It’s pretty well known that babies experience separation anxiety – from the age of around seven months upwards, when they begin to understand ‘object permanence’ which basically means that they realise things can still exist even though they can’t see them. A handy thing to know. Except, that also means that they know if their mummy has disappeared she’s probably still around, and they want her back. Which is where the crying and the anxiety sets in.
But not so much is said about the separation anxiety of a Mummy. And that’s exactly what I’m experiencing at the moment – with a four day European work trip looming which means I won’t see my children for four times longer than I’ve ever left them before.
When I say it like that it perhaps doesn’t sound so bad. But it still feels pretty bad to me.
I explained to the Wee Man and Bubby D this morning that Mummy is going on a big aeroplane, and Daddy will be looking after them. The Wee Man was excited, as I promised him that Daddy would help him carry on painting his ‘plate snake’ (Daddy does not know this yet, but he will by the time he gets home, I’m guessing). Bubby D looked fairly indifferent as the nursery whisked her off to get ready for an outing to the shops.
But I felt like crying.
I know they’re in good hands. I know they’ll have a whale of a time enjoying some ‘Daddy days’. But I’ll miss my cuddles and snuggles, and demands to read ‘Peekamoo’ for the fifth time in a row. I’ll miss the ‘I don’t want that yoghurt, I want this one which is exactly the same but is the Chosen One’. And I’ll miss knowing that if they need me, I can be there and reassure them that everything is ok.
Four days doesn’t seem like a long time in many ways. But right now, it’s feeling like a long time to me.