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Pandabear
January 21st, 2016, 03:32 PM
So.. my son is 17 and a senior in high school. He's applied to three colleges - 2 in-state one out-of-state. He just received an acceptance letter for the out of state school. Still waiting to here from the other two.

I know that he's an adult and my husband and I have done everything we can to make his independent.

But how in the world, as a parent, do you just let them go? He and I are best buds. He and his father too. There is only the three of us, so tiny family, and we are very close.

But the boy can't wait to be on his own and I'm trying to prepare myself for the day he walks out the door and doesn't come home for months at a time.

How does one deal with this?!

What am I going to do?

LauraP
January 21st, 2016, 03:35 PM
first off, no college kid I've ever heard of stays away for months. They don't have that many clothes:lol: Get set up with a service like Skype so you can hear and see him and set up an appointment so that he is up, dressed and semi coherent after studying all night (yeah right!). How far away is he going to be? If it's not to far maybe you could trade months back and forth on traveling.

KathyCrofoot
January 21st, 2016, 03:47 PM
Oh, I am so there with you! My son (an only child) went away to college for a year in the same town! We only saw him occasionally, when he needed to do laundry or something. He lived in the dorm, rode his bike everywhere and worked at Pizza Hut to cover his incidentals and pay for his second semester. H was working really hard in his classes and getting ready to take his physical fitness test for West Point again. He passed his second test so he was in at West Point starting his second year after high school graduation.

The first year at Platteville was okay, we saw him on occasion especially birthdays and Christmas, school breaks and holidays. It wasn't that bad. Then he went to West Point, and I was a mess that first semester. We couldn't talk to him on the phone often, and rarely heard from him. He did get home on winter breaks and during the summer a little, but it was tough.

Here's how I handled it: I reminded myself every day that we raised him to be a strong independent man. I reminded myself that he still loved me, and I was there for him if he needed me. I kept myself busy with work and business, hobbies and such.

Now 6 years after his graduation, he's newly married with a family of his own and I really don't get to see him that much. We talk, skype, facebook, etc. He knows we're here for him when he needs us. We try to plan holidays together, but mostly the Army has other ideas for him. His first deployment nearly sent me to the loony bin...

Congratulations Mom, you've raised a man! Love him with open arms.

shirleyknot
January 21st, 2016, 03:54 PM
If you don't let him go, he may not come back.

MRoy
January 21st, 2016, 03:59 PM
First, you cry a lot ...and that's okay for awhile! When our only son went to college, I cried all the way home after helping him move into the dorm. Then, you remind yourself often that you've given him the tools he needs to be a good man and you find something to help fill the void left by not spending as much time with him and his activities. It can be a hard transition, but you will get through it.

We try to raise them to be able to leave the nest and be successful adults, but when the time comes we wish we could clip their wings.(((HUGS)))

jjkaiser
January 21st, 2016, 04:40 PM
Yes I know what you mean! I have the grown daughters, two Love nearby and the third is out of state but only two and a half hrs away by car. I miss my "baby"even tho she is now the mother of two herself. It is hard letting them go but you just have to remember that your son is trying to start his own life and not moving away too punish you! My out of state daughter tells me often that she is homesick but is very appreciative of the fact I am not always nagging her to move back home. She says my not saying anything negative makes her feel less guilty and that I am supportive of the decisions she is making now. I haven't given up hope of her moving back one day, I just bite my tongue and force myself not to mention it. And when and if the day comes and she moved back here I will be jumping for joy. You just have to make the best of it and keep your mouth shut. You will miss him but he will miss you too!

bubba
January 21st, 2016, 04:44 PM
How does one deal with this?!

What am I going to do?

You play hide and seek in the dark!!!!!

Kgrammiecaz
January 21st, 2016, 05:30 PM
I am with Myrna. Cry a lot. My youngest is 27, and I still cry sometimes. But, I am happy they are doing well on their own of course. And I do like my space all to myself. Oh, and I do cry a lot less these days. Now my youngest wants to go back to travel nursing. I see more tears in my near future. UGH!

Midge
January 21st, 2016, 06:22 PM
Accept that you did a reasonably good job raising him and he is now capable of what you _thought_ the goal was = independence and preparation for success. He may be homesick at times, but he won't share the feelings you are feeling. Keep those with your husband and friends. He will view himself as suddenly independent. You will view him as still needing a lot of guidance. Be very careful to strike the right tone and not dictate or nag, no matter how tempting it is! Take his mistakes in stride and don't dwell on them in conversation. Keep the focus on problem-solving when that happens. Keep the lines of communication open. There will come a time when you suddenly seem wise, fun and a fitting companion again. Be patient and it will happen. Then you will have the best reward of all, an adult to adult relationship with someone you can be proud of. Turn your sadness and pain into energy to figure out how to parent this young adult. You won't regret it. Edit - Almost forgot. Forget about the frequent phone calls. Texting is the way to go.

