Having anxiety about leaving my baby to go back to school. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 06-01-2013, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am only FIVE classes away from my degree and this fall I am taking one class.  I will be gone twice a week for two hours each day.  I am having horrible anxiety and worry about leaving my baby!  She will be at home with her daddy, but it worries me to think that she will look for me and I wont be there!  I almost feel like its mean to leave!  She is 7 months old right now and will be about 9 and a half months when I go back to school.  I feel guilty and sad for leaving her, any experience with this or advice? 

 

**Im also dreaming about returning to yoga but just cant bare leaving my sweet girl!

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#2 of 27 Old 06-01-2013, 11:16 PM
 
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(((Hugs!))) I'm sorry you're feeling this way. Are you at all concerned about how she'll be cared for? I know with DP I've never worried about that, but with XH I would've doubted he'd have the patience. If that's not an issue, then you might just consider trying to work up to the amount of time you'll be gone by taking small outings without her, and get both you and her used to it. Maybe grocery shopping? Or, yes, yoga! smile.gif

I sympathize with how you're feeling, and I remember feeling the same way when I had to return to work after DS was born. I worked part time, and could do most of it from home, but had to go in twice a week for 2-4 hrs each time. And he was only 4 weeks old! It was hard, but we made it, and I think it was really good for DP as a new father to see that he really could handle it all by himself.

Good luck! It will feel good to finish that degree!!

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#3 of 27 Old 06-01-2013, 11:58 PM
 
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She will be fine. Her daddy loves her just as much as you do. I agree that starting small outings now and building up would be a good idea.

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It's complicated.
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#4 of 27 Old 06-02-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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I am not a big fan of leaving babies (although I understand some times it has to happen). I tell you this to let you know I would give it to you straight if I thought is was a lousy idea….

 

But I don't!  A 9 month old will be fine with you being gone twice a week for a total of 4 hours.  

 

You could start now with small amounts of time away - a walk on your own, go get the groceries on your own, that sort of thing.  


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#5 of 27 Old 06-02-2013, 08:16 AM
 
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This is harder then you then on her. 

 

For one, you're the one getting nervous about it two months in advance.  Your sweet girl is not experiencing the same anxiety. 

 

For two, you're leaving her with her dad, who loves her and will take great care of her.  This is a wonderful chance for them to bond.

 

You might give it a test run with a yoga class, and see how it goes.  It would be practice for both of you, and help your partner get any bugs out of the system before you go to school.

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#6 of 27 Old 06-02-2013, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks :)  jennyanydots, Im not at all worried about leaving her with dad, he is an amazing father and our baby girl thinks he hung the moon <3  it is my own anxiety about leaving her, it breaks my heart to think of us being apart!

 

I have been pondering doing some "practice separation", is 7 months old too young to leave her?  I dont want to upset my sweet girl!

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#7 of 27 Old 06-02-2013, 10:20 AM
 
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I have been pondering doing some "practice separation", is 7 months old too young to leave her?  I dont want to upset my sweet girl!

This comes down to logistics more than aqnything else. 

 

If you leave her for more than 1 hour, she might need food.  Does she take solids or a bottle/sippy cup with EBM?

 

If not, I would either leave her for less than an hour, or work on getting her to take food from people other than you.  You need to do this for when you go back to class, anyways.


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#8 of 27 Old 06-03-2013, 03:18 PM
 
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She will be fine. I don't even consider it "leaving" her since she'll be with her other parent. Your anxiety while you're at class won't get you home any faster or comfort her in your absence, so let the anxiety go and enjoy yourself!

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#9 of 27 Old 06-03-2013, 06:23 PM
 
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It's actually going to be WONDERFUL for her. She's going to learn that she can trust her daddy to take care of her, too. That's a great thing.

 

My kids were seldom left with dad (he always worked long hours and traveled) and I could see a difference who kids who were regularly left with dad. They end up with more solid relationships with dad without losing anything in their relationship with mom.

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 27 Old 06-03-2013, 08:00 PM
 
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It's actually going to be WONDERFUL for her. She's going to learn that she can trust her daddy to take care of her, too. That's a great thing.

