0-1 YEAR OLD

What if you are the one with sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety? DR RICHARD C. WOOLF­SON shares how you can ease your wor­ries when you re­turn to work af­ter ma­ter­nity leave.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

What if you’re the one with sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety, not Baby? Here’s how you can ease your wor­ries when you re­turn to work af­ter ma­ter­nity leave.

Time has flown by so quickly since your baby ar­rived. All of a sud­den, your ma­ter­nity leave has ended and you’ve re­turned to work.

thile your lit­tle one has ad­justed well to the day care ar­range­ment and doesn’t make a fuss when you leave him with the babysit­ter ev­ery morn­ing, you have not. ft turns out that you are the one who has sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety.

eere are strate­gies to help over­come your wor­ries when you’re at work.

Un­der­stand at­tach­ment

Bond­ing with your baby is a grad­ual and ac­cu­mu­la­tive process that de­vel­ops dur­ing the first cou­ple of years – it doesn’t have to take place in­stantly, or in the first few months.

bvery car­ing in­ter­ac­tion that you and your lit­tle one share to­gether helps strengthen this im­por­tant emo­tional con­nec­tion. And these ex­pe­ri­ences can oc­cur when you come home at the end of the work­ing day and on week­ends, just as much as they can dur­ing the day.

Fos­ter a pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ship

For in­stance, a baby who is al­ways with a grumpy, hos­tile par­ent is less likely to thrive than one who spends only a few min­utes at the start and the end of each day with her lov­ing, at­ten­tive par­ent.

Or­gan­ise your time ef­fec­tively

Do what you can to match your free time – be­fore and af­ter work hours – with your baby’s eat­ing and sleep­ing rou­tine. ff you know, for in­stance, that he is usu­ally asleep when you ar­rive home but will wake up an hour later, use that first hour to have din­ner and a shower.

A small amount of for­ward plan­ning will bring a large sense of sat­is­fac­tion.

En­joy your baby

fn­stead of wor­ry­ing about how lonely he is with­out you – or feel­ing sorry for your­self when you’re away from him – en­joy the time when he is by your side.

Talk to him, play with him, cud­dle him, sing to him, wash him, change him – in fact, do what­ever you like as long as you are re­laxed and happy in his com­pany. Try to re­lax and do what you can to ig­nore dis­trac­tions, such Ts

Re­ject guilt

There is no rea­son to as­sume that your baby will suf­fer psy­cho­log­i­cally when you re­turn to work or that your re­la­tion­ship with him will de­te­ri­o­rate.

There is am­ple re­search ev­i­dence which con­firms in­fants in this sit­u­a­tion thrive nor­mally, as­sum­ing there is good qual­ity child­care while the par­ents are out dur­ing the day and have a high qual­ity re­la­tion­ship when they are to­gether.

Keep in touch

No need to be a stranger to your lit­tle one dur­ing the day just be­cause you are at work. One of the great ad­van­tages of this com­mu­ni­ca­tion age is that you can eas­ily con­nect with him through your smart­phone, tablet, lap­top or desk­top.

vour sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety will ease when you have a quick that­sapp video call with the babysit­ter dur­ing your work break. gust watch­ing play in his cot for a few min­utes will cheer you up and will re­as­sure you that he’s fine.

What mat­ters isn’t the amount of time you and your child spend to­gether, but the qual­ity of your re­la­tion­ship.

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