A year ago I knew two things: the year would fly by and I would wish it would last forever. When my oldest daughter entered her senior year, it was an intense fall filled with applications, test scores, letters of recommendations, submissions and time accelerated all the way to the holidays.
It’s a funny thing when you face a big life change. Part of our brains gets excited for the accomplishment — and in my daughter’s case getting accepted to her first choice school. Then there is the emotional side. As a mom, our heart says “How can I go on as I have up to this moment?”
Both mom and daughters have to travel this road. Sometimes together and sometimes apart. It’s a natural process, this change that we experience, and yet we’re left wondering, “Why, then, is it so hard”?
Here is what I learned about sending my oldest daughter off to college:
21 Truths About Letting Go
- You can’t change time. It sounds sort of cliché, but as hard as we try, the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months — all add up to the same thing.
- You need to make an effort to enjoy time every minute you have. For years my daughter and I traveled to places like New York and fan conferences like LeakyCon. This last year was different, and there was a new sense of squeezing the most out of each trip we could take together.
- You feel alone. Even with friends who paved the way before you, there are many moments of solitude.
- Be okay with stress. Accept it and things will feel less overwhelming.
- You can’t make others feel what you feel. As hard as we try, it isn’t easy to share our feelings during this time.
- Colleges communicate with students not parents. Yep, no longer are you sent emails and notifications other than tuition notices.
- Not everything makes sense. Regardless if you attended college or not, things are different. Like, WAY different.
- Let your daughter make choices. Until now, we’ve been a driving force. Now it will be her chance to be in the driver seat.
- No matter how much you tell yourself you are ready… You never really are. And that’s okay.
- Move in day is one of the fastest paced days of your life and it will be over in a blink.
- Be ready to do a ton of errands at the school for supplies. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes to be able to get around comfortably.
- Nothing is perfect. Everyone has a vision of what school might be like. Chances are it is a little like that and mostly not.
- Smile. It helps reassure your daughter you are okay. She is probably feeling anxious and if you are hysterical, she’ll only feel guilty and stressed.
- Even though you think it will never get easier, it will.
- Make time to do something special for yourself, like a facial or pedicure, and relax.
- When you feel sad and think about what was, try to shift to what will be.
- Use the time for discovery and allow your mind to be quiet.
- Stay in touch. Even if she pushes you away. This is a big change for everyone and having contact helps both moms and daughters feel connected.
- Forget about your worst fears and don’t obsess, it will only cause loss of sleep and nothing will change.
- Try something new. No matter how small, it will give you hope and something else on which to focus.
- Gratitude is the best way to lift your spirit. Be thankful for everything in your life and for the amazing life your daughter is starting to have.
Can you relate to this list? Download it here for quick reference.
We hope you found something that helped if you are experiencing this big change. Share it with us, we love to hear from you!
As always remember — You Got This!