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attachment parents/baby wearers etc - never mind the baby, think I'VE got seperation anxiety?

(14 Posts)
bohemianbint Thu 16-Oct-08 17:14:20

I wouldn't call myself an attachment parent as such, but with DS2 we decided to have him in the bed and carry him in a sling, in the hope that he would be more chilled out than his big brother was.

It has worked, whether it's personality, or what we've done, he's a really content little chap who rarely cries and seems very settled.

The only thing is, I'm having a few problems at the moment - I scored badly on the PND quiz today and I'm finding life very difficult. I've found I'm literally with the baby all day and all night, and whilst on the one hand it's paying dividends, and I don't mind, I'm getting to the point where I feel I need a bit of a break. I have trouble putting DS2 down in the day, and he's not settling til late at night and the last few nights he's been quite thrashy - combine that with a toddler that won't stay in his new bed, and you have a mother who is a total sleep deprived mess.

A couple of people have said they'll take the baby off me, but here's the thing, I'm a bit apprehensive about it. I know I'm not doing myself any favours, but as we've been together 24-7 since he was born 7 weeks ago, I worry he'd be stressed by someone else looking after him. He's also being fed on demand which complicates things as he feeds all the time, and I hate to think of him being hungry or wondering where I've gone, to the point where I think not being with him would stress me more than being with him, IYSWIM. I feel it's fairly natural to not want to be parted from your brand new baby, (look how animals react if you tried to take their young off them) but I'm getting the impression that people around me really don't understand why I might feel that way.

If you're doing/have done attachment parenting; is this fairly normal? How do you deal with it? Can I let go with undoing all the good work that i've done so far? Or is this a sign that I've got PND?

bohemianbint Thu 16-Oct-08 17:36:00


ShowOfHands Thu 16-Oct-08 17:44:56

I think I'm an ap type though I don't like to be pigeon-holed. I was and am exactly the same as you. At about 12 weeks in I felt the same as you. I wanted to have a little break but couldn't bear the idea of leaving dd with somebody in case she needed me and I shook her confidence in my presence. Now it might be a good thing right now that Cod isn't here to laugh at me. What we did:

I went out for lunch with dh in the nearest town. My parents had dd in her pram (asleep) and wandered round the shops nearby/had coffee etc. We had mobiles on so they could call if she was grizzly or showing signs of hunger and they weren't more than a 2 minute walk away. We had a lovely lunch and as we paid the bill my Mum rang and said she was rooting. We ordered more coffee and my parents joined us a couple of minutes later while I fed dd.

It sounds ridiculous I suppose but it worked for us. DD is 17 months now and it wasn't until she was nearly a year that I could leave her and go out quite happily. Well, you know, I still get pangs but it's not like those early weeks.

ShowOfHands Thu 16-Oct-08 17:55:42

Oh and I think it's normal btw. I don't have pnd. Your baby is so little and I remember feeding dd all the time at that age. She was never away from me.

I also think it's important to tend to that niggling need for your own time. I was fine leaving dd with dh for a couple of hours while I bathed/read a book/took photos/gardened/knitted/activity of choice. I just needed to know she was nearby and dh always had her in the sling during this time which she adored.

bohemianbint Thu 16-Oct-08 17:58:58

ShowOfHands - thank you so much for replying, you've made me feel better about it!I know not everyone feels this way about their children, and I think if I looked into it it's a lot to do with me overcompensating for a pretty crappy childhood when I had no idea where my parents were half the time, and I never want my kids to feel like I felt back then.

Anyway, sounds like your parents are absolutely lovely, and sympathetic to your needs in doing that for you. My parents have grudgingly offered to help, but I know they wouldn't tell me if DS got upset so I don't feel comfortable in taking them up on it.

I imagine it will get easier for me as he gets older, I was a bit like this with DS1 but as he's got older and is now a very confident little chap I feel more comfortable in letting go a bit. Glad to know am not totally alone in feeling like this!

bohemianbint Thu 16-Oct-08 18:01:15

Oh, and like you I am comfortable leaving him with DH, well, as much as I can be, and I know I need to try to do it more. He tends to focus on DS1 rather than both, or just DS2, and I think we need to change that a bit for the good of everyone. I might try expressing and getting out, even just for half an hour.

Thanks again!

ummadam Fri 17-Oct-08 09:37:57

I have a 9months old DS and have not ap'd as such - he is in his own cot and and has been in his own room since 6months old, we use a sling when it's cool and a buggy when it is too hot and from sun up to sun down he is within 10ft of me at all times.

I still miss him terribly if I go out alone. He has been looked after by both our mothers - on one occasion each and noone else except my husband and I can't bear the thought of him going to nursery in a few months although I am sure he will be fine. We go out lots and have lots of friends but he is my PFB, he made me a mummy and we are learning the hard bits together.

