Wondering how the other HS’20 parents are doing. This is my second and last kid, going off to school. I thought I’d be okay but I can’t stop crying. The level of emotion is catching me totally off guard–as we packed and planned I was fine, and so excited for the kid. Was even okay at drop-off. But I miss both of my kids so much right now. The house has never been this quiet. I imagine the overall difficulty of this year isn’t helping but wow, I’m a total mess.
I remember that feeling after dropping off our youngest. It’s the end of an era. You know your house will never be quite the same again, even though the kids come home for breaks or visits.
Having no kids at home is an adjustment that takes time. You can be excited for your kid and also mourn the loss of a lively household.
Dropping my only off one week from today. School is not allowing parents to help with move in or anything so we pull onto a field, find the tent for her building, leave her and her stuff under it, and drive away. I’m not sure if it is going to be easier or harder than the “regular” way but we’re keeping it together. DH and I have made a pact to not cry in front of her so I think leaving her under the tent will be easier than a long, drawn out goodbye. She is a shade over 2 hours away and will be home mid-November through mid-January so my mantra has been “70 days, 70 days…”
Not this year but years ago I cried as soon as I hit the car after dropping youngest off. Remember it’s not just because your kid is out of the house but also a huge transition for you. All of a sudden it feels like half the reason of your life has ended. It’s hard when babies enter your life and hard when they leave!
But give it time–you’ll find some new routines that don’t revolve around your kids and the relationship with your kids when it becomes more adult-adult is very fulfilling.
We kept busy when we were empty nesters, that first week especially. We dropped my son off and 5 hour ride home helped us deal with the reality of how life has changed. Then we went to a Cubs Game (live in Chicago). Went to a play. Had friends over for dinner. Went to a jazz concert etc. We had a blast and then thought… Heh, this isn’t so bad. When we called my son a few days later he asked with concern how I was doing since we are close and just said “we’re managing”… Lol…
Fast forward due to covid. Both kids are back. Son goes back in less then 2 weeks for senior year…
Try to keep busy even during these crazy times. It helps.
It’s super hard. Just let yourself feel what you feel. We dropped my only off for her sophomore year this week 1000 miles from home. I just commented to my husband last night that I forgot that I felt sort of a low-grade depression for a couple weeks last year and it seems to be hitting again this year. I’m not crying but I am just “blah”. I’m not really motivated to get much done. I’m just going with it and will let myself feel all the bittersweet stuff I’m feeling!
I remember dropping my D off and the school had a big banner over the street saying “WELCOME HOME.” It hurt my heart to think that her home was not with me any more.
It popped up on social media this morning the Move In Day posts for my last child. I’m a known cry baby but I remember going through the whole process not crying and thinking, “Ok, I’ve got this!” Alas… We got home and I immediately went to her room, laid across her bed and cried for a good 30-40 minutes. Like get a headache, snot cry. I think when you’ve been such a part of your children’s lives and you truly enjoy them as people, it can be rough. We were able to immediately take a trip to London that really acted as a hitting of the reset button. I now have a college grad and the “baby” is a junior. In some ways, it is a constant hit the reset button as each phase reminds life moves on. Sending understanding empty nester hugs…
Very insightful and raw emotions / reality. S is headed back for his senior yr and can’t wait to “be home”. Make know mistake, we love having him here and I think he really enjoys being here, but he belongs there and then onward.
Amazing how quick this went, much moreso than HS. I do vividly recall moving him in as a freshmen. We stayed one day for a ceremony that next morning and then headed out for the 11 hour drive home. Was surreal knowing we were leaving our first born somewhere, but at the same time, it was one of the happiest moments of my life…because we could easily see how happy, intrigued, and awestruck he was of his new life.
Was certainly odd not having him home and he’s not the type to want to frequently facetime or chat (with us). But we knew from our conversations and texts he was enjoying his new home and that helped us a lot.