I agree, this will help bring them closer. You keep talking about how you're "leaving" her but you're not, you're simply doing something else for a short time and then coming back. It sounds like you have issues from your past that are intensifying these feelings--probably abandonment issues. Its such a short time that i dont even know why you're concerned. Many moms work outside the home and their babies do fine.
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#11 of 27 Old 06-04-2013, 08:01 AM
 
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I agree, this will help bring them closer. You keep talking about how you're "leaving" her but you're not, you're simply doing something else for a short time and then coming back. It sounds like you have issues from your past that are intensifying these feelings--probably abandonment issues. Its such a short time that i dont even know why you're concerned. Many moms work outside the home and their babies do fine.

This is a tad dismissive and arm-chair psychology.

 

I think it is pretty normal for mothers who have never left their babies to stress about it.  

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There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#12 of 27 Old 06-04-2013, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree, this will help bring them closer. You keep talking about how you're "leaving" her but you're not, you're simply doing something else for a short time and then coming back. It sounds like you have issues from your past that are intensifying these feelings--probably abandonment issues. Its such a short time that i dont even know why you're concerned. Many moms work outside the home and their babies do fine.

Are you a psychologist?  I have read multiple articles by doctors who say for a mother to leave a baby before age two is detrimental.  If you are a doctor, could you please weigh in on this as it is one of the causes of my anxiety.  (If you are not a doctor, please dont psycho-analyze me, no disrespect, but it is just not helpful).

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#13 of 27 Old 06-04-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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 I have read multiple articles by doctors who say for a mother to leave a baby before age two is detrimental. 

 

you said that you would be leaving your baby:

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I will be gone twice a week for two hours each day.  I am having horrible anxiety and worry about leaving my baby!  She will be at home with her daddy,

 

Although I can easily believe that a mother leaving a baby/very young child for an extended period of time (such as a military deployment) could be detrimental, I find it difficult to believe that any reputable expert would say that leaving a baby/very young child with a loving father for a few hours will be detrimental.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#14 of 27 Old 06-04-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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you are not leaving her. She is under care of her another parent. Does he dad feel he leaves her when she is with you?

 

Think long term benefits.


When my son as 3 days old, I went back to school. 2 hours twice a week. i needed that class to transfer to university.

 

At 16 months we got a nanny 3 times a week.

 

 

I have good career that paid for many things for my son that now, in turn, allowed him to land an awesome job at age 17.

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#15 of 27 Old 06-04-2013, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your thoughts and advice.  I have started to feel better about being away from my sweet baby, I am sure it will be much harder for me than her :)

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#16 of 27 Old 06-04-2013, 12:42 PM
 
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I don't think a two-hour class constitutes harmful abandonment either.  You are "leaving", but the baby is in the care of a responsible, loving adult. 

 

I've had some situations where I did have to leave my children - children older then yours - for a week or so at a time for medical reasons.  One of the things that minimized the trauma of these separations for my kids is that they have experience with a variety of caregivers from a young age.  They know that they are part of a community that will care for them.  In almost any situation, they can identify adults who will help them.  Being cared for by people other then ourselves can be a skill we teach our children, and the earlier we start it, the more seamless it is in their conscious minds.  I wouldn't want to push you out of the house before you're ready, but I do think that children need to feel a network of support, not merely a single point.

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#17 of 27 Old 06-04-2013, 02:47 PM
 
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Are you a psychologist?  I have read multiple articles by doctors who say for a mother to leave a baby before age two is detrimental.  If you are a doctor, could you please weigh in on this as it is one of the causes of my anxiety.  (If you are not a doctor, please dont psycho-analyze me, no disrespect, but it is just not helpful).

