Separation anxiety (at 35)



Yesterday, I overheard somebody telling her friend how happy she was with what she had achieved this year. The nosy neighbour part of me (about 99.98 per cent) loitered with intent, eager to hear what she had done. Unfortunately, two shrieking boys scuppered this plan.

At home I racked my tired brain for my 2014 achievements, my overly optimistic list of goals had long been turned into a chocolatey finger stained paper aeroplane.In fact, that crumpled list has tormented me daily with a niggling sense of failure at not being able to do the simplest thing.

However, my 2015 resolution is to stop beating myself up about what I haven’t achieved and focus on what I have. No matter how minuscule. And in the spirit of onwards and upwardsness , I ¬†gave myself a pat on the back for once having a shower for longer than 37 seconds and for the day that the boys wore nearly almost matching socks. Go me! But in light of this impromptu awards ceremony, my achievement of 2014 was going away for a whole 71 hours, 26 minutes and 49 seconds completely on my own, not a wetwipe in sight (apart from the one moulded to my shoe).

This is nothing compared to living with wolves or climbing a mountain in rollerblades, but for me it’s up there. We were supposed to be going to a wedding, all four of us, but the day we were due to fly, the menfolk all decided to be snotty, coughy and pukey. Cue, a tear fuelled Jeremy Kyle style email to the bride telling her of my plight and apologising profusely for missing the wedding. As I pressed send, I felt properly awful and this is when I heard a few stern teachery voices ( mostly my Mum’s) telling me to go solo! Knees knocking, the furthest and longest I had been away from the boys before was not very long or far at all. (You could measure the distance with a trundle wheel and not get tired) But I knew that I would regret not going more than staying, so I armed S with ibuprofen and chocolate and the boys with a sick bowl and an early Christmas present which appeased wails of ” Mummies can’t go on aeroplanes, it’s not allowed, the police will shout” and shut the door with a nervous thud and went on my way. Only to walk back through the door a minute later to get my boarding pass which was on the floor heading for the paints.

The journey was long, I cleared all my phone messages, ate the family bag of crisps which still left approximately 70 hours and 41 minutes to get through. On the jampacked plane, I felt smug to have a whole row to myself until the air hostess asked me if there were three members of my party missing and I burst into tears. Pathetic, I know. This was the first time in nearly five years that I had been properly away from the boys due to, if I am honest mostly lack of confidence and fear. The idea of being away from them filled me with utter dread , I didn’t really know how to be me anymore , I was a Mum now and seemed to have lost belief in myself as an individual. To a degree, I needed them more than they needed me.

You will be pleased to hear that you can now put down your screechy violin , as after boring a few people with videos of the boys doing not a lot and offering to look after somebody’s son, I got a grip. A proper grown up one and from that moment on and I had the most fun ever. The wedding was incredible, I met lots of new people, didn’t end up covered in snot (just champagne) and I caught up with old friends and had conversations with a beginning, a middle and an end. Novel.

I got home bursting at the seams with excitement to see the boys who were bursting with excitement to get their little painted hands on the Lego surprise I had promised them. Everybody was happy and brimming in their new found role reversal confidence.Every now and again, O asks me when I’m going away again because he really needs some Lego. It took me a long time to achieve that goal, but as my Mum just reminded me it also took me a long time to take the stabilisers off my bike, but I did it. Eventually.