I thought this was the perfect post for after a four day weekend, when going to work is especially harder since we had more time with our kiddos and we got really attached.
The truth is, I thought that with time and as my daughter got older, going to work will get easier for both me and her, but it has been just the opposite. The hardest part is leaving her while she is awake and having to say bye for the next nine hours or so. It became harder when she turned one and she is aware of the fact that I actually leave.
I always prefer leaving when she is asleep, I slip out and only hear the stories about how she had been calling my name, and banging on the bathroom door thinking I am in there. My heart hurts when I hear this, I cry and then I heal when I go home to see her and hold her, kiss her, and squeeze her for a while before she starts squirming.
On one particular morning, I had to drop her off before work. I took her out of the car and I can feel her clinging to me. She did not want to go to anyone else. I went in, I sat with her, and I explained to her that I will be back; she started crying. My heart hurt. I held her and sat with her for a bit while she was glued to me. I knew I was going to be late to work, should I care? I had thoughts of taking the day off and just playing with her. But I had already submitted my timesheet, plus I did not want her to get used to it since I can’t do it often. I even had thoughts of quitting work and living on the streets… but I am still sane…For now.
Her sock slipped out and she said “Uh-Oh” I told her to go to someone else to put it back on and I snuck out. I got in my car and busted in tears. I haven’t cried since my last hormone flare up which has been a while since I have no time to even think.
And to add to that, being at work doesn’t get easier, I am constantly thinking of her, and looking at the time which just seems to get slower and slower. I miss her so much and I am worried that she is missing me… or even that she is mad at me that I left her.
To feel better, I say to myself, one more year and she will go to school, I am not sure how much easier it would get. The thought of that gives me some relief. But is it really?
I just want her to know that I am not leaving her, that I am coming back, and that the only reason that I am leaving is because I have to.
Here are some things that have helped me with the separation anxiety and I hope that this will be of some help to you:
1. Say bye or maybe don’t:
It is the easiest to avoid good byes. Just slip out, they will be fine. If you must say bye, make a good bye routine. Kiss, hug, and go, don’t linger. To me sneaking out without her seeing me always works best for the both of us and helps us dodge those dreaded heartbreaks.
2. Distract them:
Someone can distract them and they will forget a little bit that they are saying good bye to you. Have someone distract them at the moment of separation. This has helped my little one get her mind off of the bye bye moment on several occasions.
3. Always tell them you will be back:
This helps me more then it helps my little one because she really doesn’t understand yet. But I feel like constantly telling her that “I will be back” even when I step out of the room will trigger something in her mind saying that I will always be back. I really don’t know if she understands but at least I find some comfort in this.
4. Get pictures, texts, phone calls from their care takers:
You don’t know how much this alleviates my separation anxiety. Just knowing what they are doing and that they are okay without you is the best relief. I might have gone a little overboard with asking for pictures when I left her as a baby but now I just get a couple a day 😀
5. Know that it will pass:
It really will, with time everything will get better because you will both be used to the situation in a way.
6. You will make your time together even more valuable:
Knowing that you don’t have a lot of quality time together, you will treasure the moments that you do spend with them and will make them more memorable.
Finally, note that although leaving your little one and going to work is especially hard; it is totally doable. Some days are harder than others but overall you do get through it.
Please do drop me a message and let me know about your experience and what has helped your separation anxiety.