Why Do I Miss My Kid So Much after only 24 Hours?


My husband and I made the decision to have kids about four years into our marriage. We were both still young; 25 and 26. For us, the decision was a big one. We’d had plenty of time together. We’d traveled extensively. We’d established ourselves in our careers and we’d even built a home. We were financially capable of having children, we were very mature for our ages. We were pretty much – according to what I see in young adults that age these days – a dream come true for the age. We were responsible, fun, educated and we had a good time. We made the decision when we were in Hawaii celebrating my birthday for a week, and we were all in.

One of the biggest factors in our decision was the fact that we had done so much already, it felt like it was time. We’d been everywhere we wanted to go in the world, and we wanted to start a family. We told ourselves that we would still travel. We’d take our little one with us sometimes, and we’d leave that baby home sometimes with the grandparents so that we could focus on our marriage. We had it all figured out. We knew it. We wanted to keep our lives as much the same as they already were, but we wanted to add a baby to that.

I can say that despite the fact that we thought we had it all figured out, babies are never what you think that they are. They change your life more than you think that they will. But they also didn’t change our lives as much as we thought they would. We have four kids now, and we have managed to change our lives to accommodate our babies while still keeping it intact. We still have regular date nights. We still have vacations that do not involve the kids, and we have added vacations that do include the kids. We’re certainly not perfect, but we’ve really managed to work things out quite nicely for ourselves, mostly because we have a long list of things in our lives that are important to us.

One of the things that’s important to us is providing our children with experiences. Growing up, I didn’t get to travel much, and that is something that I promised myself I would do as an adult. I have done it as an adult, extensively. And it’s something that I wanted for my children. I want them to not only get to see the world, but I also want them to experience things. I want them to go places and see things they might not see where we live. We live in an ocean community in Florida. Our kids don’t see snow, or changing colors in the trees during the fall. They don’t experience real cold or anything other than fresh seafood. We want them to know what it’s like to experience all those things, so we take them around the world with us, and they love it. Sure, we do Disney trips and the usual with them, but we do love that our kids are well-traveled. We love that they know how to board a plane and how to go through a security checkpoint. We love that they understand time zones and mountains and snow and travel. We love that we get to make awesome memories with them.

But we also love our marriage. It’s kind of important to us, and by kind of, I mean super important to us. My husband is my best friend, and my favorite person in the world. He is the person with whom I have the most fun. We laugh, and we play and we enjoy one another. I love him endlessly, and sometimes I grow a little tired of sharing his attention with four small kids who adore him and love him and want to be with him all the time (they are so incredibly blessed to call him daddy), and I want a trip without the kids. And, I’m not going to lie, being a work-at-home mom, I need a break.

So we travel without the kids. The longest we’ve ever been away from them is 5 days, and that’s the longest I can do – even that is difficult. I miss the kids. My husband misses the kids. I remember during a 5-day trip to Napa Valley, we were so excited to leave the kids we almost floated out the door. They’d all been sick in the weeks before we left. They’d been fussy and difficult and we were tired and over it. We were sad to leave them, sure, but we were also aware enough to know we desperately needed a break and if said break happened to be in the heart of wine country with a lot of wine, well, who were we to complain?

The first day was a breeze. Travel, wine, hotels, dinner, wine, bed. It was nice. The second day, we woke up longing for our kids. We missed them so much. We wanted them to come crawling into our bed to wake us up and ask for pancakes and waffles and bacon. We wanted to sit down on the floor with them and play. We just missed them.  We always, always miss them so much when we are away from them, even when it’s only been 24 hours.

Why? Well, I don’t know about you, but I have a list of reasons. I miss my kids because they’re cool. They’re funny and they make me laugh. I miss my 7-year-old because she’s becoming such a little grown up. She winks at us, tries to involve herself in adult humor. She’s helpful and sweet, and very cuddly in the morning. I miss that when I’m not with her. I miss my 4-year-old because she is sharp and witty and sarcastic and brutally honest, and because she has the most expressive eyes and these big, gorgeous lips that I miss kissing every morning. She also likes to come into our room when she wakes up and stand in front of our faces, kiss us, tells us she loves us and then shout, “YUCK! Your ‘breaf’ smells!” before running out of our room in horror. It’s so cute. I miss the twins because they’re still babies. They’re 16-months, so they’re sweet. They’re cuddly and silly and they love to hug us and kiss us and dance and play and giggle. What’s not to miss?

Our kids are the little people we created, and we miss them because we miss every single hug and kiss that goes to a grandparent instead of to us. We miss everything that we miss, from new words to silly behavior to funny moments. We miss being with them because they’re ours. We love them. But at the end of the day, we miss them because we remember that no matter how much stress they’ve caused us in recent months, they’re worth every second of it, and that time away from them gives us time to miss them and be adults and appreciate them more so that when we come home, we are better parents to them than we were before we left.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images


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