Welcome to motherhood. It's an elite group really. Not for the weak. There is a serious disease that comes with the title of mom and induction into the motherhood group. Your friends and loved ones should have warned you prior to conception. WHAT? No one told you. Well, crap. Since bad news is better when it comes from a friend let me be the one to break it to you. Motherhood causes a very distinguishable lump on your hip. It's more a growth really. It's rarely not there and the further post-partum you get the large the growth. OH! Haha. That's your baby? Lol. Of course it is. I was finally able to detach mine somewhere around 4 yrs old.
Who am I kidding? I haven't fully detached my own growths. My children and I have been sharing a bedroom for the last week while we are on vacation at my mom's and my 10 year old just informed me that he WILL NOT go to bed without me. When explaining to him that he was old enough to go to bed without me my 13 year old jumped on the wagon and asked, "why can't you just come lay down while we fall asleep?" Geez, what's a mom to do? Those beautiful eyes of your baby boy and girl. Then the little man busts out the lip. Ugh. I'm had. So, here I sit, typing a post on separation anxiety in the dark bedroom while my "babies" fall asleep. So once again. I'm not the expert at much of anything except doing things wrong. Lol. But I can tell you what the experts say and we will sprinkle in a bit of what worked for me. (except tonight when clearly they are relapsing)
To understand that screaming growth clinging to your leg with a grip that not even Superman could mimic you've got to understand what's behind it. Isn't it ironic how mother nature is testing your abilities and frustrating that she's up in your business. I'd love to tell you that there is an easy fix here but there isn't. Unfortunately for us parents, separation anxiety is.....NORMAL. Ugh. Yep, totally normal and nearly every baby has it in some degree or another. Until somewhere around 8 months babies are blissfully unaware. Then it doesn't matter if you simply go around the corner, leave the room or drop them off for the evening with a friend so you can go out, they notice you are gone. They know you are gone and they have no concept of when you will come back. Usually around a year old they will loudly protest you're leaving as they are still without a concept of time. No ability to realize that you will come back for them. Sad hu?
It is different for each child as to how severely they develop separation anxiety and for how long it lasts. The good new is that you are a freaking FANTASTIC mama and you have developed a healthy relationship with your baby. You are well bonded. Ok, so what are some tactics to use to help ease that little growth off your hip and into the room full of toys and children? Ever heard the saying practice makes perfect? Yep, best way to approach this with a baby that is struggling with separation anxiety is to practice it. Like anything else if baby is hungry, tired or sick it's NOT a good time to practice. Best time to leave baby? Well rested and with a full belly. Get a plan in place. Make sure to hug and kiss baby good bye. You can even blow kisses and wave on your way out. Then make your big exit. Do it. You have to follow through. You leave. Now for the don't list. DON"T sneak out while baby isn't watching and once you leave DON'T go back. Not yet anyhow. It will just make things worse.
I know, I make it sound so easy. It's not, you know it and I know it. We question ourselves the second that pouty lip comes out and then Heaven help us when the tears come. If it's not only too much for your little one but also for you then start slow. One of our followers mentioned that her extreme mama's boy would be entering Sunday School and that he "just isn't ready". Well, you're his mom. You decide. Just because there is a time line that says he is old enough to go doesn't mean he has to. It doesn't mean that he NEVER has to, it just means that you get to practice. Practice at home. Find a friend you trust (writer clears throat) and leave him for 30 min, then and hour. Once you can leave him with someone else at home, take him to someone else's home. You have to develop the pattern of leaving him and then coming back for him. Over and over and over. Eventually, he'll get it. I promise. Do the same thing for Sunday school. Keep him with you for awhile and then leave him for the last 20 min. Pretty soon that 20 min will turn into the entire time. Some kids will just "peace out" mom and dad and hit the toy box in a dead sprint and others will find a good place on that hip to cling onto hours in advance of being dropped off. Just remember it's not a matter of if it's when. Practice makes perfect, give baby a good hug and kiss, take in that smell of baby lotion to get you through his tears and yours as you walk away and then enjoy your time knowing your are teaching your baby a very valuable life skill. You are a good mom, and if once in awhile you have to type in the dark then so be it.