This Monday I dropped J off at his first ever all-day holiday camp experience. He was set to enjoy a week full of adventures surrounded by children from his class at school, and lots more besides. Bouncy castles, sack races in the field and lots more fun and games. There’s no way that I would have been able to have laid on the same level of entertainment. So why did I feel so dreadful after I’d dropped him off? It didn’t help that he started stroking my hand as we had to queue in line to get him registered. It was after all, unfamiliar surroundings and although he acts differently, I have to remember he is still only four.

Working Mum Association founder Nicola J Rowley

Once the paperwork was all taken care of, he went off with one of the members of staff who showed him to his class, where he spent the day with his friends and as far as I know everything passed off fine. He was delighted to see me at the end of the day and it sounded as if he’d had a great time.

So why then when I got home did I sit down to work and feel rotten? I spent much of the day on Monday beating myself up about him being there for the whole week. But the decision for him to be at the holiday camp was to help him gain confidence, have lots of fun and also for me to get my work done. It also means the more I have got through this week, the likelihood is I can have next week off to fully dedicate to him.

As I write this, we are on the final day of the week and I can tell that he’s reached his peak, and keeps asking does he still have to go to that school any more. This morning I told him it’s just one more day and then he gets to be with a combination of both me and his Dad for the next seven days. At the first mention of this, his little face lit up. He was genuinely so excited. So cue yet again me beating myself up about the decision for him to be at camp all week. In fairness, I did try to find an alternative play date solution for this final day of the week, but it just didn’t quite pan out.

I have absolutely no idea how we’re going to cope with the summer holidays at all!

What I do know though is that I need to stop doing this to myself, and I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in doing this either. Have you ever felt like it’s wrong to leave them somewhere? You know they will be fine when they’re settled but you can’t help but feel bad all the same. I’m sure there’s a way to counter it, but it’s made harder when you know that for the time being at least, they just want to be with you as much as possible.

Of course, I should just be super happy that he feels this way and leave the guilt mixed with separation anxiety at the gate. There will be many years ahead when he won’t want either of us around and will just be content with locking himself away in his room.

So my plea to you all is to not beat yourself up on any level. We’re helping them to grow up to be independent, full of confidence and resourceful. It is often the pressure we place on ourselves that means we end up as our own worst enemy.

I know that I’m going to at least try and park this feeling of ‘have I done the right thing’ as much as I possibly can. It doesn’t do me any good and let’s face it, by next week everything will all be forgotten; by both of us.

If you’re doing the juggle with the Easter holidays, it would be great to hear how you’re managing. And how on earth do you manage the six weeks at summer?

Whether you’re holiday juggling or otherwise, this post is written to send lots of love and support your way… x

PS If you haven’t already joined our closed Facebook group please head on over now – some exciting things are being planned for the weeks ahead and I’d love for you not to miss out… x