nestI may be jumping the gun a bit (okay, a lot), but I’m starting to worry about what my relationship with my kids will look like once they are grown adults that leave the nest. Right now, they are two years old and six months old, but hear me out!

I think the reason I’m so concerned about having a close adult relationship with my kids is because my adult relationship with my parents was very rocky until just a few years ago. Now my mom and I are opening up and getting much closer, but unfortunately, I no longer talk to my dad.

I also looked to my husband’s family to see how adult kids function with their adult parents. His parents are very, very nice people, but family get-togethers normally only happen around some kind of major occasion. They are also scheduled far in advance through an email chain.

I don’t want to be a creepy, overbearing mother that won’t let my kids move out, but the thought of no longer having them in the house breaks my heart—and I have a good 18 years to go! Sure, I joke about how babies and toddlers suck the life out of you, but I would much rather be up with one of those crazy hooligans all night than falling asleep alone in an empty, kid-free house.

I need some hope, some light at the end of the tunnel. Are there adult kids out there that have close relationships with their parents? Is it possible to see your kids once a week, and is that normal? I just can’t imagine seeing my grown kids only on holidays and special occasions. I really, really like them, and I’m just getting to know them as people.

I know you can’t force a relationship on anyone, but I do firmly believe that parents set the tone for how close a relationship will be with their children. I plan to always extend invites to my kids as adults, no matter how many times they turn me down. I also have another great secret plan to offer lots and lots of free babysitting as a way to spend as much time with their families as possible (in a non-overbearing way).

What is the secret? What does a healthy relationship with adult kids look like? And is it possible to see your kids more often than Thanksgiving and Christmas after they move out of the house? I need to know.

(photo: Getty Images)