Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's not her, it's me.

As much as I hate writing this post, I have to be honest with you guys. It's no secret that I've had anxiety issues for like...forever. Over the last couple of years, though, my once-daily battle with anxiety has been almost non-existent. Almost.

I didn't realize that I've been doing it again, until yesterday. I've been having an anxiety issue that I've been masking as "proper parenting."

Here's the deal. I took Baby #4 to the doctor yesterday and she cried when I put her on the scale. She cried when I laid her on the table. She cried when...well...she basically cries whenever I walk away or lay her down alone or even hand her to a grandparent or anyone else even people she's very familiar with. Hence the reason she's six months old and still sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed. The thing is, she's a GREAT baby. She's happy, smiley, sweet, etc. However, I think she's wonder-baby because I'm, well, babying her so much!

At first I thought I was doing it because it's a novelty to me. I was busy at work when the others were this age. I didn't get to hold them and snuggle them all day. I don't *have* to go anywhere; so, who cares, right? I know some of my attachment-parenting peeps are going to feel not-so-warm-and-fuzzy about this post, but I've read the attachment parenting info. I know. It's not all entirely for me. I am ok with being partially attached (including getting kids on a schedule - my other three were like clockwork). I realized the reason I'm doing it isn't that at all. When Baby #4 was 10 days old, she started choking (on spit-up, I think) in the middle of the night. She turned all sorts of colors and was gasping and kicking and arching and going crazy; this one-time episode in childrearing terrified (and obviously traumatized) this veteran mama. I can remember shaking and feeling weak with anxiety the whole next day. I just kept thinking - what if she wasn't next to me. what if I didn't hear her kicking her legs. what if... what if... what if... If you've every had a problem with anxiety, you know the what ifs are evil. The what ifs turn something that clearly isn't real to a big looming cloud of anxiety that you wake up to every darn day. I made a point to keep her very close to me and, obviously, it's become habitual and I'm having a problem giving her space to grow on her own.

So. That's it. I thought I was keeping her close by to protect her, keeping her out of her crib, letting her nap in my arms, keeping her away from other people because it was best for her. In reality, I have been doing what's best for me. And, it's totally unfair to her. Her pediatrician (whom we love, by the way!) told me how to fix this problem and I'm working on it starting now (she's in her crib as I write).

Our three other children were happily napping and sleeping all night in their beds at this age. They had no problem being handed off to others and they are all very well-adjusted now. None of them feel unloved, either, by the way! They are snuggly littles who get along just fine. So, I know it's most-certainly in my head.

It will take some time, prayer and a lot of faith, but we're going to get this girl (and this mama) to be well-adjusted functioning members of society. :) I don't want anxiety, and I certainly don't want her to have it either.


  1. You go mama. Your honesty is refreshing. You can do this and I know you'll be so glad you did!

  2. I can totally relate! My ten-month-old did the choking thing twice in her first two weeks of life. The first time we were still in the hospital and they were able to deep suction her out. The second time I was at home and called 911, but she was able to clear it right before the ambulance arrived. So scary! I have the same parenting issues with my baby because she is my last, and I want her to stay little forever. I get duped many times into thinking I can protect her from everything, but the truth is, I can't. I have committed more time to praying for my kids, and that is the best thing I can do for them. I still have work to do in overcoming my anxiety though. It is a daily battle!


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