My Baby Is Heading Off To College. Help!

My baby. My sweet, adorable angel. My amazing little girl is heading off for college. College? Seriously? Oh, how I feel like my grandmother when I say this but here goes….Where DID the time go?

I love being a mother.


Did I just say “love?”

I ADORE being a mother.

It has been, hands down, that absolute best job I have ever had. No commute time. Loads of benefits. Company car. My coffee breaks aren’t timed. I can take a lunch whenever I want. No company parties to attend. Free daycare. Casual dress code.

And, I’m my own boss. (Well, most of the time.)

But it’s one of the rare jobs out there with a limited lifespan and forced retirement. Oh sure, I’m still her mother. But no longer the day-to-day chef, nurse, chauffeur, laundress and maid.

Hmmmmm. Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing.

As much as I’ve complained about picking up after her, attending to her crisis-of-the-week, cooking the dreaded tuna noodle casserole (her favorite), I’m going to miss that little stinker.

She is bubbly and bright. A stinging sense of humor. She quick with a witty comment or a heartfelt hug  just when you need it. She entertains her little brothers for hours on end. She has the magic touch when they are sad or frustrated.

I am going to miss her. So much. Four hours away seems like forever away.

My heart is aching and excited for her, all in the same beat. Such a pivotal and exciting chapter in her life. But I’ll be on the sidelines, with binoculars, from oh-so-far-away, watching and cheering. I’d like to think it is going to be a pivotal and exciting chapter for me, too.

But right now?

I just miss her so much.



Filed under children, Growing Up, Motherhood

21 responses to “My Baby Is Heading Off To College. Help!

  1. Oh, sweetie! I remember my mom went into my bedroom and cried when I left, and I was only an hour away. It’s just hard.

  2. Sending you strength and an “atta mom” for bringing up such an amazing daughter and for encouraging her to go out into the world and make a difference. I’m sure out world will be a better place because of your contribution.
    Love tuna casserole we call it icky poo in my house. Not sure why..that is just what we have always called it.

  3. Oh it such a tough time, watching your kids grow up. But even though she’s going to college she still needs you, even though she thinks she doesn’t. You’ll never stop being her mother. 🙂

  4. I can’t even imagine. I planned a first birthday party for my son last year and couldn’t even bring myself to admit that he was one. I calmed myself down by insisting that this was a pre-fall party to celebrate almost-fall because people are excited that it isn’t but soon will be fall. Total denial 🙂

  5. Aw, Jane. Gorgeous picture, by the way. I am SO not looking forward to saying goodbye…in 12 years! Best of luck as a COLLEGE MOM.

  6. Love the picture. (Understand the sentiments!) Lost in a blur of tasks and temper flare-ups around this household… teens, teens, teens…


    You can do it. I know you can. (And don’t the little ones help balance it all out?)

  7. Oh, I know exactly how you feel. I broke down and cried one day on the way to work the year my youngest went to college. Her youth seemed to go on forever yet it went by so fast. I know you know what that means. 🙂 She is a beautiful young woman. I’m sure she will carry her fabulous role-model mom in her heart while she’s away.

  8. First, congrats on raising a beautiful and smart daughter who is on her way to college! You should be very proud of her and of yourself. It is no easy feat I know.
    Second, I can only imagine how hard this must be, and I am sure it is hard for her to, no matter how excited she is or how much she says she wants to go. This time is exciting but scary.
    Best of luck to you both!

  9. But you will always be her mom. You will always be the one she turns to, the one she saves those “mom” hugs for. You love them and their growing up years are precious, but enjoying them when they visit after they’ve grown up is so very special too.

  10. Going off to college is TOUGH! So much of our identity is tied into being a mom that it’s HARD for us. (Okay, so maybe the offspring has a bit of angst, too.)

  11. I know you will miss her, but she will boomerang back. Wait till her first college crisis – I am certain you will be the first person she will call. Exciting beginning, but I imagine it is bittersweet.

  12. Trust me, she’s missing you too. Even amid all the excitement of trying out her new more independent life. I was only an hour away from home, and it was hard for me not to ask to come home every weekend for the first year…and after that I was always glad to go home, though I loved college life. Congratulations on raising an awesome college bound daughter!

  13. Cindy

    I can totally relate. My youngest leaves in 6 days and I’m NOT READY to not be a “day to day Mom”….having to make dinner for him, making his bed, doing his laundry! I feel like stamping my feet and demanding another year or FIVE but I know that’s not possible so I guess I’ll just cry in my coffee for the first few weeks! =(

  14. Merry

    I knew I’d find a blog about this…the baby of 4 is heading off to college in 3 days and I go around crying at the oddest moments: folding laundry (last time as a pre college kid), grocery shopping (no more fruit loops and oreos), thinking of the random hugs, great big “HELLOSSSS” when he walks in the door, rides to school, sporting events… this is hard….big changes for bothof us that’s for sure ….

  15. Hugs to you! When we went to buy a backpack I almost had a breakdown because I saw all the college dorm stuff and started thinking about leaving my babies at college. Whew! Tough stuff. Glad we still have more than a decade to go. 🙂 But congratulations to you both!

  16. What a lovely picture of you both – I have escaped the empty nest for the time being as 18 year old son is working here before going off to Uni or wherever. Not looking forward to it one bit (apart from the smelly bedroom, endless washing, unwashed pots and pans and random beer cans around the plce – on second thoughts……)

    • Merry

      Yes, the smelly bedroom and endless left behind dirty dishes and the house left wide open for the night and the lights left on; won’t miss them. The chats after school/work while making dinner, his smile: it lights up a room, the hugs, the messing up my hair when he walks by, the kitchen basketball challenges (we have a hoop over the pantry door), the driveway foul shot challenges, the ride to school when we talked about anything and nothing……oh yeah, mom’s going to miss this “last one out of the nest” a lot…..): But that is life….so blessed to have kids I’ll actually miss! Hugs to all the moms on this path…..

  17. AWWWW! You sound like you’re a wonderful mum and wish her all the best at uni. 🙂

  18. Good luck to both of you as you adjust!!

  19. What a wonderful milestone for your daughter and you too! A new chapter in both of your lives. Awesome.


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