Work and separation anxiety

fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Registered Users Posts: 996 Curl Connoisseur
This may be more of a rant than anything, but we are having a tough time in the mornings at our house. I need to leave for work by 6:30 at the latest. You would think that everyone would still be asleep. Alas, Nate clings to me in bed, nursing as if for his life. When I try to sneak away, he's up and screaming. So, DH takes him, but then Harry gets up because of all the noise.

So, everyone is up at 6 AM and emotions are running high because of lack of sleep. Harry and Nathan are weeping as if I'm going off to war. Harry is saying he doesn't want to go to school. Nathan is trying to climb directly up my leg. I'm frantically trying to get ready. DH is trying to distract them with food and TV. After I leave, they calm down and are fine, but BLARGH! I hate this.

If the boys would go to bed earlier (i.e. before 8 PM) then we could deal with early wake ups a bit better. They'd be more rested and less weepy. By the end of the week, they are so overtired it's just ridiculous. Harry's teacher notices a big difference when he's rested.

I've tried explaining to Harry (when he's not upset) about how I have to work, but he just gets so worked up, it really doesn't help him in the moment. Nathan can't understand much yet, but dammit. If he would just stay asleep in the morning, none of this would be happening.

Any advice? Commiseration? It really starts my day off on a high note, I can tell you. :coffee:
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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    Are both kids sleeping in your bed? What time do they go to sleep? Can you put them to bed earlier? Have you tried weaning the little one? Pumping and bottling it for later? I'm just not understanding how they hear you leaving when they are already exhausted and sleeping. Can you drown out the noise of you getting ready for work w/ a fan or music or a white noise machine?

    Mine sleep like logs so on this particular point, no I can't relate. LOL But I do sympathize. I was like this as a child. I couldn't stand for my mother to ever leave. Even if she was just goingto the store for milk, I'd be in near convultions from sobbing so hard. I put up such a fight when she tried to leave me at school on the first day of kindergarten, she wound up having to sit in the back of the classroom all day for the first week. And I still cried for hours in the weeks that followed. It used to seriously stress her out! LOL I remember how much she hated these episodes!

    When my kids are inconsolably crying, I distract them w/ games and humor...not w/ tv or food. Like I pretend the groundhog that lives in our backyard just knocked on the door, complaining about the noise and told me to spank them and pluck out of of their eyebrow hairs...LOL That kind of stuff makes them laugh and forget whatever they were crying about.
  • webjockeywebjockey Registered Users Posts: 2,786
    I still co-sleep with my kids and do a little bit of breastfeeding with my almost 2 yr old.

    Some things that work for me:

    I tell my youngest that we can breastfeed for 10 minutes. When time is up I tell him "Theo, it's time to let go". He usually cries a bit, and then I say "it's time to get milk" - we walk (or I carry him) to the fridge, fill up the sippy with soy/almond milk, and he's more or less happy.

    We do toilet together - Kids watch me go toilet, then we "take turns" going toilet.

    Kids watch Sesame Street while I get them dressed in the morning.

    When it's time for me to go, I ask for them to walk me to the door, and for kisses goodbye and I say "I'll see you later!" Then I ask them to close the door. It's a whole production and I'm super positive and upbeat about leaving. I'm also very matter of fact about the whole thing - like "this is what is happening right now". Maybe it gives them a sense of control or security or something.

    It's working for now. Not sure how well this will fly when they get older.
  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    It's a horrible phase, as I recall, with both kids. Webbie had some good ideas. When I weaned Nadia (at 28 months) I started offering her a straw cup with milk and she was very attached to it especially in the morning. It helped that it was a Dora cup, too.
    Getting them involved in the morning routine might help too. When I am the one to drop off Nadia at day care she tends to be a weepy, clingy mess a lot (sometimes still) and having her walk me to the door, open it for me and close it behind me often helps.
    I know it would be easier for you if they stayed asleep and you snuck out, but it sounds like it's not going to happen, so just work from the idea that they will be up and create a morning routine that is nice and positive. Even when you do, it won't work every day.

    And other than that hang in there. This too shall pass. Nathan is at the prime age for separation anxiety. I remember Ben at that age. He would be home with my mom and his nanny and he would cry The last thing I would see every day was his weepy tear-streaked face at the window. It broke my heart but he was fine a few minutes later and eventually grew out of it.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Registered Users Posts: 996 Curl Connoisseur
    I should add, for clarity, that I co-sleep with Nate and DH co-sleeps with Harry. Both of them are really attached to sleeping with us, Nate still night nurses (I know!) and they both wake really easily if one of us leaves the bed. That is why they are waking. If only I could get them to co-sleep with each other! They sometimes do when I put them to bed, but Nathan doesn't last. I'm hoping to work on night weaning with him and then maybe have them co-sleep more. Trouble is that I'm conflicted about pushing Nate too fast, because that is kind of the last nursing that we do. I'm gone from 6-4 every day and no longer pump. I know he doesn't "need" it the same way, but it is hard to let go when he is so attached to it.

    I think working on a morning routine with everyone might help. I know DH has a routine for after I leave, but it is the before part that is chaotic because they both should be sleeping. Ack. This too shall pass, I know.
    Hair type: 3A/B
    I lurk, therefore, I am.
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  • webjockeywebjockey Registered Users Posts: 2,786
    I believe I was still night nursing at that age as well. I think once that starts to subside, the sleeping arrangements will improve. My kids won't sleep together as yet either.

    Forgot to mention, I have two twin size beds on the floor for them to sleep on besides in our bed. Every night is different - sometimes they sleep in their own beds, sometimes they'll start the night in their own beds, then come to our bed. I'll move them in the middle of the night back to their beds. Lately, they've been sleeping through the night in either our bed or their beds or together.

    We also switched to a latex mattress which doesn't bump and move around as much.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Registered Users Posts: 5,656
    Solomon can be the same way about nursing in the morning. Sometimes I'm able to unlatch him and get up if Abram wakes up first, other times he clings to me for dear life and can't go back to sleep without me, so he wakes up tired before he's really ready. I do think nightweaning would help, but I can see why you're reluctant with Nathan because you no longer nurse during the day. If you'd eventually like them to stay asleep in the morning, maybe you can encourage Nathan to cuddle with your husband for comfort and after your morning nursing you can bring him to bed with your husband and Harry, and hopefully he'll go back to sleep?

    When my husband leaves in the morning or when I leave to teach my Yoga classes, our best tool is distraction - usually with a toy that they haven't seen in a while. We try to rotate out toys every couple days so there's always something "new" and exciting.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Registered Users Posts: 996 Curl Connoisseur
    Thanks, Pixie. I wish Nate would go snuggle with the other two, but he is too upset to go back to sleep.

    They were up again this morning, but there was less drama. Nate has been going down more like 6:30 PM (interrupted naps this week, unfortunately) and Harry has been asleep by 8 PM. I don't know how they can function as well as they do, being this tired. I'm worn out 24/7.
    Hair type: 3A/B
    I lurk, therefore, I am.
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