Adjusting to your off-spring fleeing the nest and moving into university halls of residence is tough. Any parent that tells you that they have never thought of doing any of the following is either lying or hiding the fact that they have actually done several! I decline to reveal exactly how many have crossed my mind!
Ten things you shouldn't do when your kid leaves for University
1. Extensive research on social media in order to detect serial-killer or sex-fiend tendencies amongst their new flat mates. I know that this sort of character trait is rarely openly revealed on Facebook but Mums have a 6th sense for this sort of thing and can tell a lot from a profile pic and a bio.
2. Scour news reports for any sort of attack/fire/accident that could possibly involve your child. Message them to check that they are okay when you find a report of a three car pile-up on the outskirts of Edinburgh even though they are studying in Exeter and do not have a car.
3. Send hourly messages/texts and panic when there is no reply after 30 seconds.
4. Compile a playlist of songs that you listened to when you were pregnant and sit in their bedroom to listen to it.
5. Repeatedly ask their younger siblings if you can log into their snapchat. You don't know how to use it but suspect that this is where all the information that you want is hiding.
6. Knock on the bedroom doors of all their flatmates asking for their mobile numbers and social media accounts for further research purposes.
7. Install CCTV in your child's room with a live feed relayed to your mobile.
8. Invest in a tracking device which you hide in their mobile phone before they leave.
9. Make up a nasty illness so that they feel obliged to come back home to be with you. This may be more successful if you get the family pet to feign an illness or an injury.
10. Rent a room in halls yourself by faking qualifications and lying about your age. This requires considerable financial outlay as, in most cases, plastic surgery will be required.
These thoughts will pass! They'll soon be back with a bag of dirty washing, kicking up a fuss because their kid sister has moved into their bedroom. In the meantime, I have decided to work on the 'no news is good news' principal and hope for the best! I'm just off to check the news channel.
You can read more about life with big kids on Sharon's blog at http://www.aftertheplayground.com