Dealing with separation anxiety

When you hear separation anxiety you immediately think of a how a child is feeling being away from their parent, we are after all their security blanket – take that away and put them in new situations for example a new babysitter or the first day at nursery it can be tough for them we all know that.

But what about the parents, what about our feelings when away from the kids, It’s normal to feel apprehensive about certain situations, but what happens when parents feelings of anxiety stop them from doing certain things as it will involve them being away from the children?

I know as I’ve been there, up until Lottie was around 6 months old the only time I had been away from my older two was when I was giving birth and had to stay in hospital over night. People have asked don’t you find it hard not getting much of a break but the truth is I find it a lot harder to be away from them. I worry constantly;

What are they doing?

Do they miss me? 

Are they enjoying themselves? 

These are all thoughts that constantly go round and round in my head when they aren’t with me. And it has in the past stopped me from doing certain things, I found myself turning down invitations of a baby sitter or someone to take the kids to the park for a couple of hours because I knew how I’d feel.

I was starting to get to the point where I knew I needed a little time for my self every now and then and that’s ok to be the best parent you can everyone needs a little down time just to relax and be yourself again not just ‘mummy’

It all sort of started by getting Lottie sleeping in her own bed knowing I could now put them all into bed and they would happily settled themselves is a big deal for me, it helped a lot.

I started gradually leaving them with friends or family for short periods of time, Bella and Maisy have even had a couple of sleep overs at nanny’s house which has been lovely – yes I’ve been and picked them up first thing the next morning but it was nice to have a free evening and they really enjoy themselves.

I’m getting better at it, I can see that it is also important for them and I’m getting there with Lottie as well, Saturday night I headed off into town with one of my best friends for a few drinks and a little dance, I stayed at hers as it was just easier and I didn’t see the girls (other than a quick FaceTime) for nearly 24 hours! That is the longest I’ve ever been apart from them, what was really nice is that I did actually miss them – seeing them Sunday afternoon was so lovely I felt refreshed and we had massive cuddles and the best part I didn’t feel guilty, I know I need this me time and they are in the perfectly capable hands of their dad. Although the house was a tip and Lottie had odd socks on they were fine – they were happy.

I wouldn’t say the anxiety’s gone but it’s definitely better, it’s still a work in progress. I always thought I was odd to feel this way when I see others that seem to love their child free time but I’m realising recently that its more common than I thought and lots of parents also feel this way I guess that’s why I’ve written this post. It feels good to write it down and if one other person reads it and it reassure’s them then I’ll be happy!Separation anxiety

The Twinkle Diaries

39 Comments

  1. April 6, 2015 / 9:00 am

    I completely understand this one, I definitely use Joshua as my comfort blanket, I struggle a lot more than him with separation anxiety. Hard going but we’ll get there. We know we have to for the kids so we’ll find a way, as we always do. Xxx

    • April 11, 2015 / 8:11 pm

      yep we all get through it in the end just hard isn’t it! x

  2. K's Mum
    April 6, 2015 / 9:20 am

    I have to admit that this is something that I really need to work on. I’m a first time mom and my lo is nearly 2 but I still refuse to be away from her for any length of time. #mummymonday

    • April 11, 2015 / 8:11 pm

      so tough isn’t it but if your not ready then your not everyones different! x

  3. April 6, 2015 / 9:42 am

    I find this quite hard at the moment, I have a 7 month old who we left for the fist time overnight last week to celebrate my partners birthday and I was constantly worried. I hate not being in control of the He is really good with other people but I miss him a lot and am dreading going back to work. I know it’ll get better the more I leave him but it doesn’t stop me worrying. Jen XOXO #mummymonday

    • April 11, 2015 / 8:12 pm

      I am the exact same I worry about everything but the kids especially!

  4. April 6, 2015 / 10:02 am

    I agree, separation anxiety in parents is actually more common than we realise. I went through some similar feeling when my first was younger. The same questions rolled through my head too. It’s nice to know that we aren’t alone. I’m glad to hear you’re getting better at taking some time to yourself as like you say, the break helps you be the best parent you can be, it refreshes you.
    Faye

  5. April 6, 2015 / 11:26 am

    I totally understand this post. I always feel torn between so enjoying time without toddler45 vs not being there and what if he needs me and is crying for his mumma (even though Daddy or a favourite aunty is) and 99% of the time he’s sodding fine. I think it’s because we used to be one person didn’t we, in one body, so there’s always a bit missing, rational or not x #mummymondays

