As our babies and kids go through the different developmental phases we often come across separation anxiety. It’s normal for little ones to feel separation anxiety. It’s just part of them growing up. I remember reading lots about it when Big Munch was around 9 months old. I’ll be away from my two girls and Mr.H soon as I head off to the Mom 2.0 blogger conference in Orlando. I know I have mixed feelings about being away. We hear and read lots about children’s separation anxiety. So, what about the parents and their own separation anxiety?
Are they going to be OK? It’s a question we ask ourselves as parents each day. It could be the nursery drop-off or saying bye at nap-time. We can’t constantly watch our kids and have to trust that they will be OK. However, they’re so little and it’s natural that we worry about them. That’s why I’m sure it’s normal for us parents to suffer from separation anxiety too. We’re only human right?
Trusting others…A big part of parental separation anxiety is knowing that our kids are being well looked after. We have to start trusting other grown ups to look after our precious babies. We have to trust our children’s independence. I want my girls to feel independent. I never wanted them to be super-clingy babies as I knew I’d be going back to work after maternity leave. For the first time, me and Mr H went away together on our own and to another country. We knew our girls would be fine staying the weekend at my Mum’s. It still felt strange knowing that they wouldn’t be able to see both of us over the weekend.
Missing out…Kids are constantly developing. When we have to leave them at nursery or childcare we don’t always get to see their new tricks first time round. Parents can feel like they’re missing out. Have you seen my other blog post on dealing with FOMO? Now what I’m talking about here is parenthood FOMO. Not being together doesn’t mean not sharing special moments at other times. In fact being part can make us value the family hang out time we enjoy together.
Getting used to it…I remember my parents working long hours when I was little. Working is part of life. It means we will be apart from our kids. Everyone’s getting used to doing their own thing during the day. As a mum I need my time out and I’m glad my two girls are getting used to seeing their mummy go off to work or her events at the weekends. I hope see this will encourage their own independence when they’re older.
Will they be OK without us? We are their parents and they need us everyday. We’re their ultimate comfort blanket. I worry about if or when they feel upset or may hurt themselves and need a cuddle. All they might want at that moment is their mummy or daddy. What I’ve learnt is that kids can be really adaptable. They find their different sources of support. They also quickly move onto the next activity.
Tearful goodbyes…Last week it was tears all round. Toddler Munch has started a new nursery and she just didn’t want to go in. Usually she’s OK with nursery but seeing her so upset brought out the tears in me too. I felt bad leaving her knowing she wasn’t in the mood for hanging out with new grown ups and kids. For the first time I felt a rush of hardcore mum guilt. I was leaving her when she was really upset but I had to go to work. Knowing how busy she would soon be at nursery helped my separation anxiety.
Everyday reunions…One thing that distracts me from separation anxiety during the day is knowing we will be back together again. You’ve got to love the excited hello’s and cuddles at the nursery pick up. When I come home from my trip I’m excited about walking in through the front door and being greeted with some serious hugs from my two girls.
Do you think parents suffer from separation anxiety? What helps children to feel OK when they’re away from their parents? Any tips for me when I’m away from my children next week? Let me know what you think too.