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She’s not such a baby anymore.
My youngest, Addison, is dabbling in her words, her hair is long enough for barrettes and she runs instead of walks. My little muffin is not dainty or shy with other kids. She is a silly clown who has such a great sense of humor and mimics every move her oldest sister makes. She pretends to feed her dolls. She climbs and gives great hugs and is very amused by herself.
However, by no means is she perfect. Addison throws a tantrum just like every other child when I tell her “No!” and whines and pushes my buttons sometimes. But, what’s really been a struggle for me is leaving her. Not for long periods of time, but for a couple hours here and there during the week so I can work. Although I “work from home” that arrangement doesn’t work all that well when your daughter is screaming because she wants you rather than the babysitter. I not only enjoy working, it’s necessary for my family. What kills me is the tears. Every time the babysitter arrives, she clings to me and gets upset. I don’t leave right away, I give her a few minutes, but try and make my goodbyes as brief as possible.
Addison doesn’t know that it’s just as hard for momma to see those tears. I check in with the babysitter 20 or so minutes later to make sure she’s calmed down so I can focus on my work. I usually get a “she’s still sad but playing” and then another 15 minutes or so later I get a “she’s laughing and having fun.” Relief.
She had a really rough time with separation anxiety when she was younger, but then slowly got a lot better. When her older sister is home from school on Fridays, she doesn’t get as upset.
I told my babysitter that one day I’ll be the one crying because it’ll be the opposite. She’ll be the one leaving to go play with her friends or telling me how she “hates me” just because I told her “No!” again as a teenager.
I want to show my daughters that despite loving them more than anything else in this world, I also enjoy doing other things. I love writing, exercising, hanging out with family and friends and having a date night with daddy sometimes!
I want to teach my children that mommy will always be there for them and I’ll always come home so they’ll be comfortable to spread their wings and find what they enjoy.
I’m still working on this balancing act and know it will be a constant struggle. In the meantime, knowing she’s well cared for and the tears gradually change to laughter while I’m gone helps.