Daughter leaving for uni

(32 Posts)
Carol1303 Thu 25-Aug-16 10:58:12

I just want to know if anyone else is feeling the same as I do right now or if anyone has been through this time and can give me advice. My daughter is off to uni in 2 weeks time, it's only a couple of hours drive away so not the ends of the earth and I am very proud as she achieved fantastic A Level results and surpassed all of her predicted grades.But despite these positives I am not coping. I can sense her excitement and I really want her to enjoy the adventure that is to come over the next 3 years, but even though the drop off day hasn't come yet, I'm in bits when I think about it. I've read some books on coping with this, I try to reason and logic through the negative feelings but I spent the drive to work in tears today and see no way I can hold it together enough to not fall apart when it's time to say good bye and I am so desperate to try and not make my daughter feel bad about going because of my own emotions. At the moment, I can't even type these worlds without crying, so can any one give me some advice on how I can pull myself together enough to go through this without being a total mess in front of her. She is our only child and quite mature so I am not worried about her looking after herself, it's the emptiness that will be left in our home when she has gone. I work full time, I am also studying in my spare time and have some hobbies and a supportive husband but I will just miss having her around as a person. I sometimes wish she had been a terrible teen so I would look forward to the new found peace but she's a nice person who I genuinely get on with and will miss. So far I have hidden all of this from her, but as every day passes and the goodbye gets closer, I feel myself falling apart a little more.

Squirrills Thu 25-Aug-16 18:43:09

There are threads on Higher Education. I recommend them for chatting to others in the same boat.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/higher_education/2294927-EMPTY-NEST-SUPPORT-THREAD-PART-4?msgid=62995054

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/higher_education/2713593-Uni-Freshers-parents-2016?msgid=63138225

ImperialBlether Thu 25-Aug-16 18:52:11

It is really hard when the child is nice - much easier if they're not, I would think!

It will be difficult at first but don't forget you can go to see her - my children were an hour away and I went up quite often (every couple of weeks or so) and took them for a meal or to shop for food - I would only be there for a couple of hours, so it didn't take up much of their socialising time (god forbid) but it meant I'd seen them and knew they were okay.

I think the best thing is to think, "In two hours I can be with her" - it's not like she's travelling abroad (my daughter's in India now and about to travel round on her own, so count yourself lucky!) - you know that if need be you can be there and back in an evening.

blueskyinmarch Thu 25-Aug-16 18:55:07

this thread has just been started. I think we are all saying the same thing. It’s tough!

HarlotOTara Thu 25-Aug-16 18:59:47

I can totally empathise, I am on dd2 going now which is much easier but when dd1 went it was hard. There are positives for me now however in that I and my Dhabi can have a holiday outside of school hols - our first in 20 years and I have time to do my own thing.

It will get better and we bring up our kids to be independent and embrace the world

HarlotOTara Thu 25-Aug-16 19:00:24

Dh not Dhabi

Bertieboo1 Thu 25-Aug-16 19:17:30

Maybe arrange a first visit up to see her a couple of weeks after she starts, before she goes? Then you'll have something to look forward to smile

Carol1303 Thu 25-Aug-16 19:26:39

It is a comfort to think in terms of 2 hours and we can see her. I hate to think how I would face it if she were abroad or doing a gap year, I guess I have it relatively easy. I will keep this in mind when the time for goodbye comes, I just hope I can control the tears until I get in to the car but I may have to sprint - this is the bit I am truly dreading.

bellepup29 Thu 25-Aug-16 19:28:36

Carol, I know how you feel. When my son left for Uni 7 years ago now, the sense of emptiness was terrible - however he came back & lived with us for 2 years after graduation! I'm now about to day goodbye to my daughter who will be leaving for Uni in 3 weeks, and it feels worse, maybe as she is my last! I wish there was a way to meet up with other parents taking their kids to the various universities, so we could all go & drown our sorrows after the 'drop off!'

frenchfancy Thu 25-Aug-16 20:19:39

DD1 is leaving one week today. I am happy and proud she is going to do what she wants but I am going to miss her like crazy.

