“A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.” – Princess Diana
Around the time my baby girl was six months old she began having episodes of separation anxiety. She would be completely happy and content playing with her toys until she noticed I was leaving or had already left the room. Insert whiny, crying baby breakdown. Now that she’s 9 months old it’s happening a little more frequently and now includes times where we’re with family and she doesn’t want anyone else to hold her except Mom.
People have told me this is how it should be, but from my perspective it is exhausting.
I enjoy the moments of freedom when someone else can play with her and entertain her so I can have an adult conversation. There are times I need to leave the room to do the dishes, change the laundry, etc., and I hate doing that while listening to her cry for my presence. At times it has frustrated me to no end and caused me to feel like I can’t get anything done without having her attached to my hip.
Parents, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
The other morning, after putting her down for a nap, a different perspective struck me. Separation anxiety is actually a gift. Now, before you think I’m crazy, allow me to explain.
Kids grow up too fast. I can’t believe she’s going to be a year old in just a few short months. Before I know it she’ll be walking, talking, going to school, becoming a teenager, then an adult and living her own life completely independent of me. Soon she won’t need me anymore the way she feels she needs me now. She’ll desire to be independent from me. At some point she may resist my affection in front of others. She may get annoyed when asked to pose for a picture with me at a family gathering. She may not want to be seen with me in public.
It’s a reality of growing up and it makes me sad to think about.
But for now, in those moments where she wants me more than anyone else, when she looks up from her toys just to make sure I’m nearby, in those moments I am beginning to feel joy. She wants me. She needs me. Only Mom will do.
That is a pretty huge compliment and it is beginning to fill my heart with joy. To be the one she calls out for should make me happy instead of frustrated. For her to want to be attached to my hip while doing chores should fill me with pride because I’m the one who can make her feel better.
These moments will be gone all too quickly and I am choosing joy every chance I get.