Letting my daughter go travel around the world created so many mixed emotions for me that I had to figure out how to deal with them. As a mom, it brings so many emotions mainly worry and anxiety in this world today.
When my girls were younger, I dreamed of them seeing the world. I grew up in a small town and didn’t get to see much of the world out of fear and to be honest lack of money. I wanted more for them. Fast forward and the girls are grown, women. My youngest sits her father and myself down and tells us she is planning a trip to the other side of the world. At that moment I held my breath and tried to stay focused on not crying. Didn’t work the tears started to stream down my face.
What do I do? What do I say? The “SMOTHER” in me is scared to death and the other side of me is happy that she will get to see and experience things I didn’t get to. Of course, the other side doesn’t come out very often when it comes to my children. I give her my list of demands that I need to be okay with this. She checks off my list and gives me everything I requested. Damn it, I thought if I made the list long enough this would never happen. She went.
Letting Her Go Travel
The day arrives for her to hop on that plane and go to the other side of the world for 4 weeks. Day one I can’t eat and I can’t relax. Every bad thought you can ever imagine and some so extreme that people would never have think of. I want to be happy for her, but my fear and worry overtake my thoughts.
At night, I lay in bed waiting for her to message or call, just little note to say she is safe. My phone goes wherever I go. I’m like a thirteen-year-old girl. When she sends the message that she is done with her exploring for the day and back at her hotel, I can breathe and relax for 8 hours before the worry starts all over again. Of course, when she’s sleeping, I must work. When I can sleep, she is out exploring, and I have to lie awake and worry. I think I’m getting a total of 4 hours a night now. I’m counting the days down until she is back on American soil. These days are taking forever to get crossed off.
Waiting for Communication from my daughter
While she is gone, we use the “Whats” app to communicate. The messages I do receive are of beautiful locations and photos of her that make me think how grown up she looks and changing in front of my eyes. These are few moments of fleeting relief but then immediately followed up with an over powering anxiety. Everyone is telling me to relax, how beautiful the photos are, how proud I should be of her, and be happy, but I can’t.
Mixed Emotions when BK Visits
A few days before she arrives back home, BK comes to visit to distract me. It was a great distraction, well not all of it as I stood in a line for over 30 minutes to meet Anna and Elsa. I figured she did travel 1200 miles for me, I could stand in line for her. BK’s daughter is younger than my girls so I always have to take the path first. This helps balance us especially when emotions are high around our daughters. It’s the day before my daughter’s arrival and I turned to my husband and tell him that it’s strange she has not texted to say she is at the airport. I start to panic, again every irrational thought is going through my head. We start trying to figure out the time change, he looks at me and tells me she doesn’t arrive the day I thought she was coming home. She is actually coming home one day later than I thought. It was a good thing BK was visiting or I would have cried the whole day. I take a deep breath.
It’s 5:15 am the day of her arrival I jump out of bed as someone told me Santa has arrived. She is back home and safe. As I sit and listen to all her stories and look at the beautiful photos,
Managing Emotions – Worry Steals Time
Wonder why I was so worried. I look back and think of things I could have done to make these past 4 weeks less stressful. We all worry at times but what we do to reduce that worry is what is important to manage stress and anxiety. I have learned there are things we can’t change so we need to learn how to embrace them. When she was gone, I should have stayed focused on my fitness and diet. It was very easy to get off track and just eat the potato chips and drink the wine and now it’s much harder to get back on track. When I’m not taking care of myself, I’m not good for anyone else. It’s so hard being a mom sometimes that we let the worry for our kids overtake us.
My Daughter’s Next Trip & Emotions
When she takes her next journey, I will take that worry and head right to the gym and not to the kitchen for the big bag of potato chips.
Volunteering makes me happy so next time I will pick up more volunteering spots at the Ronald McDonald House. Next time I will journal more to get the overwhelming emotions on paper in the hope that it releases them more. I promise to myself I will worry less?