I went on a business trip earlier this week. I was away from the little ones for 3 days, on the other side of the world.
Naturally I was anxious before I went about how they’d react, how I’d react, and whether they’d be ‘unsettled’ by it. Yes, that dreadful word that enters our vocabulary the moment we become parents and, so far, shows no signs of departing.
I put them to bed on Sunday night before heading to the airport. Given the time difference it wasn’t going to be easy to talk to them on the phone, which I decided was probably the best thing for all of us. However, having been away for ‘two sleeps’ already, I decided to call home late one night, catching them just before bedtime.
It was lovely to hear their little voices and, much to my delight, they sounded very happy, totally preoccupied with supper and the daily goings on, and, in fact, quite ‘settled’. My son did eventually ask me IF, not WHEN, I was coming home. A good sign, I think…
Before I left last weekend, I read an interview in the Saturday Times with Harriet Harman who said that ‘being a mother means feeling guilty all the time’. Clearly the endless worry and anxiety is a permanent feature of life with children, however, five years in, I feel that I might just be making inroads as far as the guilt is concerned. So Harriet, I’m afraid I disagree.