It’s that time of year when our college students go back to school. Whether you are agonizing over the day or are ready to ship off your know-it-all young adult, this season disrupts the home life.
You’ve prepared your child, but what about you? Now that the kids are gone, what will you do with this re-captured time? After we’ve given ourselves a moment to recover from the initial emptiness and loss, we can discover there are benefits to this season. Here are my top ten:
10. Sleep, glorious sleep. You’ll no longer need one ear alerted for the door to open after midnight. No boys wrestling in sleeping bags in the other room. No bevy of girls raiding the pantry at midnight to bake cookies and leaving the dishes for you! No junkers revving on the street, car alarms accidently going off, or loud shouts of goodbye while you try to get some vestige of beauty rest.
9. Free time is increased. You can shop for groceries at 3:30 when everyone else is picking up their children from school. You can leisurely drink your coffee or tea in the mornings without worrying if your child has his lunch or backpack. No more waking at 6:00 in the morning on weekends to watch your kids sports in 100 degree temps or sweltering indoor pools.
8. Calm and order prevail. Pantry and cupboard doors stay closed. Lights are turned off. Garage doors are shut. Breakfast returns to the morning, lunch at noon and dinner in the early evening. You can now lie on your couch and watch your favorite show. Your quiet time can actually be quiet.
7. You can pick your adult friends. If you hung out with the parents of your children’s friends, you may find the connection is now lost. But this is your chance to build new relationships.
6. New adventures await. Think of impromptu weekends away, trying new restaurants, or visiting historical sites (the ones your kids used to groan about). Write down the top ten adventures you’d like to take and do one! Soon you’ll be visiting your child on campus for family weekend—another chance to experience new foods, ideas, and shopping spots.
5. Adulting for you. You can schedule your own upper level class. Whether it be an actual class, a conference, or a new hobby, pursue the dream of yours that has laid dormant all these years.
4. Home sweet home. Imagine a clean house where you won’t trip over the pile of laundry or the set of shoes at the door. You won’t need to pick up or wash all the cups littering your home. Your previously pilfered cereal box will remain in the pantry. Your driveway will be free of vehicles so you can back up unhindered. Your home will resemble the houses on HGTV!
3. Reignite your relationship with your husband (A-hem!). Remember those distant date nights? Switch off with your husband planning romantic escapades. Flights and dinner for two are cheaper now. Restaurant options are expanded beyond fast food.
2. Food choices galore. Go buy that orange juice with lots of pulp. Serve the pinto bean soup your kids loathed. Splurge on the wild salmon instead of farm-raised. Speed past the fast food drive-through lane.
Drum roll please!
1. They come back! They’ll bring home two months of laundry for you to do. Your cup collection will disappear again. Snack bags and cereal boxes will emerge in the most unusual places. Your TV will be hijacked. Food will become scarce. You will be thankful they go back in a couple weeks. But what joy to see them growing, maturing, and blossoming into the person God created them to be.