Nov 19, 2013

Separation Anxiety Will Be the Death Of Me

I hate separation anxiety. I want some separation. I need some separation. Separation is okay. Separation is good.

Addison, however, doesn't seem to agree. She is against separation. She hated separation. She wants no separation.

So you see the problem. Addison and I seem to have a difference of opinion. I don't want a one year old needing to be held or climbing on me all day long. Addison is the one year old needing to be held or wanting to climb on me all day long. So how are we managing?

Some days not well. If she is doing the climbing and hanging on me all day then I start to go a little crazy. Sometimes you just don't want to be touched. Sometimes you don't want to be kneed in the stomach one more time. I get tried of having my shirt pulled on, of getting hit in the face with a book or a toy because those motor skills aren't completely there yet. But if she doesn't get to be held all day or be sitting in my lap or climbing on me all day then she does a lot of crying, working its way to screaming depending how many times I have moved her already that day [and depending on how close we are to a meal or nap time]. We haven't quite got this thing down yet. We haven't worked out a compromise. We just don't see eye-to-eye.

I thought we had gone through separation anxiety before but I was seriously mistaken - it must have just been a tooth or something. What I thought was separation anxiety was nothing compared to what we are going through now. She doesn't want to go to anyone else. She barely even goes to Rob. She freaks out if I step out of the room even for a second during the day. She tracks my every move around a room. On the plus side, she will play independently for a short amount of time. On the negative, she will only do that if I am sitting on the floor pretty much doing nothing. Sometimes she's nice enough to let me read while I'm just sitting there. (Apparently we are also going through a jealously phase too!) I have tried going along with it for awhile, I'll sit on the floor until she really into whatever she's playing with (usually she has her back to me by this point even) then I'll get up and sit on the couch. But she knows immediately that there's a shift in the force, stop whatever she's doing, crawl to the couch, and whine until I stop doing whatever I'm trying to do.

I've got to be honest. I'm not loving this phase. I can pretty much do nothing. Clean the cat litter. Make dinner. Do the dishes. Fold the laundry. Much less any other housework - the house has been a messed for a long time. When was the last time I vacuumed the top floor? No idea! [Although it is a pretty awesome excuse for why the house isn't clean. I really don't like cleaning all that much anyway.] I'm sure there are moms out there that love this phase however, and I can't completely blame them. There are some perks to it. I love the cuddles when we watch a movie together or read a book. I love playing with her. I love that she lights up when we sing and talk. I love the giggles (although there hasn't been too many since our sleeping has been a little wacky and therefore making us more cranky all day long, but still there is some giggles). But there is a limit. Sometimes I just have to get something done. Heck, sometimes I just have to go to the bathroom. Fact of life - or rather fact of nature.

I can honestly say that this is the most challenging stage so far. I love that she loves me so much. I love that mama is her first choice (even though when you actually ask her if she can say mama, she usually ends up getting upset and starts crying - weird). She's at a fun stage. She's so active. She chatters. She laughs. She has a great personality. But this stage has been a killer too. It's exhausting, especially since she still hasn't completely adjusted her sleep with DST so she's more tired which is making her cranky, and she's not napping great. And on top of all that she's getting a bunch of teeth. But we are getting through. I can't say I'm encouraged when I read things that says separation anxiety usually starts at a year and lasts until about 18 months (for those who aren't keeping track, she's 13 months). But we manage. Rob takes her when he gets home as much as he can to give me a much-needed break. We try to compromise by "sitting next to mama" instead of trying to actually climb up my face. I can't say it really works, but I try. We are both a work in progress. Me with patience and her with just a little separation.


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