Pandabear
January 21st, 2016, 06:30 PM
Thank you all. Your words of wisdom are fantastic.

We text now when the occasion calls for it. I'm not sure he'd go for Skype though so I'll be happy with texting.

I'm not a crier by nature...usually only if I'm very, very angry. However, I won't be surprised if I flood the car on the way home. I keep hoping though that he'll decide to go to the local community college for a year or two. I have a feeling that hope will be crushed.

I guess I'll just have to do as suggested and tell myself my DH and I raised him well, he can survive on his own and I'll see him when I see him. For now I'm spending as much time as I can with him before he graduates.

Goodness.... As I sit here writing this post I can hear the cat crying outside DS's closed bedroom door. It's going to be very difficult on the cat as well when his boy leaves him.

Monique
January 21st, 2016, 06:32 PM
It's hard, no doubt about it. I cried lots when my oldest went away. I will still cry when he loves back to the west coast in March.

Neller
January 21st, 2016, 06:41 PM
Our older son went out on his own at an early age (17), because he didn't want to follow the rules at home. He came back and left again for several years before getting married at 23. Unfortunately that marriage didn't last and then he was back at home off and on for brief respites before going out into the world permanently, to Chicago. At the time, we lived in Anchorage, Alaska so that was a far piece. During that time we still had our younger son at home. When he went to college, it was a difficult adjustment for me leading up to his actual departure. I used to wonder, if I don't have a child at home, am I still a mother? My husband and I cried at the airport when he left and we cried too when the older son left, but you know what helped the most? After Dan, our youngest, left, my DH and I went on a vacation, the first one by ourselves in a loooong time! We flew to Nevada, rented an RV and went to see Zion, Bryce and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We had a grand old time with just the two of us, and it opened my eyes to how liberating it was too not have to worry about where the kids were, what they were doing, if they were enjoying the trip, etc. It was the kind of vacation that DH and I loved, and the boys would have hated.

Sure, it will be weird when your boy leaves but try to look at it as a time that you have to reconnect with your DH, do the things you like to do, eat cereal for dinner if that's what suits your fancy, and be proud of the fact that your son has left the nest after you have prepared him for leaving. It is what kids are supposed to do. Good luck!

Quiltfreestyle
January 21st, 2016, 07:20 PM
Yes, you cry first,,, your baby has grown up & it's hard to accept. When my boys went off to college I cried the whole time we were moving them into their dorms. But I always told myself that my job was to give my sons roots & wings. Roots so they know where they came from & wings to fly away to their new life..
If you don't nag them they come back often to visit & invite you to visit them...
Now because I know how fast they grow up I savor every moment with my grand babies.

Hulamoon
January 21st, 2016, 07:47 PM
I thought I was going to be upset, but they are close by. What upsets me is that I have two rooms of junk they won't take out of here.Not even packed up, all over the floors. I don't want to be a storage closet.

Sandy Navas
January 21st, 2016, 09:29 PM
There are only two things you can give your children. The first is roots . . . the other is wings.

Kat Smith
January 21st, 2016, 11:50 PM
I thought I was going to be upset, but they are close by. What upsets me is that I have two rooms of junk they won't take out of here.Not even packed up, all over the floors. I don't want to be a storage closet.

Isn't it funny how they leave and leave so much of their stuff behind. They don't want it but they don't want you to get rid of it either!

Kat Smith
January 21st, 2016, 11:56 PM
Sad times, and exciting all at the same time. This is what you (and him ) have been training for! Loved Midge's advise, it is a slippery slope for awhile, trying not to fall back into old habits and Mother too much. Step back and let him take the lead. Can you feel all the Momma's hearts hurting with yours right now?

Kathy

tamsterg7
January 22nd, 2016, 12:12 AM
Our youngest, only boy, selected an out of state college......in South Dakota.......12 hour drive away. Unlike when his sister went to college (4 hrs away), we now have cell phones, texting, skype etc. (My kids are 13 yrs apart!) i miss him, but we do keep in touch. The worst is actually when he does come home and then leaves, I hate that!

He is happy, on the Deans list, made friends and all those life lessons we gave him growing up are kicking in - can't ask for more than that!

Hulamoon
January 22nd, 2016, 12:26 AM
Isn't it funny how they leave and leave so much of their stuff behind. They don't want it but they don't want you to get rid of it either!

I know! And my youngest is asking to move back in with her boyfriend. I went through that already! It's "mom, but I'm not not like that" My dh is in a tent and saying don't you want to help them out? Actually no.

sewlucky
January 22nd, 2016, 01:40 AM
Our daughter moved 45 minutes away and lived in dorm for her first year of college and then came home for two years, but moved out with a friend immediately upon graduation. Now, 5 years later, she's moved across the country (we live in Alberta, she's in Cape Breton) to work and that is really hard. She started with a 1 year contract, but now 6 months in has taken a maternity leave coverage for a year which means she's gone even longer. When she told me I congratulated her, and told her I am proud of her, but really sad because I wanted her to come home, lol. She is 26, coming 27.

