I am scared to death to leave my kids. I have “slight” separation anxiety when we aren’t together.
My husband, Steve, and I are about to sail away on a week-long cruise (without our 5-year-old twin girls) and I’ve had a tight heart since I found out almost 6 weeks ago.
I’ve planned and prepared and planned some more for 42 days. I made a cute countdown chart for them so they will know when we are coming home. I wrapped 7 sweet little gifts for each day we are gone; this is also leverage for Grammy and Pop should they start misbehaving.
(TIP – make an extra number and wrap an extra gift per kid in case of an issue that requires you to stay away longer!)
I have my rosters and lectures ready for the classes I teach. I’ve updated all freelance work I’ve been working on and I even have my blog prepped with a great line up of guest bloggers.
I’ve been to the acupuncturist twice in the last week just to calm my nerves which has helped. I’ve packed. The girls are packed for their weekend trip with my parents to my sister’s house. There is nothing I have left undone.
Detailed lists for Grammy? Check!
Home-made crab cakes for them? Check!
Special dairy-free treats for L? Check!
House cleaned? Almost
Dress hemmed for award ceremony…erg, working on…
I know they will be fine. In fact they told me today, “only 2 days until your ‘crew’ and Grammy and Pop fun days”. I know I will be fine and enjoy some one-on-one time with my man — but I still can’t shake the fear.
So why IS it so hard to leave? After all, if anyone deserve a break, it’s a mother!
Is it mommy guilt? Guilt of what? That they will be ok so they don’t really need us as much as we think? Or that they won’t be ok and scream for us the entire time which makes us smile and frown simultaneously? Smile because they miss us as much as we miss them and frown for enjoying such misery?
Let’s just cross that mommy guilt off. It’s never going away no matter how hard we try, so why bother?! Let’s just embrace that and move on.
Is it fear that they will get hurt or have medical issues? Are they going to fall and we won’t be there to kiss their boo-boos, or worse, hold them while they are getting stitched up in the hospital? What if she has an allergic attack and we aren’t there to administer the epi-pen? Well, someone else will do all of this and they WILL BE fine.
What if they don’t follow MY guidelines? Oh no, they ate Oreos for dinner instead of chicken and broccoli.
But those aren’t my fears. While they enter my mind often they don’t hold me back. As with you, I leave my children with only those who know and love them and would protect them like their own.
For me it’s darker. For me I fear I might get hurt and leave them motherless. OR even worse, fear that someone might take them?
Those fears are debilitating to me.
Bones will heal. Tears will stop. Hugging them will resume. But none of this will happen if they aren’t there.
Perhaps I’ve watched one too many Lifetime Movies or searched the local crime watch but either way it locks me up sometimes.
I have to force myself to stop thinking about crazy scenarios. “What if” this situation happens!? What would I do? It’s exhausting to constantly be cautious. And the stupidest thing I do? When I finally calm down that stupid voice in my head always reminds me bad things happen when you least expect it.
STOP! The worry blocks the fun and when I’m not worrying, the best memories and the biggest laughs are made.
I will say there are other, more simple reasons why I don’t like to leave and it really is simple…I enjoy them!
I’m with them every single day, all day long, and I still miss them when they go over night with my sister or I go into the office for the day.
I rarely feel like getting away; they are fun kids and they are already five! I only have a few more years until they don’t want me around. I can “get away” then!
So any anxiety on when you had to leave your kiddos for the first time? Or did you sprint out of the house like a psychotic mad woman?
I challenge you to give me the REAL reasons you do or don’t want to leave your kids. I want the real deep-down-in-your-gut feelings of fear reasons.
Kerry Bergeman blogs at New2Two – A peek at my life as a Mother of fraternal AND identical twins! Kerry is a full-time stay at home mother of 5 year-old twin girls & 7 month-old identical twin girls. She teaches part-time at the local community college, runs Mommies of Multiples on Facebook and blogs at New2Two about life with twins, dealing with infertility, and a daughter with a severe intolerance to dairy.