Life has a way of flashing before our eyes. One minute you’re packing your child’s lunchbox, the next you’re packing up their room to ship them off into the unknown.
September has arrived, and for a lot of people it marks the time when their children head off to University. We know this is an incredibly emotional time; from sheer excitement and happiness (“I’ll be able to hold the TV remote for the first time in 18 years”) to anxiety and dread (“how are they going to look after themselves if they can’t even boil an egg?”).
This is a huge milestone for you, as well as your child, and we realise it can often leave you feeling deflated when you return without them.
Here are our top tips for dealing with this transition:
Keep up the communication
Remember, despite not living under your roof – your children still need your support as much as you need theirs.
Even if it might not seem like it, they will appreciate a call every now and again – whether it’s just so they can tell you about the deadline they’ve missed or about the girl that’s broken their heart – they’ll appreciate you being on the other end of the phone.
Don’t be upset if they don’t call you as often as you call them, they will be preoccupied with meeting assignment deadlines, or binge-watching Murder She Wrote re-runs.
Having an empty house all of a sudden can feel strange without messy, disruptive teenagers occupying it.
Make the most of not having to do multiple loads of washing and tidying up their trail of destruction.
Take up that hobby you’ve never got round to starting, invite friends round for a dinner party – after all, what’s the point of sending your kids to uni if you can’t enjoy having the house to yourself!
Create some much-needed ‘me space’
Create a mini library, or maybe a gym. You’ve spent the past 18 years looking after the rest of the family – embrace this period to look after yourself.
If your kids have left behind some belongings that aren’t in keeping with your new gym, take them down to your nearest Shurgard store to keep them safe and secure until they return home.
Make some extra income
Alternatively, if some extra money sounds appealing, offer to host a lodger or foreign exchange student during term time.
Make sure you check it with your child first though, and be sure to give it a good clean!
When your child first leaves for university, they may not return home until Christmas. This feels like a very long time considering you’ve lived under the same roof since they were born.
It is important to be proactive and plan a visit to see them in their halls of residence or house share. Your child (and their friends) will welcome you with open arms, especially if you take some hearty homemade food, some teabags and a crate or two of beer.
Welcome them home with open arms
When your kids return for the holidays, they’ll sink back into the comforts of home in seconds and it will seem as if they’ve never left.
Make the most of the fact they may have finally learned how to do their own washing and load a dishwasher; get them to do some chores while you sit back and relax with a cup of tea!
Spend time catching up on their various escapades, as it won’t be long before they have to head back (but you might get sick of them by then anyway!).