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StellaM

Mamas of college kids - do you get used to them being away?

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I took my dd interstate last week, as she starts university there this week.

 

I was very supportive of her wanting to go away, because it's to do a degree she is very suited for, which wasn't offered in our home state/city.

 

But..I just want to go and bring her home. I thought my anxiety might be the issue, but it's not that. It's just that I miss her, and I want to have her here where I can look after her.

 

It's not usual in my country for city kids to go away for uni. Dd20 is at one of many unis in our large city. All dd18's friends are attending university in our city.

 

Living on campus isn't usual either; dd is living with relatives atm, though wants to share a house at some point with other students closer to campus.

 

I feel icky. Uncomfortable. Discombobulated :) dd18 is feeling overwhelmed, homesick and missing her friends a lot.

 

Normal ?

 

Will change ?

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Honestly, I think you will do better when she has settled in. It makes things so hard to know she is overwhelmed and homesick right now. You are going to miss her, for sure. But it will be hard for you to move on until she gets busy and finds her group. Give it some time and continue to encourage her to give it some time, too.

 

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I thought I missed her until she came home for the summer. By the end of the summer I was ready for her to go back. She was just as ready to go back! 😂

 

When they first leave, it's difficult. My younger daughter probably would've liked to come home sooner, but we told her she needed to stay until Thanksgiving so she would start to feel connected where she was. She ended up coming home for a weekend before November, but it was harder for her to leave us and return to college.

 

For me, I had to change my habits to not always include my DD. It was a mindset shift. I had to focus on my ds and change the way we used to do things. For example, once I got used to providing transportation for ds instead of relying on DD,I had an easier time. I guess what I'm saying is that once we got used to DD being gone, it was easier. I have no idea how I'm going to let my youngest go, though. I won't have another child to focus on. ðŸ˜

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When my DD left for college, it was very hard for me. We are very similar and very close and spent a lot of time together. The fall she left I really struggled. And for several months I could not go into her room without crying. She had a difficult time settling in, and that made it even harder, so I know what you are  talking about.

I had anticipated that it would be difficult and increased my work to full time, taken on a big project, because I thought then I would be too busy to miss her so much, and would have something to fill the hole in energy/time that her departure left. It still took me two years to find my new normal.

 

With DS it is different; he goes to college only two hours away and comes home on weekends. So it is very strange to say goodbye every Sunday and hello again on Friday evenings. I have not achieved equilibrium yet. 

 

Hang in there. It will get better when she has settled in and found friends. But it can take a while, both for her to find her groove (mine took the better part of the first year), and for you to adjust to the new situation. I found it important to be able to acknowledge that my grief was valid, and to talk about it with close friends. Hugs.

It's what they are supposed to do, but that doesn't mean it is not painful for mom.

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I adjusted faster than I would have imagined. Oldest and I spent tons of time together, really the whole family, but she left and we plunged right into junior and college search with her sister. So she was super busy at school, and we were super busy at home, that helped. She's only a 7 hour drive away, though, so while we can't see her at the drop of a hat, we could plan some visits. 

 

Perfectly normal for you to miss her, perfectly normal for her to be homesick. I don't know here you are, but here in the states, I consider it best to be as close to campus as possible. If she has a long-ish drive home, she should pick at least two days per week where she does not leave campus when classes are over. Find an organization, join a study group, sit outside and hang around. When she's busy and has new friends, she will miss home and the old friends much less. 

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I meant to also say that texting and video chat are awesome. dd will often video in for long periods at a time, we'll pass the ipad around to whoever's home, sometimes she and her sister will each be working on something and just look up and talk or ask for input occasionally, when the cats run by we aim the camera at them . . . in other words, it's not always a straightforward convo that ends when someone quits talking  :laugh:

 

We also sometimes watch a movie or tv show together, when oldest can make the time. You can just start it at the same time and chat on hangouts or whatever, or use an app that lines it up and I think makes it easier to chat. 

 

We also send lots of random pictures back and forth, often with no words at all. The cat, a pretty flower, a funny sign, whatever. Just another way to feel connected. 

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My oldest ds went away last year. It is only two hours away but we really don't go visit and he only comes home for extended breaks. He is busy there and we are busy with the remaining three kids at home. It just has not been as easy to pick up and go visit as we imagined.

 

I will say for us it did get easier as soon as I knew he was OK. Leaving him was hard because he didn't know anyone and there was so much unknown. Once he was settled in and happy I was OK. We communicated in some way almost every day freshman year even if it was just a quick text or snapchat. Sophomore year we are in less contact. It is easier and I miss him but it feels "right".

