All babies go through separation anxiety sometime between 6-18 months. Apparently it peaks around 10-18 months. This is a normal part of development and doesn’t mean your baby is “spoiled”. (I don’t believe you can spoil a baby but I’ll blog about that some other day.)
What does this mean in my life?
I am a stay at home mom. I do work but from home so my baby and I are ALWAYS together. She’s very attached to me, to the point where she has become like my shadow.
Just last night I was folding laundry and she stood up and held onto my leg – the entire time. It’s cute that she wants to be with me all the time although sometimes I do wish I could go to the bathroom by myself…
Separation anxiety also means that when we are out if someone she doesn’t know tries to hold her she will cry and sometimes freak out a lot. She can giggle and smile at strangers as long as she’s in my arms but in order for someone to hold her they need to build up trust.
According to what I read this is all normal and my baby is right on track with separation anxiety, but what about mommy separation anxiety? Does that happen too?
Mommy separation anxiety
I don’t know about you but I’ve come to realize I have separation anxiety too. I think it was very obvious from the moment I became a mom but didn’t really realize it until now.
I remember when she was a newborn and someone wanted to hold her all I wanted to do is run off with my baby…but I try to be a civilized person and I let them hold my baby. I waited for the slightest sign of discomfort and took my baby back.
As months went by I felt a little more comfortable with people I knew holding her. I think having my parents visit us when she was 6 months made me realize that she will be ok with other people…as long as I’m close to her. Or more like, I’ll be ok with her being with other people as long as I’m close to her. 😉
Now I can even leave the room while someone else is watching her. Haha! I know it sounds ridiculous and this is why I’m confessing I have mommy separation anxiety.
The other night my husband mentioned on going to a date night and I almost choked on what I was eating. Really!
I know many people think mommies need a break but I honestly don’t. I love being a mommy and enjoy every second of it. Not that there’s anything wrong with taking a break, I just personally don’t want it at this moment in my life.
I’ve decided to surprise my husband on our next vacation and take him out on a date. However, I will not go on a date once my baby is asleep because she wakes up during the night and I imagine it must be scary to fall asleep being rocked and nursed by your mommy only to wake up to someone else. I’m also aware that is important for my husband and I to have alone time and we do, every night when my baby goes to sleep but I know it would mean a lot for him that we go out by ourselves (so far we’ve only been out once and the baby was with my parents in the shopping center next to the restaurant where we had dinner – haha!.) So I will go on a date as long as my daughter is awake when we leave. This way it won’t feel like I’m sneaking out. I will probably be back in 2-3 hours, just in time to rock her to sleep.
I know I might sound a little crazy but I think the most important thing is to do what makes you feel comfortable and to start spending time away from your baby gradually.
I know someday, when she can understand what I say and speak back to me, I will go out on a date at night and explain to her that mommy might not be here when she wakes up but she will be back later. After all, she will only be a baby for a very short time so I’m only putting date nights on hold for a short time when you compare it to the rest of our lives.
I don’t know if all moms have such a hard time being away from their baby. I have a hard time just thinking about it but I’m sure it’s part of how nature wanted it, so we could protect our babies.
I know one day I’ll feel more comfortable leaving her, once she can speak and doesn’t need so much milk. It will be all right to go out for a few hours but until then I confess I have mommy separation anxiety…and I don’t want to be away from my daughter.
Do you have a hard time being away from your child(ren)?