Does pain of child going back to Uni ever get any easier even when it's been done before?

(15 Posts)
christina1412 Sun 06-Jan-13 22:21:13

As a first time poster on here please bear with me.

Now as a mother of 2 daughters that has already seen 1 through Uni (23 almost) you would think that I had all if not most of the answers to my question but it would appear after today that I do not.

Very briefly (if at all possible). Today I have seen my youngest daughter (19) leave for her Uni after being home for almost a month. This is her 2nd term of her 1st year. She is far from home,West Midlands and home is in the South. I'm a non driver and work full time in a school as I have been the soul provider for my girls since they were 9&13 so can't just visit at the drop of a hat.

When she left for Uni in September my older daughter (driver) and I moved her into Halls and although were sad to leave her coped.

At the end of October we visited her for her 19 Birthday which fell in School half term.Again, although I felt sad when we left it was very obvious she was fine(not something I ever doubted) well settled and above all happy.

Now for some bizarre reason today I feel overwhelmingly filled with sadness. Tearful doesn't come close to the way I feel right now and also total disbelief that I can feel so retched when I have done all this before with eldest daughter and have to admit I never felt anywhere near as miserable as I do now when she used to return to Uni. Admittedly she was only an hour away and as she had a car, popped back quiet a bit plus I could jump on a train with youngest to visit her and not have to worry too much about the cost as wasn't a great distance to travel.
So I suppose you could say in the past youngest and I have spent a lot of time
together and for most of that time we did get on very well.

Funnily enough I didn't actually spend a lot of time with youngest when she was home over Xmas break as she was catching up with friends and away visiting boyfriend over New Year but she was just here and I think that's were the problem lies as now she's not!

A friend said "maybe you didn't feel so bad leaving her when you visited at Uni as it wasn't her home just somewhere she lives ,but having her leave her home and not going with her is different?" I think I know what she was getting at but it's just not helping.

So can anyone who made it to the end of my very long and self indulgent(which I realise) post shed any further light on why I feel so ridiculously unhappy?

Bit of background on eldest daughter she got a 1st class degree 18 months ago,got a very good job in the Town of her Uni and lives part in that Town with boyfriend of 3 years and part with me,which I think is just kindness on her part to be honest.

headforthemoon Sun 06-Jan-13 22:41:13

I suppose it was easier when you still had your youngest DD at home, but now you're on your own, I presume, apart from when eldest DD stays with you. So I imagine that to some extent you've lost your role/purpose/status somehow.

DDs are away doing exciting things and forging a future for themselves, but perhaps your future, without them, is rather uncertain, maybe leading to your current unhappiness. But, like everyhing else, this too will pass.

Could it be time to start thinking of a few things you could get involved in now you have some free time? You'll then have more to talk with your DDs about when they come home and maybe you'll have some fun yourself.

chickydoo Sun 06-Jan-13 22:45:13

Will be me soon, may come to you for advice....I'm dreading it sad

christina1412 Mon 07-Jan-13 00:04:53

Hi headforthemoon and thanks for thoughtful response.
I actually don't have much free time as apart from working full time I'm also studying at local college part time for an Access Diploma to enable me to enter Higher Education myself eventually when daughter finishes Uni. So as you can imagine I'm pretty busy anyway.
Were a small family so I guess when one of us missing it leaves a fairly big gap!

Chickydoo you never know by time it's your turn I may just have it all figured out and will write you an escape plan!

chocoluvva Mon 07-Jan-13 09:59:37

Aww - I have no doubt this will be me in a few years too.

I suppose that when the last of your children begin to leave the nest it's the end of a stage in your life that you have really enjoyed.

Perhaps in a few years you'll be in the granny phase! smile

No advice just sympathy. I'm sure there are mothers all over the country who feel the same.
You've nurtured and guided them and now they are grown up and flying the nest. You've done a great job.
This will be me in a couple of years and I dread it. I don't know whether to envy those who can't wait to see the back of their DCs - perhaps it's a measure of how much you've enjoyed being a parent?

