This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Coping with DS going travelling for a year.....(11 Posts)
My eldest is just about to go on an amazing gap year... really excited for him, but at the same time not coping well with the thought of him being away for over a year! Getting ridiculously emotional about it all - he's been to uni for 4 years, but somehow this is very different! Any advice on how to cope with this "letting go" bit of being mum would be gratefully received!
I would struggle with that too!
Is there any way he could, for example, come home for Christmas or his birthday? Or could you go and visit him for a weekend? Just trying to think of something you could look forward to, and focus on.
As DH keeps reminding me... he is coming back!! Yes... that is a good idea, he will (hopefully) be in America in spring 2017 which is more feasible than visiting him in Australia, but still such a long way off. I am hoping that the reality won't be as bad as I imagine now that we have such great ways to keep in touch. It's that panicky feeling of saying goodbye I'm dreading the most - aaaaahhhhh.... you want these things for them, but the reality is soooooo different!
I know how you feel. My DD has just returned. It was so hard to watch her and her rucksack disappear through security. You can't spend so many years being a mum and not feel panicky as your kids set off into the big wide world. Its natural to feel like a sheepdog wanting your flock all safely tucked up in their beds at home
I think you need to be strong for him. Don't make him feel at all guilty about going. Just reassure yourself that you have brought up this adventurous young man who has the independence, intelligence and spirit to make this trip. It will teach him a lot about himself and the world and how he interacts with others. Pat yourself on the back and think "job well done".
Boys are not as good as girls at keeping in touch, but a family Whatsapp group helps to keep the conversations going. Maybe you could persuade him to set up a private album on Facebook that you all have access to so that he can upload all his photos for everyone to see.
Unless he suggests it, I wouldn't make plans to visit. If he is anything like my daughter, he needs to prove to himself that he can do this. Just be at the end of the phone for moral support, practical advice and, if necessary, emergency funding !!
The time does go by quickly, honest!
Don't make plans to go and visit!!! Let him have his year. I went for 6 months and it was amazing. I had no idea what I was going to be doing and where. Having my parents visit, for however long, would have restricted me and for sure, the weekend they were there, I would've been invited/given an opportunity to do something amazing. Also, don't be in contact alllll the time. I think I emailed about once a week and skype contacted my parents maybe every other week. Let him do this
Sorry, I should've added...this was 10 years ago, before whatsapp/facebook etc, so he will have plenty of opportunities to stay in contact. He survived uni, he will do this and it will be life changing. Concentrate on that for him. And as a pp said, it will be over before you know it
My eldest DS did this before uni, so only 18. I think the worst bit was, as you say, the initial parting. And waiting to hear he'd arrived safely. Dreaded Christmas but it was ok actually. Skyped a lot - but certainly not daily. Weekly at the most, and it got less. Do stay positive for his sake - my DS hit some low points as homesick, and it wouldn't have helped if I'd got upset, but overall he loved the whole year. Once you get past Christmas it flies over. We didn't visit either. You'll be fine - you've obviously raised a fine, independent young man!
Don't make plans to visit!
This is his gap year.
Let him know that, if he wants to come home before he thinks he will, he's very welcome, but other than that to have a wonderful time.
I would agree with the Whatsapp group - very easy to keep in touch, upload a photo or just have a chat whenever he gets wi fi.
Thanks for this.... it's good to see it from his perspective too! I certainly don't want to cramp his adventures in any way! I will set up the Whatsapp group, and wait to hear from him! Despite my slightly ridiculous emotional state this week, I have told him how proud we are, and that he absolutely must embrace this experience and have an amazing time... at the end of the day, this is exactly what we raise our kids to do - be independent, strong, resourceful, wonderful people! Guess we've done that..... he flys in the morning, I will try my hardest to be strong and thank you for your comments.
This made me weepy just thinking about it- my eldest is still only 10, but knowing how quickly time goes, I know it won't be long before we're watching them fly off...
You sound like an amazing, warm and caring mum- give yourself plenty of time to adjust and ponder on it, totally normal and natural reaction to a big change in the parenting journey.
Best wishes, OP.
Very surreal feeling today.... And having dropped them at the airport last night ready for an early morning flight I woke up with such an awful sick feeling in my stomach today! However, thanks to modern technology I have already had a message from DS.... From the plane!!! Reckon we'll be OK!! 😍👍