Thursday, August 12, 2010

Separation Anxiety

As I have expressed in a previous post, I am determined to overcome my obsession with food and shed some extra weight. My husband was gracious enough to budget in a membership to our local YMCA. I don't want our money to go to waste and I wanted to prove to myself (and my husband) that I am serious about my fitness goals. So, although it had been a long and busy day I had scheduled in a short work-out before the gym day care closed. Now, my little angel is normally a very social, friendly and happy little girl. In the middle of my routine I quickly snuck a peek of my little sweetie through the window. Instantly, my heart was torn to pieces. There was a crowd of children and Saylor was getting lost in the mix. She needed a snuggle and was desperately following the caregiver around. I could see her mouthing "Mama, Mama". She wasn't crying yet but her face was red and worried. I watched for a few moments hoping she would be distracted by one of the many play stations. She returned to the gate where I dropped her off and began to cry. Needless to say I raced to her and scooped her up. I had never experienced this feeling before. She has always enjoyed the nursery at church and I was surprised that she was not having a good time. I realized it was too close to her bed time and she was not getting the attention she needed. I wanted to relieve her suffering as swiftly as possible.

I bravely returned this morning to attempt to finish my work-out that was cut short the night before. I had not anticipated that separation anxiety would be one of my fitness obstacles. I had heard about this sort of thing happening. I judged mothers for fussing over their children and letting their children take control over the situation. I thought that our health and well-being needed to be a priority. Happy families are a result of healthy moms, right? Once I felt that horrible feeling while watching my child in distress, I understood why other mother's reacted so desperately. The situation began to look similar this morning. Saylor was weary of my absence. I returned after thirty minutes and held her and reminded her that I would be back. I offered her one of her stuffed buddies and allowed her to cry for a few moments. If she was still upset after a set period of time I would call it a day and leave. I was relieved to see her several minutes later happily playing with two little girls. I was happy to see that she could relax and enjoy her time with the other children. It reassured me that she could trust me that I would indeed return. I was able complete my exercise and ended our outing with a dip in the pool.

My health is important to me. I am already feeling more relaxed, more motivated and more focused. I feel more patient and in tune with my family's needs. I am forming a routine and feel good about my commitment to my goals. I know that Saylor will also benefit from interacting with other children for a few hours a week. My commitment to her will always come first. This was one of our first experiences with separation anxiety and I know it will not be our last. As much as I want to lose weight and get in shape, I can not sacrifice the emotional needs of my child. Hopefully, Saylor and I can continue to build trust and we will both grow and learn together.

1 comment:

  1. You're such a good little mommy! I'm so proud of you! And of your fitness goals! Good for you! -Kelsee