  6. April 6, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    I can relate to this. Glad you’re having a little time to yourself now though and that you’re enjoying it. I must say that since I have started to do it more too I feel SO much better, and happier as a Mummy. As being with them 24/7 is tough (even though I miss them when I’m not there). Since my twins have become a bit older leaving them is a lot easier now. Great post, never thought of it this way before xx Jess xx

  7. April 6, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    I’m glad this is getting better and you can have some well deserved time to yourself. I have a friend who is very similar and she is getting better too. I’m a bit the opposite (oops) I love a break but then my Mum and step-dad love it so much and my daughter loves them so much so I feel fine about it!! xx #mummymondays ps your children are stunning! x

  8. April 6, 2015 / 2:22 pm

    aww really pleased you are getting better with this and enjoying so well deserved time to yourself. I have a friend who is similar and she too is much better now. I’m the opposite (oops). I love a break. My parents have had my daughter (19 months old) for 3 nights in a row once!! I feel bad now! They love it and she loves them so I know it’s all ok. Apart from my mum sneaking her cake! hehe.Ps you are such a beautiful family! xx #mummymondays

  9. April 6, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    I totally appreciate this, I didn’t like leaving Boo at nursery when I went to work (which is probably why I only lasted 3 months part time before giving up work to be a stay at home mum). And since Boo left nursery 3 months ago she has been to stay with my mum for a couple of hours one (last week) and that was it. I can’t say how old Boo will be before she stays out at my mums, she is only 15 months at the minute so I think it will be a while before both she and I are ready.

  10. April 6, 2015 / 4:57 pm

    I can also relate to parental separation anxiety, I have 1 little boy who is always with me or his daddy, we do opposite shifts so one of us is at home. This initially started because it saved us having to pay for childcare but now we really dont like to leave him. I have close family that I can cope with him spending time with but others have offered and we refuse. I worry that i am going to really struggle when he goes to nursery so I have got to let go a little. Thanks for the post, its nice to know I’m not the only one that feels this way.

  11. April 6, 2015 / 7:44 pm

    Ah Amy I am so glad you got out on Saturday and hope you had a fab night. It does you good to have a little time away from your little angels and makes you appreciate them even more than you already do xxx

  12. April 6, 2015 / 8:06 pm

    I can totally relate to this post. I’m currently looking for a part time job, and I can’t help but think about the separation anxiety I’ll have from Billy. Dreading being away from him. We do everything together! 🙁

  13. April 6, 2015 / 10:49 pm

    i completely understand how you feel! It’s such a hard thing to deal with but you shouldn’t feel guilty for getting some much needed you time. It’s hard work raising three beautiful girls so you need to have some space to refresh so like you
    said you can be the best you. Glad your getting better at it and hope you enjoy it more as time goes on!:)

  14. April 7, 2015 / 8:38 am

    It’s so important to have some ‘me time’. It can be really difficult at first but I’m glad you’re starting to get some time for yourself again. xxx

  15. April 7, 2015 / 8:43 am

    We don’t have any family nearby (2.5 hour drive to the in-laws and 2 hour flight to my family) so we didn’t have the chance to leave our kids with anyone when they were very small. But from child no. 2 onwards I did try to get out more as I felt I was starting to get too attached. The children didn’t mind at all being home with papa And I enjoyed the breaks more than I thought I would.
    Good article by the way.

  16. April 7, 2015 / 6:25 pm

    Such a good read that I can relate to. My son has been studying since September the whole day and I still miss him. I tend to play some videos or looks at his photos few hours before I pick him up. I wish I have him for myself the whole day! #TwinklyTuesday

  17. April 7, 2015 / 9:23 pm

    I’m so glad your getting better at leaving your kids for a little while. Although they will always be on your mind it’s good to recharge and just be you for a bit rather than mummy xxx

  18. April 7, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    It’s funny isn’t it, we always imagine the separation is only painful one way, I know my partner struggles with this quite a bit although it is easing now she is 5 🙂

  19. April 8, 2015 / 7:50 am

    Really interesting to be written from this perspective Amy. I’ve not thought of it that way before. I miss my kids but do crave time alone. Bad Mummy alert!

