Attachment Issues: How We’re Learning to Let Go

Posted October 15, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 2 Comments

“Where’s Mommy? Mommy? MOMMY!!!!!”

“Mommy’s gone out.”

“But WWWHHHHHYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

 

*sigh* I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s experienced this.

 

At a very young age, your kid decides that you’re not allowed to leave the room without them. E.V.E.R. Not to use the bathroom, not to make dinner, not to have a nice hot bath, not to blow your nose, brush your teeth, or even to clip your toenails.

But more importantly, you are not to ever leave the house for any reason, especially for some obviously unnecessary mommy time.

 

My daughter began this phase when she was about 10 months or so, screaming for me if I left the room. Not entirely abnormal, right? But as she got older, it got to the point where I would have to sneak out of the house, just so my husband could do bedtime.

 

It progressed into her noticing me try to sneak away and demanding a hundred hugs and kisses before I left, followed by tears, tantrums and finally sleep.

The guilt was excruciating.

I felt awful about leaving her, and even worse for leaving my husband to deal with what I knew would be an exhausting night for him. I felt angry that she couldn’t let go of me, to let me take care of myself. I was jealous of my husband’s ability to go out whenever he wanted, without breaking his daughter’s heart for leaving. And I felt so selfish for wanting a break.

 

Now at the time, I didn’t feel like I’d been over-protective of her, but I was definitely set in our routine.

 

I craved it. It meant that there was a set amount of time for playing, eating, and most important, for sleeping. The nap was crucial to my sanity and survival. I could eat, sleep, go online, watch crappy daytime T.V., have a shower, whatever I wanted. Whatever I needed.

 

Being away from the house, away from my mommy arsenal, was a big upset too. Rooting around in a suitcase for a soother, searching everywhere for a receiving blanket, hauling the gear to go to the cottage for a weekend…it was just so much easier to stay home, where I knew where everything was. Where I had control.

 

I realize now that while all this was normal, my anxiety about our routine may have folded my daughter into a box that I wasn’t intending to build. Insert more mom-guilt here.

 

But today, it’s a little different. Leaving the room isn’t an issue anymore, and we’ve changed up our bedtime rationale to “fighting” over who’s turn it is to take her to bed.

 

To her, it’s now a highly-coveted privilege to read her stories and cuddle up, instead of a dreaded nightmare of flailing and fighting with Daddy, while Mommy goes out to get away.

 

It’s easier to leave the house now, with hugs and kisses and “see you in the morning”‘s. She’s also responding to “I’ll check on you when I get back.” It validates her feelings, and reassures her that there’s nothing to worry about.

 

There are some new issues though, like when she tries something new. She struggles to pay attention or even participate if I’m there, but it seems as long as I’m not in the room, she does well.

 

She’s slowly understanding how important my “mommy time” is, and I’m so grateful. At the same time, I’m understanding that if I’m not directly involved in her “something new”. she’ll respond to the experience well.

 

And for now, that’s the way it will be.

 

And while it does make me sad sometimes, I know we’ll both be better off for it.

 

 

How have you managed this? What changes did you make to help ease them out of their attachment?


Rockstar Mommy Moment #4: Mommy-Daughter Date

Posted October 9, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 3 Comments

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I spent most of today with B, it being a PA Day and all (no school). My mom came over to mind Baby G and I took B to the toy store, any kid’s dream.

She asked if we could take a toy home today and I said yes. It’s been a while since we’d just bought a new toy for the heck of it, and I like to treat her occasionally. We looked in and among the plastic dragon and fairy figurines, my heart palpitating at the thought of yet another bloody dragon in the house, stealthily waiting for me to step on it. I breathed a sigh of relief when she settled on a new Play Mobil miniature set; a horse, rider and a stable. When we returned, we played while my mom made her lunch.

In the afternoon, she and I went to an indoor playland. And I got right up into the playscape with her, climbing and clamoring higher and higher into the plastic, padded jungle gym. We got to the top, where she showed me the black tube slide. “Very spooky”, she said. So down she went, shouting for me to follow.

I hoisted my mommy butt up into the dark tunnel and pushed myself down, phone in hand, keys hooked to my jeans.

It was so great, but man, after about the sixth time I was ready to sit, my head spinning from all the twisting and turning. And as I took a break, the memories of all the times we’d done this together at other playlands flashed through my mind, from when she was just walking, to toddling, to today.

But, soon it won’t be cool for me to climb up into the fiberglass coconut tree.

She’ll have new friends and playmates to replace me. I suppose my 38-year-old body will probably be grateful (holy shit, that’s coming up fast!), but I think I’ll actually miss it a little.

The day-to-day frustrations can keep me from seeing what a truly unique and beautiful person she is growing up to be, with her fun sense of humor, determined mind, and kind heart. And I saw all of those things in her today.

And without either of us knowing it, she shows me the awesome things about myself that I never notice or give myself credit for.

Maybe it’s the voices I do when we read “Toad on the Road”, or maybe it’s the lullabye I sing to her every night. Maybe it’s the way I hold her when she’s sad, or maybe it’s that I slide down the “spooky” slide right along with her. She reflects all these rockstar-mommy things I do for her right back to me, just in being who she is. She is a mirror in my life.

Huh, isn’t that something…

My own daughter shows me every day how I am a rockstar mommy.

And I didn’t realize it until just now.

Mind blown.

How about you? How do your kids show you all your mommy-awesomeness?

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On Sleep Deprivation and Spontaneous Combustion

Posted October 8, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 7 Comments

sleep deprivation

UUNGHGHGHGHGHNGHGNHGHSssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhh…….

UUNGHGHGHGHGHNGHGNHGHSssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhh…….

There he goes again…off in dreamland somewhere, and here I am.