 

Second ds is a senior and is talking about going 11 hours away. I have already told him we will be flying down to visit him, sending older ds to visit him, etc. first semester until I know he is OK. I know I will struggle until I know he is adjusting and meeting people and not in a horrible roommate situation. The unknowns when you drop them off are just too much.

 

I hope your dd gets settled soon and that eases your hurt some.

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Ok, so it sounds like what she is feeling and what I am feeling is normal.

 

And that we just need to hang in there, and be patient, and wait for her to get a bit settled. She's a pretty extroverted kid; she's already joined the gym, and some clubs. Hopefully by the time trimester finishes she'll have a better idea of how it's all going to work.

 

We had a video chat on FB just now, and that was nice, way better than texting and even phone calls.

 

Thanks for letting me know I wasn't just being pathetic :) (Well, I am being a bit pathetic, but that it's normal!)

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With dd #2, she was allowed 3 two-minute phone calls the first 6 weeks. No chat after that, but she was allowed to email once a day for the rest of the year. 

 

The last one got one two-minute phone call once a week, between 6:30 and 7:30, Sunday evenings, until 3 weeks ago! She can now email, but has to sign each one, Very Respectfully Yours,

Cadet 4/C 

It's good training for when they're deployed and you hear from them once every 4 weeks. "Hi Mom. We're not going to Australia, but just pulled into Vladivostok. Talk to you sometime!"  "Hi Mom. We were able to land on the ship even with the typhoon. Only have 30 seconds on the sat phone. Love you. Bye!" "Hi Mom. Remember how I said I was going to be in my squadron for 3 months? I ship out after I land on a destroyer 3 times today and then 3 times tonight. I ship out in 12 hours. Hope to call you from Malaysia" 

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With dd #2, she was allowed 3 two-minute phone calls the first 6 weeks. No chat after that, but she was allowed to email once a day for the rest of the year. 

 

The last one got one two-minute phone call once a week, between 6:30 and 7:30, Sunday evenings, until 3 weeks ago! She can now email, but has to sign each one, Very Respectfully Yours,

Cadet 4/C 

It's good training for when they're deployed and you hear from them once every 4 weeks. "Hi Mom. We're not going to Australia, but just pulled into Vladivostok. Talk to you sometime!"  "Hi Mom. We were able to land on the ship even with the typhoon. Only have 30 seconds on the sat phone. Love you. Bye!" "Hi Mom. Remember how I said I was going to be in my squadron for 3 months? I ship out after I land on a destroyer 3 times today and then 3 times tonight. I ship out in 12 hours. Hope to call you from Malaysia"

On the one hand, I wonder whether the extended communication with home can hinder independence. I certainly wasn't on FB calls with my poor mum when I left to go o/s. She was lucky to get a letter once a month.

 

On the other hand, 3 two-minute phone calls in 6 weeks would be beyond my coping ability :)

 

I don't think dd18 is looking to the military, so hopefully we won't have to practice for deployment any time soon!

 

You're a braver mama than I :)

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I think if they are struggling at all, it is much more difficult to have them out of sight.

 

Both of my olders are okay at the moment (which is AMAZING!), so, to be honest, I am not thinking about them so much.

 

I think it will get better for both of you, especially once she gets settled.

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We are trying to get the injured dd home for spring break, but she doesn't want to come! Guess she'll figure it out! Wish her older sister was closer, but her old beater car is not up to the drive. 

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With dd #2, she was allowed 3 two-minute phone calls the first 6 weeks. No chat after that, but she was allowed to email once a day for the rest of the year. 

 

The last one got one two-minute phone call once a week, between 6:30 and 7:30, Sunday evenings, until 3 weeks ago! She can now email, but has to sign each one, Very Respectfully Yours,

Cadet 4/C 

It's good training for when they're deployed and you hear from them once every 4 weeks. "Hi Mom. We're not going to Australia, but just pulled into Vladivostok. Talk to you sometime!"  "Hi Mom. We were able to land on the ship even with the typhoon. Only have 30 seconds on the sat phone. Love you. Bye!" "Hi Mom. Remember how I said I was going to be in my squadron for 3 months? I ship out after I land on a destroyer 3 times today and then 3 times tonight. I ship out in 12 hours. Hope to call you from Malaysia" 

 

LOL. My oldest is in Army Basic/AIT for the National Guard and is five weeks in. So I'm learning what that's like. The last time I talked to him was 2/6, and the last letter arrived two days before that. I'm hoping that he may get a short phone call on Sunday.

