BY SHELBY JORDAN If you think heading off to college and adjusting to your new life was hard for you, consider your mother. A chapter in her life – hands-on mom—ends. She fears that you will never need her again. It’s a period of transition where she has to find a new lifestyle, and she hates it.
Think about it. In many cases, if your mom wasn’t at work, or at one of your practices or competitions or school events, or socializing with people she met through those activities, what was she doing? Your mom has to completely reinvent her day to day routine and it’s a pretty big adjustment.
And her relationship with you changes too; she’s not the boss anymore. “Your child no longer needs you as officer or CEO in their life. They need you as a friend,” writes Jann Gumbiner, a psychologist and professor at University of California, Irvine. You still need your mom, just in a different way. What if you spend too much money and can’t afford groceries? Or you studied for a test, but you still failed? You’ll want to call your mom and you’ll want her to be supportive. So even though you don’t need your mom in the same way, it is still in your best interest to stay on her good side. So, for your own good, here are 5 ways to keep your mom happy while you’re away at college:
- Encourage social media
Your mom just wants to know that you are safe, but it’s easy to forget to call to check in. You’re probably going to be updating Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook anyway so you might as well let your mom follow you. This way she can look at your most recent photo to see that you’re having fun on a Friday night and still alive. This minimal effort from you makes your mom feel like your friend. You’re letting her see a different side of our life.
- Remember the holidays
And I don’t just mean her birthday and Christmas. How about Mother’s Day, her anniversary, your grandma’s birthday, and really any other semi-important day that involves someone close to you? If you send your younger cousin a birthday card or write on your aunt’s Facebook wall without your mom telling you to, shell be pleased with your thoughtfulness which reflects back on her. So if you can, mark every important day, no matter how small, on your calendar to plan ahead.
- Surprise her
Any surprise is a good surprise. Pay attention when she talks so you can treat her to the perfect gift. Call for no reason, just to say hi. If you are really ambitious, make a surprise trip home. Coordinate with your dad or some other family member/friend. Have them pick you up while your mom is at work and you can have dinner ready for her when she comes home. That one is hard to pull off, but well worth it in the end.
- Wear her old clothes
I know this one sounds weird, but if your mom is anything like mine, then she gets really confused and stressed out with fashion trends. Lucky for us, a lot of clothes from our parents’ generation is back in style, whether it be a vintage t-shirt or an old leather jacket from the 80s. It will make her feel “hip” again and it is something you two can bond over.
- Just make her feel proud
She raised you, and as much as you’ll argue it, you wouldn’t be wherever you are without her support and guidance. Just let her have a little credit. Do well in class so she knows that those nights helping you with homework paid off. Have fun, but not too much fun so she can confidently fall sleep at night knowing that you can make good decisions. Don’t blow all your money so she can say she raised you to be responsible. And if you do something work recognition, let her share it on Facebook so she can show the world that even though you are officially out of her house, you are still the most important thing in her life.