Still awake.

I know it happens to you too. Your other half lays happily sleeping, maybe a little drool seeping into their pillowcase, and you sit there watching, wondering how they can do it. How is it possible for them to sleep soundly, after you’ve been woken up by a child, or the call of nature, or your own over-thinking brain?…..

Hasn’t SOMEBODY done a study on this??

Case in point. I’m woken up by B, wanting me to cuddle. I look at the clock. It’s 2:30am. I don’t think there’s a parent on the planet who has the will power to discipline at this hour, so likewise, I get up and walk into her room. We snuggle into her bed together. She immediately falls asleep. Son of a bitch.

Now I’m awake, my brain has switched the Mommy Mode on. The sound of my daughter’s voice has rung loud and clear in my ears, and my whole body is tense, straining to hear any movement, any sound, any breath that might mean she’s woken up again. I wait ten minutes or so, and start to relax…

Enter the hormones…

All part of being a girl I guess, but it’s these fuckers rear their ugly head just as I’ve turned down the volume on mommy mode. Here’s what it might sound like:

Figures she’d fall asleep right away. Thanks a lot, kid. No problem, I got your back. You sleep, I’ll just sit here and stew. *sigh* I really gotta clean that bathroom. I don’t even remember the last time I cleaned the sink. All that toothpaste smeared all over the front of the counter, ugh, because B would rather paint with her toothpaste than clean her teeth apparently. It’s so nasty now, with little fluffs and whiskers stuck in it, soon to solidify into a “Fin-tastic Fruit”-flavored rock that I’ll have to scrape off with a putty knife if I don’t clean it soon…And why isn’t there a way to get all the whiskers down the drain anyway? Has nobody thought about this?! There’s always one rogue little bastard that just has stay out late and get it on with the gummed up Bubble Guppies toothpaste….

Fuck you, Bubble Guppies, and the tube you rode in on.

*irritated sigh*

I’m not doing enough. I don’t clean enough. My kids will be the smelly kids in class and it will be all my fault. Awesome job, Mommy.  Ok, can we go to sleep now, please? Look at D over there, sleeping soundly.  Why can’t I pull that off? Well, it’s because I’m a girl, and that’s just the way it is. I don’t have time to train my brain otherwise, so this is it. Suck it up, buttercup. “Awesome! you’re a girl. You’ll over-think things into oblivion, and will probably wake yourself up doing it.  Oh, you’re a mom too? Add in the fact that you’ll hear every single sound your kid makes, you’ll even imagine you’re hearing them stir. Your instincts will be so strong, you won’t be able to see straight, and you’ll be so sleep deprived that you put formula powder in the coffee maker. Good luck to ya.”

Ladies, it’s a wonder we all don’t spontaneously combust.

image credit

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Formula, Breast…Just Knock Off the Shaming

Posted October 4, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 3 Comments

Last week, I wrote a post about formula “shamers”, people who shame formula-feeding mothers for not breastfeeding their child. If you missed it, you can read it here. To compliment it, I’d like to submit this video on breast-feeding in public, produced by a friend of mine from back home. Derek offers a unique male perspective, emphasizing that it’s time to free the nipple!

The point is, ladies: just knock off the shaming, period. We’re all in this together, and as far as nutrition goes, our kids will inevitably eat their own boogers anyway.

Follow Derek on Facebook here. You can also get in on his latest awesomeness, Kiss a Ginger Day!


Baby G and XXXXY Syndrome Part III

Posted October 3, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Baby G and XXXXY Syndrome / 5 Comments

I’m excited to report that Baby G’s progress and my research have come a long way since my last post on this topic. But, if you’ve missed my posts on 49, XXXXY Syndrome, you can catch up here and here.

Baby G is now ten months old and is as happy as ever.

He’s reached the lower 15th percentile for weight at 16 lbs,12oz, and as usual, is coasting along the very bottom of the length curve. I registered him to have an Infant Development Specialist come to the house to see how he’s progressing. This is a service provided by public health in my area, so if you’re in a similar situation, explore every option you can. You might be amazed at what you can find that’s at no cost to you. Baby G is progressing well, and the nurse and I both agree that he is behind, but only borderline. Aspects of his development that lead us to this conclusion are things like sitting up unassisted, self feeding, fine motor skills and stands with help. However, that he’s still not yet crawling, doesn’t have any teeth and only just has begun making consonant sounds are aspects that pull his development down on the curve.

Again, it’s all relative. I know of children who bypassed crawling completely and went straight to walking. It’s still too early to decide if these things are because of the abnormality, or because he’s just a baby, and all babies are different.

The nurse also suggested we refer him to a local centre for special needs children for an assessment.

I heartily agreed. While he really is quite young, at the very least he’ll be in the system as diagnosed and as being assessed. This centre will offer any therapies he might need: cognitive, speech, what have you. They will offer service into the first year of school, at which point the school would assign someone to be with him throughout his academic years. The assessment should take place sometime in the new year. I was able to find a suitable care provider for him, and as a bonus, she has tons of special needs experience. I’m feeling confident in our discussions as far as his care, what we might find through the assessment, and how delays might pan out.

As I mention in Part I and II, I’m reading up on all of this when I get a chance, including on whether we might qualify for any government funding for his care over the next few years.  I was able to speak on the phone with the nurse that had approached us after Baby G was born. I discovered that Baby G might qualify for some of the same opportunities she’s uncovered for her son.

She also recommended AXYS, a US-based website for more information and support. I’ll be sure to post any more links as I come across them, as well as the development activities Baby G and I work on together. But for now I’m loving working with the Infant Development Specialist. She’s so great with him and is full of great ideas on how to keep him moving along in his development. It also doesn’t hurt that he could be the cutest lil’ guppy she ever did see!