By Melissa Ford
Feel sad yet excited? A little hopeful, a tad bit shaky? Smiling one minute and crying the next? Caught up in that never-ending preparation and after your umpteenth trip to Target, you find yourself thinking Is this kid ever going to leave?
No need to worry; these mixed emotions mean you’re college bound or rather your teen is!
This up-and-down, fragile kingdom is easy to sink into because you’re saying goodbye (even if temporary) to the love-of-your-life, the apple of your eye, the most important person in the entire world - your child.
FOR YEARS you’ve waited for this moment!
With your kid heading off to college, there will be no more fighting over the car, editing your daughter’s papers, wondering about your son’s whereabouts, or constantly restocking the pantry. You’re done; yet there is an odd sense of . . . unease. Shouldn’t you feel thrilled at the idea of finally letting go?
Yet it’s hard to imagine life after kids.
The good news is that life goes on, and this odd emotional upheaval only lasts for a short while. Yes, it returns when your child comes home during the holidays or for a short visit or at summer break. Then, the process starts up all over again.
Here are some quick tips for supporting your emotional wellness:
- Talk with friends or family members; it feels good to really express how you feel.
- Focus on developing your own interests and friendships.
- Enjoy spending less at the grocery store.
- Embrace life without kids - yes, it can be fun!
- Look forward to your son or daughter’s continued growth and all the years ahead of a strong, loving relationship with your adult-child.
Do you have any tips you can share with other parents making this transition? What works for you to feel connected to your child (besides the tuition bill)?