6 Reasons Why Moms Cry When They Leave Their Kids at College

This weekend we dropped off number two son at college. This is not my first rodeo, so I was somewhat prepared for the flood of emotion that comes with this process. I’ve been feeling weepy for the last week or two but the separation went surprisingly well, even though I did feel that familiar lump rise in my throat as we watched him walk away.

mom kissing daughter goodbye
My heart is so full of love for you that it aches.

Why moms cry at college drop-off day

If we moms had to explain why we get misty-eyed when we leave kids at college, we’d say, or as I can only speak for myself, I’d say:

1. My heart is so full of love for you that it aches like physical pain, and it’s that almost unbearable fullness that tears my eyes.

2. I will miss the way we were. Things will change between us now. We will always be mother and son, but I will become an increasingly less important person to you, as it should be.

3. I will miss you and almost everything about you, your sense of humor, long, rambling, convoluted rants, and even your closed bedroom door. But it’s not just you I’ll miss; it’s the light and life you brought into this home and your friends who became dear to me over the years.

4. I will worry about you because I desperately don’t want you ever to feel lost or alone, but I am certain that you will experience those “lost and alone” days. Everyone has them. Thinking about the times that you will not be okay and that I can’t make you okay makes me terribly sad.

5. I am not worried that you will not succeed. It’s just the opposite. I do not doubt that you will succeed and that success will lead you further from me. Again, it is as it should be, but sad, nonetheless.

6. That moment when you walked away from us, we went one way, and you went the other. You walked into a bright new chapter of your life with endless possibilities. I was walking away from a piece of my heart, and the poignancy of that moment was not lost on me.

I know that we will all soon adjust, and I will be able to see this more clearly as a beginning for both of us and not as an end. And as we drive away, I look back and hope that I’ve done most things right, or right enough, that you make wise choices, and that fortune goes your way.

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Dropping your child off at college is an emotional time for both the parent and the child. But, here's a real look at why moms cry when they leave their kids at college. You'll be inspired by this post about kids leaving the nest. #parenting #parenthood #collegelife #college #graduation #motherhood #emptynest #grownandflown


About Helene Wingens

Helene Wingens has always been passionate about painting pictures with words. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology and three years later from Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. In a year long clerkship for an appellate judge Helene honed her writing skills by drafting weekly appellate memoranda. She practiced law until she practically perfected it and after taking a brief twenty year hiatus to raise her three children she began writing a personal blog Her essays have been published in: Scary Mommy, Kveller, The Forward, and Grown and Flown where she is Managing Editor. You can visit Helene's website here

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