I’m not talking babies breaking their hearts and becoming a wet mess of tears and snot if heaven forbid you need to leave the room for a wee.  I’m talking the gut wrenching separation anxiety that happens to mum’s when they leave their small people overnight.

 

I know that as a parent there are times when you long for a day off.  There are the days when you would run for the hills screaming merrily skip out of the door in a bid to avoid being asked another question.  Days when you long to finish an adult conversation without being asked to wipe a small persons nose or butt.  The days when we wistfully remember a time when the only shadow we possessed was ours, and it didn’t cling to our leg with a vice like grip.

 

But the reality is that leaving our small people can be stressful.  Will they be OK?  Can anyone else interpret a point and grunt in the same way as you?  Can anyone else kiss a bump and make it all better like you do?  And what about you?  Will you be OK?  I mean can you actually remember how to have a conversation with someone about something more interesting than Cbeebies or Batman?

 

A recent 2 night trip away on a hen weekend saw me go through the following 7 stages of separation anxiety:

 

Separation Anxiety

 

Stage One – The Preparation

I’m so frickin excited.  Foot loose and child free.  I can wear earrings without fear of them being ripped from my ears.  I can use that cute little handbag that hasn’t seen the light of day since 2009.  Maybe it’s not fashionable any more.  I could get a new little bag just for the occasion.  While I’m at it I’ll get the big one some Lego and a cuddly toy for the little one. Just a little treat for them both.  Not in any way are these guilt gifts.  I’ve never left the little one for this long before.   Look at his little face.  I’m going to miss him so much. What if he misses me too much. What if he cries for me and I’m not here.  What if he thinks I’ve abandoned him and he never gets over the rejection.  OK Get a grip.  You are leaving him for two nights with his Daddy.  It’s going to be fine.  He’ll have fun, you will have fun. What if he is poorly or hurts himself?  STOP.  What am I doing?  Just concentrate on that new bag. Maybe you should get a new top too to make yourself feel better.  Ohh nail varnish.

 

Stage Two – The Goodbye

New top on and clutching little bag ready to go.  Have I got my phone?  Why do I feel so nervous?  It’s not like I have never been out on my own before.  In about half an hour you will have a glass of wine in your hand and two whole days to be you.  Just You.  Who is me? I’m not sure ‘tequila girl’ exists anymore.  I’m more practiced at nappy changes than I am slinging shots now.  Come on you can do this.  You deserve some time off.  Kisses goodbye, final instructions to husband (along with the 10 page essay I have left him) quick exit. Let’s go.  Do not cry.  Do not Cry. Think about the mascara.  DO NOT CRY.  It’s OK, I’ll just have to re-do my make up in the car.  Have I got my phone?

 

Stage Three – The Adjustment

This feels weird.  I feel like I’ve forgotten something and I feel 2 stone lighter.  I’m not carrying anything!  No baby, no toys, no bags of crap stuff.  What do I do with my arms? Seriously, I’ve forgotten how to be ‘natural’ with empty arms.  Do I just hang them by my side casually?  Do I place one hand on my hip in a nonchalant pose?  Quick someone pass me a drink before my arms start doing the actions to wheels on the bus just so they have something to do.  Stop rocking from side to side, you look demented.

 

Stage Four – The Homesick Pangs

This is nice, the wine is flowing, I’m enjoying myself.  I’m trying really hard not to talk about the small people too much.  I wonder what they are doing right now?  Maybe I should check my phone again?  No, stop it.  They will be having their bed time stories.  Aww I miss them. Maybe I could just sneak a peak at a few photos on my phone and give myself a small people fix.  Man my kids are cute.  Oh look a text from the husband; the kids are fast asleep, they had a fun afternoon and he hopes I’m having a great time.  I feel better now.  He’s the best.  I miss him too.

