Good Enough Mother:
When College Kids Come Back Home
I never thought this day would come. Well I mean I KNEW in my head it would eventually. It was my heart that was resistant.
This day, the one I dreaded was, both kids are out of the house!
That’s right, both Casey and Cole are off to college!
Cole getting ready to board. He flew alone for the first time!
(P.S. he was fine)
Needless to say both kids being gone has presented a bit of a challenge. Well not challenge so much as adjustment, both when they are here and when they are not.
Car loaded.. driving Casey to campus
When they are here the adjustment revolves around how to keep the rules of the house intact with two, now adults (who happen to be my children) who have been living on their own for a while.
Since Cole just left for college this year, we haven’t had to deal with the reintroduction of the rules.
My daughter Casey however, did spend the summer back home after being gone the entire school year. So assimilating back into the family was a real thing. Here are 3 things I did to help Casey transition for the summer and what might help your college-age kids too.
- Give Them Space: The first couple of weeks Casey was home she was tired with a capital T! So her father and I let her sleep. A LOT! She went to bed early, ate a lot of meals in her room and slept late. I knew it wasn’t going to be the entire summer but the poor kid did need to catch her breath from the stress of the school year.
- Be Clear On Your Expectation: What’s that saying, the devil is in the detail? To that end, we outlined what we needed from Casey as a citizen of our house (I know, sounds corny but it’s true) and what her role was going to be. That meant not just keeping her own space clean, but pitching in around the house as well as getting a summer job. Yeah. I am that mom.
- Remember When: I know it’s been years (and years and years) but one of the things that really helped our transition was for me to remember what it was like at her age. I recalled how uncertain life felt and nearly being crushed by the number of decisions that I needed to make. I also remember the one place I felt safe was at home. It was important that Casey (and Cole when he returns next summer) have that same sense of safety and belonging.
With those parameters in place, our summer was practically seamless. And now, another transition as both kids are back on their respective campuses.
I guess it’s true, the only constant in life is change!
Thanks to Michelin for sponsoring this post! Be there, no matter where they go. Have a student headed off to college? Read more stories from parents like me on http://www.betheremoments.com. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #BeThereMoments.