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Leaving to go to uni - support please

(21 Posts)
madeofkent Mon 01-Jul-13 20:00:56

I'm finding it very hard not to show how sad I will be. Half of me even hopes he doesn't get a uni place, which is awful. What's really awful is that he wants to go to Falmouth because he loved our holidays there, but we are at the other end of the country, so definitely no popping home. I took him into school today as I arranged for him to continue to have music lessons, the last one was today and we were both very sad on the way home and he refused an offer to go out to eat. I know he will miss this life - but not for long, I suspect. I met some parents at the weekend and they said that they stopped missing their children very quickly - but I still miss my daughter and she left home seven years ago. Facebook and the phone are not the same as a hug.

I can't help thinking that your own hormones are going to be all over the place at the moment, which won't help.

Happymum22 Sat 29-Jun-13 00:07:41

Goingtobedfordshire, great post which I can really relate to with my own mother as well.
Not showing your sadness is really important, your kids know you will be finding it difficult, but are going though a major change and feeling a bit insecure themselves, so they don't want to deal with worrying about you on top of that.

Happymum22 Sat 29-Jun-13 00:05:42

I have four DC, two are at uni, one has finished uni, and one in Year 10 so a while to go. I too am a lone parent so can empathise.

With each of them it has been so hard but also an exciting time where you feel so proud. You really just need to get lots booked in for the period after he goes and keep yourself busy. Avoid going into his bedroom and crying (yes, I have done that many times and no it never made me feel better!). I visit them all about once a term and stay for a weekend. It is so nice when you see them in their environment, most of the time loving it and you feel so glad you have brought them up to do so well.

They do come back! DD2 is in 2nd year of uni, she is quite a 'home girl', while she loves uni and has a great and full life there, she just loves coming home for visits and to 'recharge'. She comes about every 3 weeks in terms one and two and more often in the third term as she has study leave and works best coming home for some quiet to study in. Holidays are so long, DD came home nearly a month ago now and it feels like she never left. When DD went off for first year she had a tricky freshers week, be prepared for phone calls or them being unsure of things and don't worry that this means they hate it and will never settle. DD phoned me at about 1am in tears one night saying she had no friends and wanted to come home. She hadn't met anyone she clicked with and was really missing home. I wanted to cry to her and tell her I would come and get her, I resisted, kept a positive tone and said how it will get better and she just needed a good sleep. Be prepared for moments like this! More so with daughters I expect.

Remember when you leave them, you aren't throwing them out forever. They come back and are home more than they are away!

DS lives at home as he is in uni in london and the costs got too much combined with him being on placement a lot as a medical student. There are, believe it or not, times I wished he would move out!!! He is great to have around, but as they get older and get their own lives you start to feel 'it is time' to let them fly!

DD1 graduated and is working, living in London. She pops back randomly, often without warning. Stays for weekends a lot and it doesn't really feel like she has 100% gone. I definitely haven't lost her or let go of her in any way!

When youngest goes it will be hard, very hard. Especially as by then I expect all the others will have moved out.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble about my situation. Just try and push the emotions to one side and focus on the practical things like getting him ready. Plan weekend visits, look on his uni website at all the exciting societies etc he will get involved with to remind yourself what a great opportunity this is. Most of all, as I said, keep busy running up to, and in the weeks after, he has gone.

GoingToBedfordshire Fri 28-Jun-13 22:56:58

Confused40, so glad it helped. Ah, Mumsnet, if only my Mum had had you back in the day!

So glad to hear you have some RL support, all the best to you both.

Chottie Fri 28-Jun-13 21:42:40

Yes, it is hard when the PFB flies the nest. But they come back, the terms seem incredibly short smile

Please give yourself a huge pat on the back for bringing up a confident DC who taking the next step in life. Be proud of DC and of yourself.

My PFB (DD) did a gap year pre uni and went to work and live abroad for 6 months. It was just awful at the airport, I remember just sobbing all the way home.

DeathByTray Fri 28-Jun-13 21:17:17

DS1 has been at Uni for 3 years and has another 2 years to go.

DS2 leaves this year and then our home will be "childless" for the first time in 21 years!

It is going to take some getting used to but I now know from experience with DS1 that, in a way, you become even closer.

As a funny aside......the morning DS1 left for university in the car with DH, I sat and cried for about an hour. I then went upstairs to his room to have another weep and spotted a bag full of all his cables and chargers.

I phoned him and they had to return to pick them up. DH was not very happy as it added another 2 hours on to a 5 hour journey.