 

February was tough. He was homeschooled all  the way through and had completed five semesters of college as a commuter student living at home. It's been a big adjustment for DD and I. 

 

They do have to grow up though. He's living his dream, and that's what counts.

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LOL. My oldest is in Army Basic/AIT for the National Guard and is five weeks in. So I'm learning what that's like. The last time I talked to him was 2/6, and the last letter arrived two days before that. I'm hoping that he may get a short phone call on Sunday.

 

February was tough. He was homeschooled all  the way through and had completed five semesters of college as a commuter student living at home. It's been a big adjustment for DD and I. 

 

They do have to grow up though. He's living his dream, and that's what counts.

 

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Those who are not military moms don't get it. 

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Have you read Be Safe, Love Mom by Elaine Brye?

 

No, I haven't; it looks great though. I have some Amazon points coming, so I'll order it.

 

One of my SIL's sons is also in the National Guard, and he left last week for training before a deployment, his first. She helped me a lot by telling me what she went through during Basic/AIT.

 

I'm also in a Facebook group for his training company. It helps a lot to know what to expect. Some have been sick and/or injured and have called home about that. A few have been sent home. I've seen a few pictures of him, but no news is good news. 

 

DD and I are moving this month, and I bought an American flag for the new place. That has new meaning too!

Edited by G5052

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When my oldest left, I was a mess. We are really close, but also he has multiple disabilities and I really wasn't sure how college would go for him. I quit crying every time someone mentioned his name after a couple of months :001_rolleyes: , but it was really a hard year. The next year, dd graduated a year early and I found myself with an empty next a year before I had planned to. I knew she'd do great, but I was really scared of just how bad it would be for me. My dh and kids were scared. It seemed inevitable that I would dehydrate and blow away from all the crying :lol: . The truth is, I did much better than the year before. By that time, ds and I had our distance relationship figured out and dd wasn't too different. They both communicate (text/emal/snapchat) daily. My oldest comes home frequently. My youngest FaceTimes now and then. They are both doing great and I've gone back to school for my Master's and have my own life. 

 

So, from my experience, yes, you do get used to it. You find a new normal in the relationship. I think in some ways I'm closer to my kids than ever. They both admit they can tell me anything now and they talk to me about everything, but while they were home, there were things they didn't want me to know. They no longer have to seek permission or even forgiveness for behavior. They are adults and I'm a resource and a friend, not the one responsible for them. I love our current relationship and while there are times I wish I was there or they were here, most of the time we are all happy where we are and our relationships are still strong.

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No, I haven't; it looks great though. I have some Amazon points coming, so I'll order it.

 

One of my SIL's sons is also in the National Guard, and he left last week for training before a deployment, his first. She helped me a lot by telling me what she went through during Basic/AIT.

 

I'm also in a Facebook group for his training company. It helps a lot to know what to expect. Some have been sick and/or injured and have called home about that. A few have been sent home. I've seen a few pictures of him, but no news is good news. 

 

DD and I are moving this month, and I bought an American flag for the new place. That has new meaning too!

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Star-Mothers-Service-Magnet/dp/B005MZYWKM

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I am very nervous about ds going so far away.  Every time he has left for a 2-week overseas adventure/competition, he has called every night.  I am really hopeful he won't be crazy homesick in the USA.  I have no idea how I will feel. None.

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I am very nervous about ds going so far away.  Every time he has left for a 2-week overseas adventure/competition, he has called every night.  I am really hopeful he won't be crazy homesick in the USA.  I have no idea how I will feel. None.

I hope it all goes ok. When does your ds leave for college ?

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I hope it all goes ok. When does your ds leave for college ?

August. Just found out only 10% at his likely university are under 18 when they start. I didn't realize he was going to be one of the youngest. It has to do with the southern hemisphere school calendar translating to the northern hemisphere.

Edited by lewelma
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I am very nervous about ds going so far away.  Every time he has left for a 2-week overseas adventure/competition, he has called every night.  I am really hopeful he won't be crazy homesick in the USA.  I have no idea how I will feel. None.

 

One piece of advice I have is to NOT make a point of talking/texting daily. Not because that's too often, but because the first time it doesn't happen, you're going to freak out, lol. The urge is strong to always know they are okay, but it just adds stress imo. If they text every single day, it's hard not to get anxious the first time they don't. Just ask my sister  :laugh:

 

 

August. Just found out only 10% at his likely university are under 18 when they start. I didn't realize he was going to be one of the youngest. It has to do with the southern hemisphere school calendar translating to the northern hemisphere.