I'm also just a little bit jealous. She is going to a fantastic city to study an interesting subject, gets her own little studio flat and freedom to do her own thing.

Carol1303 Thu 25-Aug-16 20:53:50

I agree bellepup29, if we could drop them off and all head for the nearest bar with a giant box of Kleenex it would help. Knowing others are feeling the same helps as at least I feel normal feeling like this about our DC. I do share her excitement but I just wish I could control my emotions, she is my only DD so its the first and last, empty nest in one go. I do hope she comes back after graduation but I also wonder how it would be then as we will all have changed. I hope it goes well for your DD and happy to exchange notes after the day.

justdontevenfuckingstart Thu 25-Aug-16 20:57:53

Let me know where we are meeting for cocktails. She says she will be the same tho, even her step dad is beginning to feel it a bit.
She says she is coming home at the end of the month so we will look forward to that.

fairywoods Fri 26-Aug-16 10:12:00

You sound like me two years ago. My DD who is a lovely, kind person went off very excited to Uni and I felt bereft, it was a horrible first term (for me) but it got better as time went on. You sound like you have lots to keep you busy which helps! And don't go and visit too soon, unless she wants you to. I didn't see my DD for 7 weeks because she needed to become independent. She's doing a very intense course and so I sometimes don't speak to her for 3/4 weeks and we only visit twice a year because she just doesn't have time. BUT and this is the most important thing, she is happy, loves her Uni, has made brilliant friends and become a confident young woman. Expect to feel very sad at times but it will get better!

fairywoods Fri 26-Aug-16 10:14:22

Also, try to hold it together until she has gone. It's such a wonderful, exciting time for them and they don't want to be worrying about their mum. I hope you have a good partner or friends to support you, my husband was wonderful which really did help.

bellepup29 Fri 26-Aug-16 10:33:47

I think my husband will be worse than I am! When she was in Africa for 5 weeks and Inter-railing this Summer, he was the one worrying all the time! Where are all your kids going to uni? Maybe we can arrange a meet-up...

Carol1303 Fri 26-Aug-16 13:22:09

My DD is going to Brighton, at least nice shopping when we go to visit but it may be difficult to drag her away for visits home as it will be boring compared to there (we live near Southampton). Off to Ikea to get some bits for her tomorrow, normally a trip there cheers me up but not sure how tomorrows will go.

flowergirl456 Sat 27-Aug-16 20:01:49

Don't worry! My twin daughters went to Uni two years ago, and like you I dreaded it. And its true to say I did weep buckets after I dropped them off looking excited and vulnerable. The first two or three weeks I felt rather sad too but after that it wore off...and now I've reached the point where I actively look forward to them going off to Uni for some peace and quiet. You change and adjust, and its the adjustment that's hard but after that it's fine, honestly.
Remember that University is only 40 weeks of the year at most, so there is there is plenty of time for them being home. They will grow up too, which is good. My advice is to plan lots of nice things for yourself during those initial few weeks - invite friends round for meals or go away for a weekend or something. But you will feel better as the term goes on.

Carol1303 Sat 27-Aug-16 20:43:15

Thank you flower girl, that's comforting. I keep thinking about the time they are away and not the time she also has home. Me and DH are away the week after we drop her off as I knew I couldn't face coming straight back to an empty house so I hope this makes the adjustment a little easier. Did an Ikea trip today for uni stuff and just about held it together. My DH is being a rock, poor man doesn't know when the smallest most insignificant thing will start me off.

Petal40 Sat 27-Aug-16 20:48:49

I'm clearly in the minority here,but God I can't fucking wait for all my kids to leave home...I've bent over backwards for them for nearly 20 yrs....I'm ready for ME time.

BennyTheBall Sat 27-Aug-16 20:52:20

Me! I am dreading it.

I feel it marks the end of the best bit of our lives as his parents.

