It seems like yesterday you were just bringing your child to their first day of kindergarten, but now, 18 years later they are graduating and college is right around the corner. While your teen may feel nervous and excited, you are probably feeling a lot more than you care to admit. Your feelings are normal. As a parent, your natural instinct is to worry about your child, but remind yourself that you have raised a smart, independent, and responsible teen that is ready to conquer their next stage of life. But what about you?
If you’re too worried about missing your teen to think about yourself, you're not alone. The best tip I can give is to try staying connected. The digital devices that once were the bane of your existence, can now be your greatest ally. Use texting, FaceTime, and social media to stay connected and engaged with your child. I'm not suggesting that you stalk them and their friends on Instagram to figure out where they are every second of the day. This means using social media to help when you don't want to overwhelm them with ten different texts in one day. Always remind yourself that your teen loves you, even if they don't call, text, or come home as often as you would like.
For the past 18 years, you have been taking care of your child the best way you know how! Congrats, you've reached another milestone. Yes, there are going to be rough days from missing your teen so much, but this is also a major transition for you. Instead of constantly focusing on what your teen has due or where he needs to be. You can finally bring some of that focus back to you. Take time to get to know who you are. Have your hobbies changed? (Yes, you can have hobbies again). Maybe you can spend your time dating. This may mean dating your partner or your dating someone new. Whatever you decide to do with your extra time, enjoy it. Most of all, don't let yourself feel bad for enjoying it. You deserve it.