Help! My Kids Are Going to Camp and Won't Let Me Go With Them!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My two daughters are going to sleep-away camp for the first time this summer. They're very excited to be gone a week, but I'm mostly nervous. I don't want to spend the entire time they're away fretting and worrying about how they're doing and if they miss me, but I don't know what to do to relax. My husband wants the two of us to take a little romantic trip, but I'm not sure that's a good idea and it might make me even more anxious. Help!
Paranoia Self Destroia
Credit Image: Peter Blanchard on Flickr
Dear Paranoia Self Destroia,
Your letter couldn't be timed better because I, too, am sending my kids away to camp for the first time this summer. And I, too, am a total fretter. And I, too, have already ordered night-vision goggles and a pup tent so I can set up a high-tech reconnaissance area in the woods behind my kids' cabins and take bi-hourly notes. You know, just to be super sure they're okay because the camp website may not be giving me the full picture.
Wait—I just realized you didn't say you were doing that last part. Haha! I'm, uh, not doing that last part, either! Kidding! Don't tell the counselors!
Anyway, because I knew I'd most likely moon around the house worrying like a paranoid weirdo while my kids were gone, I've already taken steps to take my mind off of them. Step One: schedule a contractor to come remodel two bathrooms in my house. Step Two: Well, there's really no step two. Maybe step two is me running over to the neighbor's house to use their facilities because I don't want to pee at the Chevron station; I don't know quite yet.
But my point is, since you're already anticipating the problem, nip it in the bud and make plans now. Schedule a project, sign up for a class, call friends and set up lunches and dinners, etc. That type of stuff. This is an amazing opportunity to do things you can't normally do when the kids are home, so take advantage of it. No need for a babysitter! You can stay out until after midnight with no guilt! Dance naked in the living room! EAT ALL OF THE SNACKS.
As far as your husband wanting to leave town? I have plenty of friends who have done that before and they have loved it. It's a nice way to reconnect with your spouse while not having to worry about finding grandparents or family friends to watch the kids. (And if going out of town still seems scary, there's nothing wrong with renting a hotel room in your own city for the night.)
You've no doubt chosen the camp with care, so you know that if anything goes wrong, it will be handled appropriately whether you're two blocks or two hundred miles away. I really believe that camp is a great way for kids to become independent. And also, god willing, their mothers, too. Good luck!
More from parenting