I am excited for our son, but also nervous. I say nothing but positive stuff to him. He absolutely loves home and I worry he will be homesick too.

blueskyinmarch Sat 27-Aug-16 21:38:22

I am not dreading it but it definitely feels like the end of a stage in life. I have loads to look forward to once DD has gone and plan to find the real me again as opposed to mum-me.

musicposy Sun 28-Aug-16 04:00:12

I was in your position this time last year with DD1 and I absolutely promise you it will get better. flowers

The day I drove her up to her new flat in London (70 miles) I will never forget. I'm a real country bumpkin and I hated the whole area, couldn't bear leaving her there, but in the end just kind of abandoned her there even though the other girls she was sharing with (who she hadn't met) were out. She was looking so plaintive and saying "do you have to go yet?" And I just said "yes, no point me hanging around" as I was just so close to losing it entirely. Then I drove to Bluewater which is more or less en route back and stopped there as I couldn't face going home without her. I walked round until they closed, just numb. I felt like I'd just been through the worst break up in the world. All I could think of was the times when she was two years old and with me all the time and that all that was over.

The first term was hard. I hated my job all of a sudden - really hated and resented every minute of it, and was ratty with DH and took it out badly on DD2. Looking back I really was pretty depressed and it might have been an idea to start some antidepressants in retrospect. DD1 was terribly homesick too and was apparently crying a lot in the evenings. Yet she stayed away and so did I because I think we both felt she should be grown up and independent. Two weeks in, after both crying over FaceTime I said, I'll come up for the day on Sunday. Seeing her again was just the best thing ever.

After that we both kind of realised we weren't so far away and it didn't seem so bad. It's 2-3 hours to get to her, but for many weeks I went up on a Sunday morning and spent Sundays there with her. I came in for quite a lot of stick from friends for being too clingy but it was a mutual thing - DD was desperate to see me too. DH was infinitely patient with me over it all, which helped.

She came home for Christmas, which was lovely but surprising how much extra work it created! When she went back it was much better. She'd made friends and much more of a social life and was busier at weekends, and I'd started using the time to do more with DH as catch up with old friends of my own. By the Easter term I didn't see her at all except for half term. We were both busy with our own stuff. We kept in chatty touch over FaceTime a couple of times a week, but the term suddenly seemed to tick along really easily without me needing to count the days and weeks.

She says she will stay in London after the course and I'm amazed at how cool I am with that - she needs her own life and I can see that it's better for her - vibrant, happening - than being stuck here in the sticks. She's at home now for the summer which has been lovely and hard work in equal measure and I know I will be 100% fine when she goes back.

Sorry that was long but I just wanted to say you could barely be more pathetic than I was and a year on it is all absolutely fine. I enjoy hearing all about her life, and I really enjoy having time just for me and DH to do stuff just for ourselves.

I'd say focus on every other thing you possibly can, work, your DH, other friends, and fill your life as chock full with socialising and hobbies as you possibly can. Visit as often as you both need to start with because you won't need to do it forever. And know that you will cope. If I can, anyone can! flowers

Chottie Sun 28-Aug-16 04:21:17

I found knowing that my DD was happy and settled and enjoying her course and university life made me feel better too.

I also found turning things around and thinking that my my DH and I had done a great job, we'd raised a happy, self assured and confident young woman who was excited and ready for the next stage in her life. And I mentally gave us both a huge pat on the back.

Make sure you spend some of your free time doing things you enjoy both with and without your DH.

It will be fine flowers you are treading a very well trod path, judging from all the responses. It's also acknowledging that your little girl is grown up and your relationship is changing.

Carol1303 Sun 28-Aug-16 08:41:09

Thank you everyone, I had no idea I would feel so overwhelmed by this. Thought I was turning a bit of a corner in accepting this but then work up this morning in pieces again, thinking 2 weeks today will be the first morning I wake up without her at home. I feel so pathetic and desperately need to get a grip, but just can't.

baringan Sun 28-Aug-16 08:47:13

Oh god this thread has made me actually cry and my oldest dd is only about to start 6th form!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now