To every individual, we have our own expectations on what we dignify as legit parenting. From how discipline would be conducted to how a child will learn to what you will hold as acceptable to how they will be raised up. We all have our own expectations even as couples, parenting a household together takes commitment consistency and dedication but who is to say their way is the perfect way.
From the day I came home from the hospital with baby M I had my mind set on how I would get things done, what I would and would not do and I would get frustrated if things didn’t go as planned – just like my birth experience which I will leave for another day.
Baby M from day one has always been by my side. Days old in his hospital crib when he sensed that I was not nearby he would squall and ball his eyes till I returned. I was constantly asked whether if I was sure I was just going to exclusively breastfeed, that it would make him super clingy and my answer was yes every time. Even when I felt like throwing in the towel cause of soreness and bleeding due to latching I had to remind myself that IT WILL GET EASIER. Luckily I had a couple awesome lactation consultants that reassured me that things would in fact get better. What also helped me with breastfeeding actually was baby wearing as well. The skin to skin contact helped me with production and helped him stay calm when he would try to latch on. A lot of people see baby wearing as an effort to spoil a baby but it doesn’t. It’s made baby M curious to his surroundings and more adventurous. I’ve also noticed if I carry him in his sling after a while he no longer wants to be there, he wants to get down and move around so it has built up his self confidence. Trust me the last thing I would want even as a first time mom is spoil my child but babies can’t be spoiled.
Any mom would want to give their child the best of the best. I had told myself I would do all that I can to spend my days with my son, I wanted to create memorable experiences with him and for him to lost at. I was afraid that I possibly didnt have much days of my own left. The anxiety and fear of him losing his mother or vice versa ate me up inside and contributed a lot to my postpartum emotions. As a young child I had lost my mother at the age of four and my father at the age of nine. The experience of losing my loving parents at such a young age really had a toll on my thoughts, my sleep and my anxiety; Which obviously explains why I was always with baby M, nevertheless I told myself my Creator was in control. Postpartum emotions are a struggle – one moment you feel depressed, stressed and ugly then you look down at your baby and you start feeling like supermom, beautiful and strong and then tears start rolling down your cheeks as you stare into space and think about everything and want to curl up into a big motherly ball. Smdh, its a serious struggle!
I would sometimes feel bad for spending too much time with him thinking I would paralyze him from independence. That he would not want to play with others or by himself but a lot of other moms think he’ll do just fine since he’s crawling and exploring now. Baby M has a very social personality, I could leave him with a couple kids to play and he’ll forget that I was around until he needed something from me e.g. to be nursed, fed, changed or cuddled. At a very young age he would laugh and babble away to anyone in his sight – still does to this day.
However now he has become more alert to his surroundings and who he is around. I had no idea that about 6 – 18 months of age a child goes through an attachment phase. They’ve become fixated on what they’ve recognized as safe or comfort and want only that during this time. That’s not to say new things should not be introduced to them during that stage but should be done with consideration of how they’ll react and how to ease them to feel comfortable. So I’ve started the peekaboo game whenever I plan to leave the room for awhile. It has been helping, I’ve also started leaving him with one toy that will distract his attention of my whereabouts. I do this all day when I’m home after reading a couple of books. His playpen has also been a lifesaver on allowing him to play alone for some time without having to worry he is getting himself into some mess.
I been trying to keep him engaged with other people and have been wanting to take him to mother goose time by our local library so he can feel more comfortable which I feel guilty of not doing but I sometimes fail to recognize that parenting in general sometimes is trial and error. What may have worked for one with their first child may not work with another, what baby may like one day may change to something totally different another day and it didn’t mean you were doing something wrong but it possibly just meant the child is building their own personality and character, their likes and dislikes. I mean every single child has a personality of their own – unique in every aspect.
I’ve been recommended to do a few other things to help baby M during this course which I plan to utilize to see what works and what doesnt. What are some ways you helped your little one during their anxiety separation phase? Would love to hear your stories.
As always mamas – Stay blessed!