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What are some good ways to deal with the feelings you have when your kids leave home or go away to school?

How have you dealt with this stage of life? Is it best to just keep busy and try not to think about it? I am sending my second away to college in the fall and we will not be able to see either for nearly a year. I am struggling with this even though I believe that both of my older kids are doing a good job in going forward with productive, independent lives. I felt the absence of our first born when he went away and now am dreading seeing the second one so far away, even though I still have 4 younger ones at home. Any helpful advice or suggestions. Or anyone who can share their experience with me?

 
minasmama6

Asked by minasmama6 at 2:43 PM on Jun. 1, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 13 (1,084 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • Mixed emotions are often part of any transition that has to do with our kids. It is natural to miss them when they are away especially when they will be gone for a lengthy period of time. I don't think you should 'try not to think about' your kids' absence...it is a reality...and sometimes you need that time to 'think on them' to motivate you to do something special...send an e-card, a special package in the mail, or give them a phone call...let them know you care and they are in your thoughts and that you will always be there for them...this is natural!!! At the same time you don't want to just 'sit and dwell' to the point of it interrupting your daily life to the extent of causing depression, unhappiness, or lack of involvement in normal activities. Allow your heart to be grateful that they are successful and productive. Be proud of them...treasure memories...and look forward to the day you will be together. Kat
    mcnaughtykat

    Answer by mcnaughtykat at 7:28 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • Dr. Phil said that Robin got a photo frame and her son left her a msg on it and she played it every morning. Just an idea...Im not there yet but think it would be hard. Try to make it a positive experience for your child. Maybe send a card on a set day every week. Mail thier favorite cookies or candy. Everyone likes to get real mail in the mailbox. Start a special new bond.
    ria7

    Answer by ria7 at 2:47 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • On a personal note, just because you will have 4 at home doesn't mean that you won't miss #2 any less. He is your child, and you will miss him just as much as the first. Keeping busy is the key and if you want to cry, you just go right ahead. I know some will say "I can't wait til they leave home", well i IMO, thats not what being a parent is about. If he won't have a cell phone , write to him as much as possible. You will be missing one person, he will be missing 6 plus and its really going to be hard on him(I had to put that in there) Talk to him as much as you can, send him care packages, but, when you talk to him, TRY not to cry,even tho that will be hard.Keep busy busy busy and before you know it, he will be home.
    Kat122

    Answer by Kat122 at 5:10 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • IT DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER, I KNOW, I HAVE DONE THIS THREE TIMES!!!!! THE ONE THING THAT KEPT ME SANE WAS I ASKED OF THEM A DAILY CALL, JUST TO HEAR THEIR VOICE AND KNOW THEY ARE ALIVE AND WELL. MY LAST ONE IS GRADUATING THIS AUGUST, CUM LAUDE NO LESS, IT SEEMS LIKE HE LEFT NOT TOO LONG AGO AND IT HAS BEEN 4 YEARS!!!! TIME WILL FLY BY LIKE IT DOES EVERY YEAR, AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT HE WILL BE HOME AGAIN. HANG IN THERE MOM, AT LEAST YOU GOT LITTLE ONES TO KEEP YOU BUSY, I GOT A VERY QUITE EMPTY HOUSE.
    older

    Answer by older at 9:03 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • I know that you are having trouble missing you children. When I moved 3,200 miles from home to go to college, I missed my family and friends terribly. I loved getting those care packages and they loved putting them together. We would call each other whenever we could. Being busy did help some for myself and my family.
    dustbunny

    Answer by dustbunny at 10:23 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • Thanks so much for all the wonderful advice. I will use it to try to keep the bond strong and let my sons know that we still love them even from a distance. I really thought my first would call more often, but I realize he has had a huge load on him with his schoolwork. At first I did take it more personally than I should have, but he is just not a big talker. The second born is a little different in personality so I know he'll call more often and I don't let the lack of call lessen my love for the firstborn. He tends to be more of a writer than a talker anyway! I really like the care package idea and photo frame too. It just feels like after all these years of having them near that they are flying away from me...I will be happy for their accomplishments and pray for them to stay connected to the family. It still feels a little like losing a piece of my heart. I will cry when I am alone, but
    not in front of other siblings.
    minasmama6

    Answer by minasmama6 at 1:44 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • I also enjoyed getting care packages from my family when away at school! It was so so so nice!
    I just wanted to add that I don't think it is a bad thing to cry in front of your other children. They probably miss their siblings very much, and seeing that it is okay to feel sad about it is a good thing.
    squish

    Answer by squish at 12:31 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • I really found that I liked my children living elsewhere than with me! LOL! My middle son stayed at home until he was 25 and joined the Army. Getting a daily phone call was asking too much for my dil, as was asking for a monthly phone call. She wants no phone call, he is no longer my son, he is her husband.

    She wants no relationship with me, never did. As she says, just because she married my son doesn't mean she has to be friends with me. Since my son left at the beginning of Dec. for Afghanistan, she informed me that with my son gone, there was no reason for the two of us to keep in touch until my son gets back from Afghanistan in January. Never mind the fact that they now have a 7 month old son who is my grandson, I've been told I can't talk to him until he's 18 because I act strange. I have MS, cancer, fibromyalgia and a few other things. That's not strange, it's sick.

    I miss him so much!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:16 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Sorry to hear that the dil relationship is so bad, especially with the grandson involved. i have not had to deal with welcoming any really serious girlfriends, marriage, or grandchildren into the family yet. I am hoping that as the kids age I will be able to see it as my horizons expanding. I hope the son in Afghanistan will be safe. That is pretty far away. Sounds like your health issues are difficult too. I am a survivor of melanoma skin cancer for three years. After the cancer I really wanted to make every moment count with the kids, especially with the older ones moving away. If I don't take advantage of the chance to keep our relationships strong now, I may not have the time to do it later. And I want them to have good memories of me.
    minasmama6

    Answer by minasmama6 at 3:16 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • I just tried to stay as busy as possible. Use whatever extra time you may have to volunteer. There are all kinds of places where you can go and be a help and a blessing to others. Retirement homes are wonderful places to invest in the lives of some people who will really appreciate your company. There are the usual places people think of, like the Salvation Army, Goodwill. Just try to pick something that is compatible with what you enjoy doing. My children are all gone from home now, and I am busier than I've ever been. And, the bonus is,I have extra time to spend with my husband.
    NannyB.

    Answer by NannyB. at 3:58 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

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