Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Two Under Two'sday - Week 16

Time is running out, I don't have many of these left!



For the most part, things are routine.  Recently, we did cancel the Husband's gym membership and join our local YMCA.  Ashlynn is signed up for gymnastics and I got familiar with their childcare.  Now I just need to work up the cajones to use it.  So that's where I'll tap into for this week's 2U2 post.... anxiety, because this house is full of it!


Ashlynn has been clingy from the start.  As a baby, she was attached to me and being somewhat of an attachment parent, I didn't care.  And I still have zero regrets, however it does make it harder at times.  Honestly, I can barely go take a shower on a weekend when she's being watched by her own daddy without her trying to hunt me down.

She's always gone in different phases, her first separation anxiety phase kicked in around 8 months or so.  After she hit a year old, she became more social, smiling and "talking" to the check out ladies at the grocery store and being a bit of a ham.  She's never been, what I call, a "runner".  She sticks to my side when out in public and prefers that people don't enter her bubble.

A week or two ago, an older woman entered her bubble at Target.  I was browsing the $1 spot with my hand firmly on the shopping cart, Ashlynn was riding and K was in the rear in her carrier.  I saw the woman looking at Ashlynn, but I tried to politely ignore and just browsed the aisle of junk for hidden treasures. Then I heard it  "Mommy?" Ashlynn's quivering little voice and the old woman realizing she's looked at her too long.  She let me know how beautiful they were and apologized for upsetting her and walked away, but Ashlynn was done.  Her "Mommy!" grew louder and the tears welled up, I gave her hug and said it's okay, I'm right here, it's safe.

A week later, it happened at music class.  At first I thought it was the little boy who was melting down sitting next to us.  Throwing the cliche kicking and fist pounding tantrum because his grandma returned his shakers after the song ended. "Mommy?" As she sat in my lap, I assured her it was okay, I'm right here and we can dance and sing.  The little boy left and she did it again at the end of the class.  I realized she may have been scared when the class instructor (musician?) was looking at her while singing.  He's a younger man, but has a beard, so maybe that scared her?  She did enjoy the music and had fun and we will continue to go back so she gets used to environment and learn to feel safe, especially while I am around.

She's had a few other moments since, and just generally needs me around all. the. time.

Kenley is turning into another mama's girl.  So far, I feel they are really similar babies.  I really can't say one has been more "colicky" or "chill" than the other.  Kenley also seems to be hitting the 4 month sleep regression a few weeks early.  I ended up getting a cold last week, most likely from lack of sleep the week before.  I also think she hit a growth spurt because there was another day she spent attached to me almost non-stop.



The semblance of a routine we had started has gone completely out the window.  I'll get more into it for her 4 month update next week.   However, the lack of sleep, the lack of exercise or sunshine (winter you can end now, thanks), lack of time with other adults, and a slew of other issues has lead to my own anxiety issues.  Not something new to me, but something that has seemed to return full force given the circumstances of this long and awful winter.


So now that I've recognized it creeping back in, I'm looking to stand to it face to face.

First up, we are getting out. Wegmans and Target are pretty great (necessary) trips, but not quite the fun we are looking for.  Resuming our weekly trips to the library (it's free!), standing playdates, gymnastics, and hopefully fingers crossed, the park once the weather warms up. Mix the park with running with the BOB on the trail and we all win.

I'm going to give it a go at leaving kids with child care at the gym.  Baby steps, people.  Even if the first time I just give Ashlynn ten minutes while I go run and work her up to actually being okay for me to take a class.  It just breaks my heart knowing she's scared and crying, but I don't want to enable her either.  I realize lots of moms deal with this on the daily with daycare and this isn't a mommy wars starter.  It's just not something I have to deal with being the caregiver, so trying to find some "me time" to clear my head, get a break from juggling the needs of toddlers and infants, and work on my own mental and physical health is something new for me.


Any tips or words of encouragement would be appreciated.  

39 comments:

  1. In the long run it will be good for all of you (as long as you are comfortable with the daycare at your gym). I always say happy mom = happy babes. Can she have snacks at the daycare? Callie can at ours and I've always left her with a cup of milk (it's like her favorite thing in the world) and some other favorite snacks. she only goes once or twice a week. Going reguraly helped and also doing a mom/Callie activity the next day too. Good luck! it's worth it even though it's hard!

