My only daughter has gone off to college and left me with the guys; my husband and two teenage sons. I didn’t know what an adjustment it would be to become a “boy mom” for 8 months of the year. I obviously know what it’s like to be a mom of boys but not a mom with only boys and believe me, there is a difference. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my boys and I love being the queen of the castle for at least part of the year while my daughter is away, but her presence is missed in our house in so many ways.

The first thing I noticed was how much quieter it was at home since she’s been gone. My boys are well past their rough and tumble stage and have never been prone to fight with each other. They tend to quietly hang out in the loft watching TV and playing video games and only make an occasional  appearance in the kitchen for food. When my daughter was living here, she typically hung out with me in the kitchen or family room constantly chatting about her day, what her friends were up to, or our favorite TV shows.

Instead of car rides home from school filled with “gossip” about who wore what or who broke up with who, the trips now consist of me asking my guys a million questions about their day and trying to decipher what each grunt or “fine” really means.

My house is a lot messier since she’s been gone too. Who knew that she had secretly been tidying up after her brothers all these years? I could always count on her to help me clean the house especially when getting ready for parties. To be fair,my boys do help out as well but need a lot more encouragement and direction.

All of these things are significant but one of the most surprising things I miss the most about having a girl in the house is her honest feedback and fashion advice. By sending my daughter away to college, I have lost my fashion compass. I’ve never been a very trendy person and I tend to wear comfy “mom” clothes. My daughter on the other hand is very fashionable and loves to dress up for any and all occasions. Whenever I was lost about what to wear for a certain occasion, I could always count on her to point me in the right direction. She would advise me on clothes, shoes and accessories. I would rely on her to honestly answer the all important question “Does this make me look fat?” When I ask my boys how I look, they quickly say “fine” without so much as a glance in my direction. I asked my 14 year old son which color shoe I should wear, black or gold, and his smart-alec reply was “One of each?” Not very helpful.

I have tried to get around this problem using modern day technology. I take selfies and send them to my daughter at school for approval or advice. This works well when she is available but can be disastrous when there is a significant delay. Recently, I bought a new outfit to wear to  a work function. I took a picture of myself and sent it for approval. An hour into the party, I finally received her reply saying “No way mom you CAN’T wear that!” I spent the rest of the night fretting about what  fashion faux pas I was committing.

While I miss dishing the dirt about celebrities with her over a cup of coffee, watching “say yes to the dress”, shopping sprees,heart to heart talks, chick flicks and the millions of other things that make my daughter so special, possibly the most unexpected thing I miss is her fashion advice. If you see me walking around with mismatched shoes and wearing unflattering pants that make my butt look big, now you know it’s because I’ve been left without my fashion compass and I’m totally lost without my girl.

Dr. Jennifer Pinto

Jennifer Pinto is an avid reader, writer, psychologist and mom to a daughter(20) and two sons (16 & 14). She has been married to her husband for 21 years. She is currently writing a young adult novel and has a psychology-themed blog called "Off the Couch..." She enjoys drinking coffee at all hours of the day, cooking Indian food and being the team mom for her son's tennis & football teams.