Posts by Melissa Schmalenberger:
I am now one month out from dropping our middle son off at college 250 miles away. When we did this with our oldest son two years ago, it was an exciting adventure. I can now admit that with the middle son it was the apprehension that just about killed me. I was so anxious during the month prior to him leaving that I think I did my family a disservice. I would think to myself, this is the last time we are going to a movie together…this is the last time we are going out to eat…this is the last time we will catch up after a day away from each other. I was wrong! There, I admitted it! I am on the other side now saying it is going to be okay, maybe even more than okay! I still have moments of sadness like last week when we walked into the high school for a theater event and a football game was going on. I remember the fall we had three boys playing football and I thought I was going to lose my mind. I now look back fondly at those days but know that the ones ahead are going to be just as special. Here are some tips that my husband and I have tried to implement.
1. Don’t text and call all the time. Every couple of days is enough. The new college student wants to be an adult and having their mom call and text all the time is not making them feel like an adult. Instead turn your attention to someone else. In this case, my oldest son is getting my attention. We have had some really great conversations of late and I would have missed those if I had put all my focus on the new college student.
2. Plan meal time around the one remaining child at home. When we had several kids at different activities, we tried to always have at least one child at a meal. This was on a good day. If we waited until they were free, we would have eaten at 9:00. Now the focus is on the youngest child. We are in tune with his schedule and if he has practice until 7:00 then we have supper at 7:15.
3. Skype at least once a week. I didn’t Skype with my oldest when he left for school. What was I thinking? If you have not Skyped yet, stop reading and go get yourself an account and reach out to your friends and family. It will be like they are in the room with you. True story! On Friday night we Skyped with my middle son and his girlfriend and we showed them the video of the youngest signing from the theater event. We laughed and talked just like we would if they were sitting at my island in my kitchen.
4. Send a care package. I have sent two now and I know that they enjoy getting them. It is a little bit of home when they go get their mail and there is a package waiting for them. I always try to put a homemade treat in the box for them. I first sent rice krispie bars for the first day of school treat, as I have been making them since my oldest started elementary school. No need to stop that tradition now that there are miles apart.
5. Have regular date night. If you are married, it is a good idea for date night to be with your spouse. But if you are not, have it with your group of friends. Just make sure that you are getting out and being social. Our lives do not stop when our children leave the nest, some may argue our live are just beginning!
6. Set up a time to visit. Most schools have parents weekend. Go that first year and see what college in session is all about. Have your child show you around to their favorite places on campus. My son joined a fraternity and I am “excited” to see it. I also want to see where this so called “library” is that he studies at.
Just remember that now is a time that you are a parent to an adult and they want to be treated like one. Remember that they know what is best and you at times will sound like a fool. Accept your role of loving parent and know that they are in the right place; learning and growing just like they are suppose to do. Now get ready for Thanksgiving break for when all they do is sleep for four days!
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
Serving the Fargo-Moorhead area as well as North Dakota and South Dakota. Also seeking new representatives for Clever Container in all areas of the country.
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