Separation anxiety is a stage that most children at some point will go through, the heartbreaking screams and cries when mummy or daddy leave(sometimes just the room), and the constant reassurance us, as parents need to give our children that we will come back in a little while. It really does show you how much you mean to them and that they think their little world is empty without you.
So we have to put on our bravest smiles and gradually encourage our children to be independent and introduce them into the big wide world. I remember my heart breaking in two the first time Joshua cried when I went to answer the front door and he thought I was leaving, his little face dropped and that bottom lip well and truly wobbled. Over the few weeks and moths that followed I showed him that Mummy would always come back and that he didn’t need to worry.
Before I knew it Joshua’s first day at pre-school had arrived and I felt he was as prepared as he could be, he looked so little in his big coat and with his little packed lunch. I just hoped and prayed he would be okay. So when we walked in and before I had even finished saying hello to his key worker, he had sauntered off, to play without me I was devastated. My little boy wasn’t fazed at all, in fact I struggled to even get a kiss goodbye. The bus journey home on my own was odd, and very quiet, and between the tears I’m pretty sure I heard someone say “ don’t stare at the lady sweetheart she’s a bit funny!”.
I should have given myself a pat on the back for doing such a good job with Joshua, from that very first day he never looked back, he was and still is a confident happy little boy. But all I could think was that all the preparation was aimed in the wrong direction! Mummy needed the reassurance.
Isabelle is my baby, she is my last child the youngest and my best friend. In the two years and six months since having her we have been apart for only a few hours. As a work from home Mummy, I do not need childcare and we spend all of our time together. She is my wonderful little shadow, and she is emerging to be just like her big brother, very happy and confident. But my Belle is also very different, Joshua spent more time apart from me as a baby and toddler and Belle knows we go everywhere together. Any time we spend apart if brief and she is with daddy or close friends that she has known all her life. She is starting to get upset if she can’t see me, and if I pop to the shop while a friend watches her, I can hear her screaming “mummy” all the way there. She has never been looked after by a stranger not even for a minute.
Isabelle will be starting school next September and while I am eager for her to gain her independence and make new friends her own age I am very nervous. Both me and Sean are unsure how she will react, or indeed how to prepare her. But more than anything I am really really not sure how I will cope without her! I cannot remember what being without her is like, and aside from having time to myself I am not sure what I will do with myself.
Sean told me today that he will be taking her first day at school off, not only to be part of such a milestone for Isabelle but also to pick me up and console me. I know this sounds utterly ridiculous and as a grown woman I should woman up but, I have been through so much as a mum and a person since having her that my life really is totally different now.
I guess the next few months both Isabelle and mummy will be going on a little journey of independence and discovery, and I hope that we can both be brave and get through it unscathed.
Are you ready for your little one becoming their own person ? Not sure I am just yet…….
Parenthood really is life altering and I wouldn’t swap it for anything, but my goodness it is scary!
Labels: children, happiness, parenting