As a worried mommy leaving her precious darling for a few hours, you’re suffering from what’s known as adult separation anxiety disorder. Get over your fears; the world won’t come to an end! It is possible to reassure yourself that your child will be safe and happy even when you’re away.
You have an urgent meeting coming up and have just a young babysitter to attend to your infant. Before leaving, you go through a long to-do list with precise instructions on what she should do–fan on low, half a bottle of feed, a fairy tale book near the window, a lullaby, the works. Even after having her repeat your instructions twice, you’re still nervous about separating yourself from your baby. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Millions of other mothers go through it too.
A Closer Look at Separation Anxiety in Moms
1. You need a break, but how do you take it in peace?
Regardless of he reason behind taking time off, many moms suffer from adult separation anxiety disorder. Don’t force yourself to leave your baby behind if you really don’t want to. Feelings of misery and guilt can be quite pronounced in the first few months of your angel’s arrival. But with time, you’ll need to start putting bits of your life in the equation too. Apart from staying healthy, taking little breaks with friends and going on a date or two are important too.
2. Symptoms of separation anxiety in mothers:
Mommies who are anxious about being away from their babies worry about bad things happening—accidents, kidnapping, injuries—when they aren’t around to protect them. They possess heightened concerns regarding their children getting lost and being ill-treated at the crèche. All these signs compel mothers with separation anxiety to distrust others.
3. Understand that the world is not all bad!
Even though you may have fine-tuned your way of dealing with your little one, there are caregivers who have equally good methods of handling babies. For instance, your mom also knows how to be in charge and keep her grandchild happy. Even your best friend could be an ace at looking after children. Instead of fretting that they won’t do things your way, try to accept that their way is just as good. Remember, they care about your child too!
4. Strategies for moms to deal with baby separation anxiety:
For starters, time your work and breaks to suit the time-frames of those you trust to look after your child. Remember to keep baby things handy to help them manage your child better. Outlining any issues they can expect beforehand will help them get on the same page with you, especially when it comes to handling tantrums, throw-ups, and before-sleep crying. You also want to build anticipation in your child so that he or she knows fun awaits.
The one thing that dominates separation anxiety is guilt. You need to look beyond this emotion to be able to deal with other important things like your relationship with your partner, your work, your hobbies, and so on. The best way out is to acknowledge that guilt exists, but you don’t need to let it serve as your emotional hideout.