Posts Tagged ‘separation’

On the Road

Friday, March 11th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin
Today finds me away from home for yet another work engagement.  While the logistics of being away are no less daunting than when I first returned to work, (e.g. finding time to pack, creating to do lists for daycare drop off, making sure we have food prepared for lunches and dinners, etc.) I am actually starting to get a little bit better about being away.  Part of that relaxation stems from the fact that Rory has decided that he enjoys being a “helper.”  He showed this during my last trip–doing a great job of helping his grandmother around daycare each morning and assisting with pick-up as well.  He shows it on the more routine mornings, too–picking up Charlotte’s milk cup when she tosses it from her highchair, helping pick up the playroom, and helping collect his backpack.  It’s not always universally the case that he will cooperate, but when he does, he’s pretty good.

Both kids are also getting accustomed to the routine being upended at least a few times a week.  That means that the routine is, in and of itself, less consistent.  It’s not ideal, but it is us.  And it helps keeps things calmer, believe it or not.

Luckily, this week’s jaunt was pretty short and fairly close, so I should hopefully return just after bedtime.  But at least the guilt won’t be as bad and at least my concerns while gone have been minimized.  It is always evolving, but– today at least– it is much improved.

Bye Bye Baby

Monday, September 14th, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Yesterday we reached another important milestone when we left Hudson with a non-family member caretaker for the first time. We’ve been attending a neighborhood church, and they just opened up the nursery for the fall season. Hudson was fussy and bored when we had had him in the pew with us during services, so I was excited at the prospect of having him be stimulated and entertained while we adults focused on the sermon. Of course, I was nervous to leave him with new grown-ups, as he’s pretty clingy to his dad and me. But I told myself that it would be okay because Big Sister would be in the nursery too.

It went pretty much as I expected. I stared at my phone during the hour-long service, but no frantic call came in. So far, so good. As soon as it was over, I bolted to the nursery. Hudson seemed reasonably happy at that point, but the caretakers did say they he cried, and upon pressing, revealed that it was kind of a lot. But they said he did calm down at some point, and that his sister was very helpful in that regard. I knew she would be. Especially without her parents around, Haley tends to take responsibility over her brother. It’s really sweet. I heard that her wearing a green wig and shaking maracas did nothing to help Hudson feel better, but jumping around did. I’m really proud of her.

It was hard leaving my baby, but I’m glad I did it. Since it was in a church setting, I felt pretty comfortable with his level of care. I’m fortunate that his first experience being sat for out of the home included his sister. Now, I feel more confident to leave him in the gym nursery or with a sitter for a date night. Actually, I may still wait a bit for all that. One step at a time!

I Go With You?

Friday, September 11th, 2015

From Friday Mom – Erin:
My husband and I have been fortunate over the past three years to get to take a few child-free trips. This is due, in large part, to the generosity of Rory’s grandparents (my parents), who have graciously agreed to watch Rory—and now both Rory and Charlotte—in our absence. This weekend, we are traveling to Texas for the wedding of my husband’s best friend (a mutual friend of ours from college and the best man from our own wedding).

On prior occasions, Rory was too young to truly appreciate our absence. He was only nine months old the first time we were gone for an extended period. We left him again at around fourteen months for a brief overnight. We were gone briefly when Charlotte was born, as well, though it was for three nights, and he still saw at least one of us during the day each of the days we were gone.

I’ve had my share of business travel this summer. Those trips are disturbing to the overall routine, but with Daddy around, there has been some degree of consistency. Charlotte is pleasantly oblivious, and, frankly, too laid-back to care.

Rory, in contrast, knows something is up. This week was the first time Rory showed signs of truly comprehending what it means for mommy and daddy to be away. My work travel had prepared him reasonably well to understand what it meant for grown-ups to be gone and for his grandparents to be around. But when I explained that we would be going on a trip without him, I was met with resistance.

We planted the seeds over the weekend, letting him know that his grandparents would be coming to play with him. I looked him in the eye on Wednesday morning, reminded him that his grandparents would be coming to stay for a few days, and that they would be taking him to school each day and playing with him each night. I explained that mommy and daddy would be taking an airplane on a trip to celebrate his “uncle’s” wedding.

“I go with you?” He asked, with equal parts confusion and excitement.

“No, sweetheart. Only mommy and daddy are going. But it will only be for a few nights, and we’ll be back on Sunday to play with you and tuck you in. And you’ll have ALL weekend to play with your grandparents.”

“You go on a trip? Without Rory?”

“Yes, sweetheart.”

“OK mommy.”

