I can remember that we were taught in Pediatric school about separation anxiety– a condition where the child is frightened of being separated from parent/ caregiver – usually the mother. In which case goodbyes are always tearful and/ or tantrum filled but then nothing is being said about a mother or a father at that, having separation anxiety. Well, or maybe it wasnt expected in our society.
I recently had another share of it at the point of going back to work after spending five awesome weeks with my Little One(LO) during my maternity leave. Having to leave him for about 3days without seeing at all suddenly feels weird and strange and frightening. I guess Im not alone in this, so I thought to share some signs of maternal separation anxiety and tips to deal it.
Usually its comes with the feeling of guilt and depending on how emotional you are, it could be tearful and I mean, really very tearful. There could be a deep feeling of sadness. There could be a feeling anxiety. The feeling varies with individual actually. So in case you experience or have experienced what I am talking about, please know that it is absolutely normal and healthy. Its a good sign of bond your baby.
The truth is, at one point or the other, and whether for a short period or a little longer, you do have to leave your baby (be separated), especially, if you are working mum. More so, attachment does not mean being always physically present.
Dealing with Maternal Separation anxiety starts with placing a necessity on the reason for leaving. Either for work, study or just to have some personal time out- these things are needed for sustainability.
Allow yourself to feel anxious. Yeah! The goal is not to get rid of the doubt and worry. In the actual sense, these nerves are part of instinct that helps us make good parenting decisions.
Know and accept that caregivers do things differently. Most of the fears come from the fact that others cant attend to our babies the way we would. We know our babies well and have special tips and secrets we always use to deal with them. This is so true, but youd be surprised that these kids are adaptive. It will also amaze us as how helpful these inventions by other caregivers can be.
Get important items together as much as possible. Its helpful knowing that you have prepared your LOs things well so you wont have to be worried sick about caregiver not getting the things needed while youre away.
Lastly, look behind the guilt. Its a common feeling but not a healthy one. So, dont dwell on it.
I hope these is helpful to a mother out there. You are not alone in this. 💕
WRITTEN BY Titilope Idris