Another Mom Lets Go

Posted September 4th, 2009 by collegemomindebt and filed in Letting Go, Parent to Parent
Comments Off on Another Mom Lets Go

One mom, Kris Sieraki of Elkhart Indiana, shares her experience with helping her daughter transition from high school to college.  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32634569/ns/us_news-the_elkhart_project/sp-tx#sp-vi/32468163

Letting Go

Posted July 10th, 2009 by collegemomindebt and filed in Letting Go, Parent to Parent
Comments Off on Letting Go

“How can you let her go so far from home?” is a question that many of my friends asked when my firstborn opted to go 2,101 miles from home to go to college.

“How can I make her stay when she’s confident that she’s supposed to go?” was my response.

“How can she be so confident?”

“She did the research.  She went online and sought schools that met all her parameters and then she went and visited the school during Spring Break of her junior year in high school.  She loves it there.”

“But won’t you miss her?”  Now this is the real question and there is an undertone that makes it clear that the questioner is really asking me whether I care.  The questioner suspects that I lack in the maternal feeling department because I haven’t publicly cried or complained.  But rather than let guilt or fear engulf me, I respond with…

“Of course, I’ll miss her terribly, but I have peace that this is what she is supposed to do. ”

It is important to understand that my firstborn is a typical firstborn.  When she enters the room the energy level steps up at least four times.  She is a whirlwind.  Trying to keep up with her speech and her movement can be exhausting for me and everyone else around her.  So when she is absent the house is noticeably quieter and calmer and in truth, she is missed.  The energy and excitement are missed.

So how did I handle the absences that occurred each school term? 

Well, it helped that there was my husband and two younger children still at home with whom I could commiserate and spend more time with developing relationships.  But, it also helped tremendously to get involved in some new things outside the home.  Over the course of the four years I helped launch some musical activities like a Christmas program at church and a handbell choir in a local elementary school and I experimented with growing new things in my vegetable garden.  I sought out those things I enjoy most – hobbies that had been neglected when there were three daughters at home consuming my time.

An unexpected bonus about starting some new things was that when the firstborn daughter came home she saw that life does go on even when she isn’t home.  This in turn helped the somewhat egocentric firstborn deal with the fact that her sisters were taller and more mature each time she came home.  And this helped her treasure the time she had home with them even more.

My second born is going to a local community college for the first two years of her degree program.  She is now in her second year so I’ve been able to have a second daughter in college without really having to let go. 

When she does leave for the four year school of her choice it will be across the state (291 miles away).  I am anticipating that this will be a harder adjustment for me and so have been on the look out for other things that I can engage in when she leaves.

I’m not saying that letting go is easy, but when you know that your child is pursuing an education that will help her achieve her goals and that you are actually choosing to go into some debt for this experience, you seek positive ways to move forward with you own life as your child moves on with hers.  And the process becomes as valuable as the outcome.