Adrift at Sea

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Adrift at Sea
Fri, 08-24-2012 - 5:05pm

I left my eldest at college two days ago. Her sister (two years younger) and I have been kicking around the quiet house, trying not to look at the empty bedroom or imagine big sister singing in the shower. We have both cried off and on. I can think of nothing else but how is she doing? Will she want to come back? What if things are never the same (and some part of me says they won't ever be)?

She's a plane flight away or a seven hour drive away. It feels like an ocean but I know it's not. And I know life would be hell without my youngest but I want to resist the urge to lean on her or make her feel she must stay close to home. And I am happy for the wonderful opportunity my older dd has been given. She's worked very, very hard for everything.

My dh has thrown himself into work so he's gone pretty much all the time. Just me and my youngest fending for ourselves. If it were not for my younger dd, I'd be doing the same: flinging myself into work. but, I can't leave my younger dd with all this pain and all these memories.

There have been some bright spots for us: school shopping together, watching TV, playing with the cat, the recent surprising news of her great test scores, and planning for the new school year. Younger dd and her sister were very close, we all were because my dh is gone so much. I know I should be grateful but I miss all the fun the three of us used to have!

I have no other family in the area--parents are gone, two siblings are dead. The kids and dh are it. I am blessed to have dear friends but I don't want to call and whine and I don't want to leave my youngest to go off with my gfs. So, here I am whining to complete strangers. Does this get better??? Please tell me something positive!



Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 08-24-2012 - 8:03pm

Yes, it does get better. The first few days are the hardest then you become more accustomed to the change. 

Can you encourage your younger dd to get together with her friends and other distractions so she doesn't miss her sister so much? Then you won't need to worry about leaning on her, and you can find your own way to distract yourself. We usually suggest that POCS take up/renew a hobby or join a group or something, if you feel like you have too much time on your hands.

Try to arrange a schedule with your CSdd for when you and she can talk or text. Yes she is busy with all of the new things at college but she can find a few minutes for mom, which will probably ease your mind.

My ds went to University far away also, an 8-10 hr drive, so we saw him only at the major breaks. Things were pretty much the same as before when he came home, except he had become used to having no supervision or adults around so we had to remind him that a family home was not the same as the dorms. But they are still our kids, and I bet that things will be fine for you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Sat, 08-25-2012 - 9:04am


It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your daughters, and that will probably never change.  I bet your dd who is off to college will keep in touch, and you and your younger dd will slowly get used to her physical absence.  Not having relatives close by does make it tougher, but you can always find ways to meet new people if caring for your younger dd and her  activities don't fill your day.  You'll adjust slowly, don't worry. 

(Having two sons, we didn't do as much with them before they left for college.  In fact, after 6 yrs of debating with DS29 during his teen years, we were plenty ready to send him off, lol!  For several reasons, it was more difficult to let go of DS22.)


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Sat, 08-25-2012 - 12:49pm
Welcome to the POCS board booklady,
How are you doing today?
Did you plan anything to do as a family this weekend?

My boys went away to college the same semester, watching the sea is my new hobby :smileywink:
We are all here for you!
Did you get a dorm photo of her new digs?
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 11:29am

Thanks, elc...I like the idea of having some type of communication schedule! I think that has bothered me greatly, as I haven't really spoken or texted her at any length. The few texts or FB posts I've seen confirm that she's having fun and adjusting well. Part of me is relieved and happy about that but right now, I'm too sad to think clearly.

I have a hobby that I enjoy very much and over the weekend, I got hired on for a second job (one that I will love very much) close to home and of course, it will bring in some badly needed extra cash. Plus, my younger daughter can also help if she is available. We'll be cooking dinner for a group professional folks who don't have the time or inclination to prepare meals. What I like best is that it's close to home and won't take me away from the family too much.

My younger daughter has something planned tomorrow with friends (while I'm at work) but dh will be here (we rarely have the same days off).Then she started school on Tuesday so she'll get busy very quickly.

thank you for the kind words, etc. I'm sure things will get better.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 11:33am

thanks, jane. Of course, you are right. And I did call a friend last night, the mom of one of my dd's former friends. I've always liked this woman as we have a lot in common. Now that the girls are out of the picture, I think an occasional coffee or lunch will be nice. Plus, she is having a surgery in the next few months and I can help her with rides and meals too. :smileyhappy:

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 11:36am

Thanks for the welcome, elle--yes, the dorm photo has been received...she finally got it cleaned up as it looked liked the set from Hoarders when we first moved her in. We ended up taking some stuff home, she just brought too much!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 8:37pm

Oh you definitely get used to it.  When my DD first went away to college I couldn't even stand looking at her empty room.  She was only a 2 hr drive away so she did come home on Columbus Day weekend and those 6 weeks seemed very long--DS (who was then 12) and I were running outside to greet her when she came home.  After a while I just got used to her being gone but enjoyed it very much when she came home.  By senior year she didn't come home until Thanksgiving--she really had no choice since she was a nursing student and she had clinical on Sunday the 1st semester.  Which prepared me for when she got a job a 7 hr drive away--she was home after graduation from May to Jan when she started the new job.  I am going down there this week to visit for the 1st time, although she has been home several times.  In one way it's not the same, but the good part is that you watch your child turn into an adult and that is a good thing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
In reply to: elle_fl
Mon, 08-27-2012 - 11:06am
Hi book lady, My boys took most ALL their stuff too. I remember my oldest telling me it was because he would not be moving back. :smileysad: He did come back to drop off his hoarder boxes when he was a summer camp counselor in Maine and when he went to Rio for a summer internship. Did you unpack all the stuff you brought home or just put it in her room?
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Mon, 08-27-2012 - 2:50pm

Yes, it is a good thing to watch your child turn into an adult--I's so unbelievable that I can lay down my sword now and recede into the background. I no longer have to solve the problems (well, for the most part), call the teachers, etc. etc. At some point, I won't even have to pay the bills! Am looking forward to that!

Enjoy your visit with your daughter!