I took Baby M out in her pushchair recently after my mother had babysat. When I opened the pushchair up I discovered the seat had been turned round so it was forward facing, but as I was short on time I put Baby M in it and headed off. For the next 15 minutes I felt very uncomfortable. I couldn’t see my daughter, I could occasionally hear her, and every so often I stopped the buggy and went round to check on her. But I really hated not being able to see her.
Baby M wasn’t bothered. She was happily looking around and enjoying the walk. I tried to justify how I felt by telling myself it is better for babies developmentally to be face to face, that if she is facing away from me I wont be able to tell if she is eating something she shouldn’t, if she is about to escape from the straps or if she is otherwise unhappy. All true, but the truth was I’m not ready.
There are a lot of milestones Baby M and I will go through as she becomes increasingly independent and I’m starting to realise that all of them are likely to be harder on me as her mum than on her.
The reason my mum had been babysitting was because I had been at my company's staff conference doing a “keeping in touch day”. As I’ve now hit the unpaid bit of my maternity leave KIT days become extremely valuable as a whole days pay is a lot more than nothing. For those that don't know while on maternity leave women are allowed to go in to work on up to 10 days and get paid. A great idea in principle, the problem is it involves leaving Baby M behind.
My mum came over at 7am to pick Baby M up and drive her away. I continued to get ready for work and when I was nearly ready to go I had a meltdown. My husband looked on in amusement as I burst into tears and cried “I want my baby back”. A quick hug and the time pressures of having to get to work meant I soon pulled myself together and left the house. All day when someone asked me how my baby was I just wanted to cuddle her, and sniff her hair, and kiss her. I narrowly avoided any more tears though.
By all reports Baby M had a great day and didn’t miss me or her meals on tap. As soon as she came home and saw me she did get upset, but I think she just wanted my boobage.
In less than 3 months I will be back at work full time. I’ll have to leave her day after day. She might have some separation anxiety, but I know she’ll be fine. I’m sure I’ll spend more of my day missing her than she will me.
The first night I put her in her cot in her nursery I worried about her. She didn’t stay in there long, but while she was alone I was reassured by the movement and sound monitor. I could hear if she made noises or if she stopped breathing (or someone kidnapped her). In contrast while she is in someone else’s care I don’t know what is going on. Despite my requests to know: what she ate, when, how long she slept for, nappy changes etc people generally only give me a vague outline. Sorry everyone I am a control freak. I like to know EVERY SINGLE THING.
I know that I need to relax, to let go just a little bit. As she gets older I will have less and less control and knowledge about what happens in her life, but I don’t think it will ever get easier.
My name is Kate, I'm addicted to my baby and I have separation anxiety