  20. April 8, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    Such an interesting take on this subject — people always assume it’s the child don’t they? Happily this isn’t something that the twins — or I — suffer from!! My boy and I left them when they were 5 months old to go to a 3 day festival!! It was hard at times but, equally, I absolutely treasure the time I have with my husband, so the pangs of missing the babies were tempered with absolute joy, that I had a couple of days with him, on our own! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

  21. April 11, 2015 / 10:02 am

    I totally understand this. I used to hate leaving the boys but it gets easier as they get older. Every other weekend they are at their Dads and I still worry about them and sometimes cry with missing them. I havent left baby girl for more than a couple of hours to get my hair done and that was bad enough x

  22. April 12, 2015 / 7:03 am

    well done on over coming your anxiety and getting out for the night. I’ve had this with all my children, my eldest is now and I’m definitely over it with him, although as a baby & toddler we were inseparable. I’m actually not going to a family wedding this summer as its no kids and don’t want to be away from my baby for 2 days. I just accept thats how I am now and know that it will get better in a few years. #sundaystars

  23. April 12, 2015 / 7:10 am

    It’s good that you’re getting better at leaving them. As with everything, I think it just takes time and a prolonged effort to see it through. I miss my sprog if I’m not with her, but I don’t think I’ve had any separation anxiety.

  24. April 12, 2015 / 7:28 am

    My sister in law is exactly the same as you – she will find any excuse not to go out and leave her three behind. I’ve never had this issue – having to go back to work when Zach was nine months old I had no choice! But even when he was little, I left him for a couple of nights when I went on a hen do. I’m glad you’ve managed to start having time for yourself – I think it’s so important 🙂 #sundaystars

  25. April 12, 2015 / 8:55 am

    This is completely me, Martha is 16 months and I have never been away from her (with the exception of when I go to work 3 days a week) we have no family nearby so that hasn’t helped we are supposed to go to a wedding soon, I just know I’ll hate being away from her x

  26. April 12, 2015 / 11:50 am

    such a gorgeous photo of you and your girls! 🙂

    I deal with separation anxiety a lot with Corey, 3 years later and I still find it very hard to say goodbye every other weekend. It doesn’t ever go but I can handle it better. Some weekends better than others. A whole in summer absolutely kills me though!!!

    As hard as it is though, some me time every now and then does a mum some good 🙂

    thank you for linking up to #mummymonday – Love Gemma – host xo
    http://www.sunshineonacloudyday.co.uk

  27. April 12, 2015 / 11:59 am

    I have a few friends who feel this way, I don’t think it’s unusual. I sometimes feel guilty that I’m so happy leaving my girls with other people. I think as long as we are happy with how we are doing things then we’re doing a good job. I’m glad you’re managing to have a time to yourself too though. #sundaystars

  28. April 12, 2015 / 2:39 pm

    This is a brilliant post lovely. No one ever really thinks of the parents having separation anxiety. I have always made myself take time out where I leave Little Miss H with her daddy or grandparents. It is so good for both of us even though it is really difficult and I miss her like crazy. But I do think that she is a very independent and happy to be away from us as a result. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  29. April 12, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    We definitely spend a lot of time when we’re away talking about the baby and checking on him. He sleeps well at night so I don’t feel bad going out sometimes in the evening. Our first afternoon alone is coming up this week. Not sure how that will go…

    #sundaystars

  30. April 12, 2015 / 4:02 pm

    Yep can totally relate to this. I think this was part of my post-natal anxiety problems. Glad it is starting to get better for you. Great post to highlight that it isn’t always the child. xxxx

  31. April 12, 2015 / 6:22 pm

    A really interesting perspective of separation anxiety. I think it could really prevalent amongst parents but not often talked about. I definitely worry when I’m apart from my two, although I do enjoy the rare bits of grown up time too.

  32. April 12, 2015 / 6:53 pm

    Great topic, I have never really thought of it that way, but definitely something I have struggled with in the past, certainly when my eldest was a baby, and while each one was a baby really, I still find myself making excuses sometimes if a friend offers to watch them, but I have got better and the odd bits of me time that I get I do try to enjoy. x

  33. April 12, 2015 / 8:51 pm

    This is such a lovely post and it’s such a big thing to leave your babies with someone else – I think it changes as they get older but still you really REALLY notice when they’re not around!

  34. April 13, 2015 / 10:49 am

    It took me 2 years to leave G and even now 3 years into being a mum it doesn’t feel right leaving them both. Lovely post hun x

  35. April 14, 2015 / 2:23 pm

    I know how you feel and good on you for talking about it, some Mums don’t get it and can’t wait to get a break but I know how you feel. I gradually found it easier to leave Monkey but still miss him if he is with my parents for too long, and I am yet to leave LM with anyone other than my husband! I just worry they are ok, which feels daft but I can’t stop it either! xx #sundaystars

  36. April 14, 2015 / 8:34 pm

    I can completely relate to that. I look forward to child free time, but then spend most of it anxious about them!! x
    Jemma Taylor-Smith recently posted…Deciding on a nameMy Profile

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