Any suggestions on how to handle only child leaving for college?

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Kayleigh - posted on 04/13/2014

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I am a single mom...have been for 24 years. My only daughter stayed at a community college because we (meaning her and I) couldn't afford a 4yr college. But in June, she will be transferring to a 4yr university, 3 states away. She is super excited , and so am I but honestly, she is my best friend and I hers. I will miss her.

We both work full time and take night classes at the same college, although not always on the same nights, but usually there is at least one night a week where we go to dinner together after class. We go to the gym together, we "show" our bunnies together, we bowl in the same league, and we genuinely enjoy each others company. But while she is super excited about college, I feel like a huge part of me is dead.

My family cannot seem to understand why I am so sad? Yes I know the the logical response is "spread her wings, grow, become her own person, make mark on the world blah blah blah" but somehow i always just thought it'd be here....not far away, not 3 states away, not 24 hours away....here in our local town at our own 4 yr college...but no, she wants to "get out"....and while I can respect that (i was itchin to get out of my house the day I turned 18--my dad had to bribe me to stay thru June) I just somehow always thought she'd go to school and live here...Stupid I know! But I'm just really sad that she's leaving and no one seems to understand how hard it is for a single mom, with no "other half" to focus on. I already have "hobbies" but we did them together. I dont even want to continue doing them because they just remind me that she's gone. Am I totally pathetic? Does anyone else understand how I feel? One co-worker said her heart had a large hole in it when her eldest left...but I feel like 1/2 of me is gone, dead, lost...kaputz!

[deleted account]

My only went to college 2 years ago. I thought I would not make it when he left, but much to the surprise of us both and my husband, it has been a joy watching him grow, He has matured so much and attained a great circle of friends. I must say I prayed a lot for me and for him- still do in fact.



I guess what I am trying to say is that you would be devastated if he/she didn't grow and leave the nest in a normal fashion. It isn't about us as mom's but about letting the gift that God gave us grow and mature as He intended. That has given me great comfort. I am on my son's Facebook which helps me keep in touch, and I text him. I visit as often as possible without being overbearing and have gotten to know many of his new friends by taking them to dinner and/or inviting them for the weekend. Keep the lines of communication open- your child doesn't love you any less because he/she is gone. He/she just loves you differently. If you think about it, that love has been changing all the while and it wasn't so bad. You were his/her world as an infant but as he/she changed to a teenager the dependency lessened. Just another step toward adulthood is getting ready to be taken....Congrats on a job well-done.



Now you can resume your adulthood- hobbies, volunteer work, fun with hubby- lots of good choices. Stay busy- the time passes faster than you might think.

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Jacqueline - posted on 12/24/2012

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Thank you so Much, for responding, I really needed it. Your ideas sound great, I know the way I feel affects her. I feel guilt because of it; I do not want to hurt her. I am so proud of her! But it feels like a death, because of my upbringing Love is something special, I DO NOT share that feeling with everyone. When someone I love hurts there is nothing I would fail to do for them, for her I would do anything, never would I let her hurt, without being there. There is conflict because I also feel betrayed. After she left, then my husband divorced me, I was in a state of devastation. She seemed like she just didn't get it. I thought who is this child; I didn't raise her to be this way. I just wanted her to hold me and cry with me. We were so close! She has came around some, I feel when you love someone you should be there. I really don't have a connection to anyone in this world. Because my family was and is so dysfunctional there is know communication, believe me it is best. I fought long and hard to overcome so many things, at 18 I wasn't prepared to conquer my dreams, I had to try to figure out why is was abused, which left it's scars. I finally had made so much progress then BAM, she left, my husband left, now I am alone and I feel like that little girl that was rejected so long ago. Without know one, I have been in such shape I have been called crazy. I am beginning to question my own sanity. I am a Christian, God forgive me. But he blessed me with this wonderful child, I didn't deserve. Now I am alone again in this world. It is not her fault I know that, but many issues combined. But it seems right when I need her in my life the most, she is gone. I have even thought about suicide. Anyway Thanks, this site at least lets me know I am not alone, and it is normal to miss my child, although not to this extent.