 

Stage Five – Rediscovering Me

Check me out.  I am having proper grown up conversations about stuff going on in the real world.  No one has mentioned superheros or asked me to wipe their butt.  I am dancing to songs sung by actual bands rather than chipmunks, and it’s 11:30 and I am still awake, and there are no pajamas in sight!  I’ve still got it.  I am so D-R-U-N-K.

 

Stage Six – Back to Reality

I’m dying.  I’m never drinking again.  I’m too old.  Or too out of practice.  Probably both.  I do not miss hangovers.  Although sitting here in the sun with a cup of tea whilst I wake up is an easier way of dealing with it than having the small people bounce on me a stupid O’clock in the morning.  Ahhh the small people.  I’m so excited to see them.  I can’t wait for the cuddles and kisses.

 

Stage Seven – The Homecoming

Oh my, when did they get so big?  These hugs are amazing.  I can’t breathe, but they are amazing.  How have they grown so much in two days?  I swear their hair is longer.  I actually missed the noise!  Wow, going away sure makes you feel loved and appreciated.  I might cry again!  There is no where i’d rather be than here.  Could you maybe get off my leg now?

 

Missing my mokeys

Man I missed these monkeys.

 

 

Is it just me who goes through this separation anxiety?

 

This post was featured on Huffpost

 

For more from Life, Love and Dirty Dishes follow my social networks, or subscribe by clicking here.

            

   

Friday Frolics
My Kid Doesnt Poop Rainbows

44 Comments on The 7 Stages of Separation Anxiety

  1. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    November 3, 2015 at 5:37 am (1 year ago)

    Haha! love this. Call me heartless but I skipped the homesick part when we left our tot for a weekend this summer. As our trips away from him, or even evenings or days are so few I squeeze every last minute of enjoyment out of it. I’m already counting down the sleeps until our next mini baby-free time in January!

    Thanks so much for linking up to #fartglitter x
    Mama, My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows recently posted…What Living In Thailand Has Taught MeMy Profile

    Reply
  2. Hannah Mums' Days
    June 17, 2015 at 8:58 pm (2 years ago)

    Aww, I’ve just been through this when I went to Tokyo a few weeks ago. it felt so sad, and on the second day I was horrible home sick, it almost hurt I was so desperate to see my boy. But then I reached stage 5 and it was fab for the rest of the week!! Haha 🙂 Great post, thanks for linking up to #TheList xx
    Hannah Mums’ Days recently posted…I’m going to Britmums Live 2015My Profile

    Reply
  3. Sarah
    June 14, 2015 at 8:14 am (2 years ago)

    Absolutely not. I can totally empathize with every you have said.
    My young went on Brownie camp this weekend. I’ve been a total mess. The worst bit is not being able to hold n kiss goodnight. make sure she safe.

    Thanks for sharing and a great post.

    Sa xXx
    Sarah recently posted…Take Another Shot…My Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:58 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh god, I dread those days when they are away with people I don’t know that well!

      Reply
  4. Lisa (mummascribbles)
    June 13, 2015 at 8:37 pm (2 years ago)

    Every point of this is so so true. I first left Zach when he was about six months old, for a hen weekend. I missed him loads but remembering who I was, was fantastic. I have had to get used to leaving him now as I have to go away for work. I was in the USA last year for 10 whole days. It was wonderful to be there but good god I was so desperate to get home. When they picked me up from the airport, I literally burst into tears upon seeing him. Boy do they grow quickly when you’re not there!! Great post lovely and thanks so much for linking with #TwinklyTuesday
    Lisa (mummascribbles) recently posted…Review – Muddy Puddles Pac-a MacMy Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:57 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m such a sap your comment nearly made me cry!

      Reply
  5. Absolutely Prabulous
    June 13, 2015 at 5:26 pm (2 years ago)

    You know the funny thing I’ve never been a mum who needs to feel needed or who feels guilty having me-time. I remember the first day my then 19 month old started nursery, far from crying I skipped off for a coffee almost singing with delight. But then I went away to Miami for 4 days for my 40th. She was then almost 4 and her brother was just over 1 year old.

