Reese Witherspoon cried in daughter Ava's room after she left for college

A tough transition! Reese Witherspoon struggled when her 19-year-old daughter, Ava, left home for college.

“My daughter’s finishing her first year of college,” the actress, 43, said on the Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday, May 20. “It’s weird when your children go away to college. It’s hard. I never imagined how it felt for my mom. I might have gone into her empty room, laid down on her bed and cried when she went to college.”

The Big Little Lies star added: “It’s OK, she’s coming back. I thought she would be gone.”

The Whiskey in a Teacup author went on to apologize to her mom, Betty Reese, since she didn’t do the same. “I never came back,” she told Ellen DeGeneres. “I went to college for one year and then I started making movies and I moved to L.A. and I never came back. Sorry, mom. My poor mom.”

Witherspoon admitted that she made it up to her mother. “My mom was so mad at me that I dropped out of college because she wanted me to be a doctor, specifically a plastic surgeon,” the Legally Blonde star told DeGeneres, 61. “My dad was an ear, nose and throat surgeon, but my mom was really determined for me to be a plastic surgeon. She was mad about it for probably ten years, but then I bought her a house and she got over it. At a certain point, it turned into a better deal.”

The Louisiana native shares Ava and son Deacon, 15, with her ex-husband, Ryan Phillippe. She and husband Jim Toth welcomed son Tennessee, now 6, in 2012.

In June 2018, a source told Us Weekly exclusively that while Witherspoon is “equally involved” in all of her kids’ lives, she and her daughter are “best friends” and “just love being together.”

The insider went on to say, “Reese and Ava talk several times a day and they go to each other for everything. [Ava] has learned so much by being with her mom and traveling the world with her.”

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Reese Witherspoon and lookalike daughter Ava Phillippe
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Reese Witherspoon and lookalike daughter Ava Phillippe
US actress Reese Witherspoon and her daughter Ava Phillippe attend HBO's "Big Little Lies" Season 2 premiere at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29: Reese Witherspoon (R) and her daughter Ava Phillippe attend the season 2 premiere of "Big Little Lies" at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: Ava Elizabeth Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon attend the L.A. Dance Project's Annual Gala on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon attend the 2018 LA Dance Project Gala at Hauser & Wirth on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for L.A. Dance Project)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 13: Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon attends the European Premiere of 'A Wrinkle In Time' at BFI IMAX on March 13, 2018 in London, England. PHOTOGRAPH BY Jamy / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Jamy / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Reese Witherspoon (R) and daughter Ava Phillippe (L) attend the European Premiere of 'A Wrinkle In Time' at BFI IMAX on March 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Reese Witherspoon and Ava Phillippe arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of Disney's 'A Wrinkle In Time' held at El Capitan Theatre on February 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Reese Witherspoon and Ava Phillippe arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of Disney's 'A Wrinkle In Time' held at El Capitan Theatre on February 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 04: Reese Witherspoon and Ava Phillippe attend Molly R. Stern X Sarah Chloe Jewelry Collaboration Launch Dinner on December 4, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Sarah Chloe Jewelry)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 06: Ava Elizabeth Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon attend NET-A-PORTER x Draper James Event on June 6, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for NET-A-PORTER)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 06: Ava Elizabeth Phillippe attends NET-A-PORTER x Draper James Event on June 6, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for NET-A-PORTER)
#GoldenHour with the kiddos ⛅️💓
🌷🌷🌷
With my ❤️always @avaphillippe .. #MotherDaughter #MatchyMatchy #Premiere #BigLittleLies
Celebrating our sweet Tennessee’s 4th birthday last night! 🎂🎈🎉 My forever favorite #NinjaTurtle 💋🐢 #TMNT #FamilySandwich
There’s nothing better than celebrating my birthday with my wonderful kids! 💖🎂💖 #ProudMom
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Ava Elizabeth Phillippe (L) and actress Reese Witherspoon attend the premiere of HBO's 'Big Little Lies' at TCL Chinese Theatre on February 7, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Ava Elizabeth Phillippe (L) and actor Reese Witherspoon attend the premiere of HBO's 'Big Little Lies' at the TCL Chinese Theater on February 7, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30: Honoree Reese Witherspoon (L) and Ava Phillippe attend with FIJI Water at 29th American Cinematheque Awards honoring Reese Witherspoon on October 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30: Actress Reese Witherspoon, daughter Ava Phillippe (L) and son Deacon Phillippe (R) arrive at the 29th American Cinematheque Award Honoring Reese Witherspoon at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on October 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: Reese Witherspoon takes her daughter Ava Phillipe and son Tennessee Toth to the country market in Brentwood on September 07, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
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Me and my girl 💖 #Happy2017
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