Ok- this is like a flashback sequence: I gave you a hint in the title as to how this story plays out. Let’s now give you some background…

Text conversation:

D: How are Peter Pan busses

Me: I don’t know. Why (translation IDK Y)

D: I might want to come home on the 21st

Me: No. You can’t come home.

D: You’re not letting me come home?

Me: Nope

D: Seriously?

And the discussion went on like this…..

So- My daughter wanted to come home for a weekend and I said no.

This was truly my Cruella DeVille moment. Telling my daughter she could not come home was akin to making a coat out of puppy skins.

What Mother tells their kid not to come home?

Well, me….

My daughter is homesick. According to my research, about 67% of first year college students are homesick during their first semester. She’s in the average. Most kids are homesick….

So what do we as parents do about it?

Well, I don’t know what other parents do. This appears to be a dirty little secret: there are tons are articles about kids being homesick, and how that is almost the norm, yet if you actually ask people….No one has a homesick child. Everyone has a child who is TOTALLY adjusting. So everyone who actually speaks about this topic is in the lucky 37% of kids who experience no homesickness. The parents who have kids in the 67%- well I guess we’re the silent majority…

And just when I thought parent competitiveness was over, I see it’s found its way of rearing its ugly little head even when your kids are no longer actually residing in your house…

But anyway…

So what do you do with a homesick child?

If you’re me, you tell them that they can’t come home till Thanksgiving.

You tell them that you have to confront your fear, confront the demon that scares you.

You tell them that this is always their home, but yeah, you’re not letting them back in for awhile.

Do you know how horrible this made me feel?

Do you know how I wanted to jump on the train and race down to her? Hop a flight out of LaGuardia and I’d practically be there in two hours…..

I wanted to hug her and tell her that it will be all right. Mommy is here.

And really, I am always here for her….

But I just can’t rush in to fix everything.

I guess this is like that baby sleep method where you let them cry it out and you don’t rush into comfort them. I totally failed at that one. She cried. I took care of her.

But now…..

She cries, but I had to let her.

Am I doing the right thing?

Who knows.

As with all things parent, I am doing what I think is the right course of action. Trying to teach her, and help her grow into adulthood. Letting them go is so hard. My daughter thinks I’m being cruel. And, I guess I am. Sort of. But I hope I’m also teaching her how to be strong, to rely on herself, to be confident.

To be an adult.

60 thoughts on ““No You Can’t Come Home”

  1. You’re such a great mom. She will be fine. Suffering produces character and growth! And she’s not really suffering. Probably bored. Tell her to study more. 😀 I wish my parents had told me to stay at school, meet new friends, stop coming home almost every weekend like I did my freshman year. I had a car and it was only a two hour drive so I just went. It definitely delayed the growing up process. But I was VERY attached to my family, so maybe they thought I needed extra time. It took me many years and I still mourn the ‘good ole days’ of being with my family, dysfunctional as it was.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Coming home is a band aid. It masks the issue but doesn’t really deal with it. It’s a bad life pattern. She has an issue, and she needs to deal with the issue head on. It’s a bad habit to rely on running away from what scares you instead of dealing with it. It can manifest itself in different ways if she doesn’t get to the root of the problem

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Our eldest was EXTREMELY homesick ..missed her boyfriend too and was talking about transferring to his college..these were tough times for me..I didn’t sleep very well, not gonna lie. She did come home a few times..the effort was exhausting and probably helped her get over it. No easy answer to it, every kid is different.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. For sure. The BF situation was a real challenge, one we did not face (thankfully) with any of my other three kids. He broke up with her a few months into her freshman year so things actually went from bad to worse for a few weeks.. but then it all (FINALLY!) fell into place.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Homesickness at first is very normal. It passes. LA, I have to say, I am very impressed with your response to your daughter. Given how 100% invested you’ve been in her life and decision making until now, that can’t have been your first instinct, but it is definitely the one I support. Bravo for providing some tough love when it can’t have been easy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In this case I commend your daughter for asking and recognizing that there may now be a bit of boundary involved. Mine went to college close by and would sometimes just appear for various reasons. I was okay with that, but did not alter plans if I had them because someone appeared. The need to “stop by” ceased fairly quickly though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s actually the best thing you could have done.

    Next up for you? When she adjusts and falls in love with the experience. You’ll be melancholy as you reminisce about the times when she wanted to come home.

