How to deal with separation anxiety when you’re a homeschooler

BACK TO BLOGOSPHERE

Hello homeschooling moms/dads and tots! Back to blogging here. It’s been awhile. My mind was put on hold and so were my fingers because we went on a mini-vacay. This time, there’s a huge difference. We left our homeschooling kids under the care of my parents, my girls’ grandparents. How I’m missing them much! The house is so empty. It’s so quiet. No little hands are messing up the house except that of my husband’s and mine! Ugggh. I’m missing them so badly that there’s a huge hole in my heart.

It’s Feb 11 already, almost 1.5months have passed. Time’s passing by so quickly I could hardly catch up. I have so much time in my hands right now because my kids are not with me for a couple of months. But it seems that the more time I have, the more that I could not get my tempo yet. Most probably because I couldn’t believe it yet that I’m having this grand time of my life. No. I’m currently undergoing a separation anxiety moment from my girls. For a couple of days, I was crying. My kids were not crying. They were having some homesick moments but they knew just how to deal with it by putting their clenched fists on their chests while saying ‘COURAGE’. Oftentimes, I find myself doing that.

My kids are so resilient. I realized that this week. My youngest would often say, “I wanna touch you or feel you, Mom” and those words would often pierce me. But she wouldn’t cry. There was a time that she was feeling so sad because she missed me so much but when I was able to talk to her, she didn’t cry or show any sign that would make me disoriented from feeling guilty of leaving them for a couple of months. I remember when I was their age and until even when I’m already grown up, I would often cry when there were attacks of homesickness. I realized that being with my kids 24×7 for 5&7 years and counting, respectively, have made a huge difference in the lives of my kids. I knew in life that there will be bouts of physical separation between and among us. Today’s separation period from them is helping us both in dealing with all the times that we will be separated physically and especially when it’s time for them to go solo.

Regarding my daughters’ homeschool program while on vacay, we hired two teachers who will be supervising them. We tried to enroll them in a physical school back home but we realized that they were no fit for my daughters’ needs. We’re currently awaiting for my daughters’ new homeschool program. We’re done with our first school because it was so tedious and rigid that we all ended up exhausted, burnt out, and not able to enjoy life while learning thereby losing the essence of the flexibility that homeschooling brings. After so much consideration and sleepless nights, I finally found the one that will suit us fine. I hope.

Enough of intro. That was a longish post already. What brought my fingers here was to blog about dealing with separation anxiety when you’re a homeschooler. As I told you earlier, it’s my first time to be away from my kids and that’s killing me softly. Oh don’t get me wrong. My kids are in the safest hands, love and care of my parents. They’re the best when it comes to child care and pampering! My youngest daughter would often ask her grandpa to buy her toys though! Hahaha. It’s just that, you know, it’s more difficult for a homeschooling parent to be away from their kids than how their kids would feel. Learn from my experience on how to deal with separation anxiety when you’re a homeschooling parent.

SEPARATION ANXIETY

In this post, I’ll be talking about parental separation anxiety and separation anxiety in children.

Wikipedia defines separation anxiety as a disorder wherein an individual experiences excessive anxiety  regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment. While this is common for young kids, parents do experience separation anxiety.

Here’s how I am trying to deal with the separation anxiety thingy between me as a mother and my kids:

  1. Cry your heart out days or weeks prior to leaving your kids temporarily. I did that. My husband didn’t. So he cried out loud yesterday while we were eating out. He didn’t have a cleansing of his emotions while we were still in the province with our kids. Though crying out loud prior to leaving doesn’t guarantee that you will be homesick-free from them anymore as days go by, at least, you won’t be crying out loud when homesickness attacks. It might just probably some shedding of a tear or two whenever you miss your kids. Yes, it’s natural. Release it when you have to.
  2. Create a schedule that will make you busy. Being a mother, a full-time one, it’s not unusual that we will feel that pang in our heart whenever we remember our kids while being away from them. We will remember them in almost every detail in our house, starting from their clothes, their books, their artworks, their favorite songs, their favorite TV shows and the places you went to with them. To combat excessive homesickness and separation anxiety from our kids, create a schedule that will make you ultra busy.
  3. Learn a skill or two. What is it that you have long been wanting to do but you haven’t yet because of lack of time? Now is the perfect time to do that. Remember that you have a time for yourself, too. Don’t lose yourself while taking care of your kids and husband. Oftentimes, mothers are so tired of being tired that we don’t have the time to look after ourselves. When we have this rare opportunity of being away from our kids temporarily, make yourself a priority. Your future self will thank you. When it’s time for our grown up kids to finally leave away from our nest, we’ll be able to make use of the skills we learned.
  4. Realize that separation anxiety is normal. Prepare your kids in handling their emotions first. This is both normal for kids and parents. Go with the flow. Don’t resist the feeling. Learn how to handle it well by first dealing with your kids’ separation anxiety. Prepare them while they’re still young. In our case, our kids have handled the separation thingy more professionally than us, their parents. This astounded us both! I mentioned earlier that this is our first time to be separated from them and yes, we’re continents apart! You’d realize how it was difficult for us parents than our kids to be away from one another. Here’s what I did to prepare them. While homeschooling them (that meant being with them 24×7 for 5&7years and counting already), I make it a point to leave them once a week. I need to do that to find balance in my life as a mom and person. It’s important that there’s a distinction between personhood and motherhood. Know more about that at The New Rich Mom. I have prepared a special gesture that will help my kids remember my love and warmth when they’re away from me and until they fly solo. COURAGE. That’s a powerful word that has created an impact in them. I told them to touch their heart(s) with clenched fist(s) as they say, COURAGE! When we were about to leave the province, my mother told me that there’s a reversal in emotions already. It’s my 1st born who was asking if I cried. There was even a time when she said she’d not go with me to the airport even though she’d wanted to because I would cry. In the end of course, I asked my kids to go with us to the airport. Yeah, I cried really hard there at the airport and even at the airplane. When they were about to go home that time and during that day, my mom told me that my first born was teary eyed as she put her clenched fist on her chest/heart. Fast forward to several days, they don’t miss us that much. UPDATE as of 4:23PM today, Feb 11. I was calling my two girls to say goodnight (9:23PM back home), my youngest daughter said that she doesn’t miss us yet! Hahaha. Sweet Lord. See what I mean? When you develop your kids’ resilience, the more that it will benefit you as a parent. You will learn to be more resilient than you are, too. My 1st born told me that she misses me. We have this virtual hug that we give to each other when we do video calling. We also have virtual kisses.
  5. Spend more time at the church to nourish your soul. Prior to going home for our vacation, we joined a community at the church. So regularly, we meet for praise and worship. Yesterday, though, I cried because we sang the song that my kids usually sing. :d It’s a normal process, don’t worry. Through time, you will also be as resilient as your kids are.
  6. Watch or listen to inspirational videos/audios. From 1st day onwards, I have indulged luxuriously in watching or listening to videos/audios that are helpful in diverting my thoughts away from my kids. Not only that, I learn a lot from watching or listening to the videos/audios.
  7. Set aside a time to talk to your kids virtually. Yes, invest in a good Internet connection and smartphone. Download apps that will help you connect to your kids. Set a particular time wherein both of you and your kids are free to talk. Make sure you call them regularly so they will be able to remember you and you will see how they’re doing. You can still parent virtually even when your oceans and continents apart.
  8. Rest your mind if you have, too. When your homesickness and separation anxiety is wearing you down, rest your mind. Remember that everything is for the common good. My husband and I are quite relieved and we’re having some couple and individual moments. We have to shine and relearn how to take care of ourselves once again. We’re like sponge these days. We’re trying to do more while we have this separation moment temporarily from our kids. We know that our kids are in good hands with their grandpa and grandma. They’re doing good. We regularly call them. We make them feel that no distance can separate us. Our kids are enjoying their vacation. Our parents are feeling, for the first time, how to be grandparents for real to our kids. Our kids are enjoying their lessons with their teachers. Our kids will be more because of this separation exercise that we have.

Concluding Words

How are you dealing with separation anxiety? How are your kids dealing with separation anxiety? We are all undergoing a lot of emotions here when we are having separation anxiety. Someone said that EMOTION is energy in motion. It’s important to understand the emotions that we are going through when we are physically separated from our family members. Go through the emotion, the process, and then divert your energy in things and activities that will help you go through the feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, discomfort, feeling guilty and more during this separation phase. Always try to look at the positive side in everything.

Happy virtually mothering or parenting during this separation moment with your kids! 

COURAGE!

 

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