Kamala - posted on 12/24/2012

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Jacqueline I understand your hard ache I also had issues with my mother she was not around I lived with my father, I would watch other mothers and wish one of them was mine. When I had my two boys I made them into my whole world, the love you feel I completely feel it, its what makes my life complete. My oldest son also went away to college this year, I thought I would die. He has been gone for 4 months it has gotten easier but I miss him so much. Life feels different without him. Everyone thinks I am crazy. All I can say is for your daughter you got to be strong, you got to pull yourself up and be ok out of your love for her. If something happens to you it effects her so do whatever you can, find something you love. Maybe volunteer with young kids I find young kids very rewarding. I say fake until you make it. Write a gratitude book, every night write down everything that you liked everyday focus on any good and if you look for it you will find it. For your daughter take care of you.

Jacqueline - posted on 12/24/2012

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There are no words to describe the pain of my daughter leaving home! It will be 2 years
jan 8th 2013. She was everything to me, my life. I have always had a hard time dealing with lose of any kind. She is very independent works goes to college, She has 3 Martial Art belts, and has done Modeling. She has the sweetest spirit, beautiful inside and out.
A little back ground my own mother was abusive verbally, and withheld affection, I have had some problems in life because of this. Plus, I could not concieve I was married nine years had to have surgery, but finally became pregnant. I cried for weeks I was so happy. I was the mother I never had, I cherished her, loved her. She would hug me and we were so close always! I love her so much, it is killing me inside. she is 750 miles away, and I don't know if I can take it. I always thought I would be a part of her life in some form, maybe she would live down the street. She does not understand my pain.
What is worse is that my husband divorced me 6 months after she left home, I have had a nerveous breakdown. I already deal with depression, I don't feel like I have a connection with anyone. Really my connection and bonding with my daughter was everything to me because I never had that with my mom, ever.
Depressed, lost and just here. I would give anything tohold her in my arms right now. I miss her more than anything in this world:(

Jacqueline - posted on 12/24/2012

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There are no words to describe the pain of my daughter leaving home! It will be 2 years
jan 8th 2013. She was everything to me, my life. I have always had a hard time dealing with lose of any kind. She is very independent works goes to college, She has 3 Martial Art belts, and has done Modeling. She has the sweetest spirit, beautiful inside and out.
A little back ground my own mother was abusive verbally, and withheld affection, I have had some problems in life because of this. Plus, I could not concieve I was married nine years had to have surgery, but finally became pregnant. I cried for weeks I was so happy. I was the mother I never had, I cherished her, loved her. She would hug me and we were so close always! I love her so much, it is killing me inside. she is 750 miles away, and I don't know if I can take it. I always thought I would be a part of her life in some form, maybe she would live down the street. She does not understand my pain.
What is worse is that my husband divorced me 6 months after she left home, I have had a nerveous breakdown. I already deal with depression, I don't feel like I have a connection with anyone. Really my connection and bonding with my daughter was everything to me because I never had that with my mom, ever.
Depressed, lost and just here. I would give anything tohold her in my arms right now. I miss her more than anything in this world:(

Tammy - posted on 11/26/2012

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My only daughter left for college in August. She has been home at least one weekend a month since she left. Her university is only 2 hours away. She says she doesn't miss us. My answer to that is "How could she when she comes home once a month". That doesn't bother me. She came home for Thanksgiving. We were talking as we were driving back to college and she says she doesn't like coming home, she doesn't consider it her home anymore. She says she doesn't like the smell. My husband and I both smoke (no lectures please, I've heard them all). She also doesn't like the pet hair. Pets which by the way are mainly hers. I was at a loss for what to say to her. I spent the rest of the trip with tears in my eyes. I couldn't make any guarantees to her so I said nothing. I understood the "reasons", but felt hurt. I don't expect her to live with us forever, but these visits are golden to me. Now I feel as though maybe she shouldn't come "home" which only makes me feel worse.

Louise - posted on 11/18/2012

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Hello, My daughter is a high school senior which means sometime around August she'll be going off to collage- I'm already feeling anxious about it, and know I'll miss her so much!

