Mommy Guilt and Anxiety

March 25, 2015

I’ve heard all about kids having issues with separation anxiety throughout the first few years of their lives. I now know first hand what it’s like because that’s currently one our biggest challenges with Erin. What I didn’t know or expect was the separation anxiety that I, as a mom, would have. I have yet to spend a night away from the baby and I don’t think I’ll be ready to any time soon. I already feel bad for dropping Erin off at daycare Monday-Friday. I think that just makes it harder for me to choose to be away from Erin especially if it’s not necessary. So the mommy guilt kicks in. Here are a few contributing factors:
  • Feeling anxious is a normal thing and that just means I have a healthy bond with my kid. So of course as a first time parent, I’ll feel nervous about being separated from my child. My parental instincts are telling me to protect and be with my child. Everything is still new to me. All of what I experienced with Erin so far have been my firsts so I think it’s natural to feel the way I do.
  • No one else knows my child better than I do. I (and Ken) spend the most time with Erin (our caretaker at daycare probably spends just as much time with her). I feel nervous leaving my kid with someone who doesn’t know the little secrets and there’s always that fear that something might happen while I’m not with her (especially if its overnight). I think this is the biggest struggle for let go. I can’t control everything and I’ve got to get used to the idea of letting Erin go. This is just the beginning too! What’s going to happen to me when she starts school? graduates high school? gets married?! 
Some solutions/tips:
  • Allow myself to feel anxious. It’s a natural thing, but it shouldn’t dictate the choices I make. My feelings of guilt shouldn’t consume me.
  • It’s a good thing that Erin is being cared for by other people. Especially because she already has a hard time being separated from us, it’s important that we give Erin the opportunity to work on it. Kids adapt well and I know that Erin will too, so I just have to trust that feeling.
  • Get out. I’ve definitely done things away from the baby, i.e. hang out with friends, watch a movie, date night, etc. It’s healthy for me to spend time for myself and I shouldn’t feel guilty about that. Ken and I know this is something we should be doing more of. We need to be just as good at nurturing our husband/wife relationship as we are nurturing the relationship with our daughter. It’s funny because when we are out sans baby, all we ever do is talk about Erin and say how much we miss her.
I don’t think I’m quite ready to be apart from my daughter...overnight, especially if both Ken and I are not there. Baby steps. I’m sure with time or maybe with more kids, I’ll jump at any moment I get at spending a night (or two or three??) away from the kid(s). 

I love that I can still carry her and keep her nice and close to me.

Big Girl.


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