DD is almost 3 and has been having a difficult time with separation anxiety lately...I work part time at a university and she's at a babysitter from 6 to 12 hours a week, plus another 1-3 hours where I have meetings and she is with my husband.
I take her to a regular babysitter mon, fri, and every other wed from 9-12. She has been going there for 6 weeks now. Every single time we go she tells me all morning, mama i don't want to go, stay with me mama, i dont want you to leave, etc. She often cries when I leave and a few times she has physically clung to me so it's hard for me to leave.
She even gets really upset sometimes when I leave her with my DH and will cry, chase after me, etc.
I've been trying to take her to the nursery for church but most Sundays she just sits in church with us for the whole service. We go to a small group where there is childcare but she usually just sits with us. She has gone twice adn lasted for about 10 minutes each time before she starts screaming hysterially and they bring her back to me.
I also have a moms groups I go to every other week and last year she loved going in to play with the other kids but at all three meetings so far this year she has refused to go in and I've kept her with me.
We've had several transitions lately - we had been staying with my parents for the summer because of an internship opportunity for my husband in their city. She LOVED living wtih my parents. I don't work in the summers so I was with her 24/7. In late July we came back to campus and I started work again Aug 1st. Dh had been commuting part time to a nearby city 2 hours away but about a month ago got a full time job working night shifts so his schedule has changed adn it's very unpredictable. And I'm almost 6 months pregnant. DH is stressed often about work and finances and our future plans and I'm sure she picks up on that.
I realize this is probably normal developmentally, but I don't know how to deal with it. I have to take her to her regular babysitter because I have to work. I HATE hearing her complain and I would love to SAH but financially we really don't have a choice right now...my job provides us our housing. I try not to let her see this and just reassure her that she always has fun and i'll be back.
But in the other circumstances I don't push it and let her stay with me while trying to encourage her to go play with the other kids. I get lots of disapproval from others because they think I am being too soft on her and she'll never get over it if I keep letting her stay with me.
Should I push her a little more even if she gets upset, or should I just minimize separations for now until she passes through this stage?