I think she will handle the transition fine- I'm hoping she chooses a school that withing 100 mile radius of home, so we can visit her and she can come home every few months

My husband doesn't think it is a big deal if she goes far away, and we can't visit as often- advice?

Helen - posted on 09/07/2012

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Lisa....I know exactly how you feel, my daughter just moved into her dorm last week and I've had the blues ever since. At church I started to feel so much better, but together with her leaving I've had some other changes to face and it's hard. It was just my daughter and I for 12 years until I got married two years ago this month. Like someone else said....they'd text their child and they actually text back or IM on Facebook. I think this will be the only way I won't feel so blue...knowing about her everyday trials, adjustments and meal info. Its funny, but we moms gotta know that stuff. I am excited that she went to a job interview and did a great job, I am happy I raised her to be independent and happy with her own company (her dad died 2 days before her 6th birthday) and we both had to be independent. I guess my only advice is to find/redefine who you are....take up a new hobby that you can tell him about, do something a little daring- he'll be amazed. Take care- don't let those blues ruin your days....I promise not to also!

signed:

Another Mom with the college kid blues.

Kamala - posted on 09/06/2012

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Hi Lisa,



My older son just left for college 2 weeks ago and I cant seem to get rid of the blues. Some days I can make through the day without crying other days I wake up crying. He is having a hard time and really misses us so it makes it harder. I pray everyday. I am not sure how we are going to get through this but we have no choice its life. I know its good for him and he needs to grow to be a healthy man but it hurts and as mom we always do whatever is best for the kids so I guess this is one of those times where it doesnt matter how much it hurts. I do cry regularly. I wish I could be happy. Maybe time will take care of it. So I have been no help to you I can only say you just do it.

Lori - posted on 04/23/2012

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Hi Lisa,

I had 3 kids leaved for college in 4 years. Tough. I wanted to send them cards so they would know that they are still loved and missed1 However, no cards existed that addressed the new reality of college life. Sooo...I created some. They have been a big hit! Once they receive the cards they call to let me know-so we each are happy! I know have a passion to encourage Moms of College kids. We need it! If you would like to see what the cards look like...I created a website. All the best, Lori

http://myseedsoffaith.com/

Amy - posted on 11/01/2011

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Jackie, I think it's normal for a child their to spread his/her wings when they go to college for the first time. My younger son is a Junior at WVU and he's been pretty much the same way since he started college. Don't take it to heart, I'm sure she misses you, but pre-occupied with her new and old friends and her classes. You can always call her and remind her you're still there for her. :o)
Take care,
Amy B.

Jackie - posted on 11/01/2011

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My daughter has been gone a couple of months now and I really miss her but don't feel she misses me. Is this normal? Am I being childish. I want her to have a great college life which is what I think she is doing and of course I never had the same wonderful event having no money I stayed at home. Feeling sad.

Sandy - posted on 09/15/2009

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My only child left for college on the 17th of August. It is so hard. The first couple of weeks gave me a little comfort knowing that he was liking it. He is close enogh that he is able to come home some weekends. Although today was so so hard, he is not liking it ...I had to talk with him and encourage him to go back while it was just tearing me up inside. All I can say is take one day at a time and let your self cry when needed.

Sandy

Lynnetta - posted on 08/06/2009

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I am a mom and I sent my only child off to college. At first it was difficult after all I am a single mom and it has just been the two of us for so long. The shopping part was fun preparing all of the things that a child needs for their dorm. During the drive we had long talks about expectations, and what I call “home training” and respecting himself firs and then others. After setting up the room, it was time to say good bye. We hugged, said a few words and that was it. I watched him walk off with his new roommate with a smile and anticipation in his eyes. He was excited and so was I. I did not let him see me cry he would have worried. I finished up some last minute adjustments and thought about the new adventure that my son was on. It was painful but it was his time to start on a new path. Going home was hard and I worried until the phone rang at about 11:00. My son was checking in and admitted that he missed me. We chatted for a while until more new friends arrived. He was safe and so was I. By the end of the first week, I was better but, we continue to talk everyday a few times a day when he is away. Just remember that they do come home and they will carry you with them forever.

