S is for… Sleepover Anxiety

Posted on 21st September 2010 in children/ cotton wool parenting/ empty nest syndrome/ family

For me that is, the kids aren’t phased at all…

My 10 year old went for his second sleep over Saturday night. I hate it, I feel so unsettled and have that permanent feeling that I’ve forgotten something, tinged with an underlying general anxiety.

My 9 year old hates it even more, he becomes very clingy (they share a room – they don’t need to but the 9 year old wanst to) so I have his anxiety to deal with on top of my own.

Liz Jarvis wrote a post not so long ago asking if people were ‘cotton wool parents‘ – hands up that’s me that is!

What surprises me about this is that I hadn’t even realised it (or acknowledged it?) until recently, I thought I was pretty laid back and that I was leading my children towards independence gracefully. They make their own breakfast, they put themselves to bed (although I go up and say goodnight and spend about 5 mins in their room), they tidy their own room (after mucho nagging) and we have ‘proper’ conversations about real things.

I guess the reason for my over protectiveness stems from being completely responsible for them when their dad left. I didn’t realise at the time quite how much going from joint to sole parenting had affected me.

I don’t leave them with babysitters (expect for very close family).

The 10 year old has a week away with the school coming up very soon, I’m not looking forward to it.

I used to think that empty nest syndrome was just an excuse for people with boring lives, now I can hear the clock ticking and I spend time trying to work out how to get a deadbolt fitted to the nest door!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Antonella 21st September 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Hi Lisa, I’m exactly the same. I thought it was because I’m an Italian mother and as such overprotective, but I’ve noticed that a few of mothers like me around. I’d rather have the house full with my children’s friends rather than let them go. I’m holding them as much as I can as it will soon come the time to let it go. Will i ever let go totally? I fear not. Ciao. A.

  • Reply Him Up North 26th September 2010 at 10:31 am

    Aww, it is completely natural to think that way. My OH is the epitome of a cotton wool parent. Our two are regular sleepoverers (is that a word?) but we always feel like we’re missing a limb when one of them is away. The one left behind has that “dog who’s had its bowl moved” feeling too. OH is dreading the day they fly the nest completely.

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