October 19, 2016 6 Comments Family, Travel

Travel Series: Separation Anxiety

Aloha Friends! This blog is coming to you from sunny Oahu! Chad had a work trip come up that gave us an opportunity to spend some time in Hawaii, and we took it! Today’s post is all about my kids and how I deal with some very real separation anxiety that I have about leaving them behind.

When this trip popped up we really struggled with whether or not to bring the kids.Grant and Stella would FREAK OUT over the place we are staying and have the best time. I also think they would handle the day of travel well {it took us almost 12 hours to get here from the time our plane took off from St. Louis}…but then there is Beau. Beau came with Chad and I when we came to Hawaii last summer because he was only 7 months old…but he is now almost 2…and you guys, I can’t even imagine that airplane ride{s} with him. omg. They would be crazy…on top of that, we wouldn’t be able to eat out, we’d have to come in for naps, the massive amounts of stuff we would have to pack from diapers to pack n plays to car seats…on and on…Ands lets be very real in that Hawaii is super expensive to get to, and so we really only want to take the kids when it would be fun for ALL involved ;-P

BUT, I couldn’t leave Beau home solo. No way. Where 1 goes, they all go. Soooooooo, we decided to leave them all this go around. And this decision was SUPER hard for me.  You see, while I don’t have to deal with much anxiety in my day-to-day life, my separation anxiety when it comes to leaving my kids is pretty serious…like can actually ruin a good time.

It’s really not even so much the being away, it’s the leaving.  It’s in the week and the days prior to going that I start to really stress and worry and convince myself we are somehow going to die on this trip and who will raise my kids {we do actually know who would raise them, we have a will, but you know what I mean}…will they know how much I love them, and on and on. BUT, and this is major, I am learning how to cope and handle this!! So this is kind-of a long and wordy post, but if you have a hard time leaving your kiddos or are crazy like me and worry about worst case scenarios, read on, because I think I can help.

First of all, my girlfriend sent me this in an email once, and I found it super calming…so calming and reassuring in fact I printed and keep a copy in my wallet, to pull out and read on airplanes, carrides, or whenever crazy likes to kick in gear.

Secondly, {and don’t judge}, I leave the kids gifts. Sounds weird maybe, but it has helped my pre-leaving anxiety more than anything else.  For each day I leave them, I wrap up a gift {usually one for the whole crew, but occasionally they each get a little one}….an activity or game or something to play with.  This a)gets the kids excited about each additional day we are away and gives them something to look forward to and b)it helps the sitter or whoever has the kids by providing a new activity or game for everyone. I wrap a present for each day, and a new book for each night. A new bedtime story helps make bedtime a little smoother while we are gone. {In each bag is also the kids clothes for that day…just one thing to make things easier for the sitter!}img_4808 These are NOT big, crazy gifts, and I am definitely not trying to raise spoiled children, but wrapping and buying these gifts totally came ME down. HUGELY!!! img_4809img_4812 One day I have a bunch of bath stuff {bath crayons, foam, bath crackle}, another day I wrapped up little handheld foam rockets for them to play with in my parents back yard.  They came from Target’s dollar section but when I Facetimed today, Beau was laughing and playing with in the background. That does big things for this mama’s soul {and my nerves}. I have new play dough, this new board game, a pack of Disney figurines I found at Marshalls…you get the drift.  One day I got them those emoji pillows I’m sure you’ve seen everywhere so they would have something to snuggle while we are away…and I was so excited wrapping them because I can only imagine Grant’s face when we opens his “poop” emoji one. Big mom points there.Processed with VSCO with t1 preset And I ordered this for them to share, which I know they will have fun playing with, but we can also practice handwriting on, and will be awesome for car travel in the future!

Here are some of the other things I’ve left for the kids:

On top of leaving them goodies, I also make sure all the kids have one of my hair ties on their wrists when I leave them {I posted about this on insta at the beginning of the school year…click here to read}. Very small thing, but I know it helps them, and me, as I currently have 3 on my arm.

Anyway, aside from the above, I make sure to leave them with people who love them and who they love. I try and keep them busy in their activities and I notify all my girlfriends that I’ll be gone incase I send an SOS that the babysitter needs some help. We FaceTime a lot and check in with them. Our parents are also both really good about sending us lots of pictures.  AND I pray. I pray for their safety and our safety. I pray for their anxiousness and for mine. I pray that they have fun and enjoy this time away from us, and that we really soak up our time away from them.

We are fortunate in that we have a whole army willing to help make this trip happen. So, now that we’ve landed safely, the fun can begin. The kids are having a blast and my anxiety is super low. Happy Hump day friends! And a big thank you if you are one of those special people helping with our babies!