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  2. Oh gosh, we are in the same boat. Cam has been at day care since he was 8 weeks old, but when we switched schools in January, it took so long for him to not cry when I dropped him off. It killed me, but now he runs in, hangs up his coat and waves by to me! SO, it does get better! BUT, we are now facing the dilemma of the gym day care...he is not having it. I, too, am trying to work from 10 minutes to 2 hours so I can work out AND shower!! Haha...I can dream. :) So, I don't have any good advice, but I do know it gets better. I agree with Jenny about leaving behind familiar things - toys, sippy cup, etc...that seemed to help Cam at day care because once I left, he had those things and calmed down almost immediately. I would definitely stay in the day care with her the first few times so she knows that it's a safe place and just know the first few times will be tough, but she will calm down! If the day care providers are OK with her crying for a bit, I wouldn't go back because that will just reinforce her crying since she knows it will make you appear again. Does that make sense? I guess it's sort of like sleep training! Sorry for the rambling, I guess I am just talking these things out to myself, too!! Good luck!!

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  3. I can't wait for the warmer weather where we can go outside more. How does she do at the play dates with other kids? Is she okay in smaller groups? I find Noah isn't as clingy when we've spent more time at play dates or at the park where he gets to play with different toys and have a change in scenery. He's attached to me after nap if we've stayed inside all day. Good luck with the gym day care. Noah has recently started getting upset whenever I leave, even though he is only ever watched by my husband or my mom. I have noticed his attachment to me has really magnified recently. It's hard when you can't do anything on your own without a child getting upset because you've left.

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  4. Ohmygosh I COMPLETELY EMPATHIZE!!!! Thank you so much for writing this post. I only have one daughter but she does the same thing with strangers, constantly wants me even when daddy is around, etc I have definitely facilitated this characteristic with no regrets but my anxiety has started to creep in over here too and it is becoming quite overwhelming. I cant even leave her in the daycare at church because she is absolutely hysterical and screams the ENTIRE time. No matter how long or how often we try. I'm with you, I dont want to enable her but I dont want her to be terrified either just because I selfishly need a few minutes to myself. Such a difficult time. Any advice or tips you learn along the way I would definitely encourage you to share! Thanks for bringing light to this phase and please know you aren't alone.

    Plumtickledpink.blogspot.com

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  5. Kelly Linn FellerMarch 25, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    This sounds so familiar to Odette! Literally, I have to wait for her to nap to take a shower or get anything done. She has always been a mama's girl and even cries when she's with daddy and can't find me. I feel like it's so hard to leave her, but I definitely need to learn to have some balance and get 'me' time back. Good luck with the child care at the gym! I'm sure it will get easier with time and your kids with actually enjoy going to play!

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  6. lex started at the gym just ONE day a week like 6 months ago. and she still has bad days-- but the majority of them are good. she's made friends, and the girls are SO SWEET to her. i can't recommend it enough! i know she's still going to have mucho meltdowns when i start dropping her off at "school" next week. . . but i feel more prepared for those days (i want to say she's more prepared- but letsbehonest. she'll still cry!). and i can't believe kenley is almost FOUR MONTHS!! i mean really. . . those big blue eyes are like the sweetest EVER.

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  7. I leave Easton each day for work (he's with his dad, but still really hard) and I read early on to always make sure they know you're leaving. So since day one, I've made sure to say bye, tell him I'm going to work, and that I'll be home when he wakes up from nap. If he's distracted or playing, I make sure he looks at me and says "otay" when I tell him I'm leaving. Sometimes it does make him clingy and then hug me and declare "no wort!", but I never want him to feel like I'm sneaking out on him or that I can just disappear at any moment. Now that he's older, I think it's worked. He knows when I'm going to work and understands it and doesn't give me a hard time, where if I leave him other times (you know, to go pee), he cries.

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  8. I've always been really good about that too when leaving her with my SMIL and even her dad always tells her he's going to work when he leaves in the morning, which is nice because when she says "daddy?" I can say he's at work and she just goes back to playing.

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  9. That's the one highlight, the gym kidcare is really good and that does help me feel better. And seriously time is flying!

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  10. I'm definitely confident in their kidcare, which is good because otherwise I def wouldnt even consider using it. They can have snacks and sippies and I would definitely pack her some and the staff has set schedules so hopefully she becomes used to seeing the same faces. They also had mickey on when we stoppedin so hopefully that a good distraction for her! LOL

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  11. http://www.janetlansbury.com/tag/toddlers-2/
    I would have also described myself as AP- then I started reading this lady's blog and she's really reframed a lot for me. I love her ideas and examples. I've been using RIE with my 2 1/2 year old and I can really really see a difference in our interactions.

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  12. Glad to know it is a phase and I'm not the only one who's kid wants to be with them all the time. Flattering, of course, and usually I feel the same way, but I need to exercise, for my own mental health, haha. I'll have to find out if she's allowed to bring a toy in, she is allowed snacks and sippies. And totally makes sense about returning if she cries, just like sleep training ha.

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  13. I'll definitely check the link out! I loosely say AP, but would probably be considered fairly conventional to someone who truly is. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. I'll definitely repost with our failures or successes, it's going to be a big step for her and for me!

