Mommy Chronicles: Separation Anxiety
I don't know about you , but I have never experienced anxiety of any sort until this very moment. I've heard about women having postpartum depression but never separation anxiety. I mean, aren't they the same thing ? (That's what I thought to myself )
As a working mom I have so much on my plate. Not only do I spend 60% of my time fulfilling entrepreneurial roles, I also have a 9-5 corporate job. You can imagine adding a baby into the equation only scared the heck out of me. Fortunately, I was able to stay on maternity leave for four months and bask in the joy of motherhood. Thank goodness for the union.
Now the four months is up and it's time to go back to work. I thought I was ready. Well even if I wasn't, I had to be. As each day got closer, the anxiety got worse. I got hot flashes every hour on the hour. I cried at everything. It was almost like I was back in my second trimester again. To make matters worse, I was breastfeeding. No one ever told me how much of an attachment is present from breastfeeding. If you think I'm only talking about for the baby, think again.
Breastfeeding can cause an emotional attachment for the mother as well. I began to cry every time I thought about being away from my newborn. The thought of her needing me and I wasn't there was simply unbearable. This overwhelming feeling of depression was taking a huge toll on me. Imagine walking on a glass platform fifty stories high over a pool of hot lava. One crack in the glass and you're falling to your death. That's how I felt. Dramatic ? Maybe. But the feeling was true and very real. I had to figure something out because the last thing I wanted was to call a doctor and be put on some drug I knew nothing about.
Thankfully I had such a huge support system behind me. You ever heard the term "it takes a village to raise a child"? I couldn't agree more. To help ease my anxiety , my partner decided to take my newborn all day so that I could relax. This would be the first day my newborn would ever be away from me. I immediately thought he would be calling me two hours later asking me for ways to calm her down. I mean, surely she would be going crazy without me right ?
Three hours go by and he doesn't call. Another hour passes me by and still no call. WHAT IS GOING ON?!!! At this point I'm almost pulling my hair out. I call to check on them and to my surprise they were watching Cinderella. My newborn had been taking her bottle just fine and she wasn't crying her lungs out. My partner forces me off the phone and tells me to continue relaxing. I realized , I was the one going through separation anxiety. Not my newborn.
I took that time to clean, take the longest shower I've had since she was born, and I even tossed in a bit of exercise. I looked up at the clock and what do you know, another four hours had passed. My baby was fine. I was fine. Everything was fine.
New mom if you're reading this, I want you to know this. I can't tell you how to feel. However I do want you to take my experiences into consideration. If you think you may be suffering from separation anxiety, ask your partner or family member to take your little one while you relax. Go do your favorite activity and see if this helps ease the anxiety.
An Urban Mom
pic retrieved from http://www.womenshealthmag.com/mom/breastfeeding-while-pole-dancing