Mom Summer Camp Separation Anxiety (It’s a thing)


I feel like there were so many things I learned about having kids before I actually had some of my own. But there was no book about dealing with your emotions for the first time you send your oldest child to overnight camp. Guys, I thought I was so ready for this growing up stuff, ready to let go, and let her be her. I would just stand there supportive, smiling and waving from the sidelines….I was SO WRONG!

I was a literal wreck. She spent the 2 nights before camp with her Dad, so I was already missing her, had a small panic attack about the impending drop off. And then we were there. We were walking up to the cabin room that will be her home for the week, and I am fending off tears, smiling with an arm around her shoulders, and then we enter the room. Girls are sitting in a circle on the floor chatting with their counselor, and getting to know each other (so many of my own wonderful camp memories camp flooding back seeing this…those were the days!)

This is where I went into hyper organized mom, making the bed, checking her stuff to make sure she had it all. All the while my inner dialogue going “You’ve got this mom, she will be fine, she is going to have so much fun, she is going to make great friends, and won’t miss you at all. “

Then on the way back from finishing checking her in at the lodge, she takes my hand. You guys SHE HELD MY HAND! My independent 11 year old, too cool for school child, was grasping my hand before I was about to leave her on her own for a week. I became a puddle inside.

We left her in her cabin. I made it just outside the door, and had to stop and breathe, and then made it another few steps, and then somehow all the way to the car before I started crying like a baby.

And now I miss her, like crazy big. This girl drives me crazy on a moment by moment basis and I can’t stop wondering what she’s doing. I stay up at night wondering if she fell asleep okay, if she made any friends, if she is too hot, wearing her sunscreen, or remembering to brush her teeth.

I know I’m being ridiculous, but it’s like I can’t stop the mom brain. And then I realize that this is just the beginning. From here on out she will keep leaving, for a week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, a month, and eventually…forever. OH MY GOODNESS! This is all too much to deal with!!!

So I will just keep telling myself to breathe, keep busy while she is gone, and most important…never let her know how hard this was!

I can’t wait to pick her up Saturday, to smile and listen to everything that she experienced on her adventure, how late she stayed up and how much candy she ingested and pretend that the last week was a breeze without her. But, I also might hug her just a few seconds longer than necessary.

Diana has never strayed far from home. After growing up on the east side of Madison, she is now raising her family in Middleton. She is a firm believer in finding humor in the chaos, that anything she sees (anywhere) she can probably DIY, and that good food can cure just about anything. She shares her life with her two wonderful daughters. She embraces their modern mixed family that has grown around them, and all the adventure it brings.


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