Wednesday, January 07, 2015

separation anxiety, nursery, back to work, help

It's 8:55pm, Wednesday and I am freaking out.

It's finally happened. The full gravity and realisation that in a few days I'm leaving my child in a strange place and going back to work has finally kicked in.

I feel like I'm falling into another black hole of despair.

While I sat tapping away at my holiday blog post in a coffee shop, below, my little boy was attending his first settling in session at nursery.
When I left him he was all smiles - he is happy with anyone, luckily - but when I arrived there two hours later, his little face was puffy and red, and he was crying. When he saw me, he just got even more upset.

They said it's all normal, even though he was crying 'on and off' the whole time. He only has another two sessions in which to settle before I start work on Monday, and I don't think it's going to be enough. I feel like I've made a massive error going on holiday so close to leaving him, where he has had so much attention, and now I am leaving him in a nursery a week later. What have I done? I feel awful and guilty, and I don't know what I'm going to do before Monday.

My mind is whirring around and around, and while the Brit can take on an extra settling-in session on Monday as back-up, the Internet tells me these things:

1) At 9 months the separation anxiety can be so bad, it can take anything up to a month to settle them in;
2) Other mums started settling their child a few weeks before going back to work;
3) He might not 'fit' nursery, and perhaps I should look at some back-up options;
4) I am a bad mother for not realising this sooner

We go to another settling in session tomorrow, where I am going to bring along one of his toys and a scarf of mine for familiarity, but honestly, what if he is desperately unhappy and cries all day?
How will I even be able to focus on work if I know he is not happy?

I'm sure - no, I know - other mums go through this, but I had no idea how excruciating it would be. Am I doing the right thing? Is he going to be OK?

Jesus, I need some heavy tranquilisers.

Help, I don't think I can go through with this.


Cassey Toi said...

Just this: you are not a bad mother. You and Seb will find what works for you. Hugs.

Coffee and Books Cape Town said...

You're a perfect mother, far better than many xx

Vannessa said...

Remember he has always had a familiar person nearby or has been in familiar surroundings when you have left him before. It will take a little bit of time for him to settle in. I so remember those days, especially with my first. Take many deep breaths and try and keep as busy as possible when he is at the nursery. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Peas I know how horribel and beyond difficult it is to leave your only baby - when i first left mine to go and work away he was 1.5yrs old and he got very upset when i turned up again after a week - i felt awful. I then left him in a playgroup for 3 hours twice a week when he was 2.5yrs and it was a real wrench but i quickly learned that he was actually ok, i trusted the staff (which is the MAIN thing) and he was fine without me and could function (which i didnt believe was possible)> I know little sebby is only 9 months but it will be worse for you than it is for him - its just that its all new for him but he will settle - i realised this when i took my little boy to Italy at 6 months old and he didnt pay the least bit attention to me as there was too much attention from everyone else - once he settles he will be fine - can you call in for updates a few times a day at first? my friend's nursery had a live video she could log onto to see what her little man was up to in the day as well - i think the key is trust in the staff and a good relationship with them, to give yourself the confidence he is ok. xxxx

Bug Eyed said...


Just stop.


Baby steps, deep breaths and keep your your chin up. You and Seb will be fine. It might not seem like it, but you will.

When you feel yourself descending in to panic, take a step back and try to put the situation into perspective. Yes, he will have separation anxiety. Yes, it's natural for you to feel torn up about it. There'd be something wrong with you if you didn't.

But, you WILL instinctively know if there is a serious problem. And you will deal with that problem IF and when it happens.

Lots of love, from Durban. xxx