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Seperation anxiety and mummy guilt!

(3 Posts)
ComeTalkToMe Thu 18-Oct-12 11:25:59

I?ve had really good support from this site before and I?m hoping I can get more reassurance. I do hope one day I can pay it forward and help someone else doubting their every parenting skill.

My 10 month old DD has always been high needs, she has spells where she is independent, happy and outgoing but regularly has long spells where she is clingy, whingy and seems generally unhappy.

I?ve just gone back to work, and I realise she is going through a lot of change in her little life as she now spends two days a week with my mum and dad and 1.5 days a week at nursery. She has become incredibly clingy, more to my DH than to me actually, and cries terribly when we leave her at nursery. She has a wee cry when we leave her with my mum and dad but nothing like the same.

She also no longer wants to go to other family members, screams if someone she doesn?t know speaks to her and spends a lot of her day moaning. Just wondered if anyone else has experienced this, any tips on what to do and any hope it will get better. I?m particularly keen to hear of anyone whose DC didn?t have a great start at nursery and improved.

I?d like to add I have no choice but to be back at work and can?t drop any more days. The nursery seem very caring and are happy to take my frequent distressed calls so I?m happy with the childcare. I do however feel huge guilt and hope things will improve so she is happier.

Thanks in advance

Weissbier Thu 18-Oct-12 12:08:01

It's normal for them to be tired, clingy, upset in the night, etc when they start nursery. It is horrible for you but they do adjust, and even start to run into nursery beaming. Also a normal age to be like this anyway so maybe it's a combination of the two affecting her. Give her lots of cuddles and closeness at home and present the necessary separations as nothing whatsoever to worry about.

What is she like once you've left her at nursery, when you call has she stopped crying? If she is fine once you have gone then I wouldn't worry - say goodbye cheerfully, tell her you'll be back to pick her up and leave quickly giving her no indication of how awful you are feeling. If she is miserable all day, then you do need to do something - talk to the staff, maybe go back a few steps and do a gentler settling-in. My DD had a rocky patch at her new nursery and the staff put her back on settling-in as we'd rushed it too much. Now she is fine.

Don't feel guilty - the best thing you can do for your daughter is to put on a big toothy grin and the impression there is nothing more normal in the world than mummy working. Which there isn't! You have very nice childcare arranged for her, 2 days of GPs and 1.5 of nursery is hardly child abuse - it sounds ideal to me, brilliant for DD in all sorts of ways. And even if you didn't have to work, it's important for your DD to learn, and see, that it's OK for women to work. Is your DH feeling guilty about his work, even though your DD is actually clinging more to him right now? Does society expect him to feel guilty? ...

Horrid for you while it's going on though, bon courage.

ComeTalkToMe Thu 18-Oct-12 12:17:55

I know, you’re so right about the guilt thing, it’s such an unproductive emotion. I’m the main wage earner so it’s not like there is any other option and I’m proud in a lot of ways that she’ll grow up seeing that women have fulfilling careers.

I’m delighted that she goes to her GPs two days a week and I know I’m very lucky in that. With regards to the nursery she had her settling in sessions then was ill for her official first full day so it was a week in between. Last week she did her full 1.5 days and today is her next full day so I should probably give her a chance! I think you’re right though I’ll have a chat to the nursery staff and ask if they think we need to take it back a step until she’s calmer. When I phone through the day they say ‘she’s fine, but she’s had her moments’ which I take to mean she does have spells of being quite upset.

Thanks for answering, I just feel the other mums I know generally have smiley babies who go to anyone no problem – this is probably just my perception though.

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