It’s mid-August. Kids are either preparing for back-to-school or have already started, and that includes college. As a mom of a daughter who’ll be a sophomore at her university, I’ve been there done that with the first-year-of-college blues. And actually, it’s not that bad, I promise! Here are some survival tips for the moms out there who’ll be joining my ranks.
If you haven’t dropped off your kid yet, my biggest tip is for you to smile, be positive, keep your cool, and don’t break down. Our kids need us to be strong during an exciting yet daunting transition. We are the calm in a storm. We are the hand that wipes their tears. We are the strength when they want to crumble. They will take their cues from us. So be tough, and break down later if you must.
When you’re back home, don’t hound your newly independent college kid with text messages or facetime calls. Let them reach out when they want. If you have a kid who isn’t a good communicator, then set up a protocol for checking in. Maybe a quick chat every Sunday afternoon. Whatever works for you and your kid, just agree on something.
When you’re back home, and you have a kid still there, don’t smother the remaining kid. lol I tried really hard not to do that with my son, and I was mostly successful. This applies to your significant other, too!
Beware the freshman mom 15! Yep, the freshman 15 is not just for kids. Keep good eating habits, exercise, and drink lots of water! With a change in family dynamic, it’s easy to slip into bad eating habits or eat poorly because you’re a little down. And, if you’re really feeling down, get help! Transitions can be super tough! It’s okay to not be okay. (This applies to your kid. If the college transition is hard on them, get them help ASAP! Most colleges have great resources for this.)
If you will be an empty nester, find a purpose! If you’ve been a stay-at-home mom, then get busy with something! Volunteer, take on a job either in the home or out of the home. Your happiness is vital to your relationship with your kids and with your significant other.
Expanding on the theme of happiness, my last big tip is to embrace your tribe! Girlfriend time is good for the soul. Your significant other and your kids will be so happy that you’ve got a sisterhood supporting you. After all, as the song goes, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Now let’s conquer this!
(This blog post can also be found at www.letsgrowgirl.com, where I'm a regular contributor.)