According to the paediatric nurse at the Grassroots Clinic in Sandton my 6-month old, Thomas, has developed early separation anxiety.
And no, this isn’t when I go to work or out for the night. I’ve been at home for six months now, and well … my social life has taken a bit of a knock, to say the least.
That’s probably why the separation, which involved handing him to her for five seconds, was so much worse than it should have been.
I have created my own worst nightmare and even if he didn’t have early separation anxiety (which I’m not convinced he even has), whoever volunteers to look after Mr T first, is still going to roll their eyes and raise their eyebrows at me disapprovingly – for lots of reasons.
- Also see: What is separation anxiety?
Not only does Thomas have 19 names (Lordy knows why I spent 9 months agonising over the perfect combination) he only responds to any of these names depending on his mood and the time of day.
That’s right, the first person who braves looking after Thomas will have to try out (thanks to me but mostly my husband) either Mr T, Pirate, Pilot, Gugu, Boogie, Buggie, Buggie Jones, Buggie Richard, Buggie Richardson, Buggie Johnson, Nunu, Bugsie, Frederick, Sederick., Banana, Buguzela, TWH, Sylvester or Pyjamas if they want to, in any way, elicit some sort of a response from him. Thomas Hoffmann? Who’s that?
And then there’s the issue of feeding. Since I breastfed Thomas exclusively for the first 6 months, he’s only drunk from a bottle twice.
Once when I thought it’d be fun to actually use my R1 500 Medela breastpump and dad could give a feed – although expressing proved to be 10 times more of a mission than lifting up my shirt.
And another time that I can’t remember now. So much easier for us moms to just do things ourselves, isn’t it? All very well until we get sick or want to go out and have someone else try feed a baby who refuses to drink from a bottle.
- Also see: How to cope with separation anxiety
And then, of course, there’s the bouncing. Even though Sleepsense says we’re allowed to bounce them till they’re drowsy, moms-who-bounce-their babies-to-sleep are essentially labelled as Bad Moms as we haven’t taught our babies that all-important life skill of being able to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.
Trust me, we know this better than anyone. But leaving Pyjamas to cry for even a second is just too hard and I can’t do it. He still seems so little and I simply don’t have the heart. Which means - you guessed it - I am also the only one who can put my baby to sleep. The thought of granny on a Pilates ball is just too damn scary.
Are you making it nearly impossible for anyone else to look after your baby? Are you an attachment parent? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story.
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