Heads Up for Parents of Graduating Seniors

Momservation: For all you parents who only breast fed for 3 months, your kid didn’t go to a Top 5 preschool, and forgot to pick up your kid on early day: Welcome to the Last Laughs Club. Your kid turned out just fine.

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Congratulations! You did it! I mean they did it—you have a high school graduate!

But we did it too, right? Because, really—isn’t that the goal at this stage? To raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted, likable, responsible, honorable, fully-functioning, contributing members of society (who you can humble brag about).

Whew, that was hard work wasn’t it? Couple times there where the wheels definitely came off the bus, but we worked through it.

As a fully initiated parent into the Last Laughs Club, I look forward to having this latest class join me—parents of graduating seniors.

Ahhh, but you’re not quite there yet. Still a few hurdles before you get to the join the ranks of B*tch, Please. You Ain’t Seen Sh*t.

So let me give you a quick View from the Other Side. AKA, no longer actively parenting. AKA, designated for reassignment. AKA, going for Best Supporting Actor:

It gets worse before it gets better.

For Parents of Graduating Seniors:

  • You will burst into tears in the snack isle.
  • Hyper-executing the perfect dorm room will not make the ache go away.
  • Your kid will get tired of random hugs and forced quality time together before they go.
  • It will be a crazy whirlwind of “lasts,” graduation activities and celebrations. You will think you are more than ready for no more school requirements and events, but the quiet after it all ends is terrifying.
  • Dad’s cry harder than moms at drop-off (because they held it in and we’ve been crying for their entire senior year).
  • The museum status bedroom will make you cry. Just let it out.
  • You will miss your kid’s friends almost as equally as you miss your kid.
  • Parents’ Weekend, Thanksgiving and Christmas/Winter break come mercifully quick.
  • It does get easier. Proof: Perfectly fine parents of adult children are all around you.

 But then it gets really good.

For Empty Nesters:

  • You have been designated for reassignment. You are no longer actively parenting. You are now a supporting role.
  • You will become thrilled with things becoming their problem not yours.
  • You will become gloriously happy with all the free time, quiet time, going out with friends and going on adventures time.
  • A house that stays clean.
  • Less laundry.
  • Less cooking.
  • Less shopping.
  • Less stress.
  • However, you will NEVER stop worrying about your kids (according to my 94-yr-old grandmother).
  • Lure them home as needed with offers of free things.

There you have it—your View From the Other Side! I look forward to all you joining me in the Last Laughs Club! Don’t forget the 3 Rules for Membership:

  1. It’s not a competition.
  2. The goal is balance.
  3. The reward is a happy, healthy kid who is proud to look in the mirror.

Go ahead and take your victory lap.

#GraduatingSeniors  #LastLaughsClub  #ViewFromTheOtherSide

2 comments

  1. Meg says:

    That first paragraph is so perfect. I’m still in the crying in the snack aisle stage but the “less stress” part gives me hope.

    • kellimwheeler says:

      Oh man, those days were tough, not gonna lie, Meg. Read Going Full Golden Part I & II only when you want to real roll around in the sorrow of dropping your kid off at college, but also need to know it’s not just you who’s having a hard time transitioning to this next phase. https://www.momservations.com/going-full-golden-part-i-ii/
      But strangely, it does become your new normal just as going from nights on the town and lazy Sundays turned into sleepless nights and changing diapers did. And it’s not just the less stress. Your time is your own again and it is glorious. And my favorite part? Being able to say to my college kids: “Oh that’s too bad. Well, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Let me know how it turns out.” And then you go back to doing your Sudoku in your drama-free house that stayed clean after you cleaned it and your refrigerator and pantry still full with all the food you just bought and not one extra-curricular activity that you have to drive carpool for or go support. Glorious with a capital G.
      Thanks for stopping by, Meg. Enjoy the journey!

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