    How. Much. Did. I. Cry
    Lovely post #fridayfrolics

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Ahhh. I’m the opposite. I find it easier when they are older. Plus I need a break from the constant questions!

      Reply
  6. The DADventurer (Dave)
    June 13, 2015 at 5:24 pm (2 years ago)

    I miss the little one when I’m not around (which is barely ever to be honest!), but I wouldn’t say I have a separation anxiety. The missus had a hen do when Baby L was around 10 weeks old – the preparation saw her spend every waking moment expressing so that I had enough milk to feed the little one. I think it was around 50oz that she managed to pump out of those bad boys! Very impressive!
    The DADventurer (Dave) recently posted…5 Ways A Baby Can Be Used For ExerciseMy Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Poor cow. (do you see what I did there!) I crack myself up :p

      Reply
  7. emily g
    June 12, 2015 at 11:08 pm (2 years ago)

    i love this! can so relate to this feeling, I will be going through this next week for Britmums!I try not to feel guilty but it does start to creep in. x
    emily g recently posted…8 truths about nurseryMy Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:54 pm (2 years ago)

      Have fun at Britmums. Wish i was going.

      Reply
  8. Jessie, FlusteredMom
    June 12, 2015 at 3:59 pm (2 years ago)

    I totally understand this! My daughter cried every day school until third grade. #fridayfrolics

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:53 pm (2 years ago)

      ouch. My son did that for his first term of pre-school. So hard leaving them like that.

      Reply
  9. krissy @ whymoms
    June 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm (2 years ago)

    So very true! It’s such a process that sometimes it seems not even worth it! Nothing beats seeing those little faces when you get back though!!

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:53 pm (2 years ago)

      It is nice to feel appreciated!

      Reply
  10. Mummy Fever
    June 12, 2015 at 12:56 pm (2 years ago)

    lol – I’m not brave enough to try it. I am running a marathon on Sunday and that will be the first time I have been away from all four children. I will be gone around 6 hours…don’t talk to me about preparation lol #FridayFrolics
    Mummy Fever recently posted…Family-friendly dining: part oneMy Profile

    Reply
  11. jeremy@thirstydaddy
    June 12, 2015 at 12:52 pm (2 years ago)

    I make my mom get to the house an hour early so that I have plenty of time to go over the same stuff I tell her every time, over and over. Drives her nuts
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…Boys With CarsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:52 pm (2 years ago)

      ha ha! You’d think she had never done it before 😉

      Reply
  12. Lins @Boo & Maddie
    June 12, 2015 at 11:35 am (2 years ago)

    Oh bless, I don’t have kiddies but totally appreciate how overwhelming it must feel to be separated from them (my husband feels this way when go away and leave our dog ;). I was very honoured earlier this year when one of my girlfriends spent her first night away from her baby girl at my place, I really wasn’t expecting her to but it was very lovely x #TheList
    Lins @Boo & Maddie recently posted…Dreaming of BathroomsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:50 pm (2 years ago)

      That is a lovely honour. And you are a great friend to recognise what an honour it was!

      Reply
  13. Silly Mummy
    June 12, 2015 at 12:07 pm (2 years ago)

    Haha. This is brilliant! I’d be a stressy nightmare (& leave a TWENTY page essay!) But then it’s moot anyway: my youngest has decided that Mummy will not leave her side under any circumstances for more than 10 seconds (she’s in that stage!) #FridayFrolics
    Silly Mummy recently posted…‘Hello, Dave. Is Dave There?’ *My Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:51 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m with you on the essay. Hope your little one isn’t in this stage too long! x

      Reply
  14. Emily
    June 12, 2015 at 10:38 am (2 years ago)

    Oh this is so true. I had a similar experience venturing out for the first time without baby or husband in tow. Was marvellous… For about two hours. And then a) remembered they existed and b) missed them.

    Thanks for hosting #fridayfrolics! x

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:50 pm (2 years ago)

      I wrote a post a while ago about needing a mummy badge when I’m out without the kids! I’m so sad!

