, so I’m often drained. It means that prior to the pandemic, I didn’t always spend as much time with him as I would have liked (or he would have!), while my sister spent time with him every night. And she cooks really healthy foods, while I rarely cook.

In short, I’m still torn on whether his coming home is really the right thing. He wants to come home. My parents (who watch him while I’m working) want him to come home. But how can I get over this feeling of being an inadequate mother and not really wanting to do it anymore?

—Am I Inadequate?

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