Lynn - posted on 08/01/2009

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Everyone has given you great advice. Just know that the feeling you are having are normal. We all feel the same when our "only" leaves for college. Be proud and trust that you have done a great job. Unlimited cell and text messaging a must. Email, packages and a few visits. Make the time when your child is home about quality time and enjoy every minute of those times. I does get better after the first year. Good Luck!!!

Kimberly - posted on 07/01/2009

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Have a good cry. My first left for college 4 years ago and I had just had my back surgery. I was pretty out of it with all the meds I was on. I remember two weeks later when I was back to myself, I would walk by his room and feel so upset. I would have myself a good cry and remind myself he's exactly where he needs to be - making his mark in the world.

Sandy - posted on 07/01/2009

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Hi,
My daughter is an only and when she left for college it was so hard. We are best friends. I found that chatting on AIM makes life so much easir and is a great way to keep in touch. We talked every day on the internet. If I didn't hear from her or didn't see her on-line then that is when I would call to make sure she was ok.What made it even harder was that she went 8 hours away from home. Didn't see her much.

I found that my husband and I were able to go back to being a couple again. Instead of doing everything connected with our daughter we now did things for ourselves. It has now been 4 years that she has been in college and we still talk almost every day. She calls when she needs help or is frustrated. They still need their Mommy no matter what.

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Hi Lisa,

My name is Nancy and I'm Mother of two who have left for College,

My oldest left three years ago... back when "Most Moms" like me did'nt TEXT and did'nt want too.. I Relized very quickly that a phone call home daily was just not going to happen lol. But I needed to know....Was he Ok,? Did he wake up? Was he eating? evrything lol..... So even though I'd rather talk to him daily I learned to text. I started sending him short quick texts and Low & Behold he'd answer!!!! Everytime!!!! So that became our thing every day I knew he'd send me somthing or I'd send him somthing. As long or short as the text was it always ended with" love ya Mom" and thats all I needed to get me threw to the next day and or to the weekend when I knew he'd call.



When my only daughter left last year (talk about really hard!!!) I was ready and a Pro with my phone lol we all have advanced to Text, & Picture Mail and its sooo worth it! .I never thought a quick pic of a goofy smile or the simple words like "Hey Momma, what ch u doing? " can make me feel so happy and blessed!!!! Good luck

Donna - posted on 06/24/2009

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My only child left last year for school and it was very hard on me. After I allowed myself time to grieve I started doing things I enjoy but never had time to. I took some classes and pursued my hobbies. Remember what life was like before kids? My husband and I traveled alittle, even if it was only locally. Went out on regular dates. Check out what adult ed classes that might interest you. The first year flew by because I was so busy with my own interests. Good luck.

Denise - posted on 06/11/2009

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Congrats!!! First of all it's quite an accomplishment. What did you do when you didn't have a child? and watch MySpace and Facebook alot!!!



Good Luck!

Denise

Amy - posted on 06/11/2009

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I'm sort of in the same boat, because my younger child, is going to school in the fall, at wvu, and then empty nest syndrome's going to set in. Maybe we can help each other through it. Would you like to set up a regular chat time? My name's Amy Bright, and I live in West Milford, WV.

Take care,

Amy

Carolee - posted on 06/11/2009

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Hello Lisa ! My name is Carolee . I have a mess of kids, but it's never easy when one of them leaves. I feel like my five year old is already grown and done sometimes lol.




Most moms I know have devoted a life to the wonderful privilige of raising children and some of them along the way didn't invest in discovering what else they love to do . I know it will get easier with time, but I think we will always miss them just a little .




My almost 20 year old is away in Tulsa for college. I have a seventeen year old and two younger ones I am homeschooling that occupy a bit of time still ,but I have a good amount of things I have discovered I enjoy doing that I get pleasure from.




Maybe a Big Sisters program would be something that you would enjoy.




Grandkids will come soon enough and you will be satisfied with them in a different wonderful way.

Carolee Dalton @ SHINE Community

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