      Reply
  15. Talya
    June 12, 2015 at 6:55 am (2 years ago)

    I am away at the moment and have totally been experiencing all of those – about to enter homecoming stage so you are definitely not alone here! x #FridayFrolics

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:49 pm (2 years ago)

      Hope the cuddles were good x

      Reply
  16. Claire
    June 12, 2015 at 6:41 am (2 years ago)

    You summed it up perfectly. I could relate to each of these so well – although we still haven’t had the chance to take an overnight vacation from parenthood. Someday! 🙂
    Claire recently posted…Stop Giving My Kids SugarMy Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:48 pm (2 years ago)

      It is nice to remember who we were before, no matter how hard it may be!

      Reply
  17. Mum's Hideout
    June 12, 2015 at 6:27 am (2 years ago)

    Oh the excitement of wearing dangly earrings and knowing they won’t be pulled out!
    This post made me giggle a lot 🙂
    Mum’s Hideout recently posted…Heavenly Hideout: Spa Review #1My Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm (2 years ago)

      And a bag without rice cakes in it!

      Reply
  18. Kate
    June 12, 2015 at 6:15 am (2 years ago)

    Yep, yep, and yep – mine are three and five now but I still get all funny about leaving them! Brilliant post #fridayfrolics
    Kate recently posted…The alternative A to Z of motherhoodMy Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Kate

      Reply
  19. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    June 12, 2015 at 6:07 am (2 years ago)

    Fab post! Hoping to experience some separation ourselves in t-minus four weeks. Would like to avoid the anxiety but suspect it is unavoidable. I survived so he’ll be fine with my parents….right? Right?

    #fridayfrolics
    Mama, My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows recently posted…My name is Mama and I have a problem.My Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 17, 2015 at 12:45 pm (2 years ago)

      Mine always come back from my parents sugar crazed loons. What happens at Grandmas stays at grandmas!

      Reply
  20. Lucy @ bottlefor2
    June 11, 2015 at 6:10 pm (2 years ago)

    Ah I hear you. I go through all of this too. So true! You just cant help but worry. I think that’s what leads to the over-consumption of wine! #brilliantblogposts
    Lucy @ bottlefor2 recently posted…One Year On: The break upMy Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 11, 2015 at 8:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Absolutely! Then that leads to showing random strangers who don’t give a crap pictures of your kids!

      Reply
  21. Gretta
    June 11, 2015 at 11:30 am (2 years ago)

    I completely understand how you felt. I have 3 under 5 I haven’t left them much but I do feel very empty without them. #brillblogposts
    Gretta recently posted…Maintaining a Good Facebook ReachMy Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 11, 2015 at 8:03 pm (2 years ago)

      It’s hard. But I do think a bot of time away once in a while helps revitalise Mummy!

      Reply
  22. Sophie @ Mum, M & More
    June 9, 2015 at 7:53 pm (2 years ago)

    I completely know what you mean. I would love to get away for a day or 2 without kids, but in reality I know that I will be fretting and worrying that she will be ok. The welcome home is deaf the best though! 🙂 #twinklytuesday x
    Sophie @ Mum, M & More recently posted…One Lovely Blog Award.My Profile

    Reply
    • Claire
      June 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm (2 years ago)

      I think it does us good once in a while. Once you get past the stress!

      Reply

1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on The 7 Stages of Separation Anxiety

  1. […] The 7 Stages of Separation Anxiety This post from Claire had me nodding along and laughing. She writes about mums going through the 7 stages of separation anxiety when we leave our children and so much of it rings true! Double edge sword though – we long to have time to ourselves but then when we do, we can’t stop thinking/worrying about our children and wondering if they are ok! In my 5 years of being a mum though  I have actually never been away from my boys for even a night! Evenings/days out yes but not a full night. Definitely something for me to check off my to-do list. @lovelifeanddd […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *






CommentLuv badge