Adjustment difficulties

Life’s moving pretty quickly over here. Vera turned four months old last week. She’s rolling over and holding her head up and filling out six-month clothes quite nicely. Time is moving so quickly that sometimes, it’s hard to catch my breath.

I mean that quite literally. Sometimes, it’s so overwhelming that I have to physically stop and breathe in and out. In and out. Slow my body down, and try to get my mind to do the same. I know. It’s exactly because I feel that I can’t stop that I must. Yes, I must slow down.

Yet one more thing I must do. Just what I need.

Do you know what I mean?

I can’t believe the last time I posted was Vera’s first day of daycare. Honestly? It went pretty awfully. She didn’t sleep and cried a lot. Her mornings usually consist of lots of sleeping and no crying whatsoever.

The bigger, more heartbreaking challenge, however, was Roy. We tried Vera on half days. That first one, Roy was so excited, until I can to pick her up—and not him. I’d told him that would happen, but he’s two. He had no idea how that would feel. Clearly, it felt awful. For both of us.

I thought he’d get used to it. He didn’t.

I ended up taking Vera out of that particular equation. My provider also has a new baby, and another provider is helping her in her home, so there’s a lot of new going on there. Vera’s back to sleeping and smiling. Roy, on the other hand, has decided he doesn’t want to go to daycare anymore.

We’ve never had this problem before. Usually, at drop-off, I can barely coax a good-bye kiss out of the kid, he’s so excited to hang with his friends. Now, it’s all sobs and clinging. Breaks my heart. I have no idea what to do.

And while it’s true that Vera is sleeping wonderfully during the day, she’s decided to quit doing so at night. Girlie came out of the womb sleeping for 4-hour stretches and became a regular 9PM-to-5AMer in no time flat. Then, for the first time in her life, she started waking up every couple of hours. Then she went ahead and switched her nursing style, and my nipples hurt like crazy.

So, to recap: I somehow gave my toddler a severe case of separation anxiety, my infant has decided to recapture the newborn state she never had, and I’m having a hard time finding a minute to chill the f out.

Not that I expected life to be easy right now. I didn’t. I really didn’t.

Not that life is without its beautiful moments. It isn’t. It certainly isn’t.

But it’s hard, too.

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

Suggestions welcome.

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  1. by Stefanie

    On June 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Oh honey! I have no suggestions for Roy, except to say that you did not give him separation anxiety, I’m guessing it’s an age/stage kind of thing that will of course pass. Doesn’t make it easier now, but don’t blame yourself. Breathing is good, and know that this phase will pass, same thing with Miss Vera’s new sleep schedule – that usually means growing, and will change as everything else does consistently.
    Also, know that no matter how sad or upset Roy gets, it’s not hurting him, he’s learning his emotions – it’s harder on you than him. Do what you have been doing – your best – and know that you have people who are there when you need a break, or to break down:)
    Take care of yourself, and hang in there:)

  2. by Missi

    On June 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    It will get easier:-). Max totally went through what Roy’s going through. Once Summer started moving around and Max could interact with her – instead of just seeing her stealing all of mama’s attention – it got a million times better. Of course we still have issues…but like you said about time flying by too fast, this phase will too.

  3. by Sarah

    On June 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I was excited to see a new blog from you, but it sounds like you are having a bit of a rough time… as a former daycare provider, the only thing that I can suggest is to just leave. I know that it’s heartbreaking. In my experience, parents who establish a quick drop off have kids who are much more well-adjusted. Probably in your case, it’s a little bit of jealousy, you know? You get to spend time with Vera (without Roy) and Vera gets to spend time with you (without Roy). From what I’ve read, he’s a smart kid; if you continue to explain that you and Vera love him, but that you need to work, and assure him that you will be back to pick him up… it may take a couple weeks, but he will start to understand. Also, try to let him know that his feelings are valid; that it’s okay to be upset.

  4. by Berit Thorkelson

    On June 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks, ladies.

    Sarah, I am going to follow all your suggestions. Reassure. Drop off quickly. Validate. Your informed direction is very much appreciated.

  5. by Baker Wright

    On June 13, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I could not agree more with Sarah. Nothing more to say…hang in there.

