Wow! I’m finally feeling more like myself now that my fall schedule has resumed, and I’m back in the classroom. The biggest piece of advice I can give you when launching one of your kids is have something ready for yourself-one of your purposes.
We had been cleaning out our house ever since we came back from Guatemala in July so that we could eventually put it up for sale. I took many trips to the thrift store and we sold things online. I bought boxes of garbage bags and scheduled garbage pickups for old furniture. Before I knew it, it was time to move Hannah into college. We came back and I realized what I had been doing for half of the summer was almost done. We only had a couple of areas left to organize and they needed the whole family.
I was left without a purpose for me. I knew I had a purpose as a wife, mom, friend, etc., but I quickly found that it wasn’t enough. Thankfully, I turned a corner when I volunteered back in our children’s ministry program at church and started back as a mentor with our moms group. Teaching resumed after that and I feel mostly back to myself.
I still miss Hannah but I know she’s happy and fulfilling her purpose at school. Here are a few of my tips to help in this transition:
6 Tips from a New College Mom
- Stay close to God. Yes, you are a mom but you are even more important a child of God. He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. This time in your life will involve many changes and ups & downs. You may feel empty or experience a void. God wants to fill that first. Bring your broken heart to Him.
- Pour out your heart in a journal where all thoughts are important and voiced. Sometimes I wrote in my journal a couple of times a day during the first week without Hannah. Remember that you are going through a period of grieving.
- Keep your date night. Jon and I have a standing date night on Monday nights. This has given us a backbone for our relationship. It’s crucial to draw close to your spouse as you prepare for the empty nest.
- Follow your purpose. What were you created to do? Are you doing it? Are you moving toward it? If you’re not sure, try volunteering in an area you suspect is your purpose.
- Stay connected to your child. We set up a Skype date with Hannah every Sunday. We know that once a week we’ll have the opportunity to see and hear how she’s doing. You can also send letters and packages.
- Lean into your girlfriends. I am so thankful for my friends. They have been there for to take walks, go on bike rides, meet up for coffee, and hang out for girl nights. They have been crucial in getting me through this transition.
If you feel like you’re without your own purpose, I get it. I have specific training in the area of finding your purpose and now have the experience of being without it and finding it again. Get in touch with me. I’d love to chat over coffee!
If you’ve been through the experience of launching your child into college, what challenges did you face along the way? What suggestions do you have for overcoming those challenges? Share your thoughts in the comments.