 

That will not be a big deal at all. It probably won't even come up. You can't get into most bars in the states at 18 without a fake ID (drinking age is 21), and I can't think of other activities where age would come up. Mind you, I'm not saying that no one under 21 drinks, just that freshmen don't routinely head to bars the way they did when I was in college (before the age was raised). 

 

Regardless, I don't think it will matter. I don't know any teens who care about 17 vs 18 vs 19. 

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August. Just found out only 10% at his likely university are under 18 when they start. I didn't realize he was going to be one of the youngest. It has to do with the southern hemisphere school calendar translating to the northern hemisphere.

To be honest, I am surprised that the under 18 crowd is that large. Locally a child has to be 5 by September 1 but many children with summer birthdays are held back a year.

 

DD wasn’t 18 when she started. She had no problems. The only issues we foresaw were related to medical and signing legal documents.

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Just found out only 10% at his likely university are under 18 when they start. I didn't realize he was going to be one of the youngest.

 

I don't this is going to matter. My Dd went to college at 17. Age never came up until 3rd year when her classmates were 21 and going out to bars and she couldn't join them.

Why do you think age could be an issue?

Edited by regentrude

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August. Just found out only 10% at his likely university are under 18 when they start. I didn't realize he was going to be one of the youngest. It has to do with the southern hemisphere school calendar translating to the northern hemisphere.

It won't make a difference. Mine turned 18 in Nov- of her three roommates she and another girl were 17, and the much less mature and more homesick one was over 18. And my dd says most of the people she works with and get along with best are third year students.

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Ds was 17 his entire freshman year. It mattered a bit for a medical emergency, his dorm's ski trip to Lake Tahoe, and, since he won't turn 21 until after he graduates in June, he cannot take the wine tasting class. No one will know if he doesn't bring it up.

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I have had a hard time, although he is only 4 hours away and we go down every 3 weeks or so right now because he needs us to (it has been a hard adjustment for him, he is on the spectrum, etc...) but he is doing much better now and sees the light at the end of the tunnel with his bad roommate situation.  He gets to move in a couple of weeks to a single room, which would have happened in the beginning had he just TOLD them he had a need for accommodations.......just sayin' 

 

But honestly, I am just so happy for him.  He loves it and is thriving overall there.  It is where he needs to be.

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August. Just found out only 10% at his likely university are under 18 when they start. I didn't realize he was going to be one of the youngest. It has to do with the southern hemisphere school calendar translating to the northern hemisphere.

 

This did come up a few times for dd. She was 17 most of her freshman year. She couldn't climb the rock wall at the gym without a parent release. She couldn't go to the casino with friends. I don't remember what else, but there were a few issues. Fortunately she turned 18 a week before she ended up in the ER unable to breathe due to a combination of bronchitis and asthma. None of it was a big deal, but her friends did find out. One funny thing about this was that there were people who didn't believe her age until she showed ID. She didn't look or act younger than anyone else.

Edited by Momto2Ns
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My ds is a freshman, and I've been struggling with this on and off. He's about 1500 miles away, he can't easily come home and we can't easily visit. Especially because our budget is pretty tight and extra plane tickets are costly. I had a very hard time when he first left, then it did get better. However, he has had some big issues, and it has been very difficult being so far away. Things are much better for him now than they were at the beginning of this semester, and I'm really hoping that they continue to improve. We do facetime regularly, which helps. Amazon prime is very handy too!

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I'm not there yet, but we will be in 5 months!  Of course we are excited, but her absence is going to be tough.  My dd and I talk all the time about all kinds of things.  We love to dig into some politics and social issues and silly stuff...like how to pronounce envelope. 

I will be the only female in the house when she's gone!  Three males and myself.  

 

She is so excited about new adventures.  At the same time she gets homesick at the beach when we are all together! 

  

Dh is doing the man thing and not thinking about it! 

 

Y'all give me hope that we can all find a new happy way to be.

 

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I have discovered that texting a picture of a favorite pet will elicit a response. :D It works for everyone on a non chatty day. We have our new normal but I still miss which ever one is away. 

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I think the kids know that my letters that I write every day are really for ME! Well, they like getting them, but it's more of a way for me to let off steam. I put in clippings from the newspaper, and a daily prayer thing from booklets from church. 15 years!

