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Separation anxiety: merited or nutty after 15 months?

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Separation anxiety: merited or nutty after 15 months?

Postby LostGirl » Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:37 pm

Hi,
I'm due in Sept with my first baby. We are "wait and see" mode, that is, people keep telling me and my DH when we express an opinion about parenting (especially one that doesn't jive with what they think) that we'll change our minds once we are parents. Did anyone out there experience something similar when they were expecting?

Case in point: I live in NYC and am trying to get a good gauge on whether it's normal or odd that a friend who has a 15-month-old and works outside the home has not spent more than 24 hours separated from her child at all since her birth. Keep in mind: breastfeeding is over so that's not the issue. It's just that she says she can't bear to be away from her baby. Not for weekend with her DH. Not to let him stay with her parents for weekend. Her husband agrees.

I realize everyone's different, but I'm wondering what parents think out there. Is it a working mom's or working man's guilt that prevents her or her husband from taking a single weekend night to go on an overnight date? Or say to attend a friend's wedding a couple of states away w/o baby? Or is it old fashioned separation anxiety? Or just taking on too much? In other words, believing that you are the only one who can soothe your kid, and that if his grandmother - or someone else you trust - were to have him for a whole weekend that the world would fall apart?

I'm baffled. Am I cruel to imagine wanting (and needing) a weekend day off once a while, and imagining being thrilled and grateful if my mother or mother-in-law wants to take my child for a weekend after say the first 8 months?

Lostgirl
Me: 37 DH:40 TTC since 2005. First IVF cycle canceled. 2nd cycle BFP 1/11. DS arrived late 2008. 3rd cycle, U/s 3/7. Devastated. NO fetal pole or HB.
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Postby Aliann09 » Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:18 pm

LostGirl I am a first time mom of a 2 month old. I am also working mom and my mother and mother-in-law watch my little girl most days and dad also gets her during the week as well. I am having issues with doing something right now on the weekends or in the evening after work at all because I feel like she gets pawned off on grandmas all week long that the weekend/evening is my only time with her. However I am thinking that at about 6-8 months I am going to do the overnight thing I cannot even imagine 15 mo without that. I guess I could understand if they didn't have any family close by I would be hesitatnt to leave my little girl with a sitter but we are fortunate enough to have a lot of family close by. I guess everyone is different and I know that when I do that first overnighter it will be hard to leave her but I think that you and DH need to have some alone time and believe me the grandparents if you have good ones and excited to keep the baby.
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Postby woodcliff » Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:35 pm

I don't think you're cruel to imagine you'll want some time to yourself away from the baby,
BUT I do think you're cruel to judge how other moms deal with this.

Some people don't NEED the time away...it's not a working mom vs non working mom thing either, or guilt driven.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that has become so socialized about child rearing, so accustomed to dumping babies off on strangers, that people think it is "odd" for a mother to not want to be away from her child.

Sad statement on our society. A mother's desire to stay close to her baby is the most natural, primal instinct around.
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Postby kholtan » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:31 pm

We have 10.5 month old twins and I have never been away for more than 4 hours and that was only once and DH was watching them. Anyone can call it what they want or feel however they would like about it but I don't want or need to be seperated from my babies. We are lucky because our babies are AWESOME sleepers and take 3 naps a day still and go 12 hours straight at night and have for a long time. Dh and I get from 7-7 all alone to have our time together and we love that and the fact that our babies are still near by.

My babies see lots of different people everyday and are very social but I just don't care to leave them with ANYONE. We wanted to be this way and didn't let anyone inluence our choices. If we feel like we ever need time away, we will take it. Like I said, we get time together alone every night and this works for us.

Everyone is different and I agree when Woodcliff said that it's sad that it's perceived as not normal for a mother to not want to leave her baby. I wouldn't feel guilty about leaving and I know many people would love to take care of them but no one will ever do it better than me with my babies. I've gone out with my girlfriends when the babies are in bed and dh is home. We take them everywhere. Life for us is just as we like it.

You'll know what is right for you too when the time comes. Good luck and take care!
Kimberly
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Postby LostGirl » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:46 pm

Woodcliff,

I am not judging anyone. If you re-read my note, you'll see I'm actually asking what people think. Not telling them what I think.

I haven't a clue how I will feel once I'm a mother. I don't yet know what makes a parent want to never leave their baby or what makes a parent want a bit of time off.

The month or so before childbirth isn't a time of great certainty in my experience.

