Don’t Leave Me

Separation Anxiety. We know it all too well. You leave, they cry. You set them down, they cry. You walk out of eye or ear shot, they cry.

Our babies love us. They want to be with us. ALL. THE. TIME. If it were anyone else, it would be a compliment or stalking. But, with your sweet little lovable ball of cuteness, sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you have to go to work. Or, you have to go to the store. Other times, you need to use the restroom. Alone. But, when you have a baby in the separation anxiety stage, there’ll be none of that. You will not leave.  You are a hostage.

Thankfully, my children seem to be through this phase. Although, my youngest would much rather be within about a two foot radius of me at all times… especially today. He had an award-winning screaming fest today in church. I actually took him to the doctor because he was crying so much, coughing and being incredibly irritable. Turns out, it’s pneumonia and an ear infection. I guess that’s a good reason to be grumpy and want your mama!

This post is for my best friend (you’ll remember her from my Baby Whisperer post) who has a 10 month old son. He’s in the throes of the Separation Anxiety phase and has no plans in the near future to release his hostage. She can’t even break eye contact, or her baby freaks out.

So, now that you’re a hostage, what do you do? Before you say wait it out, think up some real useful “I can’t wait to wait it out” advice. What works in appeasing the hostage taker, I mean baby?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christy
    May 23, 2011 @ 23:37:08

    I just didn’t put up with it with my kids. I sometimes had shit to do, and they could choose to hang out quietly or scream, even at 3 months and up. Either was fine with me. They learned quickly that when screaming didn’t work, they could find something to do with their time until I was free…play with a toy, look at a book. I also would put on a baby einstein and get a half hour of free time for me and independent time for them. Don’t get me wrong, I spend a lot of quality time with my kids, but they also know I need personal space and time as well to fulfill all of my responsibilities.

    I also fostered from infancy in my kids that I was not the only one who could handle them. I have always embraced close friends and grandparents caring for them if they were into it. Like if I had a visitor over holding the baby, and she got hungry, I would give the visitor the option of feeding her a bottle…it was cool bonding time for them and it showed the girls that I was not the only one who could help them. As a result, they were not super dependant on just me and built trust that others were caring and loving. I also expect my kids to listen to all adult friends of ours, so if my kid is being an ass and a friend or family member notices, I am all for them correcting…again, so the kids have a general respect for societal rules, not just mine. Also, when I was married before and now that Anton is in the family, it is important to us that he have as big a role in their lives as I do, even though he works full time. Men don’t “babysit” their own kids, they should parent them, daily.

    I always made sure they were well-rested and had eaten something, and had a form of early childhood entertainment in front of them, and then if I needed time, I took it. If I felt bad, I would think of women from the 1800s who had to really work at home to survive…cooking, cleaning, canning, preserving, gardening, when all that took serious time. They didn’t have time to have one attached at the hip at all times, and their kids turned out great. Same with us, sometimes we have to cook, clean, pay bills, work in the yard, and the kids just have to accept that it’s not about them all the time. I think it’s good for them to learn to be self sufficient, even at a very early age.

    Reply

  2. Christy
    May 24, 2011 @ 04:43:30

    I just had to laugh when I remembered recently at the gym, I dropped Sophia (age 3) off at the child care area, and she got clingy and whined. I was surprised, since my kids never do that. So I just said to her, “What is this? You don’t do this, this isn’t your thing!” with a smile. She responded with, “You’re right, have a good work out!” and ran off to play. 🙂

    Also, when my kids were little and would cry when I dropped them off places, I would just hug them tightly, reassure them I’d be back, and walk away. The child care providers always said they stopped crying and started playing almost as soon as I was out the door.

    Reply

  3. Kara
    May 26, 2011 @ 08:49:09

    Amen Christy! I’ve done the exact same things with my kids, for the same reasons, and with the same result. Well, for the most part – my 4 year old has not had as much exposure to other adults and therefore is not as well behaved as the rest, although he doesn’t have separation anxiety. My youngest though, is a different issue. She has a heart condition, so I actually cannot let her cry because it can literally cause a heart attack if I let her get too worked up. So she gets held – ALL. THE. TIME. And if I’m not the one doing the holding, she’s looking for me. If she can see me, she’s fine. If she can’t, oh my… She doesn’t even want her daddy, just me. Oy. Knowing that I’m the one causing the issue by catering to her is NOT helping the headaches either. Sigh. Eventually she will outgrow this stage. I hope.

    Reply

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