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  15. I now shower with her peeking in through the glass the entire time pointing to the hot pink loofah "looofahh, bubbles!"... fun fun fun

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  16. I think what might help is to go to the daycare with her and stay the entire time, and then leave with her....maybe try this 2-3 times. I've found that Hudson does much better when he recognizes a place than if it's brand new.

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  17. Wegmans, Target, and the library are SO full of win for trips out with the kiddos :) You can do it with the gym daycare! And... I hope you report back, as this is something I'm starting to think about with my own gym but have been to chicken so far.

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  18. I have loved reading this series of blog posts. I have joined the club of 2 under 2... in a sense at least. My oldest are 21 months and my youngest are 7 weeks. But you head the nail on the head! Trying to make "me" time is so hard but so important!

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  19. I agree with all of the comments. Here is my 2 cents. When you drop her off get them to distract her with something fun. When we were having tough drop offs at daycare, the easier days are the ones where they would get her to start coloring, playing with the kitchen. You don't sneak out but it helps distract her with something fun. Good luck. It's not easy. It will take time. But Eventually it will bet better.

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  20. I feel you! My little boy is 23 mos and is so much the same. He is like a little koala bear clinging to me all.the.time. It can be so draining! We live hours from family and I'm a huge chicken about hiring a random babysitter for him so we are just always together. I have been trying to work up the courage to try gym daycare as well, but it just makes me so nervous! I guess I don't have much advice just wanted to say I understand how you feel! Oh and spring is coming soon! :-)

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  21. I started leaving Owen at the gym childcare to workout when he was about 6 months, and it was HARD at first. They would ask me to just bring him in, give a kiss and say goodbye, then leave. The longer you linger, the harder it is for them. At our gym they will try their best to calm him if he's upset, but the rule is 5 minutes of crying before they come get you. I've only been pulled in twice. Some people (certain family members) have said things to make me feel bad about leaving him, but eventually he got used to being there and now he loves it and I consider it playtime / socialization for him. It's important to get some you time and not lose yourself completely in your dedication to your family. It's natural to put yourself last. Oh, and they also said the more regularly you go, the faster they'll get used to it and will learn to know that you're going to always come back for them. I could chat forever about all you said here, but this will be all I'll leave in your comments!! xoxo

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  22. I'll have to find out if I'm allowed to stay, I have a feeling they keep it somewhat closed for safety purposes (which i appreciate!). Maybe after we do her class we can just stop in the room she'd be in to check it out a few times before pick up her sister, so she gets more familiar.

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  23. I'll definitely report back, just can't promise I'll work up the guts to do it this week haha

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  24. Whoa! 4 under 2?! I bow down **I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy**

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  25. Such great advice! Thank you :)

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  26. I know EXACTLY how you feel, I had so much anxiety from the day the stick turned pink about leaving Ashlynn for labor! I started leaving her with my SMIL (who was going to be staying with her when I went into labor) when I had doctor appts, not every one, but more than I would have previously. Luckily being home is a huge bonus in the comfort zone, so that was a big help. She got more and more used to Nanny being around and me telling her I was going to the doctor and coming home soon. SMIL said she'd occasionally ask about me, and she just tell her where I was and I'd be home soon. My Husband was able to come home during my hospital stay to check in with her and do bath and bed the night her sister was born (she was born around lunch) and the second night he stayed at the house with her since it made more sense then him sleeping on the chair in the hospital. I left my SMIL with quite the "schedule" of how our days usually run, where things are (bibs, spoons, sippies, wipes, medical stuff -not be used without my consent, like in event of fever), etc, and list of my "rules", but I don't think I called it that. Just my expectations, like limit on tv shows, what she's allowed to eat or not eat (no juice, that type of stuff). I'm sure it was overboard and they thought I was nuts, but it put my mind at ease that I got to 'say' what I wanted and not worry about her doing things I would regret not speaking up later. Ok novel, oops.

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  27. Woohoo for spring! Koala, love that... hysterical too, I'll be holding her on my hip, "up, mommy, up"... umm kid, you are up!!

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  28. LOL at the 'certain family members' pretty sure this isnt the first CFM reference ;)


    And if I ever start going out in public in my sweats/pjs, I'm ready to be signed up for What Not to Wear. Luckily I do try dress casually or at least not in jammies most days, either jeans or leggings, but more often than not sneakers of some sort., but my "put myself last" attitude could definitely qualify me for that show. I never thought I'd be like this, but I have so much guilt doing things for myself. Unfortunately, the lack of time to care of myself physically (especially with the lack of sleep) is really wearing.

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  29. That sounds so ideal!! Sadly, our closest family is hours away... Doctors appointments have been very interesting. But good practice for me! I haven't decided who my emergency caretaker for her will be if I go into early labor, but if baby isn't more than a few days early, my mom should be here luckily! And little one might just love grandma and grandpa as much as she loves me. But I'd definitely leave a huge schedule too!