I also had to do the whole "goodbye" thing all over again! grin

Confused40 Fri 28-Jun-13 21:07:52

Oh GoingToBedforshire thank you, thats a lovely post! Tears are brimming, and oh god will my friends be supporting me. I'll take note not to show to much emotion, I'd already thought that anyway. I'm lucky in that he'll only be an hour away, which is good, and he can come back at weekends if he wants.
Your post has given me hope even though I'm still dreading it. Thank you flowers

GoingToBedfordshire Fri 28-Jun-13 20:59:38

I hope you don't mind me posting, but my Mum could have posted this when I left home 19 years ago. I am the youngest of two sisters and my Mum was a single parent from when I was about 4.

I didn't know how hard she found it at the time, it is only in the last few years since I have had children that we have spoken about it. She definitely used the word bereft (sounds like I am really bigging myself up here!) but I know that she did cope, she spent more time with friends and pursuing her own interests.

If it is any consolation, I had a (mostly) great time at University but always kept in touch and liked coming home. I moved back in for a year or so after graduation whilst looking for jobs and then still visited a lot and she visited me once I was working. We are closer than ever now she is retired and I have young children despite us living an hour's drive apart.

One of the many things that I am really grateful to her for is not showing the extent of her sadness when I left home. Yes, I knew she was sad and she didn't pretend that it was no big deal, but she definitely held back a little - I know now that's where her friends came in, supporting her once I had left.

I agree entirely that you must congratulate yourselves as single parents, such a tremendously hard job. Good luck to all of you going through this, I hope your kids settle well into their new universities and jobs and that your relationships with them continue to get stronger over time.

Confused40 Fri 28-Jun-13 20:39:38

Isn't it great that we can all be 'sad' together. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. I've just cuddled my 3 week old dd and had a good cry. DS is at his 6th form end of year prom tonight. The realisation that he'll be leaving is ever present and looming closer and closer. I've realised that we only have about 8 weeks or so until he leaves and its truly horrible. I'm going to miss him so much.
Oh god I'm so very proud of him, more so as I've brought him up alone, and there is so much bad press about divorcees or lone parent mothers. The same with overthehill and monikar we all need to congratulate ourselves as mothers. We've brought up children that are confident to go out in the world and leave at such a young age and make their way in the world.
Oh god (gulp) trying to be brave and failing miserably and crying bucket loads sad

monikar Thu 27-Jun-13 11:30:29

overthehill I am in the same situation as you - my DD is finishing year 12 too. I have been conscious of being on 'borrowed time' since she started in the sixth form. It is so difficult isn't it - as much as you are so proud of them and want them to go so they can get on in life, at the same time it is so hard.

overthehill Thu 27-Jun-13 00:44:06

My dd is just finishing Y12 and I've been panicking for ages about her leaving home! Not sure how I'll cope as she's great to have around and somehow I can't imagine that having her here won't go on for ever. Oh dear, how sad am I!

Confused40 Wed 26-Jun-13 21:35:28

Its so tough isnt it?
DS has gone to Leicester Uni Open Day today, and part of me is hoping he won't like it and chooses to stay at a uni in London. At least then he'll be able to pop home easier at the weekends if he wants to. And he'll be able to come home during holidays etc.
I'm trying to come to terms with him leaving. Its reassuring knowing that others are struggling or have struggled with their little ones leaving to go to uni. As much as we love our children and want the best for them we still struggle with them leaving the nest. Well I know I do, or will.
My son jokes that now I have a DD this will give me something to do when he leaves lol.

higgle Tue 25-Jun-13 12:56:36

Yesterday was book return day for DS2 and it suddenly dawned on me it was last school run day ever. He is now out celebrating end of term for 2 days and already the house feels very empty. I was out with the dog this morning feeling as if time had turned back to they days before I had children.

DS 1 is now a graduate and working in London (first year this year) It is so lovely when he comes home, the conversation flows ( as does the wine, now he sometimes buys a bottle and doesn't just drink ours) we enjoy his company tremendously and will still have a family holiday each year. Even though I can see the positives and know DS2 will be home from uni for Christmas very soon I'm still feeling sad and lost.