I could tell he was disappointed, but we moved right on to our breakfast that morning without too much protest. We talked about it periodically that day, as well as the morning of our departure. There was some continued resistance and frustration with the idea. But, in the end, he agreed to wear his listening ears and be a big helper for his grandparents. I am sure everyone will be a-ok and have a wonderful time, even if there are some emotional outbursts through it all. He’s a very perceptive kid, and his ability to vocalize his thoughts only further reaffirms that fact. We’ll be certain to shower him with praise upon our return for being such a big boy, and I’m sure there will be lots of hugs and kisses, too.

Separation Anxiety

Monday, April 20th, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
It’s inevitable, when you have a baby, to deal with some amount of anxiety when Mother and Baby cannot be together. In a few days, I’m going on my first trip without Hudson. I am not sure how he will handle it—but I am an absolute wreck! He’s staying with his grandparents, so yes—he will be taken care. He will also be continually with his second favorite person in the world, his sister Haley. But I know he will miss his mother, especially the nursing aspect of our relationship. He’s been improving at taking the bottle in the last few weeks, and I’m sure he will do even better, out of pure necessity, when I’m not there. But just because he will be fine physically doesn’t mean I will be fine emotionally.

My trip is for pleasure, and I’m so excited to spend time with dear friends. I also can’t wait to sleep all night, uninterrupted in a comfy hotel bed! It will be nice to have an adult break. Yet I’m still conflicted about going. Rest and relaxation are crucial for a busy mom to recharge. But surely I could live without it. Is it worth Hudson’s potential upset? Then I remind myself that it’s only two days. But do I really need two days to myself? I go back and forth a lot. The reality is that the tickets are booked and this trip is happening. I just hope I can calm my neurosis enough to enjoy the trip. Wish me luck!

Slowly But Surely

Friday, July 4th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Good news! Rory’s transition to his new classroom at daycare is going much better than expected. He’s having a great time during the day, watching the older kids, partaking in new activities, and especially enjoying all the new toys and games in his new classroom. He’s even transitioned to napping in his cot reasonably well.

He comes home each day literally wearing evidence of the new, heightened levels of stimulation. Most days, he’s returned home in a completely new shirt, whether because he got his arts and crafts activity all over him, or because they’d been playing in kiddie pools on the playground and gotten extremely wet. While that means mommy is doing a little more laundry than usual, it also means the little guy is seeing and doing lots of new things, and that’s fantastic.

The one down side, however, is drop-off in the morning. Although Rory warms up to his classmates and new teachers as soon as he arrives, he is definitely more clingy than usual. His old teacher and I had the routine down pretty well… Rory and his teacher would wave bye-bye from the classroom window, and I would wave back and escape with no water works. So far, we’ve not been successful trying a similar routine in his new classroom.

It’s made me feel pretty lousy a couple of mornings this week, but I know it will improve soon enough. I’m just happy to hear how well he’s doing during the day, and that keeps me confident enough not to turn around, even when I can hear the waterworks behind me. . .

Not the Mommy

Friday, March 21st, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
We’ve been going through some serious separation anxiety around here lately. When I have dropped Rory off at daycare the past few days, he has really cried a lot when I have tried to leave. On two separate occasions, I’ve had to sit down and read a book with him before being able to leave.

He has also been reacting similarly in the mornings when I leave him with his daddy briefly so that I can set up his stroller outside. Even when I give him a kiss and promise that I’ll be right back, I can hear the cries downstairs and out the door.

As with most things developmental, knowing that his anxiety is perfectly normal doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Even on the mornings when I am in my biggest hurry to get to the office, I still linger out of sight at his daycare to make certain he calms down before heading on my way. As “normal” as it is for him to be upset, it really doesn’t get any easier to hear your little man cry so hard to see you go.

The flip side, I suppose, is that I have been getting some pretty fantastic smiles upon my arrival home each evening. And, when I can pry him away from his toys, some pretty great hugs, as well. Although I hope the tears subside soon, as long as I can end the day with smiles, I guess I’ll take that trade any day.

Stranger Danger

Friday, February 7th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Like Wednesday Mom, Rory has been showing some new-found anxiety this week.  On Wednesday afternoon, I received a call from his teacher to let me know that he’d been extraordinarily needy during the course of the day– refusing to leave her side, wanting to be held, and generally just wanting to be close to her.  Apparently there were a few substitute teachers in and out of the room today, and Rory was very uncomfortable with the new faces.

I witnessed a little of this when I dropped him off that morning, but he seemed to have calmed perfectly well before I left.  We were a little worried he might not be feeling well– but his behavior when he arrived home with his daddy was stellar.  He was his happy, playful, giggly self.  In short, the anxiety was the only explanation for his breakdowns.

Rory never really demonstrated any stranger or separation anxiety around the eight to nine month mark when infants ordinarily exhibit such tendencies.  Instead, he was always pretty calm and perfectly happy to be passed around to strangers.  Now, that is definitely not the case.  According to the “experts,” toddlers tend to have such separation and/or stranger anxiety relapses around the fifteen month mark.  This anxiety can continue up until age two, though typically subsides in a month or two.