Lostgirl
Me: 37 DH:40 TTC since 2005. First IVF cycle canceled. 2nd cycle BFP 1/11. DS arrived late 2008. 3rd cycle, U/s 3/7. Devastated. NO fetal pole or HB.
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Postby kholtan » Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:55 am

Lostgirl~ From reading your post I think you may have felt attacked. Honestly, I do not feel this was the intent of any of the responses. When things are typed I think things can come across more harsh than intended. Please do not misread any of what I wrote. An opinion is all I was trying to state along with my own personal experience. Also, I do feel that when you deliver your baby you will know in your heart what the right path for you is and no path will be right or wrong. My statement about wanting to be with your child all the time was one that basically was saying that I feel offended that sometimes society (not you directly) think of us as wierd for feeling that way. Please know that I meant nothing rude or harsh by it. As a new mom myself I understand the uncertainty of how things will go and I deeply respect it.

I hope this clears things up a little and I honestly hope your feeling are not hurt. I only meant well. Good luck with your little one and I hope all goes really well for you. I am a past New Yorker myself. :D

Sending a great big hug and sorry!
Kimberly
Me 35, DH 35
Ectopic Oct. 2005
IVF transfer 1-21-07. . .TWINS!!!!
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Postby woodcliff » Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:29 pm

Lost girl...you are wise to question these things, and I agree that once your baby is in your arms you'll know what is right for YOU...I think you'll find you won't feel overly influenced by opinionated family members or close friends or people you may hire to care for your baby, because you'll have your mother's instincts to go by...

But don't worry if things don't click in right away...those early weeks are tough, some babies cry much more than others (my son did but now he is ALL smiles, his sister was easy from the get go)...

I do know when I was pregnant I read lots of books and had some ideas ... but now that I look back I am embarrassed at some of my ideas because until those babies were in my arms...I was clueless ...
Instincts kick in and you'll do what's right for you and your babies.
Kholtan, you never cease to amaze me! I'm inspired, and admire how you care for those gorgeous babies...
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Postby Fed7281 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:41 am

I just wanted to add my two cents in here. I have 9 month old twins (Hi Kholton I was due around the same time as you) I know for me I have had family watch them for a few hours here and there to do family things with my older two children so they can still have their time and maybe a date night also my mother kept them over night once when they were maybe 4 months old and that was very much needed due to lack of sleep and getting way to emotional due to not sleeping. I could use another night away with just my husband and I and I dont feel bad about it because I know that they would be with Mom and I know that I need my time every once and a while. I mean I would not leave them every weekend or anything but occasionally I dont see an issue. Some people will need their time which is fine and other will not god bless them for that as well, but for me everyone once and a blue moon it is a nice treat to be off diaper duty and early morning rises.

Like everyone said, you will know what is right for you once you have your baby. Good luck
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Postby kholtan » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:16 am

Hey fed7281!!! I totally agree with you. It's great to see your name. How are those baby boys???? Pics on photobucket would be hreat. . . hint, hint! :wink: :D

I agree that we are all just different with our mommy techinique and needs. What's really great about a forum like this is we can celebrate that and talk about it w/o being negative. My children will one day need to find a dh/dw that came from a less contolling mommy to balance them out! :wink: Just kidding!

Hugs to you and those boys!
Kimberly

WC~ Thank you for the sweet compliment!
Me 35, DH 35
Ectopic Oct. 2005
IVF transfer 1-21-07. . .TWINS!!!!
ww.batesbabies.blogspot.com

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Postby beachbaby » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:41 pm

Hi Ladies, My babies are 6 weeks old and spend every Friday night overnight at Grandma's. You may think i am cruel but looking after 2 is hard work and i was very ill after having the babies and spent 10 days in hospital without them. Due to my ill health and DH being back at work full time this is a godsend.
I would say we always planned for them to go overnight at times, maybe not at such a young age, and we will spend weekends away just DH and myself, as we feel our time is important as well as family time. But i agree with everyone else there is no right or wrong, it's what works for you as a couple.

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Postby suzhan » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:55 pm

Just adding my two cents -

My daughter is 14 months, and I've only been away from her for more than 24 hours once (when she was 12 months) - she stayed with the grandparents and we had one night away in Las Vegas. It's primarily my choice, although we probably would do it again if we had more time and babysitting availability. I personally really want to spend my free time with her since I work 32 hours/week and don't get enough time with her (in my opinion.)
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Postby hrobinson » Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:10 pm

Hey ladies. I have a three year old and she has NEVER been away from us overnight. She goes to a babysitter every day while we work, and we just feel we WANT to be with her the rest of the time. Truth be told, until he was almost 3 (1 month short) we had never left her with a babysitter so we could go to a movie or anything. WE are a very close family, and just enjoy doing everythig together.
I do not feel it has hurt my dh or my relationship...I think it has brought us closer as a family.
You will know what is right for you. Yes, people will judge you, but they will judge you no matter what you do.
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