What Does It Mean When I Don’t Miss My Kids?

A common question I heard asked among the attendees at BlogHer ’10 was: “So, do you miss your kids?”

I felt like a troll each time I answered, “No, not really.”

If pressed about it (which I wasn’t), I might have offered “Well, we did just spend four weeks on the road together,” or “I spend every day with them, it’s good to have a little time away.”  But the truth is, even without the road trip or the 24/7 stay-at-home gig, I have a feeling I still would not have missed them.

Don’t get me wrong – there were definitely moments in New York City when I thought to myself, “This would have been fun for them to see” or “I would have liked to share this memory with them,” but there was no sense of longing, no sense of having missed a moment for lack of having them with me.

This week my three daughters are at a girls’ church youth camp.  It’s just the two boys and I at home.  I am enjoying this time, the change in dynamics in my household.  Every so often I remember to wish my girls well, send hopes that they are having fun.  But I can’t qualify it as missing them.  I will be happy to see them when they return, that’s true.  But my heart remains intact while they are gone.

What’s ironic is that I’ve had more moments of missing them when we’re in the same zip code.  I miss them when there is emotional distance or a hurdle we can’t seem to navigate.  I miss them when they hold things back and fold up within themselves.  But when all we’re separated by is distance?  That I can handle.

What about you?  Do you miss your kids when you are away from them (or them from you)?  Are you having a difficult time watching them embark on this new school year?  I’m curious to hear how other mothers feel and negotiate these times in life.