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate and doing a good job too! It is worth mentioning that anxiety and a feeling that you have to cope and do it all are all features of PND as you mentioned in your post. I do think a friendly chat to your GP could help but also trying to cut yourself a bit of slack - you are doing great! Would you manage a break with someone else looking after the kids in the house while you are in the bath with the door locked? I find that even an hour of 'me time' can make all the difference to my frame of mind although I do have to be forced into doing it by DH

cally10 Fri 17-Oct-08 10:50:41

I'm one of those AP types too. smile My DD is 19 months old & I still don't like to leave her with anyone other than DH (but have left her a few time with my parents when I was visiting them in another country). We're still co-sleeping, slinging (when she feels like it) & BF on demand.

I totally understand what you mean about not wanting to be separated from you LO. I think I went out for my friend's bday & left DD with DH for a few hours for the first time when she was about 10 weeks. I found it very difficult & did have to leave early because DH called to say she was crying & wouldn't take the expressed milk.

I also remember DH saying that his mother had offered to babysit our DD (when she was about 3 months) so we could go to their (PILs) village fete & he said to me that there's no way we would want to leave her with anyone else (at that point in time). I think PILs were expecting us to be like DH's sister who regularly used PILs for babysitting, sleep overs, etc. but we haven't been like that (to their disappointment - then again I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving DD with them but that's another story...).

Anyways, hope that're not alone...and it is normal to feel like that...
One of the things that helped me is to have faith/confidence in what I felt & was deciding to do (in terms of my parenting style) & tried not to take to heart any comments that other people made about what they did (particularly when they were anti-AP).

Sorry to go on for so long...blush

Ebb Fri 17-Oct-08 11:11:48

My Ds is 21wks and apart from getting my haircut once I haven't left him. It's not that I don't think people could cope with him, although he is a little demanding and I tend to bf on demand although now he does go longer in between feeds, it's more because I don't want to be parted from him even though I need a break! He's already 'stranger aware' and cries if the grandparents hold him which we are working on!!! I would say you are totally normal and it's completely natural to worry about leaving your child.

Snippety Mon 20-Oct-08 11:21:45

My DS is 16 months next week. Apart from 40 minutes when Dh had to take him to the dr's and I was too ill to go with I've not been apart from him at all. DH takes him for 2 hours on a Saturday and Sunday morning while I catch up on sleep, but apart from that we're together all the time. I co-sleep and sling.

Sometimes I worry that I'm fostering an unhealthy relationship and he'll grow up like Jimmy Saville or Kenneth Williams grin, but on the whole I don't care. It works for our family smile

sasamax Mon 20-Oct-08 16:20:15

You sound like you're doing an amazing job bohemianbint.
Be proud of yourself - remember that it will pass. I am the world's worst at letting people take either DS or DD. If DH takes DS somewhere in the car I panic the whole time in case he doesn't drive carefully enough. There is no way I would let him take the baby out in the car without me. I think it's def hormones that make us this crazy way - and we make life so difficult for ourselves - waking up all the time to check they are breathing anyone?
I think I might invent some very thick velcro and attach the fuzzy side to me and the spiky side to DD grin
Sounds like I'd have some advance orders too!

kitbit Mon 20-Oct-08 16:30:18

You sound as if you're doing really well! I would have felt the same at 7 weeks. I did, actually. But what did work for me was having MIL coming over a couple of times to hold ds while I had a sleep upstairs. I didn't feel he was anywhere else with anyone I didn't trust, I would have heard him if he'd squawked and I knew he was "safe" and nearby. Don't worry, your feelings are totally normal! But you DO have to try and get some rest. Don't bully yourself into going out away from him if you don't want to, just try and get some sleep!

mrsgboring Mon 20-Oct-08 16:30:27

Yes, I have felt exactly the same. DS is nearly 3 now and I can leave him a little bit, but until he was 2 I would barely even sling him on my back for fear of him saying something and me missing it, etc. etc. The feeding all the time thing I also relate to.

Someone from church made the fantastically kind offer of taking him out in the buggy for me once a week, but I got to dreading her arrival, since by the last few weeks it was the only time DS went in a buggy as we'd got more and more AP as time went on, and he hated being in the buggy.

In the end, I got my "breaks" with DS in tow, if that makes any sense at all. I found that because he was BF and slung, we could go almost anywhere and do pretty much anything, so I used to go on trips, take thee train to visit friends, or meet up with DH for boozy lunches and then I didn't really feel the need for a break away.

Now DS is older, I feel like I could do with teh break really, but (and here is the disadvantage) everyone around me has got out of the habit of offering to babysit, and have got used to me doing everything, which is a bit of a shame, but I'm glad I did it this way round.

I haven't had PND, so I can't really comment from that point of view, though I would say that it's not necessarily a symptom of PND to not want to be parted from your baby, or to wish to God you could have a break, for that matter.

bohemianbint Wed 22-Oct-08 20:02:50

well, this'll be the test; metallica are playing at the end of feb and there's no way I can take DS! But I just dunno if I'll be ready to leave him...hmm

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