2 year old rejecting mama after work - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 01-23-2010, 02:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS just turned 2 the 12th and I started, on that day actually, leaving him for 5-7 hours a day to be a post-partum doula. He is staying with daddy, and I think it is going well. Before this I have been the 24/7 parent and have very infrequently left without him, and he has never shown seperation anxiety from me in those situations, though he does in the house, like if i go into another room. He still sleeps with me and likes to be carried a lot. Before now, DH has not been too involved/busy/only sees him a little bit of the day. Now my son dosen't seem to want me, and this has happened before, when he prefers daddy, but he won't even LOOK at me when i get home, or hug me when i leave and seems very distant. Today it just about broke my heart and it was really hard to get him to spend any time with me without him crying for dad, and it took an hour for him to warm up to me. Any thoughts?

Bonnie, married to David, mother of Loki born 1/12/08, step-mom of Aislinn, Waldorf student born 1998, nanny, student birth doula, working PP doula, still bed-sharing, SAHM.
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#2 of 6 Old 01-29-2010, 04:45 AM
 
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Ouch, that's really hard. My little one cried every time I came home for months when I went back to work, not because he wanted to stay with dad, but I think because he was a little stressed when I wasn't there. I think your DS is probably still getting used to the new schedule, so I would give both of you time to get used to it. I would also try to talk to him, before you leave, and after you get home. I tell my little guy that mama is going to work, I'll be home after snack (or whenever) I miss him when I'm gone, and I love him. The most important thing for your DS is to know that mama loves him, and that it's ok if he's mad or sad or whatever. I would try not to make a big deal out of the cold shoulder. He might take some time to adjust, but it probably won't take too long. Hugs.
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#3 of 6 Old 01-29-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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I don't comment much on here because I don't have any children of my own yet but I have been a nanny for most of my adult life and I have seen this same situation on many occasions. Even in children who are used to mom going to work act like this when their routine with their parent is disrupted. They are showing their anger at the situation, they cannot control your actions but they can control their own and they know it gets a (justified) reaction of you being hurt.

I promise you that it gets better for everyone involved. He will quickly understand that even though you are leaving you will be back soon. The two of you will develop your own routines that make it easier to transition when you leave and when you come home.

I have found it helps the parents I work with if I give the toddlers a heads up about ten minutes before mom comes home and we finish our activity and think about what they are going to do when mom gets home. Sometimes we hide and pop out when she comes in, sometimes I hand them a project they worked on and they run to the door to meet her etc. Ask your husband for help in facilitating the transition when you come home. Take five minutes and focus on your son before you go and change your clothes or use the restroom.

Maybe as a distraction to get over the initial hump try bringing home something that would be exciting for him. The girls I take care of are always super excited the days their mom brings home a bag of groceries that they get to help unpack!

I wish you the best of luck navigating this tricky spot. I know it is incredibly hard and probably leaves you with doubts but before you know it things will be much better!
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#4 of 6 Old 01-29-2010, 11:57 PM
 
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I'm sorry mama, I've been there too. My dd is almost 4 now and I worked for about 6 months when she was a year old, and then I started working again when she was 2.5.

I've experienced this initially both times, it really took us about a month before things settled down it was okay again. I did notice that while she seemed to be pushing me away, she really needed MORE time with me. I started doing more baby-wearing in the evenings again just for close time, we tried to co-sleep again (she doesn't like it),etc.

It will get better, the first few weeks are rough though.

wife of 8 years to DH geek.gif, mama to DD blahblah.gif (2006) & DS jog.gif (2011) angel1.gif (Dec. 2012) rainbow1284.gif due Nov. 2013 

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#5 of 6 Old 01-30-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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Notyet11--That is wonderful insight and great advice.

metalgypsy--Like the other folks here, I see why this hurts so much, but it is indeed so normal. It will get better.
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#6 of 6 Old 01-30-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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This happened to me and ds when he was about the same age, except I went away for a few days and left him with DH. He didn't want anything to do with me when I got home.
I seriously wanted to cry.
I didn't get snuggles, hugs, smiles, nothing. For almost 2 days.

But it passed and he forgave me. I def think it's the age.

Sorry to hear your going through it right now, but it will get better.

Wife to my LOVE Dave, Mama to Milo 8/16/07 and soon to be Mama to Sully EDD May 25th 2010
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