We left Corben with his Nanna over the weekend and it hurt like hell. What made it worse was the fact we were enjoying ourselves immensely and the mum and dad guilt went into overdrive.
We are anxious at the best of times leaving Corben for any amount of time at all, with his nut allergy it makes everything much harder. If you then include leaving him over night and the reasons being so mummy and daddy can go off to a party and experience something solely for us, it just doesn’t sit right with either of us.
We both feel separation anxiety when leaving the boy with anyone other than each other. It’s irrational because it’s not like we do it often and when we do he isn’t at home with instructions on how to make his own microwave meal! He’s always left with family who are fully aware of his allergy and how important it is he only eats what we’ve provided in his own pack up. Medication and Epi-Pens are always easily accessible and we remind everyone how to use them every time. He’s fine!
It’s just so scary because however competant the person is he’s with they’re just not Donetta or myself. Parents intuition is built through learning habits and time spent with your child. You know every move they make, every sign you need to recognise, no-one can replicate that.
What I (David) struggle with personally, is that I know it’s irrational, I know he’s going to be OK and I know that spending time away from us with other people within our small tight-knit circle is important for his development…
…But it hurts so fucking much!
I know Donetta is the same, in fact Donetta is worse than I am which doesn’t help the situation at all. The emergence of this separation anxiety has massively escalated since Corben was diagnosed with a nut allergy for obvious reasons, it’s life-threatening! But, I remember before we even knew about his allergy, we both struggled to leave him with anyone other than each other. I didn’t really think that much about it back then as he was still only about 3 years old, I was and still am besotted with him, why would I want to leave him EVER?!
We have two girls too, the situation is entirely different with them though. They’re teenagers now and don’t have a life threatening allergy for a start, but also they’ve been going away to their dad’s every weekend and on holidays with him since they were little and it’s always been that way.
The problem we face now with Corben is that we home educate. This anxiety around leaving him is bound to have played a small part in that decision but only a small part added to another 100 reasons I could give you on the spot. His nut allergy again had a part to play, but there’s much more to that decision which we’ve explained a few times before but are more than happy to talk about home education if you want to get in touch.
So Corben obviously spends a lot of time with us but it’s healthy for him to spend time away from us too, different people and environments and that scares us to death.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, we’re tackling these moments one at a time and want to share this with you because I know so many of you will be having similar experiences.
This past weekend we were at a blogging event and left Corben from dinner time on the Saturday until the Sunday night. We had such a great time but constantly had Corben on our minds. We’ve been trying to tackle the guilt of this by rationalising the situation as we’ve already accepted most of our anxiety is quite irrational. He’s had time with his Nanna who he loves and is always happy to spend time at her house and was the centre of attention for an entire weekend. He’s had some one-on-one time in a different environment to home and had the opportunity to quiz someone else other than us with his inquisitive mind. We’ve not only had a great time but it was an excellent opportunity for us to help build our blog and brand too, which inevitably benefits the whole family, so wasn’t solely for us.
Once you start to try and rationalise the situation it does feel easier to handle. We’ve all had a good time and then re-united refreshed from the norms of our everyday lives which is another benefit to the weekend we’ve just had.
We’re really trying to focus on the positives and the obvious benefits to having time apart. Not too often obviously but it’s absolutely necessary for both us and Corben, we will all benefit from us finding a happy medium with this separation anxiety and parent guilt experience we’re going through. I don’t think we will ever be entirely happy but we’re trying to be rational and practical about it.
Do you feel like this? How do you cope and/or try to improve the situation?
Thanks for reading,
David and Donetta 🙂