There is an empty nest thread on Higher Education.

mumeeee Mon 07-Jan-13 17:41:55

I know how you feel. DD1 went to Uni in our city. She went into halls but we still saw her quite often. DD2 went to a Uni that was 3 hours drive away so we didn't see her that often and it got less as she went through uni as she got a job and stayed up there in the holidays only coming home for short breaks. DD1 is now married and lives in London. DD2 has now finished Uni but decided to stay up in Kingston and she has a job up there. She was home for about 6 days over Christmas and I was sad when we took her back. I'm also sad when DD1 and SIl go back after visiting us. But although I'm sad I'm glad they've grown up and made a life of their own.

ggirl Mon 07-Jan-13 17:48:17

aww dd went back today aswell
I miss her , she's 5 hr drive away
I don't feel overwhelming sadness though ..maybe I'm a heartless bitch
I do wish she was a wee bit closer to make visiting easier

Scrazy Mon 07-Jan-13 17:54:19

Mine started in September too, she's and only and I've raised her alone. I have found it much harder these past couple of days too. Having her at home all Christmas holidays has really made me miss her more this time. She is 5 hours away.

I work full-time but evenings and weekends are looking gloomy. Had a male friend the last term that I've just stopped seeing. I feel a void!

No advice, sorry.

Happymum22 Mon 07-Jan-13 19:29:20

I have had 1 through uni, 2 at uni and one still at home. With each one I guess while theres a sense of 'here we go again' it has also got harder. Youngest DD is furthest away of all of them and so I only see her once or twice a term- usually I visit once, she comes home once. (It is good to schedule these weekends in before they go, even if the dates change, its nice to have in your mind- 3 weeks ti i'll visit)
as each of my DC go as a working but single mum my purpose in life decreases and its an inbetween stage. I'm slowly loosing my DC but its a good few years before they'll completely move out or have their own DH/W and children.
You just about get used to them being home/at uni then is all change and they're back at uni/home again. Its very unsettling.

Just remember DD is so happy, persuing her career ambitions and in a long term relationship. Sounds like you have lots to be proud of. In a few days my tears and sadness of them leaving after holidays goes and we all get on with life and back into routines.

CerysBore Mon 07-Jan-13 20:29:49

Christina - it does get easier, in a way.

DS2 has just left - DH driving him back - 6 hours plus so he's a long way away. Been into the kitchen to find the remnants of the snacks he made today and that wasn't easy - just at it'll be difficult (not tonight - no need) to go into his room, change his sheets, tidy up a bit -

We didn't see much of him over the hols - has his own life but his parting always leaves a hole. When DS3 goes off in a couple of years, I'll just have to mother the cats even more ...

Happymum is right - we'll be back in our routines soon enough and that's good.

But it's a tribute to us as mums that we do miss them - that they still pull at our heartstrings - that they've turned out as they have.

Thank god for mumsnet, by the way - DH thinks I'm far too soppy about my DSs so it's difficult to explain to him why I feel the way I do.

Another one feeling the same. DS went back to Uni yesterday. He is in his third year, so I should be used to it, but it still causes me anguish when he leaves. We have been so close for all of these years as his DF and DB are both disabled. I miss him so much when he is away, it is as if the light goes out of the house.

christina1412 Tue 08-Jan-13 00:22:22

Ah what a lovely bunch you all are smile wish I'd found this site many years ago! Do feel better today amazing the effect being round loads of little kiddies can have on you, especially when they all go home at 3.15!

Still missing daughter but in a different not so much upset way more of a missing her presence (mess) if that makes any sense?

One thing I have realised reading through the comments on this thread is it's very obvious so many going through the same thing right now which is a big help. Sometimes it's easy to think your the only one suffering and that's were sites like this really make a difference.

Booked train ticket for February half term so am reading and taking on board what's being said here honest wink.

Thanks again for all kinds words and thoughts on subject.

gingeroots Tue 08-Jan-13 11:17:34

I'm sure it must be very hard and I'm sure I'd be a mess .

However ,stop and think how you would feel if your son or daughter wasn't going away and was still stuck in the rut of being at home going to a second rate local college .

You'd have fewer worries for their security maybe but how would you feel about boundaries not being expanded ,horizons and social life remaining suffocatingly narrow ?

motherstongue Tue 08-Jan-13 18:54:39

My situation is a little different in as much as my DS chose to go to boarding school in London this year, we are in Scotland, the parting in September was really hard. His dad and I drove him down and got him settled but now he just flies up and down on his own. I am also feeling the effects of a whole month of him being at home, I also felt bereft at the parting on Sunday night. I thought I would have turned a corner by now but it's not getting any easier. My consolation is that he loves the school and I know he is happy but it is still hard. He is 14.

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