No one told me that separation anxiety would happen to me.
I had heard of separation anxiety before and never thought much of it. This was before motherhood, and couldn’t relate to the parents who always spoke about it. I thought it was cute whenever I saw a toddler who lost it whenever mommy or daddy would leave them with the babysitter. I thought to myself how precious it is that this little human is so attached. No one told me that parents could also experience separation anxiety.
It’s no secret that I suffer from anxiety. I’ve mentioned this in a few blogs and social media posts. Still, I did not expect slight panic attacks whenever our son was away with family. The first time I experienced separation anxiety as a new mom was while prepping for date night with my husband. Being movie junkies, we couldn’t wait to get out of the home for two hours. I’ll never forget my mother in law telling us not to call or text her and to enjoy our night out! She made sure to inform us that this wasn’t her first rodeo.
Yet still, after we dropped off our son, all I could talk about was if we made sure to pack enough diapers, wipes, and milk. All I could do during the movie was wonder if he was okay. I found myself checking my phone every ten minutes for a text or missed call. I even asked my husband if his mom called or texted him. This would happen every time I was away from our son. It wasn’t until very recently that I could focus on the day instead of just sitting around missing his sweet face.
I was afraid of being separated from our son. I was worried that something could go wrong while I was not there, even though I knew he was in good, experienced hands. I found myself afraid that he could feel that we were away even though he was a newborn. He had no clue what was going on around him, except joy and love.
I felt so odd. I was grateful for the downtime to recollect myself, yet the moment he was gone, all I’d do is watch homemade videos and miss him. I’d walk past his nursery and close the door to avoid going in there as if he was asleep in his crib. I didn’t realize right away that I was experiencing separation anxiety. I had no idea that parents could also experience this.
I still deal with separation anxiety, and I have no idea if I will ever grow out of it. Our nugget is only 20 months old, and we have a lifetime to go.