No i'm not a doctor but you sound extreme with your fears, which is why i suggested abandonment issues. Its just a suggestion, you can take it or leave it, i simply have experience working on my own abandonment issues so i have read some books on the topic and discovered things on my own. Its not healthy to be this extreme about not wanting to be apart from your baby, especially if you feel her father will do a fine job. Like a PP said, i really doubt there is any doctor who would claim its detrimental to be apart from your baby who is under two for such a short period of time. I would double check those articles if i were you and see if they're referring to a 40 hour a week job or something of that nature. The bottom line is your baby doesnt need to cling to you to be healthy, she simply needs love and if both of her parents are giving her the love she needs then how can that be bad?
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#18 of 27 Old 06-04-2013, 06:36 PM
 
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I have read the studies and books too mountain ma, regarding lack of maternal and infant separation until two years of age or so, even then very little.. It is well documented. You called it anxiety but it is actually instinct to be close to a nursing infant. It is how humans evolved. It is all well documented. Harvey Karp observed infants nursing 50-100 times a day in hunter gatherers. They may have 'allomothers' who hold the baby and on rare occasion even nurse a baby, but mother and infant are in close contact for years. My instinct would be he same as yours with a 9 month old.

Humans in industrialized societies have made many adaptations on child rearing out of necessity, and that includes separation of mother and infant. Science shows it is not natural though, so that accounts for your feelings. Never the less though, living in a modern western industrialized society doesn't make it very easy to raise children in a natural way. It is very challenging indeed and all we can do is our best to fulfill our child's needs given the circumstances.

http://curiousbabycuriousmum.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/kung-san-of-the-kalahari/
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#19 of 27 Old 06-05-2013, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you said that you would be leaving your baby:

 

Although I can easily believe that a mother leaving a baby/very young child for an extended period of time (such as a military deployment) could be detrimental, I find it difficult to believe that any reputable expert would say that leaving a baby/very young child with a loving father for a few hours will be detrimental.

Just to clear this up for everyone, the articles I read (online) were by various doctors. I dont recall any specific time frames being mentioned.  I also read various articles that claimed leaving babies was not harmful (typical Internet contradictions).  That is why I brought the topic up with PP.  I assumed by her language she might have been a doctor and wanted her opinion.   I am a first time mom trying to do the best for my baby, that's all.

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#20 of 27 Old 06-05-2013, 02:05 PM
 
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Just to clear this up for everyone, the articles I read (online) were by various doctors. I dont recall any specific time frames being mentioned. 

 

I suspect that if you looked more closely at those articles, they were not about leaving babies for short periods of time with loving caretakers, such as a parent, grandparent, trusted friend etc.

 

I think it would be very, very difficult to find very many children who were NEVER left with anyone else. My kids were left less than most. We've never lived near family so they were never left with grandma. As I said before, my DH worked long hours and travels. I was with my kids most of the time. None the less, I did leave them with a friend so I  could go to the doctor, I did leave my oldest before she was 2 because I was giving birth to my second, and I did sometimes leave them at home with their dad.


I do understand why you feel anxious. I felt anxious the first time I had to leave my baby. None the less, I think that as you allow your husband to care for your child while you are in school, you will find that it is really a good thing for your whole family.

 

Peace.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#21 of 27 Old 06-05-2013, 02:47 PM
 
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I did some part time work starting when my baby was 2 months old, but I always brought him with me. So he was with a babysitter, literally in the room next to me, and I would pop in and visit every hour or so. I would "leave" him with his dad for half an hour or an hour while I went running. Any longer than that felt unbearably long.

 

When he was about 8 months, I got a gig that would keep me away from him for two whole hours and I'd have to leave him in the house with a babysitter. That seemed almost impossible to do, and I cried in the car the whole way to the gig.

 

When he was 9 months, I went back to work part time for real and left him at home for 3.5 hour stretches. It was also really difficult, but we managed. Now he is 18 months, and I leave him routinely for 4 hour stretches to work, and sometimes for about 6 hours.

 

Sometimes I talk to other parents who've left their children overnight, or at bedtime. That seems unimaginable to me... but maybe I'll get there one day.

 

It's a process, Mama! You guys are going to do fine.

 

What you are feeling is pretty normal.

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#22 of 27 Old 06-05-2013, 03:00 PM
 
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If you link me to those articles, I'll destroy them for you.

The kind of intensive mothering that well-off women in the developed world are encouraged to engage in now has largely not been possible in most eras or most cultures, and it's a totally unrealistic standard for the vast majority of women now. Children need responsible, responsive, consistent, affectionate care. They don't need that care to come exclusively from any one person.

