Thursday, 6 January 2011

I don't want to go.

Ok.  First off, I'm a spoilt brat.  Clearly I want to go.  Clearly I am a very lucky girl who has a very lovely husband who spoils her rotten.  Clearly I should be jumping for joy with excitement.  But....

...On Tuesday, L and I, courtesy of her best friend moving there, B having a load of air miles that he's uninvited and un-hinted-at offered to us, and a pair of very loving and tolerant grannies, are off to Singapore for six days.  A and S are staying here.   They will be looked after very capably by B and his mother for the first four days, then he'll take them down South and my mother will take over the granny role for the last two days, before we get collected from Heathrow on the following Monday.  They couldn't be in better hands.

It's a minimum of 26 degrees in Singapore.  It is clean. It is tidy. We have free accommodation with utterly lovely people (and I'd be calling them that even if they weren't putting us up).  We can swim, and potter, and shop.  I will have only one child to look after, and someone else will be cooking for her.


While I am looking after my one child, my babies, my tiny, defenceless, two-year-old, obstinate, stroppy, wonderful babies, are going to be a million* miles away.  What if something happens?  What if something happens to one of them and I can't get back? What if something happens to me, and I never get back? There are planes, and motorways, and icy roads, and illnesses, and accidents of unimaginable kinds to contend with.  What am I thinking leaving them for so long to go so far away?

A, in particular, is not making this easier.  I think she knows.  She's at that stage where she understands a lot more than she can say, and I think she knows.  I think she realises I'm going and I'm certain she doesn't want me to.  For the first time ever, I'm having to sit in their room with them until she falls asleep because she won't let me leave (and now she's capable of climbing out of the cot - and I don't think it's fair to take the sides off and then leave them with other people for a week - I can't leave until I know she's not going to take a nosedive).

I actually tried to explain to her tonight.  I sat and I stroked her hand through the bars, and I told her I was going away but that I would not be gone long and I would do everything I can to be back to her soon.  And I find myself thinking, again, so that I bore myself and can't sleep: "But what if I can't? What if I'm not?"

And I know, I really do, that as soon as we're on that plane, and L, who is beside herself with excitement, has settled down with her own private telly, and I have a book, or a mindless movie, and the anticipation of all the wonderfulness ahead, that it will be ok.  That it will be more than ok.  I suspect that this may end up being L's first memory that she takes with her into adulthood, and I hope it's going to be a wonderful one. I'm determined to make it a wonderful one.  It's our girls' adventure, and we've been planning it for months. We are so very lucky.

But there's still a very big part of me that wishes we weren't going at all.

* Please note, distances may not be geographically accurate, but emotionally they're spot on.


  1. The dreaded seperation anxiety, I suffer hugely from it and breathe a sigh of relief to get home after just being away for a weekend (not that I do that often mind!). There is nothing I can say that will ease this for you, every parent has the exact same thoughts and worries. Enjoy your trip :) Jen

  2. I think that part of it is that this is the longest I'll have left them (although my mum did have them for five days when we moved house, which is reassuring me, now that I've remembered that) and certainly the furthest I'll ever have been - the next furthest was again when we moved house and other than that it's been three weekends away in total since any of them were born and we were never more than an hour away, on my insistence.... Oh well. It will get easier. I hope...

  3. I totally get it, excitement of going but worry about whether it's worth it. When I fly home to the UK on my own I worry to the point of wanting to cancel but I have to say, the welcome upon my return is well worth it. Have a lovely time, your lovely babies will be well looked after and will love it when their Mummy comes home.

  4. Oh I so understand this feeling, although I have never been away from the boys for more than once a night. It is the mummy dilema and we will always be torn between them and us.

    But a recharged mum is a better mum, have fun and have a little tiny drink for me

  5. I totally get where you're coming from. I remember the feeling of complete panic when I went to Aberdeen for the day. Everything was, of course, fine.

    You might want to follow @kimifan on Twitter. She has a 3 year old and an 8 month old. At the end of last September she went to Singapore on her own to see the Grand Prix and she felt similarly anxious, but had a great time.

    Hope you have great fun:-)

  6. Oh but you will love it! She says, understanding completely because I freak out every time I do it too. Did you ever see the post before we went away last year (resulting in the birth of Charlie nine months later, but I suppose you're not in that kind of danger :-) ) - I explain my method to making this understandable and stress-free to the children. (Present, obviously.)

    Sorry about the profanity. Well, I'm not sorry really. It makes sense when read with the post just before. Otherwise it's just rude. Actually, it stays rude even if you know. Nevermind. The strategy works perfectly.

  7. Nearly a month later it feels a bit silly to be replying, but suffice to say it was, as you all predicted, absolutely fine. L and I had an amazing time, I didn't miss them at all (except on the one occasion B put them on the phone) and they absolutely loved being spoiled by their grannies and not being bossed around by their elder sister.

    Just what we all needed. But so nice to be back with them too.


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