  6. by A.

    On June 13, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Oh man, Berit. I’m sorry to hear all this. My two-year-old (without a sibling) is going through something similar. He’s not crying, but he’s all of a sudden clingy and not wanting me to leave. He’ll stand by the door so I honestly can’t leave. We try all the tricks: juice, trucks, puppies, swing set… but really, all it takes is for HIM to think it’s a good idea to stay. (As with everything else these days – if I suggest it? No. Then two minutes later it’s HIS great idea!) So, a couple extra minutes of coaxing and saying bye-bye and he gets there.

    On the days when he does need to be pulled away and cries, she tells me at pick up that it lasted all of 30 seconds after I’m out of sight.

    They know how to push your buttons. And it’s just a phase. And Roy won’t be scarred for life from this either. But man, it can ruin OUR mornings, can’t it?!

    Hang in there mama.

    (Have you read Honest Toddler? Take a peek for a really good laugh: http://honesttoddler.wordpress.com/)

  7. by Ann

    On June 13, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Sorry you are have a bit of a bad time about it.

    Both kids sound like they are going through different stages, which is probably hard as routine is easily to manage. My younger son is almost two and he has recently started freaking out about my leaving him and we have a sitter that comes to our house. It is what it is, though I think the PP is right that some sibling rivalry and jealously may be at play as well. It doesn’t ever end, but give it 14 months and they will be having a blast together. While some people say to just leave right away when transitioning with a caregiver, when I have time I do like to do a slower transition, but then I’ve typically only had one child needing me that intensely at a time as mine are 3.5 years different in age.

    Hang in there, and yes breathe.

    As for the nursing problem, you might want to consider using different bottles if you think that might be contributing. Bottles that more closely mimic breast feeding can help keep things going better for you. I had good luck with the MAM bottles. Make sure to get that baby latching correctly so you don’t get sore.

  8. by Sara

    On June 13, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I remember that time as a big, messy blur. Mason came to despise his daycare dropoff intensely right before I had Sadie (he was 2, going on 3). After I had her, we switched to having a sitter come to us, and that seemed to help. There was still the juggling with feeding and naps and attention, etc., but it didn’t seem to be as big a deal just to go upstairs to work. Not saying they had no issues with it, just less. But then, Sadie went through major, major separation anxiety again in preschool when she was 3. I am sorry to say it was no less wrenching to leave! But, just take a few minutes to breathe, and resolve to be where you are at that moment, that there is no perfect decision or scenario, and that whatever you have got going is what it needs to be, and that will be okay with them, too.

  9. by Mom

    On June 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    My 3yo went through a similar thing last summer, and it lasted a whole month. I knew the whole time it had to be some kind of “change” she was responding to, but it took ages. Maybe she had a fight with a friend? Maybe she was reprimanded by a teacher and was embarrassed? Eventually I figured out she was upset about a teacher leaving. Little things can upset them at this age and bring out the separation anxiety, but with a consistent routine, it will pass.

  10. by anti jen

    On June 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Just remember: You’re doing a good job. That job is to make sure those kids know you love them. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Everything else is just details. You are the perfect mom for your kids. And you’re doing a good job! (I’d repeat that forever, but I’m on deadline. Love you.)

  11. by Eddie

    On June 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I find it awesomely interesting to find a blog looking for solutions to “issues” rather than someone telling me a solution. Why? Because there are no set guidelines to kids. Each one is different. The one thing I have noticed with my wife and our 2 boys (1.5 and 4) is that mom’s intuition is always right. Moms just know. Don’t loose sight of that. You have the closest connection to your kids, more than dad. Listen closely to your gut feeling.

  12. by Jill Cordes

    On June 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Berit, here’s the thing (since my baby is only 3 days older than yours). I’ve come to realize there is no free pass in motherhood. These little buggers always come back and find a way to mix it up. So you got this great sleeper (and napper–4 hours??? Oh man. Em still does 30 min cat naps…I’m lucky if I ever get 2 hours).. but then, your girl decided “I can’t make this too easy on mama”…so now she’s challenging you with this latest round of switching her days and nights. Babies will never let us off the hook! It’s their way of keeping us on our toes. Hang in there!