There is a strong tendency in the US today to pin all the responsibility for childcare, from infancy through adolescence, on the mother, and to frame parenting as a lifestyle choice akin to an expensive hobby. That framing places parents in general, and mothers especially, in a position where they are responsible for the continuation of the overall society, but receive extremely limited societal help.

It's been my experience that widely published pediatricians can and do make all kinds of anthropological claims, but have limited access to, or understanding of, anthropological data. I believe Harvey karp about swaddling, but if he's actually been to Africa, it's news to me.
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#23 of 27 Old 06-05-2013, 03:34 PM
 
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Just to clear this up for everyone, the articles I read (online) were by various doctors. I dont recall any specific time frames being mentioned.  

A statement like "It is detrimental for a mother to leave her child" is meaningless without time frames though, you know? That could mean anything from total abandonment to taking a 20-minute shower while daddy plays with baby. (FWIW, your 2-hour class is pretty much in the same realm as the 20-minute shower in terms of damage to the baby, IMO. My kids have had one-on-one time with their daddy since day 1, and they have an amazing bond with him.)

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I am a first time mom trying to do the best for my baby, that's all.

Just the fact that you're concerned about this issue shows that you are a caring, connected, loving mother. Being apart for 4 hours a week isn't going to change your little one's perception of that. Hugs, and let us know how it goes!

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#24 of 27 Old 06-06-2013, 01:13 PM
 
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Mountain ma - I am in the same place when my ds was over a year is the first time I left him alone (even with daddy) to start back to school.  It was hard but over the first semester it became easier I increased the time away each week adding in grocery shopping and errands.  It was nice and now his dad and him have an amazing connection, my dd is 9 months and I am about to do the same with her, sometimes my sister or mother comes over so my husband is not overwhelmed with two kids.  I understand the almost terror of leaving your baby, I quit my career (that I loved) after I had my first something I never thought I would do, but I could not spend 12 or 24 hours away from my child.  Others may not understand and I have found I do not really care.  My kids are so much more then I ever understood, and luckily others can/have to do what they do, I will not have to be away from my littles for more then a few hours.  As they get older it will change I hope but just try to relax.  I would recommend you go ahead and do some trial runs, run out and do the grocery shopping by yourself, or a quick errand.  It takes dads a little time to get their bearings sometimes but I found my husband appreciated what I do every day a little more.  You will be fine and little one will as well, but always remember in todays world cell phones mean they can reach you asap so if you are needed they can reach you.  Good luck on finishing your degree, education is the one thing they can never take from you.  - Thea
 

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#25 of 27 Old 06-06-2013, 04:01 PM
 
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I happened to know several kids whose moms died early, some very early and they were raised by dad. Guess what? Kids are  fine. Mothers are not as irreplaceable as we like to think. It is OK to got to school, or work.

 

If you do not think your husband is a good parent it begs a question, "Why did you have a kid with him?"

 

I think uncontrolled maternal anxiety is far more damaging than being with a loving father for two hours.

 

Just breath. It all will be OK>

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#26 of 27 Old 06-06-2013, 05:06 PM
 
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It's been my experience that widely published pediatricians can and do make all kinds of anthropological claims, but have limited access to, or understanding of, anthropological data. I believe Harvey karp about swaddling, but if he's actually been to Africa, it's news to me.

Good point Meepycat,, I really should have referred to an anthropologist:

http://anthro.vancouver.wsu.edu/media/Course_files/anth-302-barry-hewlett/melkonner.pdf



http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0202307492/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1370562418&sr=8-1&pi=SL75


I find it fascinating; hunter gathers child rearing practices, since humans were hunter gatherers for 99% of human history, it offers quite a bit of insight as to our instincts.
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#27 of 27 Old 06-06-2013, 09:54 PM
 
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OP~

I just wanted to chime in. It is normal to have anxiety about leaving you child...even if it is with dad. *hugs* to you! I have gone through this myself when my child was really young and even though he was with dad I was so anxious. I think part of it was because we spent so much time together and a little bit of being a first time mom. You don't need to read articles to be validated, you feel what you feel and you came here for support. This is why Mothering is so great. It is awesome you will be finishing your degree and in the meantime leaving your baby will be a separate yet beneficial journey for you both. 

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