Guest Post by Sherri Maat
Is your child leaving for college for the first time? How are you coping? As a parent of two boys, we sent our eldest off to college a couple of years ago. I’m here to tell you that it was a huge transition for everyone involved. My son Hunter attends a college that is 1,875(!) miles away from our home. When Hunter departed for college my husband, our younger son and I had to find our “new normal” and it wasn’t always an easy transition.
When the eldest child goes off to college, everyone in the family has to learn a new rhythm of daily activities. Because there are only four of us in our immediate family, Hunter’s departure meant a quarter of the family unit was gone from our daily life. We all struggled in our own ways with Hunter’s absence. From a maternal perspective, it was incredibly difficult for me. Especially at the beginning, I missed Hunter so much that it felt like my heart was breaking.
Eventually, we all did manage to adjust to life with a family member all the way across the country. Are you struggling with a similar feeling of the nest being not quite as full as it once was? If you are reading this and you are the one sending your child off to college for the first time, here are some coping tips that worked for me:
Here’s something I discovered about sending your eldest off to college: just about the time you figure out your new rhythm with your child away at college, they come home for college break. But that’s ok. Because it’s a joyous day when your heart feels full and everything is right with your world—having your whole family back under one roof again.
About the author: Sherri Maat is a wife, mom of two, and lives in Michigan.
For more resources, visit out page, Back to School: How to Care Well.