First time away from home: How we coped when our daughter went to Brownie camp

As parents, we are constantly faced with new challenges, and we try our best with each one.

Last weekend our daughter Amber, 9, went to Brownie camp for four days, yes FOUR days! Without us, no mobiles allowed (not that she has one anyway), but we couldn't just pick up the phone and speak to her.

Even though she only travelled 10 minutes down the road, it was the first time she had stayed away from home for longer than one night.

Months before we decided if she could go, I spoke to my mum and picked her brains about my feelings, which initially were, I didn't want her to go.

I had so many questions from who would be there, where would they sleep, how would she wash her hair, what would she eat, yes I know, I know, I can feel the eye-rolling of people who think I'm too over protective.

Amber on her way to Brownie camp

Amber on her way to Brownie camp

My mum talked about her experience when I went away for the first time. I was a majorette and we had a yearly competition, which was held at a seaside location for a whole week, some one and a half hours away from my parents house.

Of course my mum worried if I would be ok, but she knew I would be safe as I stayed with my friends' parents in a seaside hotel.

All I can remember at that time was having fun and being nervous about the competition. Anyone who knows me, knows I took my competing very seriously as this was the major event of the year, and I wanted to win. I didn't have time to worry about not being with my mum and dad. My mum used to drive over for the day which broke the week up.

Adele (left) and Kim in the majorettes

Adele (left) and Kim in the majorettes

I also remember my case with all my clothes in. My mum is a lover of making lists (which is where I get it from). On the inside of my case, in the lid, I had a big piece of paper with a list, days of the week, what clothes to wear, including socks! My mum made sure I had everything, which of course made it easier.

Amber has been to a sleep over just for one night, a couple of times, and she has stayed at her Nanny's house on the odd occasion, when my husband and I went on honeymoon, my mum stayed at our house, but these occasions are rare.

Maybe it's because I worry too much, or maybe it's just because I feel that I chose to have my children, my husband and I are responsible for them and I don't want to drop them onto someone else.

I do understand that parents have got their own life too but mine is for my children, husband, family and work. Maybe it's because I am a full-time working mum and don't see my children all day everyday that I find it harder to let them stay overnight anywhere else.

I think our daughter, Amber, was over 3 years old when she first slept at her Nanny's house. Our son Jacob, who's 2, has never slept anywhere other than in our house and my parents, both places with us.

It's very daunting doing anything for the first time as a parent and it's a learning curve for not only your child but for you too. Everything from feeding, teething, crawling, walking, talking, you name it, it's a constant worry that things are going to be ok. My mum tells me that never stops no matter how old your children get. She worries about me and my brother the same as she did when we were younger, but she lets us lead our own life and is always there when we need her and my dad.

When you are young you think your parents have the answer to everything and they know it all. It's only when you become an adult yourself (even though I don't feel like one), you get by and learn as you go.

I worked on 2 of the days when she was on holiday, but I clock watched all the time and my mind would wander and think about what she would be doing. My husband, Mark, missed his pizza and film buddy on Saturday night (I work late every Saturday, so they enjoy watching a film together). I text him to see if he was ok in the evening and he said he was bored without her. The 2 days I was at home without her there felt very strange. At night when she wasn't in her bed I wondered if she was sleeping well where she was.

Amber had a great time at her Brownie holiday, and she seems to have grow up in the four days she was away. She did say she missed us.

She did make me laugh when we picked her up. She said, she enjoyed it but didn't want to go again because she had to do jobs! Hilarious! They were earning badges and had to do some cooking and cleaning. At 9 years old that's a big deal!

Phew! Another parent hurdle jumped, now bring on the next parenting challenge, oh yes, that's probably potty training our son, wish us luck!