Separation Anxiety

No, not Baby Evan’s anxiety. Mine. I almost lost my marbles the other day at the thought of leaving Evan in someone else’s care for twenty minutes. How could a stranger possibly nurture my precious snowflake in my absence? I mean, he could get hungry and start crying and his mommy won’t be there to hold him! I bet that’s the first thing everyone says in therapy: “My mother wasn’t there that one time I cried.” Besides, I don’t know these people. Maybe they secretly hate babies and would pinch him as soon as my back was turned. Are they qualified? What if they’re drug dealers? Or child molesters? I mean, that’s not usually who works in a church nursery but YOU NEVER KNOW.

I wasn’t expecting this to be a problem. I know in theory that the focus of attachment parenting is making you feel, well, attached to your child. One of the articles I read described it as feeling like part of you was missing when you weren’t with the baby. But c’mon, it’s not like I’m a super over protective mom type. I’m the opposite of overprotective and cautious. I’m the kind of person who says stuff like “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt” without a hint of irony. So what’s my problem with letting someone else watch the baby shove inappropriate things in his mouth?

My problem is no one else HAS ever watched him. We don’t have any family nearby to “practice” babysitting to see how Baby Evan handles being in the care of someone other than his parents. When I was about 16, I babysat for the neighbor’s infant. Who cried. THE. WHOLE. TIME. I told them never to call me again and swore I’d never have children (yeah, I said a lot of things when I was 16). I don’t want to traumatize someone that way. But is it just going to get worse if I don’t? My fear is I’m going to be the mom at the first day of kindergarten who can’t walk out the door without prying her kid off her leg with a crowbar. Maybe I’ll just practice on my parents when they come to visit. They have to love me and Baby Evan anyway.

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7 Responses to “Separation Anxiety”

  1. candace says:

    i TOTALLY know how you feel. It was very difficult to leave Aubreigh at the daycare for the first time. I even went to my car and started crying because I didn’t want to leave her with these people. All the questions you mentioned went through my head as well. Start slow, don’t jump into too fast. But it does get easier. I still don’t like leaving her but I have to work to pay the bills. I wish I could stay home with her as I feel like I’m missing some of the most precious growing moments and memories as a baby. It will come when the time is right for you. I’d say take it slow though..

  2. Audrey says:

    I have been there. Am still there. I don’t worry about Ev’s independence, though. I let him play in rooms while I am in other rooms. I take him to play groups and let him just do his thing. He occasionally hauls diaper to find me but most of the time he does his own thing. I think if you are relaxed during those times he’ll be relaxed. But the one thing I am not relaxed about is letting other people watch him. It’s the weirdest thing. I don’t have a problem with being in the same room/house/property while someone else is taking cover – be it a grandparent or one of my friends’ husbands. But leaving the general vicinity and relying on them solely? No way. I’ve tried, it hasn’t worked yet. Except maybe with my mom. But even then I can’t wait to get back to him and spend most of the time thinking about him. It’s kind of sick. A baby addiction. Do they have Baby Mama Anonymous?

  3. Natalie says:

    I’m the exact same way. I DO feel like a part of me is missing, even when I run out to the store and leave them with Bill. I hear a baby crying in the store and I feel the need to run home and check on my own babies. But, baby steps, and you’ll appreciate the time away–especially when he is older. My girls get SO excited to see Daddy when he gets home from work, but since I’m with them all day, I didn’t ever get that, UNTIL I would go out to run errands. It’s really sweet to see how excited they are to see you.

  4. Renee says:

    Big mommy hug for you!

    It’s so shocking to discover that something you thought you were totally cool with, is something that completely freaks out. It makes it harder to cope with these transitions when you had no idea it would upset you.

    Take it slow. Start with having someone watch your child while you are in another part of the house, or go for a walk around the block. Then when you are ready, go shopping, and so on. It will come when the time is right.

  5. lalaland13 says:

    I’m sorry, dear. That must really suck. But I think you’ll get there gradually. No huge hurry to go on a week-long cruise right now. Just take it slow. And as long as you don’t guilt trip Baby E 25 years from now about wanting to move many miles away, you’re fine. Not that I’m uh, speaking from experience or anything.

  6. MStrader says:

    I think there’s a difference between seperation anxiety and cautiousness. If you were afraid to leave e with family whom you have known for years and years, or with E then that can be a problem. However, I don’t think it is at all unwise to not leave e with strangers. The amount of sexual abuse that happens in nurserys is astounding so you are right to be cautious.

  7. Rachel says:

    Yeah, I thought I was one of those cool laid back moms too, until I tried to leave J for five minutes to go to the store. Yeah, couldn’t do it. I’d say the attachment parenting thing is going well. We’re full attached alright. Detaching will be another story.

    And I wasn’t even leaving him with strangers. I was leaving him with family. Even now, mom will watch him while I run to the store and I hate it. It’s not even that I worry he won’t be ok (although that’s part of it), I just don’t like it when he’s not with me. That’s where he should be, right? (Of course it doesn’t help that the one and only time I have left him for longer than 30 minutes he was SCREAMING when I got home, and didn’t stop for what felt like forever. My baby, the one who never cries. He found the bottle horribly offensive. Broke me I’m pretty sure.)

    As for later independence and kindergarten, I have no doubt J will be ready (and E probably will too). Me, however… That’s another story.

    Good luck, mama.

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