Her first word was Daddy. But now my two and a half year old sounds more like Stewie from that “Family Guy” commercial. You know the one, “mom, mommy, momma, mom, mom, mom…hi.” Kids love their moms, simply put. It’s a great thing because there really is nothing like the love of a child. But, is there ever too much of a good thing? Don’t kill me for saying this, but I am learning that yes, there can be. Every since my two and a half year old was born she never really had a hard time separating from me. That is, until now. I left for work way early in the morning, so she never saw me when she woke up. At night, her Daddy usually put her to bed because I would go to sleep so early. When I would leave her to go out, she would wave to me and say bye…kinda like don’t let the door hit your you know what on your way out. She was always happy to see me when I returned, but we never had that separation anxiety I’ve also dreaded. You know the kind…the kind when kids are stuck on you like a piece of paper you accidentally gorilla glued to your finger. Well, I am afraid to say we are on that path. She is becoming a momaholic. We made need an intervention.
I think there are a few things that have factored into what I hope is just a temporary condition. There is now a new little one in town. She’s taken her space, taken her old clothes, and more importantly is stealing her mommy time. In fact, she will now point to me and say “you’re mine.” No joke. She has also become used to me being home with her now. As soon as I put on my coat and shoes and don’t grab hers, she knows something is up. The lip becomes pouty, the eyes droop, and then come the water works. This is usually the part when I feel like the worst mother on the planet. But, I can’t be with her every second of everyday!
I started noticing the early signs of momaholicism when we were at her play gym class. The last five minutes is “separation time.” The kids are supposed to play with each other while the parents sit on the sidelines. That is what is supposed to happen. For me, and one other mom there, that is not what happens. My daughter will play for about 30 seconds and then run over to get me to play with her. The other moms stare like this has never happened to them, all of them except for the one whose son is glued to her too. We exchange sympathetic eyes. I try to get my daughter to go back and play, but she ain’t buying it. I just don’t get it. She is a social kid. Really, she is. Most times when she is with kids she knows, she forgets she knows me. I keep telling myself the “stranger” element is at play. I hope.
So what’s a mom to do? Well, I’m trying to set up more play dates and more importantly trying to detach a bit, even if it is just to do some errands or go to the gym when she is actually awake so she deals with me leaving. Does this make me a bad mom? Some may say yes. But I say no. I don’t want her to become one of those kids who can’t be without their mommy, especially when she heads to preschool in the fall. I know the day will come when she will forget who I am and not want anything to do with me. I’ll probably cry and wish for these days again. But, for now I need to find ways to cope with my little momaholic.