The first time I went grocery shopping after my baby went away to college something very unexpected happened. I happily waltzed in, completely relieved and anticipating experiencing a cheaper than normal grocery bill, all because of one less teenager to feed. I finally didn’t have to buy All The Things. This would be great!
And then I walked by the Cheerios.
And I thought of chubby baby fingers making their first pincher reflex, and with all the concentration in the world, trying to pick up a Cheerio.
And I thought of confidant toddler hands shoving them in their mouth.
And I thought of a kid, a ‘tween, and then a teenager whose favorite breakfast was Cheerios.
And I realized I didn’t have to buy them anymore.
And then I stopped crying and told myself I COULD STILL BUY THEM because care packages! Yes! Care packages! Those wonderful little boxes of treasures that moms ship to their college kids that are filled with homemade cookies, bubble gum, lollipops, and in my case, of course, a box of Cheerios.
I spent the next few days thoughtfully shopping for little treasures, then finding the perfect box for little treasures, then creatively packing up little treasures, and then driving to the post office to ship the little treasures. And then I was tired of little treasures and thought, “How do moms do this more than once? Because I am done.” And right then and there I realized I was a lazy college care package mom, and damn proud of it.
The good news is, if you’re a lazy college care package mom like me, there is hope. As a matter of fact, there is a crap load of hope for us, and not one of them requires driving to the post office. Can I get an Amen?
Are you ready to send some love, care, and little treasures to your college kid from the comfort of your couch while watching Bravo TV? I got you. This is how it’s done.
I have come to a point in my life that if Amazon doesn’t have it, we don’t need it. I’m convinced this website is responsible for singlehandedly keeping stores of Ramen noodles and laundry soap in the hands of college kids all around the country. But it’s not just for the essentials. Have you been to the candy department of Amazon? Go. Go right now and make it rain Sour Patch Kids on your child’s dorm room floor. And guess what? THEY SHIP IT FOR YOU EVERY SINGLE TIME IN A BOX YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO FIND OR PACK.
Your kid is craving food other than what the dining hall is serving, and is so completely over greasy late night pizza. Never fear, Grubhub is here! Get the app, then seek out decent restaurants close to campus that deliver (not fast food) and surprise your kid with real food brought right to them. You can also surprise them with a gift card and let them pick their favorite. It’s a care package wrapped in delicious goodness that you didn’t even have to cook.
3. Care package franchises on campus
The first time I dropped my kid on campus I saw this little place called “Insomnia Cookies.” I almost drove off the road as I realized what that actually meant. Yes, a place exists that will deliver hot, freshly baked cookies to dorm rooms All. Night. Long. Where was this place when I went to college? And Insomnia Cookies is just one of many types of innovative food delivery services that are popping up on college campuses everywhere. Depending on college size, you may even have a gourmet pretzel or ice cream delivery available. Not sure if your college has any places like this? Ask your kid, they will know. Trust me.
4. Care packages you can buy through the college
My son’s college partners with SWAK University Services to offer care packages that benefit both the student and the university. This means that when you buy a package from them via a university link, a portion of the purchase is donated to the college’s “Family Fund,” which provides many vital services to new students. See if your child’s college has a similar program, and send your money there.
Want to send a care package once a month but don’t want to have to think about it once a month? Try a subscription box service! There are literally dozens to choose from, and have themes that vary from makeup to fitness, to specialty food and crafts, and everything in between. You pick the package theme, and once a month a new box is sent to your college kid. Genius.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not sending your college kid Martha Stewart type care packages every few weeks. You’ve done enough just getting your kid to college! Come to think of it, they should be sending YOU care packages…
“Dear Mom, thanks for getting me here. Here is a case of wine and chocolate!” A mom can dream.