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  30. Sorry, no real advice here either because I am going through the same thing with my clinger! She goes to a moms day out program one day a week for 3 hours and pretty much every drop off is screaming and crying and it has been 6 weeks... It does help when she gets distracted by something and then I sneak out but it still breaks my heart to see her so upset :( But I absolutely love it when she comes running to me with her craft saying momma!! (So I know she has fun.) Please update on how it goes!! And hope I didn't scare you :/

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  31. I signed up to take some cardio classes and started taking my daughter to the child care there a few months ago. The first time she cried a lot and I felt horrible! But the babysitter is so sweet and would give me a full report, so I felt better knowing how great she was with her while I was gone. Now I try to go at least twice a week and while she still has bad days, she generally does well, only crying when I leave and quieting after a few minutes until she gets occupied with a toy. It still breaks my heart every time she starts to cry when I leave but I know she'll be okay and she's so happy to see me when I get back. Good luck!

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  32. I am not a SAHM but feel the same way sometimes. I felt major guilt leaving Mason at daycare at first. I know his daycare provider and she loves him and I knew he was in good hands (and my niece goes there so he had someone he knew...whether he knew that he knew her at 3 months old, I have no idea lol) but I still felt bad. He would usually only cry on Mondays, after a weekend with us, so those were the hardest. Even now, I still feel guilt. Not so much dropping him off at daycare because I know he has fun and she sends me pictures of them playing but on the weekends. I feel like since I work all week, it should be family time, so I have extreme guilt for leaving to go to lunch with a friend or wherever. Even if I go to the grocery store by myself while Mason is awake and not napping...guilt. It's so bad. I could go on and on and feel like this was not the advice you are looking for, so I will leave you with this... do it. Even if you feel guilty, do it. You need this for you. I feel so much better after just spending a couple hours with a girlfriend (I don't do it often, but do try at least once a month-ish). Spending some you time will make you feel so much better! You can do it mama!

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  33. All children are so different. I have worked in child care and with young children for years. The hardest thing as a mom is to hear your little one crying, crying out for you.

    Even though I haven't experienced it yet with Ellie, I do know that the child care providers are capable of caring for your babies. They will do the best to comfort them. Usually after about 5 minutes kiddos calm down and are able to be distracted, if not then we page the parent to come get their child. It is the goal for the children to feel safe and enjoy their time.

    Like I said, when I take Ellie and if she starts crying I might forget what I know and want to comfort her myself, I am her mama after all.

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  34. Life was colorless before drstanleyspelltemple@hotmail.com helped me with a love spell to reunite me with the father of my children who abandon me with my two children for a co-worker of his. My will to live and enjoy life is back now that my family is saved. I will never feel lonely again. Thank you for bringing my husband back to me....

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  35. so glad they have regular staff schedule - that helped us too. I'd say we're going to see miss sarah today. And everything is better with mickey! Ours even had a few stuffed mickey/minnies in the toy area and every time I got Callie that's what she was holding :) Good luck I hope it goes well (or gets there quickly)!

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  36. It will just get easier with practice, I promise!! Think of all the GREAT parts of letting A interact with other kids, other adults and have time away from her momma. It's hard but it will be well worth it for everyone involved----I have had some nasty bouts of 'separation anxiety' from my kids and it's horrible. But it does get better and it's so important to have 'away time' for everyone! Hang in there, mama.

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  37. I think we need to start a support group lol. I am juggling the same emotions right now. I work full time however my mother in law watches the girls so I know that they are being cared for by somebody who loves them as much as I do. I have always toyed with the idea of signing Bella up for a "mommy's day out" but I cannot wrap my head around leaving her in somebody else's care and losing that control. I know the exposure would be good but I have an anxiety attack just thinking about it. Especially now that Bella has regressed back into her "I need mommy at all times" phase and won't even let me put her down to make dinner. I really wish I had more friends with kids who could relate but that's not happening any time soon it appears. Let me know if you have any success - I don't know how in the world I am ever going to be able to send them to school! I can't even begin to think about that right now!

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  38. Blair is a stage five clinger too. doesn't matter if daddy is home she wants her mama. it's truly exhausting. "mama, up!" has to be her most repeated phrase. i don't know how you function with an infant (and blog!). i'm struggling with just one! however i've found that consistent time away has been good for her. like going to the nursery every sunday when we go to church. she recognizes her teacher, the kids, the toys and really enjoys it. same with a bible study we have on mon and tues mornings. these activities last about 2 hours and she really really likes it now! of course it takes some tears in the beginning but now she asks to go. :) we do music class too and she always enjoys that as well. gymnastics sounds fun! maybe we will sign up for that or ballet soon?! you're doing great, mama! i always remind myself that it's only a season. ;)

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