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Actually, it has been fine. Snapchat has made communication quick if wanted. I find it hard when they come home and it's not their space or their habits or their food and they are bored. Guess who's dd is home on break [emoji11] hang in there. It is early and changes are hard.

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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I think the kids know that my letters that I write every day are really for ME! Well, they like getting them, but it's more of a way for me to let off steam. I put in clippings from the newspaper, and a daily prayer thing from booklets from church. 15 years!

 

I've always admired you for doing this!

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My older three are scattered around the country and doing fine.

 

I will be facing severe separation issues next fall with my youngest. She lived at home during her freshman year and then transferred to a college about 4 hours away. We make the trip to see her about once every other month and she comes home about every other month, so I am spoiled by how often we see each other. She has a church job so she didn't come100% home for the summers, but over the summers she would drop in for most of a week here and most of a week there. And she will be home for three months this summer!

 

This fall she will be off to grad school 16 hours away from home. She has a medical issue, has had a severe health complication, and we are very close. This will be a hard transition for me! I know she will be fine, but I'm not sure I will!

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I think the kids know that my letters that I write every day are really for ME! Well, they like getting them, but it's more of a way for me to let off steam. I put in clippings from the newspaper, and a daily prayer thing from booklets from church. 15 years!

 

My son would not be happy.  Their centralized mail center is over a mile and a half from his dorm and he would have to take a shuttle, which would take a while to wait for as they aren't all that reliable sometimes.  

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My son would not be happy.  Their centralized mail center is over a mile and a half from his dorm and he would have to take a shuttle, which would take a while to wait for as they aren't all that reliable sometimes.  

 

 

No, I don't suppose he would like that! My kids' undergrad schools have all had mailrooms in their dorms, so they were walking past several times a day. Especially for my kids at military schools--those letters have been a big deal. It was quite exciting when I no longer had to use white envelopes, written in black, with flag stamps. Navy girl SO craved color that I wrote in a different color every day. I write my deployed sil too, but he only gets about a quarter of them, 3 months late. I'm on a quilted card kick right now. It's a good way to use up fabric stash--I layer different fabrics and then topstitch with fancy stitches. Our Scout troop wrote Christmas cards to my sil's squadron, and the hsers made Valentines for them. 

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My oldest hasn't left for university yet, but she did go on a six week French work exchange last summer. That was a great warm-up run for both of us; she gained experience and confidence being away from home, and myself and the rest of the family got used to her being away. I was left in the house with 5 teen-agers, as we hosted 2 teen boys while dd was away. That was the toughest part for me, actually. I was so happy to have another girl in the house when she returned. ;)

 

It looks like she'll go to a local university for a couple years at least, but she's already planning on moving away to finish her studies as there are limited veterinary colleges in Canada.

Edited by wintermom
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I took my dd interstate last week, as she starts university there this week.

 

I was very supportive of her wanting to go away, because it's to do a degree she is very suited for, which wasn't offered in our home state/city.

 

But..I just want to go and bring her home. I thought my anxiety might be the issue, but it's not that. It's just that I miss her, and I want to have her here where I can look after her.

 

It's not usual in my country for city kids to go away for uni. Dd20 is at one of many unis in our large city. All dd18's friends are attending university in our city.

 

Living on campus isn't usual either; dd is living with relatives atm, though wants to share a house at some point with other students closer to campus.

 

I feel icky. Uncomfortable. Discombobulated :) dd18 is feeling overwhelmed, homesick and missing her friends a lot.

 

Normal ?

 

Will change ?

 

DD and DS adjusted quickly.  I'll be transparent in that I went through extreme withdrawal the first time around for me.  And, being even worse, she was living at home.  I'm really not kidding.  (Insert eye roll.)  I missed the adjustment of day to day interaction.  When DS left for school (dorms on campus) the adjustment was far easier.  I think it's different - based on different kids, different relationships, etc.

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We have had such different house arrangements all the time that even though my youngest is a junior in her second semester, we haven't had our house empty all that often.  In fact, since her sister and then her sister's husband moved in last September/October, and then youngest arrived back home from NZ in mid November while the others were still living here, we are finally breathing a sigh of relief as middle and her husband have moved into their new house along with a dog and two cats and youngest has gone back to college.  It has been the first time in more than half a year that we are back down to empty nesters.  In less than a month, dd will be back, take her cat, and then we will be truly alone.  I do not want to get my own dog and cat until June since I do not want to get them and immediately start traveling.  After we return from Europe in June, I will then look for a rescue dog and rescue cat to call my own.

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