Princessjonsie Tue 25-Jun-13 05:20:30

My heart goes out to you. Your situation mirrors mine so much. I have posted on here about it. He has just finished his second year and I still find days where I cry at the loss of those baby years and the close bond we once enjoyed. I miss him so much. No easy way I'm afraid. I keep myself busy,cry when I need to( a sad film is a good cover story) and try not to bug him and ring him to often. Enjoy the time you have left. We had a small holiday just the two of us before he went. I'm sorry I can't say anything that will make the pain go away but try and enjoy the success that you and you alone have raised a wonderful adult that is making there way into the world and making something of themselves not just dole dossing .x

pippop1 Mon 24-Jun-13 01:11:46

The first day that DS1 was at Uni it felt like I'd been in a car accident, all shaken up and jumpy and nervy. Things did get better.

You need to congratulate yourself that you've done a good job with him to give him the confidence to leave home and survive in the world (OK, Uni halls) on his own. Don't make him feel guilty for going because it's not fair and it's only a few weeks.

Emphasise that you are always at the end of a phone for advice at whatever time is convenenet for them. Student hours can be a little strange.

Send little bits from Amazon with free postage if you can afford it a fleece blanket when it turns cold.

Monty27 Mon 24-Jun-13 00:10:50

You have a new baby dd?

Confused40 Sun 23-Jun-13 09:15:12

DS has finished all A Level exams now so I really feel like the time we have together is even more limited. I've tears running down my cheeks as I'm typing this. As a lone parent it's just been my son and I for the last 17 years since I divorced. We're really close and the thought of him leaving is really killing me.
I know he has to go and I'm really happy and excited about this new phase of life for him. I know its selfish of me, but I can't help it.
The thought of the day when he'll be going is horrible.
I'm so very proud of him and more so that he came top on his year for his chemistry exam.
I had a DD 3 weeks ago so she will keep me busy and my DS jokes about that too.
Oh goodness it really is like a bereavement OP!
I feel like a slightly neurotic mother feeling the way I do but I can't help it

Monty27 Sat 22-Jun-13 23:19:32

I did it two years ago, single parent too and her df is a ***.

It was hard yes, very hard, don't fool yourself, to me it was like a bereavement. The realisation dawned on me about a month beforehand. I started squirrelling new tea towels and soap powder and stuff for her.......

I'll never forget leaving her in her lovely almost newly built Halls. OMG, I cried like a baby, all the way home, a 3 hour drive, before I got home she was in the pub with her new Hall mates grin

It's also a different phase of both your lives. I started going out, found new friends, it took a long long time. They come home after about a month, they love the home comforts and raid the fridge grin, but can't wait to get away again as they miss their freedom, their life. You have to go with that.

I do feel your pain, but you just have to be happy for them. xx

madeofkent Sat 22-Jun-13 23:09:53

I feel just as bad, and to make it worse, get the impression that my husband is almost looking forward to him going, he is already after his bedroom as a bgger study and the poor child will still need it in the holidays! So I get no sympathy from him. Don't get me wrong, he loves our son but his life has never revolved around him in the same way that mine has. I'm trying very hard to hide it, it's not fair to him to hold him back in any way, but he is lovely and very good company so of course I will miss him. I started feeling very low about it a year ago, so joined a choir and am thinking of joining a couple of other clubs. I feel as if I have been made redundant really, as our social life was also pretty bound up with the school.

He took his school uniform off yesterday for the last time and I could have cried. Lovely as he is, he has a dreadful memory and I know he won't remember to call home very often. Time just passes for him without his realising. He will say that he spoke to his sister last week, and it was three months ago.

MineOrk Sat 15-Jun-13 12:57:54

My PFB is leaving this year too. I have not been a lone parent and he has younger siblings so I will not be an empty nester, but still, it is my PFB and I am emotional about it.

I am trying to see it as an opportunity for me to be the "baby" and put a lot into how I want my life to be. Also to remember if he stays we will clash more and more as he needs to be independent, I don't want that, I want him to be an independent man who still wants to speak to me occasionallygrin. I also have the example of my brother who is still at home with my parents, that's enough of a thought to get me over the short term pain!

So you can travel, change jobs, careers, have time for whatever you want and be proud, proud, proud of the smart independent man you have given the world. He will grow into the man he needs to be and you will be happy for that, and have a well balanced adult-adult relationship.

Confused40 Sat 15-Jun-13 12:43:25

My Ds1 is leaving home to go to uni in a couple of months. I've brought him up as a lone parent and am struggling with the thought of him leaving.
I'm going to miss him so very much and am really struggling with the thought of him leaving. I know he has to go and I'm so proud of him but its killing me all the same that my son is flying the nest.
Has anyone got experience of this? How did you mentally prepare and cope with it all? I find myself crying whenever I think about him going sad
Could really do with some support please.

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