Although we are very glad to see that Rory has bonded with his regular teachers, we hope that he gets used to the new faces soon.  It makes me sad to think of him being unhappy during the day, especially knowing that I can’t be the one to pick him up and make everything all better.  Knowing that it is simply a developmental stage helps ease the sting a little bit, but I am sure it will feel even better when we’re past it.

Separation Anxiety?

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Our lovable but often stubborn son, Tate, has been showing signs of separation anxiety when I drop him off at Preschool. This is a recent development that appeared after he returned to school following his long holiday break.  Weeks later, I am concerned he is still apprehensive about going to school.

Tate’s Preschool has a great curriculum and structure that helped our oldest son when he transitioned to Kindergarten.  I am confident the school is not the problem. Up until now, he would barely let me kiss him goodbye before running off to play with a friend.  Every now and again, Tate will stay home with me and we will have a special day together.  We’ll go out to lunch or play at the park.  In the last year and a half, he’s never showed signs of school refusal.  I don’t like to see him upset, but sometimes I wonder if his strong willed personality takes control.

When we arrive at drop off, Tate has a sad face with tear filled eyes and a quivering lower lip.  Thankfully, he isn’t screaming or throwing a tantrum.  It is a sight that tugs my heartstrings. However, I’ve learned over the years the quicker I’m out of sight the quicker he cheers up and gets over it.  When I return to pick him up he is smiling and telling me all about the fun activities he did at school.  His teacher assures me he is happy and enjoying school.  He tells me he loves school and his friends.

It’s a bit confusing seeing him so upset in the morning yet some days not wanting to leave in the afternoons.  I am sure it is just a phase brought on by the hours we spent together over break and recent snow days.  As my husband says, “Tate just loves his Mommy.”  Fortunately, I think he is right.


Friday, May 31st, 2013

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory and I had a major milestone this past weekend. My husband and I left him overnight with his grandmother on Saturday night so that we could attend our college reunion. It was the first time Rory had spent the night apart from both of his parents. In addition, it was my first night away from him… ever. And I am happy to report that we all survived splendidly.

I was pretty anxious about leaving Rory with my mother-in-law. Unlike my own mother, my mother-in-law has not spent much time in recent years around infants. That said, she did a marvelous job raising my husband, so I knew Rory would be in good hands.

At my mother-in-law’s request, I wrote up detailed instructions for just about everything she might need to know. How to warm Rory’s bottles, how to put him to bed, how to wake him in the morning, when to change his diapers, etc. I also used the night before as a dry-run to show her everything in person and to let her help each step of the way.

I was a little worried that Rory might not sleep all the way through the night. He had not slept as well at her house for some reason, and we worried that neither of them would get much sleep. I was also worried that he would do something unexpected that I hadn’t covered in the instructions. Luckily, although he did wake a couple times overnight, he did so at the predicted times, and his reaction was consistent with the instructions I had provided. And even better, he didn’t have any real surprises, which meant that I had actually managed to cover everything.

We arrived home mid morning Sunday to a happy, well-rested little guy. I knew as soon as I saw them both that everything had gone great.

Leaving Rory overnight was a big hurdle. I don’t know that I care to do it again too soon. However, it did make me feel as though I had a pretty good handle on the little guy when each of my predictions and instructions proved true. And that was a pretty good feeling.


Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Today is Groundhog Day, and with the frightful weather out there we are all hoping Punxsutawney Phil does NOT see his shadow.  Through all the ice and snow how could he, right?  I live in the Deep South and am already sick of the cold weather.  I can’t even imagine living any further north.  My newly southern blood just couldn’t handle it.

Recently, Jack has been my shadow.  He went from having to do everything by himself to all of a sudden having me right by his side helping him do a task.  We met a bunch of friends at the park last weekend and he needed me there with him to play with his friends and run around.  These are kids he plays with at school every day and knows them very well. Also, he doesn’t like his bed and has had a few accidents during night.  He also has been hesitant about going to school in the morning.

My husband has been out of town for the last ten days fulfilling work duties.  Perhaps Jack’s regression is a result of not having his daddy around.  He did talk about how much he missed daddy and how he wanted to wrestle with him (something mommy doesn’t do quite as well).

Daddy has been gone A LOT during Jack’s 3 ½ years.  Fortunately, Daddy has been home for the last year enjoying his “shore” tour with his family.  I think Jack has reached the age where he can pick up on things that are different or out of the ordinary.  Has anyone else experienced this with their children?

Now that Daddy has returned home, I’m anxious to see if Jack will go back to his independent ways or regress for awhile.  For the sake of my sanity, I’m hoping he feels more secure with his family reunited again.  I just want to see that sweet smile like I usually see every day.