“Today is the day and I’m as anxious as ever.”
Holy anxiety. It’s day care day.
Today is day one of child care and I feel as though it is MY first day at a new school where I don’t know anyone or understand anything. I was (am?) a particularly anxious child, I can clearly remember special “nervous medicine” being given to me by my mother in Year 5. (Have an anxious child? Here is some useful tips on how to calm an anxious kid.)
There’s no need to alert the authorities it was a herbal remedy called child calm and it tasted like aniseed, thinking back perhaps the tactic was to distract my nerves by upsetting my taste buds.
I found school a hard place to be, I never felt I fitted in and I certainly never wanted to be away from my parents.
Now calm down Kylie you might say, your boys are only 17 months and they are not going to big school, they are going to a very friendly day care one day a week, a few hours. 6 hours a week out of the 168 hours you have them.
You are right, this might not be a big deal for some families but I’m talking about my family and why I feel so anxious today.
I’m not one to have the boys babysat, never have been. Over the past year and a half they have been minded by family (my sister Saige mainly) a handful of times, and left with a good friend for a few hours at night while they were asleep.
Having two means you are limited to the people able to care for two at once, you might be amazing with kids and sure these two are cute and seem like angels but have you ever had 2 screaming newborns to feed and burp at once? 2 poonamis to tend too? Or 2 toddlers running decoy for each other? It’s a skill that’s learned through due course of being a multiples mama and it’s not as easy as it looks. To drop my two babies off to a room of new faces is really hard.
When my little boys look for me and become distressed, I immediately identify with them. I’m straight back to being a kid that never wanted to be apart from the security of my parents, and it breaks my heart. One of our boys has some serious confidence and an almost ‘class clown’ streak while the other doesn’t interact as quickly or as easily in a group setting.
Standing back and observing, one boy is head first down the slide, then straight into the sandpit with a little gang of new mates, all smiles and not once looking for me. My other one can be found clinging to my leg, after about 15 minutes of clinging he will venture just far enough to pick up a soft toy for a cuddle and like a magnet to a fridge he is straight back to me.
It’s my hope that once I leave today the boys will remember they have each other and stick together.
The blessing of twins means they always a mate in a crowd.
I have to acknowledge that my anxiety comes from within me, it’s from my experience and it’s not necessarily going to predict the experience the boys have. I can’t project that onto them ever, not now and not later. They are their own people and yes the traits they are displaying now are so different to one another, it can all change and it should all be celebrated. So what if one doesn’t interact as easily - he may never be bothered by that and I certainly won’t make either of them question their natural tendencies.
On the topic of celebrating I am working hard at channeling all my nerves into excitement, it is not lost on me that many families out there never had the opportunity to reach such huge milestones with their babies. We are very blessed to have healthy boys who are ticking their milestones off like little bosses.
I don’t want to leave them but I also need to see the bigger picture and give them this chance to grow and learn new things. I can see it will be good for them, and good for me.
I knew I would take at least a year off work completely but what I didn’t know is that I would find a job I would be so passionate about. With my week nights and weekends booking up with home consultations I need to free a day up during the week.
So my little men, today is the day. Mummy will be just around the corner all day and she won’t cry if you don’t.
How do you deal with separation anxiety over your children?
This post originally appeared on The Routine Mama.
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