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!