02 Jul
My Kid is Ready for Sleepaway Camp But I’m Not!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My only child heads off to his first sleepaway camp next week and I’m a nervous wreck. He’s only 9 years old and will be gone for 10 days. We checked out the camp and it seems fine, but it’s 50 miles away and that gives me a lot of anxiety. (And all of the Jerry Sandusky news isn’t helping my paranoid tendencies, either.) I’d like to relax while he’s gone and have some quality couple time with my husband. Any advice?

Signed,

My Baby is Leaving Me!

___________________________________

Dear My Baby is Leaving Me!,

This is exactly what is wrong with kids. They are so annoying when they are around and then we miss them terribly when they aren’t. It really defies logic.

One option is to not have kids in the first place and enjoy of lifetime of sunset walks and blissful quiet with your husband, but I’m really too late with that advice. Mouthy Housewives are not always known for their promptness. However, we can always be counted upon to make a perfectly blended margarita. Wait, where was I? Oh yes, camp!

To temper your anxiety, I would get the names of some parents whose kids have already attended the camp. Check in with them and make sure this is a good place to send your child. Also, there are lots of books like My Body Is Special: And Belongs to Me! that will help guide a discussion with your child on safety.

Even if this is the most amazing camp in the universe, you will likely be a nervous wreck until you drop off your son. As soon as you say goodbye, you will either throw up or want to throw up. This feeling will continue for at least 24 hours until it is replaced by another feeling. Something you haven’t felt in a while. Mother Fu@#ing Freedom!!!! (Yes, four exclamation points lady.)

Make lots of plans while your son is away. Dinner with other couples. Movie nights. Walks on the beach. Whatever you like to do. Because you can go out anytime. Whenever you want. Without booking a sitter.  Are you starting to feel better?

The time is actually going to speed by and all of sudden, your son will be home and you’ll be saying, “What are you doing here? It’s bingo night and all the raw fish you can eat at the Sushi Emporium. Your dad and I have plans, kid.”

And in that case, I hear there are camps where kids can go for 7 weeks.

Good luck,

Kelcey, TMH

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4 Responses to “My Kid is Ready for Sleepaway Camp But I’m Not!”

07.02.12#1

Comment by Carinn @welcometothemotherhood.

Mother Fu@$ing Freedom!!!! My kids are far too young for sleepaway camp but you just described my first vacation away with the hubs in 4 years.

I thought I would throw up the whole way to the airport. The first night I couldn’t sleep. By the 2nd day I couldn’t be seen without a local beer in my hand shouting Ole!

07.02.12#2

Comment by Angie Uncovered.

Your separation anxiety is totally normal. I’ve never felt it, but then again, I am probably not the best mom in the world. Kelcey is spot on with her recommendations. Your child is likely attending with at least 1 friend, which means he is not really alone. There will be plenty of adult supervision and most camps do take precautions to avoid alone time between counselors and children. Camps tend to focus on group activities so rest assured your child will be well taken care of.

Regardless, do your research and put on your biggest smile when you send the boy on his adventure. You don’t want your anxiety to spill over onto him and put a damper on what should be a growing and exciting milestone.

07.02.12#3

Comment by Plano Mom.

Just the first step. After this one, you’ll be fine. And Angie Uncovered is right – as a former camp counselor, most camps are highly structured regarding accountability and safety. Group outings, plus the general rule that no single child with a single adult is ever okay, help keep an atmosphere where predators have no place and its all about the kids.

Now, once you stop worrying in that way, don’t make a pact that you won’t talk about the kid, or that you’ll do something romantic every night. Just simply enjoy the fact that there is no responsibility, no lesson you have to be taught, no example to set, no rule to enforce. Have a great time…

N and Em's mom Reply:

I worked at a camp for 2 years, and I totally agree with Plano mom. I will add to this that no news is good news. If they need you, they will call 24/7.

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