Q & A Day: Is it okay that I’m doing the happy dance about my daughter leaving for college?

78435215Dear Jill,

Tonight I’m writing to you asking some advice, wisdom, and maybe some strength and encouragement sent my way. We are moving our oldest daughter to college and seriously I am kinda doing the “happy dance” tonight! Awful as it may sound, that is the truth because sadly we have reached a point we just don’t get along the best.

She has taken the path of “I will do and say what I feel and want no matter what you say. I will come home when I want and you best give me what I want when I want it or else.” Do you get what I am saying?

Anyway quite some time ago I remember you writing about your younger daughter moving out and you kind of being okay with it as your relationship was also rocky at that time. Am I remembering right? Then some time later she ended up moving home and things were better.

I guess guilt is hitting me a bit for feeling the way I do but truly I want my home and heart back and just some space to breath.

I can’t wait to attend Hearts at Home this fall again in Rochester MN! LOVE going and look forward to it!

THANKS~A weary mom


Dear Weary Mom,

What you are feeling is NORMAL! We felt that way after the difficult years with our younger daughter (you remember right, I wrote about that here),  but we also felt that way with our two older kids who we had very few issues with during their high school years. I think it’s God’s way of making the nest uncomfortable and telling us and them that it’s time to cut some ties.

No guilt needed. It’s time for a break for you and for her! This is what is supposed to happen!


PS note that just arrived from Weary Mom: 

We just got home from getting her moved into her room at college and it was a long day. She is having a very hard time being there and being left, which was surprising to us! Tears were shed and many hugs were given! I do think once she adjusts it will be good and growth will take place! Thanks again!

How about you? Have you struggled feeling guilty that your child is in school full days or is heading off to college? How have you worked through those emotions? 


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11 thoughts on “Q & A Day: Is it okay that I’m doing the happy dance about my daughter leaving for college?

  1. Hi Jill,

    I did not send a child off to college. Our daughter stayed home while she went to a local community college to save money. She is now 24 and staying home while is working and saving. She paid off a large loan and is managing money well. However, we didn’t have a lot of issues in high school years either (I homeschooled). But now, I also feel frustrated as she does not want to hear what I have to say and it’s difficult for me (but I’m learning and working really hard to let her make all her own decisions). The two of us have different personality types and it makes us clash a lot.

    This past week while my husband, I and our younger two were away on vacation, our oldest had an accident with the car. We were actually glad to be away at the time and letting her deal with the insurance stuff, auto body shop by herself. The thing is she handled it fine, with the help of her long time boyfriend. I also feel it would be better if she moved out but realize that she is saving money, hopefully for a wedding in the not to distant future with her boyfriend (the more she saves the less we pay 🙂 )

    I agree with Jill that the uncomfortable feeling is God’s way of letting us know it is time to let go. As a mom of two young children (9 and 6), it is difficult to step out of the mom role with my almost 24 year old (in 5 days)when she gets home from work and it does weary me too. I would not feel guilty about sending your daughter off to college and I think it will be really good for all of you.

    • Chris, it becomes very challenging when your young adult children are living under your roof. Thanks for your encouraging words for “Weary Mom.”

  2. I was just having a conversation with my oldest daughter on her way to her second year in college about this very thing. I asked her “Do you remember when you were a junior in high school and I became dumber than dirt?” She and I then proceeded to have a few laughs and a few memories about how no matter what I did or said I was “dumber than dirt” in her eyes for a time. We both agreed that her first year of school brought a whole new appreciation for me and my “wisdom”. I still recall the 11:30pm calls from her regarding roommates, stress, making good decisions and missing my spaghetti. Now as my other daughter approaches 16 I see the tell tale signs I’m approaching “dumber than dirt” stage. I can handle it a little better now knowing it is a season.

  3. We dropped our son off at college in the next town on Friday night. For me, it has been such a weird time of transition after homeschooling him his entire life, never ever “sending him off” to school anywhere, and then all of a sudden the polar opposite: moving him into the dorms at the largest public university in our state! So, there’s some huge adjustments for both of us, for sure. He anticipated his freedom, and I worry “Did I teach him everything?” Day 4 and so far, so good for him. We are figuring out a mode of communication that works for both of us, since he’d always “been around” and hadn’t worked anywhere or really have any need for a cell phone. (I know, the only 17-yo in America without one.) However, Day 4 and the knot in my stomach is still there. We have 4 more still at home, so while the chemistry here at home has changed with his absence, the noise and activity level really hasn’t!

  4. Feel the same as we dropped off our daughter. Cried most of the way home, but for other reasons. For all the times I felt like I didn’t parent very well, didn’t connect with her or relate to her as our personalities clashed. I cried for all the years that are over and all the challenges ahead that she will face as she grows. It is hard to see them move on and hard not to feel guilty about all the mistakes you feel you made along the way.

    • Donna, I cried the same tears, but you put it into words. Thank you. We need to trust that God will use all things for their good if they go on to love the Lord and allow Him to continue working in their lives.

    • Donna, not a one of us does this parenting thing perfectly. That’s why God gives us grace and asks us to trust that He uses all things for his good…even the mistakes we make! Give yourself grace, believe the best in yourself and your daughter, and look to the future. There’s a whole new kind of relationship budding for you and your daughter!

    • Hi Sundi! I popped over to your blog, too! I will be exploring it more. Thanks for dropping by and introducing yourself!