See this sweet face?
Mommy guilt, that is.
Here’s the rundown. B cannot stand to be left alone with anyone except J, a few family members (after a few days of warming up) and two close family friends. She absolutely detests the church nursery, gym child watch and gets nervous when she even thinks there is a possibility I may be dropping her off somewhere. We’ve been consistent. We go to the same church service with the same familiar and friendly faces every week. Girl just doesn’t like anyone except her Momma.
This started when she was about 6 months old and, looking back, when her food allergies with bad and ear infections were the norm. So I coddled her. If she cried, I scooped her up and we left. As I should have – she was in pain and uncomfortable and needed her Momma. But I still tried to leave her a few times a week at church or the gym until it was clear she wasn’t going to calm herself and needed me.
For awhile, it got better at the gym. The women on staff are wonderful and understanding. Eventually B really enjoyed going and playing while I ran or did a class.
Until E started preschool. I didn’t realize it before, but I think B relies as much on her big sister for comfort as she does me. It explains why she’s gotten better at the gym (they’re in the same play area) but still doesn’t do great at church (different Sunday School classes). I’ve dropped B off at child watch twice while E was at school and each time she was upset. Then today, I tried dropping both girls off and B was so upset and we had to leave. I feel like I screwed up and we’re completely back to square one with the separation anxiety.
Everyone says it’s normal and actually a good sign of emotional and social development. But we’ve been dealing with this for an entire 12 months. Our current pediatrician says it should get better by 18 months but, uh, that’s this weekend and it’s getting worse. Oh, and she doesn’t really like kids her own age so being around a lot of other crazy toddlers fuels her fire.
Sure I don’t have to leave her with anyone right now. At this point any sort of running/training schedule is impossible since she’s a loose cannon, and that’s fine. But church is pretty important to us and she isn’t exactly at a quietly-sit-in-the-service age. And I’m hoping to pick up some part-time and freelance writing gigs over the next few months and she will need to be with a babysitter or at child watch a few hours each week. Which I’m sure would do permanent damage to her psyche, make me crazy-nuts-nervous and probably cause PTSD for the poor soul tasked with keeping her alive.
What am I supposed to do? No one is exactly jumping up and down willing to take this screaming child for a few hours until she “works it out” and honestly, I’m not sure I’m comfortable leaving her like that, either.
Parents. Help. This is my SOS. I know a lot of kids go through this but it feels like surely my kid’s separation anxiety is the worst ever in the history of histories. What do I do?!