There is not a book published detailing how to do this job. No cards in the Hallmark stores will shed some light on what this stage means to moms across the globe. You just have to take a breathe and fly by the seat of your pants.

Let’s face it – no one prepares you for this time in your life. When our kids are little, we are just concentrating on getting through the day. Keeping the schedules intact without loosing it. Making sure we leave the house looking halfway decent with no food in our un-washed hair.

Then, we blink and those little boys, who used to have the energy of an energized bunny, have grown up. The nerve of them!  Days turn into months and then months turn into years! They grow, but we, as moms, look in the mirror and do not want to envision our home without them.

But isn’t that the job requirement? Isn’t it to raise kind, compassionate and strong children so that when they fly the coop, they can land on their feet.

My younger son Christian came into this world 8 weeks early roaring to go. It was as if Christian knew he had a job to do and that job was to take care of his older brother. Casey is the older brother who was and is developmentally and learning disabled. A big job to take on.

This past May, Christian graduated from college with a Communications degree. He is pounding the pavement and sending out resumes. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that something will stick to the wall.

One day, I was frustrated with him. Christian looked at me and said, ” Mom, I’ve got this. This is my journey not yours. And I will figure it out.” At first, my mouth just stayed opened and I had nothing to say.

At that “AHA” moment, I realized he did. This was HIS life and not mine. I made plenty of mistakes in my youth. But it wasn’t really about that. It was about when I looked into his eyes, that little tow-headed boy was gone. In his spot, stood a strong, handsome and compassionate man.

With summer ending and kids going off to college, here are some tips for those moms to let go:

  1. Trust that you did a good job. Everything you have taught them from wrong to right, they did hear!
  2. Give them their space. They are going to be nervous moving ahead and being on their own, but they will call their Mom when needed.
  3. When calling, let them talk. This will not be an easy one. But I can tell you  that you will get more out of them. Who would of thought just by listening. Limit the questions you ask.
  4. Last, but not least, enjoy this ride. Enjoy watching them grow into the man they are meant to be. Let go of certain expectations. Remember they are not you!

One thing I do say to my boys, is that I will always be their mom. I will always call them out on their stuff no matter how old they are.  Carpe diem Christian!!


  • Kathy Chlan


    Hi, I'm Kathy Chlan - Unfiltered Kathy After years of being in the trenches of motherhood, I know how easy it is for your identity to get wrapped up in your kids. Now that mine are all out of the house, I’m a mom with new priorities: I’m trying to find me. This is a place for moms to embrace the mistakes we’ve made (and continue to make) with no judgments while we navigate a new phase of life. It's dysfunction at its best. As a mother of two with a special needs son, I know what it's like to have a family that doesn't fit the mould—and I love it. My kids are the gifts that keep on giving. I'm tipping a hat to my journalism past and sharing my perspective on the modern frontier for moms: treating yourself, finding your passions, saying no, and—of course—my family's crazy stories to help other moms realize that life isn't so bad. If you had a terrible day and screamed at your kid over Skype or in person, big deal. Here you'll find inspiration for moms who aren't sure about what they're doing. (And don't worry, there are a lot of us.) We've all got adversities in life. My response? Laugh through it.