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.