09/17/2014 03:24 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

When Is Mother-Daughter Texting Too Much?

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When my niece left for college, she called home every day. Every day! I'm not sure if I told my sister outright that she needed to cut the umbilical cord, but I may have said something more subtle, more snide, like, "Isn't that a little too much? Shouldn't she learn to spend a day without calling home to her mom?"

Now my daughter is in college, just starting her freshman year. She doesn't call home every day, only every other day. But we text a lot... well, roughly constantly. But never during class and I didn't hear from her when she went to the movies the other night.

One of my friends told me to shut off my phone. Another told me to text, "Stop Texting." And these are only the people to whom I admit our mother-daughter texting addiction. Sometimes, I roll my eyes and say, "Oy, she texts too much." But I think part of me enjoys it.

I've never been able to figure out a lot of the basic mothering things. Martha nursed for approximately forever. Well, three years, until her baby sister was born and I had another mouth to feed. It wasn't because I was a La Leche League Mom; I was just too tired to wean and it was just so much easier to put her to the breast than deal with all the crying. (She is fully weaned now.)

I also could never put her to bed. She just talked and talked and called my name and when I finally refused to stay any longer in her bed, she eventually crawled in bed with me. I told my mother, in a joking way, that I'd be much better with the next kid. It was during a long night, when I didn't think I'd have another baby, but I did. And then I was just as ill-prepared for a bedtime ritual fourth time around.

Anyhow, after about two days and one gazillion texts from my daughter (she was providing a psychoanalysis of every moment of her new experience, such as "I'm feeling happy, but not the kind of comfortable happy I felt with my high school girlfriends..." That sort of thing), I finally heard from her twin brother.

"Doing laundry. Separating colors and whites. Anything else I need to separate?"

We can talk gender differences in another blog.

But my texts, which worried me on day two, became like nursing. I just got used to it. It was a constant in my life. What made me feel a little better, more normal, or more like a good parent, was a blog I read by F. Diane Barth, LCSW, who among other wise words, said that "The most important thing you can do is try to maintain a communication loop with your college freshman." Yes, I hadGgoogled "how often should you be texting your freshman in college?" Anyhow, I think I've closed that the communication loop quite solidly. And It's not like we really are texting all the time. Sometimes we Snapchat.