Separation anxiety

Written by: Suzanna Palmer

It’s hard to believe, but as of today, our little boy is nine months, two weeks, and two days old. While most of me thinks this is great—it means that Tom and I have managed to sustain another living creature for the better part of a year (our track record with houseplants had us worried)—another part of me finds his advancing age a bit sad. The reason? It means that, as of today, it’s also been more than nine months, two weeks and two days since Tom and I have been out on a date solo.

That’s 290 days—and plenty of nights—with the constant companionship of our little boy. Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining. I love that we three are attached at the hip, but it does have me wondering: Am I a total weirdo?

I have lots of mom friends who have left their little one with family or sitters within weeks of coming home from the hospital, but I’ve just never felt compelled to do the same. Sure, it has crossed my mind that a night out on the town sans baby might be fun, but when it comes down to it, the thought that we would be out of reach in an “I-need-mom-or-dad” moment keeps me from following through.

Had we ventured out early before Jacob developed an awareness of our presence, I think things might have been easier. But then, I was exclusively breastfeeding and hated to pump. And, now that he’s nearly a year old, he definitely knows his mom and dad and wants us near.

In fact, even leaving Jacob with Tom for short bits of time, say, to make a quick trip to the store or do some shopping, can leave me slightly on edge. It’s not that I don’t trust Tom; it’s just that I know that no one can soothe our mister quite like his mama. When Jacob is upset or hurt or hungry, he often looks to me, even if Tom is holding him.

That said, I don’t want to raise a baby boy that is permanently attached to my apron strings, and I want him to be socially well-adjusted. Still, I have read that that side of things doesn’t really come into play for him until he’s a bit older. Of course, I also imagine that for my sake, lengthening the leash later on will be easier if I start loosening up a bit now. (Side note for clarity: he is around lots of people once or twice each week, just never without me or Tom close by.)

See how mixed up I am? What do you think? Is it totally pathetic that we haven’t gone out without our little guy in the past nine months? Or, do you think it’s a normal part of mama-hood and a-okay? When did you first leave your little one?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Unless, of course, you DO think I’m a total weirdo, in which case I may not love to hear them, but in the interest of personal enlightenment, I’ll listen all the same.

Posted in Adventures in Motherhood, Blogs, imported