Separation Anxiety for Mums? | Modern Mummy

Friday, 18 February 2011

Separation Anxiety for Mums?

Wall hanging from She Sells Sea Shells

Like a large proportion of the population these days (68% of mothers according to the Office for National Statistics), I'm a working Mum. I never thought I would be and I have to say that when it first dawned on me that I would have to go back to work after my maternity leave I was horrified. I had always presumed that I would be a stay at home mum. I had always wanted to be a stay at home mum. Finances and mortgages hardly even entered my mind and on the rare occasions they did, they would be brushed off with determined thoughts of winning the lottery.

Daisy was six months old when I returned to work; I started a new job on a part time basis and I'm not going to lie - it was hard to start with. There were tears on my first day (fom me, not Daisy), lots of telephone calls home every day for the first month (I still phone once a day, nine months later) and a couple of times Himself even had to bring Daisy in to see me. Everyone kept saying "just think about all those lovely smiles you'll get when you arrive home!" and "you'll get to be YOU again!" but in all honesty I didn't want to have to spend ten hours at work before getting my first smile of the day and I felt more like 'me' being a mummy and spending time at home with my baby.

A few months passed and I settled into my new routine and I have to confess that I almost, almost, quite liked it. Three days a week in the office, wearing nice clothes, using my brain and earning some money was pretty bearable. Oh ok! Pretty nice even. And the smiles when I got home were amazing.

But over the last few months I have started feeling differently. I seem to have developed Mummy Separation Anxiety. I can't bear leaving Daisy in the mornings. And it seems to be getting harder every day. It's not that I am leaving her with a childminder either; dependent on Himself's work schedule, she is either with him or one of her Grannies, all of whom I trust implicitly. I just hate being apart from her. I get panicky and weepy and have started to spend my working days daydreaming about what we can get up to on my next day off.

I am reliably informed by the pregnancy and parenting website Babycentre that separation anxiety in children usually lasts around six months. Is it the same for us mummies? Will I grow out of it eventually? Has anyone else been through something similar? I would love to hear from some of you with your comments x


  1. You have just described how I feel to a tee. I have talked to you about it before but I would be so happy if I could stay at home with Seb full time. I have a great job, my boss is ace, the banter is good and I consider myself lucky to work with people I genuinely like! BUT I'd just rather not... I too daydream about my time off with my boy, what we can do, where we can go... I relish getting to be the one to change all his nappies and making him delicious meals and playing all day :-) we have the same childcare arrangement as you, and dare I say it - I have found myself a little envious at times of hubster and grandma's, it should be ME doing that role. But sadly, it's not to be. I'll be a working mum for the forseeable future and I'm just trying to suck it up!
    Do you know the one thing I do as soon as my (office) working week is up? Swap all the contents of my handbag back into Seb's nappy bag! That simple act is like a ritual of reclaiming my 'mummy self', and at that moment for the next 4 days I am primary care-giver to my son and I feel complete.

  2. K I do exactly the same thing with my handbag and Daisy's changing bag!!!!!!!! I feel so bad because I was giving you the whole "think of all the smiles speech" :( I was fine for six months, now all of a sudden I can't bear to leave her---- its like returning to work for the first time every day. Let's keep doing the Lottery x

  3. my daughter is now 2 yrs old and i went back to work when she was 9months old - 3 days a week to begin with for about a month then full time. I still hate leaving her. Maybe its because I work full time and I don't even see her in the morning (leave home at 630am and get back from anywhere between 545pm to 8pm depending on day of the week. I really really miss her as I only get her in the evenings when she is tired and cranky. Saturdays I spend making up to her (my guilt for leaving her) and she makes me suffer by pressing all my buttons. By Sunday we are best mates and again i hate mondays the most. She is with her dad mon - weds and at nursery on thurs and fri. I still have a bit of a cry occasionally as I am finding it so difficult. I feel like I miss out on so much. I've just had last week off sick and even though its hard to try to be sick at home with a toddler we just had the best time. Cuddles, play time, bath every night, read books, all the stuff I am usually doing very rushed or no time to do.

    So for me I still very much have seperation anxiety and I guess it will continue. Its the price to pay I tell myself for having to work full time and I just wish it was my partner that had to do it and not me but unfortunately I'm the main breadwinner.

    Great post by the way.

  4. I have MEGA mummy separation anxiety..I work the same as you - 3 full days per week in an office...I miss him desparatly and i find it really hard to concentrate on my work because all i want is to be with my baby..
    No help here whatsoever - just that your not alone and i feel the exact same...apparently it gets better as they get older!!!


© Modern Mummy. All rights reserved.