Although I’m not a Mom, I have an amazing Mom (this first sentence will make her instantly cry, sorry Mom)! I’d like to share my perspective as both a young professional and young adult living away from home throughout college and my young professional career and how I’ve continued to have an amazing relationship with my Mom.
If you’re reading this, you are most likely a Mom and may or may not have gotten to the part of your life when your son or daughter has begun to pave their path in the world without you (well without you physically) holding their hand. I know my Mom was so excited for me when I went off to college 200 miles away from home, but I also know she was anxious for me to leave.
The truth is… I was terrified. Having supportive parents throughout my transition to college was probably the only reason I made it through. I had a very hard time adjusting to my Freshman year, and although I was playing a Division I sport and succeeding in all of my classes, I still felt lost. Constant communication through different media with my parents helped me get through – AIM (at the time), Skype, phone calls, text messages, and emails. My advice to other Moms out there – make sure your child knows you are there for them and then let them come to you for help (you can also encourage them to ask for help).
My mom was also great in making serious efforts to visit me whenever possible, but not all the time. 200 miles was a long enough distance away that I had freedom, but still felt like in the back of my head that I would have help if I needed it! So college was hard at first, and then I loved it. The support I received all the way through helped immensely and I’m so grateful for it!
Then there was the transition from college to the “real world.” When I say I moved a lot over the past three years, it is not an exaggeration – I moved a lot! I have held jobs in London, then Washington, DC and then New York City – each time moving around several times till I found more permanent apartment/roommates only to have to pack my bag and transition into my new role in a new city! My parents were always very supportive and although they couldn’t help with every move, they did the best they could, even if it was just a calming phone call to assure me I was doing the right thing.
Now that I have settled in New York City (okay it’s only been a little over a year) I have found that to continue to have a great relationship with my Mom I have to take more onus on myself. Of course my Mom will always be there for me, but I need to be there for her too. This means I will call her for absolutely no reason at all, share my happiness and success with her and also my bad days with her and I can ask about what she’s doing.
It seems the best way to maintain a relationship with not only your Mom, but your family and friends you’ve left in other places is to make the effort to call and visit and talk. Without communication many relationships fall apart, so for that reason, my biggest takeaway is communication. Call your kids, encourage them to call you and also encourage them to use other forms of communication – sometimes an email won’t cut it, but sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered!
Thanks Mom for being the greatest Mom! Did I miss anything?
Sarah Fudin currently works in community relations for the University of Southern California’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, which provides aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn a Masters degree in teaching online. Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading and Pinkberry frozen yogurt.