Thursday, June 6, 2013

Separation Anxiety

Her doctor told me it was normal. But let me tell you, having a baby/toddler with severe separation anxiety is not normal. All of my friends could leave their kids in the church nursery or with friends for a night out. Grace never let us do that. We learned early on that the only people she would stay with for any length of time were my parents, her other grandparents, and my friend Julie. If we left her with anyone else, she would scream. Not just the normal cry when we leave anxiety, oh no, she would scream bloody murder the entire time we were gone. Even with the grandparents and Julie, she would often fuss for some of the time. There was absolutely nothing we could seem to do to get her to stay with anyone else. So unless one of our go to babysitters was available, we never left her. I would try to leave her in the church nursery and would inevitably get called back in because she would be throwing a screaming fit.

Everyone told me she would grow out of it soon. I remember searching online for hours trying to find anything about separation anxiety in toddlers. Everything I came across just talked about the normal baby separation anxiety and recommended just letting them fuss. For 2 years we kept trying. Over and over again she simply would scream. We thought the 2 year old classroom at church might be better. Nope, they came and got us after 15 minutes and the entire sanctuary could hear her screaming "MAMA!" I was beginning to lose hope.

I've been hesitant to write this because I feel like I'm tempting fate, but I think she may finally be getting past it. Three weeks ago we visited my parents in Wichita and they took her with them to their church. I told them to anticipate her screaming when they tried to leave her in Sunday School. Well you can imagine my shock when they came home and told me that she was perfect in the class. She played, listened to the story and didn't make a peep. I thought it was a fluke. It had to be. May be it was just because it was a fun new place and she was with my parents.

So the next week, I hesitantly agreed to have Mike take her to the 2 year old Sunday School class at our church while I took Connor to the nursery. He got her settled and left and we got to enjoy the entire service! She did great! I was nervous the entire time but she surprised me. I hadn't actually gotten to go to a service since she was born. She did great again this past weekend and so I finally feel confidant enough to post this! If anyone else is dealing with this, just know that there is hope. It only took 28 months for her to decide that she was okay. She is one strong willed kid!

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