Fast forward, and oddly enough Covid brought us a gift. He was supposed to be in a different city this summer (internship) and essentially we were planning on last summer or Christmas break being the last time he’d actually be living in our home. Internship was virtual so what turned into a three week stay between finals and moving became a 5 month stay from March til now. We had a great time although he was very busy. Played golf, caught up on great movies, worked out together, smoked some really good cigars and drank some great whiskey, and talked a lot about life. He’s ready to go and we want him to go because we know he’ll be most happy back at home.
Dropped off my one and only at her college 2 days ago, and I am going through some major separation anxiety right now. My husband and I will be flying back to Manila by the end of the month and I can’t imagine how much worse it will hit me when I get back to a now empty home.
The best thing to do is make a lot of plans for different things for that first month, although this is really hard in COVID times. My H and I had a big trip to Europe planned for one month after drop off. That kept us busy and excited.
I remember dropping off my last kid, it hurt less than the first time, but it hurt. Coming home to a completely empty house with nowhere to go or be, was tough.
No school runs, no tennis / music / basketball / swim practice etc. Tough!
I think in the AoC (Age of Covid), it has to be even more hard for new empty nesters, because of the lives we are are all forced to live at this moment.
That’s exactly right. I have nothing to do for the kids, but can’t go anywhere either because of covid. I feel totally alone. My husband is doing okay with everything, he is trying to be supportive but he doesn’t feel the same way. I never expected to feel this much sadness, and in hindsight not sure how I was so unprepared. Today is no better than last night when we got home.
@NYMom122 Would you consider talking to a therapist? It doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. Many therapists are having sessions by phone or zoom. You could also try one of the therapy apps. Good Housekeeping had mental health experts review 5 apps recently: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/g31916335/best-therapy-apps/
Hang in there.
Thank you @gotham_mom – yes I definitely do plan to find a therapist.
I’m scared for my parents. I’m the second and last child going off to college in 2021, and they’re going to be wrecked. They cried so much when my sister left, and I know that I’m one of the things holding my family together. Part of me knows it would be easier onmy family financially and emotionally if I just stayed in-state for college. However, it’s my dream to study at Dukem where my sister attends. I’d also love UPenn or Stanford. I just always wanted to get as far away as possible, but I’m scared I’m being selfish.
If you are able to get into any of those schools, and they’re a good fit, and they’re affordable for your parents, you should go. They will make a difference in your life and your parents would want you to go.
This passes, it really does. I had just divorced and had to sell my house shortly after my youngest left for school. Hard times but I barely remember them.
I remember trying not to cry before the last kid left and not quite making it and running to the bathroom and running the water!
Therapy can help with transitions, yes. In my case I took up tai chi and art.
One thing I felt was important was to make sure there was no burden on my kids from sadness, and I am sure you are thinking of that too. I would say “I miss you but in a good way, and I am excited for you” etc. and I confess that I played up my new activities a little so they would not worry about me .
Of course, for many, the kids come back at some point too There may be years of in and out. But it is true that it is never quite the same. Which is natural and kind of the goal of everything we have done I guess.
as many have said, it’s the end of an era. You are happy and excited for your kids, but a really good chapter in your life is just done. And the quietness and very open calender drives home that point all of the time. The pandemic certainly doesn’t help.
I liked the term low level depression stated above. That was us. H probably had it worse than me, but it seemed like one of us was ways being on the edge of a meltdown (but we melted down in different ways. He is NOT a crier like me. I stood in the store crying over a stupid can of corn because I wouldn’t need to buy so much of it anymore. Sheesh) The weird part was that we got (get) along much better when it’s just us. I think we recognize the other is hurting in their own way and we have more patience with each other and try to be supportive.
Being active helps. I know that’s so hard now and it worries me a bit for us even this second time through. But last year I tried to find one new thing each month that we could do together. Sometimes it was 2 things/month, one geared for him and one for me. But most of what we did (arcades, antiquing and comicons) are off the table.
Good luck to you.
When our baby left for college, there was sadness but also concern about how she would handle independence. All sadness and concern evaporated as we saw her take flight. We are so happy for her, so proud of her adulting performance. Next week she starts her senior year. She is soaring. We are blessed.