I’ve reached a significant parenting milestone. After eight years of having at least one child in college I’m done. That’s right – all my kids have officially graduated. The joy this brings knows no bounds.
One of things I’m most ecstatic about is no longer having to do all of the parent college tasks. This is because the myriad of information related to having a child in college took up precious space in my brain and created a to-do list from hell that I’m eagerly going to enjoy jettisoning from my life.
Coming in at number one as the chore that I’m thrilled to never have to do again is the fact that I no longer have to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form.
This form isn’t just for student loans. Most colleges require it as a matter of course to get even merit-based scholarships and it’s the devil incarnate. It’s not that the form for parents is even that hard to fill out but for some reason the FAFSA hated me. Every single time I logged on I was told that my password was wrong, my tax return wouldn’t sync up, or my favorite, I didn’t exist.
The only way to prove my existence was to log off and log on again so I could then get told my password was incorrect. This dance would go on until I was locked out of the FAFSA site which required yet another new password to be allowed back in thus causing me to engage in some prodigious stress eating.
To not have to ever log on, or in my case make multiple attempts to log on, to the FAFSA website ever again will be a major improvement in my mental health.
I’m also beyond excited to depart from all the college social media groups for parents. If you want to experience next level helicopter parenting and humble bragging as an art form just join a parent group.
Certainly, I didn’t have to click on the invitation to join these groups but curiosity and fear of missing out on some actual pertinent information drew me in. What kept me there is, and I’m ashamed to admit this, but here goes – reading all the posts actually made me feel better about myself.
Sure, I’m a worry wart but I don’t have a CIA level tracking device on all of my adult children’s technology, nor did I ever contact one of my children’s professors. In the grand scheme of things, I’m a fairly sane parent.
My son and daughter may disagree with that statement so let me rephrase that. Based on the college parent group sites I’m definitely an emotionally healthy mother.
As for physically healthy – that’s debatable. After moving kids for eight years straight out of dorm rooms and apartments my back isn’t what it used to be. Why one of my children couldn’t live in the same place for more than a year will remain one of life’s great mysteries.
The only answer I can come up with is that they enjoyed hearing me repeatedly exclaim why dragging a mattress into a U-Haul, “This is it. My back is officially going out.”
The realization that this yearly ritual for almost a decade is finally ending brings me and my back an immense amount of relief. Dare I dream my U-Haul days are finally over?
A lot of parents have told me I will miss having kids in college. Perhaps, but I tend to be a forward-thinking person and I know that this world needs the determination, fierceness and compassion of this new generation of graduates now more than ever.
This means at the top of my new “parent of adult children” to-do list is to encourage, watch and learn.
📚I’m also all kinds of excited that my new book is out!!! 🎉It’s available in ebook AND paperback. You can order on Amazon by clicking here. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09ZKPGQZQ
Here’s a sneak peek at the fun:
They’re broke, bitter, and not ready to give up without a fight.
Three middle-aged women, who have seen their carefully crafted lives take a precipitous financial plunge, forge an unlikely friendship while getting paid to take part in a clinical trial for a new menopause drug. The trio spends a month sequestered at a pharmaceutical testing facility that has all the charm of a nail salon inside a Walmart, and bond over their anger and disbelief that their only hope for some quick cash is leveraging the remaining estrogen they have lurking in their ovaries.
Each of these women has a recent story of their existence hurtling to hell. Maria had a career catastrophe so epic that googling her name is now painful. Cassie’s extreme vanity took an ugly turn and Julie’s husband didn’t just walk out on their marriage, he disappeared with all the money
Once they become roommates, this cadre of unlikely friends merge their talents to find Julie’s missing husband and her half of the “marital assets.” Maria has major accounting mojo, Julie has connections, and Cassie, a former soap opera actress, has acquired an assortment of shady skills during her Hollywood tenure.
As they plot, scheme, and embark on an adventure to find an AWOL spouse, they learn how to fight back against a world they believe deems them old and insignificant and, in the process, discover that fifty is when life gets fun, especially when you can get even.