Rent a Mom When You Head to College

By Tim Elmore


It used to be that mom and dad’s role was to love their children and to get them ready to be on their own at eighteen when they leave home. It wasn’t just about protecting their kids but about preparing them for life. 


Unfortunately, many parents and guardians haven’t done such a good job of that.


Fortunately, you can hire a “mom” when you head off to college. I’m not kidding. 


Services like this have popped up to monetize the need for a parent when students enter college and feel unready. Rachelle Arnold, owner of Daisy Bug Delivery, explains that her concierge organization offers that “second mom” service students often need. And she takes a personal interest in them. Students can have their bed made, their laundry done, their room tidied up, and even be picked up in a car. Rachelle says her business is booming, helping hundreds of students, especially freshmen, who feel like they need someone to count on. 


Could This Be a Signal of a Larger Problem?

Truth be told, teens heading off to college is a revealing time for how well parents and teachers have gotten them ready for real life. University students are forced out of their dependency on mom cleaning their room or folding their clothes. Some of them have more money than skills. So, they (or their family) hire out those tasks. 


I imagine you see a few problematic issues right away. First, that young adults would even need a surrogate mom to pick up their clothes, do their laundry, make their bed, or even do their homework for them is a problem. Second, that people would pay the sum of $10,000 per semester for an artificial parent is an entirely new issue. Fake parents? Third, it’s a problem that they believe the hired mom’s job is not to cultivate self-sufficiency, but to continue to deepen a dependency on an older adult. 


Yet, this signal is part of a trend.


I just met Mason, a 29-year-old neighbor who spent seven years in the Navy. Over dinner, I asked him, “How was your time in the Navy?”


“Different than I expected it to be,” Mason replied. 


I was all ears. He continued, “I guess a lot has changed with a new generation of young people enlisting. The military is not getting enough qualified people to sign up, so some branches are changing the standards. At boot camp, officers have softened their language. If the drill sergeant says something that triggers you or makes you feel uncomfortable, you can hold up a card to indicate you’re uncomfortable.” 


He’s not kidding.


It’s true. Earlier this year, I posted how nearly eight in ten American young adults do not qualify for military service due to obesity, failure to graduate, or addictions. So, what have we done? We’ve lowered the bar for qualifying. This sounds very similar to hiring an extra mom when you’re unready for college. We just kick the can down the road.


What Am I Proposing?

Please understand my goal is not to throw Daisy Bug Delivery or the U.S. Navy under the bus. They’re attempting to deal with a problem that should have and could have been addressed in families and schools when those kids were younger. Today we have too many unready teens who still need remedial support for adulthood. 


I am proposing that problems like these are rarely solved by lowering the bar, lightening the load, or softening the demands of life. Life is hard for all of us, and it’s best to face those challenges with caring adults at young ages when the stakes are lower. The solution is to focus on building stronger kids, not creating a fake world where life is easy and manageable. Trust me, I have seen too many young professionals in a “love/hate” relationship with mom and dad because their parents didn’t do a good job preparing them for their life ahead. 


Our job is to provide and protect but also get them ready for the road ahead of them. 


Rent a Mom When You Head to College