Our middle kid moved out 2 years ago, but lives nearby, so it isn't so bad.

Our youngest is home this year while going to college, but has plans to move to Toronto next fall to train (he's an athlete). He is only just turning 19 in March. I think that will be the hardest, because it really is too far away for really regular visits! He's also not the best with texting, but I think he will miss us once it is real and be better about chatting with us. He goes to training camps for a week at a time now, so DH and I are getting a little bit used to not worrying when he's away and just enjoying each other. He has a disability, so I think that I worry a lot about how he is healthwise, but I'm learning to trust him to take good care of himself. We've been working on all the things he needs to do for a several years now and he really is doing well with his routine - considering he's a pretty typical 18 yr old in most other ways!

Make sure he's happy with his choice, and you will all be fine.

Terri

laura44
January 22nd, 2016, 02:04 AM
I was a mess. You will cry, but it will get better. Lots of happiness when you see him,
then he will leave and you will cry again. It will get easier. Remember we want our
kids to become independent adults.

Pandabear
January 22nd, 2016, 02:08 AM
I think the hardest part will be the not knowing. Where is he now? What is he doing? Did he eat breakfast this sort of thing.

I just need to tell myself to suck it up buttercup.... And let him live his life.

And then slip into his suitcase and live under his bed.

That's not creepy at all right??

Carol336
January 22nd, 2016, 07:52 AM
When our first son went away to college (7 hours away) I thought I would die....cried all the way home, moped around the house for days on end. Then he came home the first weekend.....and the second weekend.......and the third weekend.....well you get the picture. I found myself wishing he would stay at school a little longer between visits so I could get used to him being gone.

Our youngest son moved out when he was 18, got a town house with several friends. He was always a free spirit and I always knew he would be gone and on his own at a young age.

I've always been a firm believer in having a realtionship with your husband/wife apart and away from your kids. In retrospect your children are only with you a short time. And if you've neglected your first love....you have very little left when the kids move on in life. I was a stay at home Mom.....did all the PTA, little league, school plays, band parent and on and on and on stuff. But DH and I also had regular date nights and little getaways for just the two of us. So when the time came for us to be empty nesters, we KNEW the person on the other side of the table.

Don't get me wrong.....we missed those boys terribly. But I can tell you that life really does go on, and if you're lucky enough, someday you'll get some grandbabies and oh boy - they really are the best thing you could ever imagine.

Vonnie
January 22nd, 2016, 09:48 AM
I know! And my youngest is asking to move back in with her boyfriend. I went through that already! It's "mom, but I'm not not like that" My dh is in a tent and saying don't you want to help them out? Actually no.

Maybe they should move into the tent with dear old Dad!

grammaterry
January 22nd, 2016, 12:46 PM
I had four children that I raised "as only children" according to their father. They are all adults now and we have 19 grandchildren. Each one went away to college and I was thrilled for their new adventure. I didn't get to go away and stay in a dorm and form those relationships. Sure, the house felt a little empty, but you can fill it up with new interests. Become a more interesting person. If he is within driving distance, let him know you are up for him bringing his friends that are too far from their homes, home for holidays. We acquired a lot of "adopted" children thru college. Our children were about 200 miles away but many of their new friends were 600 miles away and couldn't make a weekend trip.
Think about the adventure they are having and now with texting, you will always know he is fine. That is really all that counts.

snippet
January 23rd, 2016, 05:51 PM
Yep it will be tough for you, but you've raised a great son and he'll be fine. And if he's not? He'll know what to do and reach out to you. You know he will.

Don't cry a lot in front of him, that will just make him feel guilty. Cry all you want at home. But mostly, breathe and be proud. Gosh, a lot of kids won't make the transition and look at your boy! He's gone off and done it! Try to turn that worry into pride. Everytime you think or say a worrying thought, back it up with a breath and a good thought about how awesome you and your husband did in raising such a great man. Pretty soon, those thoughts will go away a bit (not always, after all we are mothers) and you'll be sighing and smiling at his accomplishments.

MRoy
January 23rd, 2016, 09:40 PM
I think the hardest part will be the not knowing. Where is he now? What is he doing? Did he eat breakfast this sort of thing.

I just need to tell myself to suck it up buttercup.... And let him live his life.

And then slip into his suitcase and live under his bed. That's not creepy at all right??
LOL! I'd reconsider the living under the bed thing...you never know what might be under there with you! The "not knowing" is something I can relate to. DS is almost 40, a divorced man living alone a few hours away. He's also a Type II diabetic now. I often touch base with him with a simple one word text "S'alright?" He knows that's my way of checking in when I have him on my mind and he always responds.