6 Emotional Stages of Leaving Your Kids for Vacation
I've been meaning to share this story for a while now. Last fall, I went on a short trip with a friend and left my kids at home in the qualified hands of their father. I had never gone anywhere without them, so my mom guilt was strong!
As a courtesy, I have outlined the 6 emotional stages of leaving your kids - so you know you're not alone!
Stage 1: Guilt (a few days before): As I got closer to my departure date, the guilt stated to set in. How could I just ditch my husband for three days? Would he feel overwhelmed or stressed because I left? Would my kids be sad? Would they miss me too much? Do I really need a vacation?
Stage 2: Worry (the day I'm supposed to leave) What happens if I die in a car accident on the way out-of-town? What if there is a natural disaster and I'm separated from my kids? What if something happens to my family while I'm gone? (these were REAL THOUGHTS going through my head. I know, dramatic)
Stage 3: Sadness (After I left). The drive there: I miss my babies. Seeing other children at the supermarket: That kid is so cute, I miss my babies. Seeing a child on a movie: I really miss my babies, I wonder what they're doing? When they face timed me that night: My babies got bigger! How did they grow so quickly? I miss my babies.
Stage 4: Relief (the next morning): Wow, I didn't have to wake up at all in the middle of the night. I slept in - is it really 7:30? I seriously only have to feed myself? Wow, this is easy and awesome!
Stage 5: More guilt (later that day): I'm having a really good day, I wonder if my husband is having a hard time. I hope he's not having a hard time. I'm going to call him.
Stage 6: Calm (after the phone call): Wow, he was doing the dishes and took the kids to a children's museum. My son sounded really happy. I guess I can let myself enjoy my vacation now.
There you have it. The roller-coaster of emotions I experienced during my 3 day trip away from my children.
If you don't feel this way when leaving your kids, that's great! Please share your secret, because I would love to experience less guilt next time.