Separation anxiety of a different sort... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 07-04-2003, 03:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I posted this on another forum, but then saw this one and thought maybe i could get some advice from working/student mommies on how to deal with this...

Abby will be a year next week. The day after she turns one, I go back to school part time. I have really been struggling with this decision. I need to finish up, especially since I already have to take another class since I took a break and the requirements changed. I got pregnant in the first semester of nursing school and have 2 semesters left. I will graduate in June of 2004 and finally be done with school for now.

Anyway, school is on Fridays and Saturdays, basically from 7a-3:30p. My friend or her babysitter will be watching Abby and she will have a 16 month old to play with all day. There are 43 weeks of school not including the breaks. Those are actual weeks I will be away from her for 2 days. DH can't watch her since he works 6 days a week and is only off on Sundays.

Funny thing is, I know Abby will probably be fine. She has never gone through separation anxiety, has always easily gone to strangers arms, etc. She occasionally looks for me when we are at work (I work 8 hours a week or so at a breastfeeding store where I can take Abby), but seems content playing alone or with other kids and wanders about the store happily till she is hungry or tired. I do worry that she will miss breastfeeding, but she takes expressed breastmilk easily from her straw cup and I will be pumping while we are away so she can have breastmilk while I am at school.

Any ideas on how to get through those first days? I keep feeling guilty for leaving her at all. We have only been separated a total of about 12 hours since she was born. I just don't know how I am going to do it. I know I will be worried constantly. I trust the people she will be with, but it just isn't the same as if I am there. Am I being irrational or is this normal separation anxiety in an attached mommy?

A non-AP friend I have said something to me like "You're the one who doesn't want to separate from her, she will probably be like finally I am away from my mom for awhile". I was a bit offended, but this is the same person who told me breastfeeding was gross as I had my baby in the sling nursing...and also is always asking when I am going to stop breastfeeding Abby. I always say when she wants to and it doesn't seem like she is interested in stopping anytime soon...

Sorry I have rambled and probably not made any sense. DH is totally supportive and sometimes I wish he wasn't so I would have an excuse not to go. Then again, I am a little excited about going back and finishing and feel guilty about that too. Someone tell me I am not nuts...

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#2 of 2 Old 07-04-2003, 12:53 PM
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I don't think you're nuts at all. I'm considering going back to work (just for a few months; very flexible schedule) when my DD is 18 months. I feel she'll be okay (she'll be with DH) but I know I'll worry like you are saying.

Your friend is an idiot - of course your DD won't be "thrilled" to be away from you. Jeez. Kids that age want to explore and discover and they just get "distracted" until you are back, lol.

What I'm going to do is start going in to work several weeks before my start date, on a volunteer basis, every once in a while. I'll start out with short times, 2 - 3 hours, then gradually lengthen it so that when I'm officially starting and back full-time, DD will be used to it and so will I.

Is there any way you can do something like that? Even if it's just getting away from the home for short periods, gradually lengthening? I think this would help ease your fears greatly.

Good luck with school! We desperately need more nurses who understand BFing!!

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