    But then you’ll know, you did the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember being very lonely the first few months of university, but coming home was not an option until Thanksgiving. First of all, it was expensive, and second, my parents did not baby us. We knew we were lucky to be getting an education. My first year roommate went home to her BF every weekend and I had no one else to hang out with, so I just stayed in my room and studied, until I very slowly (as I’m an introvert) made new friends. Your daughter needs to learn that this too will pass. She needs to learn to cope with things being uncomfortable for awhile, because isn’t that life – new jobs, new places, new situations, esp true in the world today. Kudos to you, for standing firm. It must have been hard. NB. A nurse friend of mine recalls calling her father two weeks into her first year nursing course, crying her eyes out about how much she hated it and wanting to come home, and he said no. This was your decision, you have to stick it out. She did, and has now nursed for thirty years.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One of our daughters cried when we left her at college. I ached for her, but we drove away when it was time to say goodbye. Evidently she got over it, because she never asked to come home until Thanksgiving. I have no idea what we would have done in your shoes. Well, I would have agonized. John would not have.

    Is there some little something you can do for your daughter besides verbally reassuring her? Send a care package or little bouquet of flowers????

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We have done both – generally leaning to “no” even though it causes us anxiety to. But they need to learn to live on their own, problem solve on their own. I hate generalizations because they are pointless. What does it mean if your child is not in the general category? Everyone is different, every situation is different. You did the right, but difficult decision. Offer to go down for the day and meet for lunch. But you will prob see H soon at parents weekend anyway😍!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally seeing her next month. And that’s it….she has to learn to be on her own. But being a parent is always tough. You make a decision you think is right, but you just don’t know. You’ll hear about this more……


  9. I know how much this hurts, because I did the exact same thing! I wanted to DIE!! And she was spitting mad. However, when she did (finally) come home, she told me she was glad I made her stay. Hope that helps assuage your mom-guilt a teeny bit.
    Sending you (and her) strength and love. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  10. When we went to parent orientation for our daughter they told us there was a curve that kids went through and at first they were excited about being away so they were on a high but then they went into a downward (homesick) dip and would want to come home. The counselors told us not to let them! They said that things get easier for the kids and then the upward spike would occur as they get more comfortable and established. Expect another spike downward after the holidays 🙂 You did the right thing! It’s like letting a baby cry themselves to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, tough one. My daughter was homesick, plus she had her car but was 5 1/2 hours away. I got the phone call at night when nothing could be done anyway and she was better later the next day. She was busy with her team activities, but I know it never really went away. We just talked through it, meanwhile my heart was on the floor being run over continually with the vacuum cleaner!
    My son, was homesick too, closer and still had a car, but again at night and we talked through it. He was different because he was on depression meds and didn’t have an activity yet to be involved in. Being the sounding board was what was needed, they never asked to come home thank god! I think they knew that since they had a way to leave that was enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I know I’m horrible, but… I really hope that MC picks one of the two schools that are close enough for him to stay home. Not because I don’t want him to go out and be independent, but because for him, I KNOW he will do so much better with a gradual change than a massive one. Pretty sure he’d be fine either way, but he isn’t one to say he really needs something even when it is bad. I just think I’ll be a mess either way.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Couldn’t wait to go to college far, far away from where my parents lived at the time. Then was shocked by how homesick I was. But never would have called my mother to tell her for fear I would worry/upset her. So how great that your daughter feels she can tell you what’s going on, and good on ya for helping her to stick it out until T-giving.

    When I was in college — approx. back in the Pleistocene Era 😉 — students really were broke. I had no $ to get home for T-giving that year, so waited until holiday break in December. The weeks seemed interminable at times, but that stint in my life did indeed toughen me up.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “Adulting” is hard. Hang in there, Mom. Maybe you could put together a care package and send it just to let her know you’re thinking about her. Maybe a few inspirational items to help the transition to self-sufficiency? Hopefully she will get involved with some campus groups that can help keep her mind off her homesickness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s applied to about 15 organizations. Hopefully she gets something. The self sufficiency isn’t the issue…she’s an introvert so the making new friends thing isn’t her strong suit


  15. I was not as strong as you are. When my daughter started university she was living in the dormitory and located about an hour’s drive from home. She came home often, especially the first year. I don’t know still if I was right or wrong, but if I had it to do over I’d probably still cave. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Interesting perspective, especially comparing it to letting your baby cry it out. I think you definitely did the right thing, and I can’t imagine how difficult that was. So many parents run and rescue because they love their child and want to fix it. But I agree, I think its a bandaid. Your daughter will grow greatly from this life lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sadly, the parental competitiveness never ends! Mine are 30 and 33, and I still have parents letting me know, oh so subtly, how much better their “kids” are doing than mine. Ditto with grandkids. Competitive people stay competitive, no matter what is going on in their lives. All we can do is not engage.
    As for your daughter, that’s a tough one, and possibly not a “one size fits all” scenario. But what makes you a good mother is that you are doing what you think is right for your daughter, and you know your daughter better than anyone. So, no, I don’t think you’re being cruel at all!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I should’ve read this one first. 🙂

    I think till Thanksgiving is a bit harsh. It’s been years, obviously, but a quick break home really helped me to feel loved and to be able to face The Cruel College world for a few more months. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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