Sunday, December 30, 2012

Separation anxiety

When thinking about work makes you have panic attacks, you have separation anxiety.

When you talk about separation anxiety, it is usually children that are being referred to, and I have seen that happen with my son. Ever since I had to travel overnight, for two full days, he has been clingy as heck. He doesn't want to let me out of his sight at all. I think my daughter has been sleeping badly, but it could just be projection on my part. She also just recently stopped taking naps, although if I had a choices she would still nap daily, so it could be the reason why she's sleeping badly.

I just had a dream in which I was stuck in a meeting and couldn't leave early enough, and by the time I got out, my daughter had been moved from the nanny's to some sort of ministry. I dreamt that my brothers were there with her, but neither DH and I were, and a special designated entrance had been left for us.

I really love my job, and it gives me a lot of flexibility on a daily basis. I have to travel sometimes and that is the part of the job that I hate. I can take my baby and nanny with me if I really want - I have done it before, but in many cases, you weigh whats better, letting him be in the environment he is used to, or having him near you in a hotel near mummy.

Also, the environment in which I live is not very conducive to working mothers, and you are made to feel guilty by a lot of the women who have chosen to stay home for 6, 7, 8 years, or even longer, to " be there for their children", like you are not there for your children if you are a working mother. I don't hear anybody piling guilt on working fathers. Just one more way in which we women pull each other down.

The reason for my panic is that I have a training course in a few weeks, for four days. And my nanny can't go with me. We think even if she were able to go with me, its probably best if she didn't as she/they probably would be cooped in all day because its winter, and hotel rooms and service apartments are only so large.

DS senses my panic, and so he is mostly refusing every meal and only wants to be breastfed. My midwife says that there is the danger that by the time I return after 3 nights away, he would have self weaned. Just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. I have had friends who've left their baby for longer than that to travel or go for a spa weekend, but I'm not typically that kind of mother.
I know on a cerebral level that separation anxiety is a normal step in a child's development, and I have included links to articles on how to deal with and cope with it below. Even if I were not travelling, my DS would still have separation anxiety at this stage, I remember my DD was much worse at his age. My midwife also think he can sense my panic. 

I have a fantastic nanny who will stay over when I travel, and my DH, poor DH is home every night with the kids. I have kept this post 100% real, because I know that there might be others going through the same things. I'll be back to update on how it went.

I trust all will be well with the children, and I'm leaving everything in Gods hands. I once read that we act sometimes as if we are the ones really taking care of and protecting our children, when it all rests in the hand of God almighty. This is true.I should have more faith than I do, oh Lord, help my unbelief!

On that melancholic note, wishing you all happy new year celebrations and a more upbeat 2013 in advance!

Useful articles:
Separation anxiety

Practical Parenting - how to overcome separation anxiety


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