3 under 3: Separation anxiety

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3 under 3
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Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! Yes, you heard us right. Each week she tells us all about the ups and downs of bringing up 3 children so close in age. This installment talks about her emotions as her kids are learning to cope without mum...

'When I found out I was expecting twins, I prepared for it. I knew that I'd have to wave goodbye to my freetime. I knew sleep would become a snatched luxury. I knew what I was getting myself into. I was ready. But then the oddest thing happened. I brought my girls home and found I didn't want freetime. I didn't want sleep. I became intensely irritated by my body's inconvenient need to rest. All I wanted to do was stay awake to take care of my babies. I didn't want to miss a minute with them, I wanted to be there with whatever they needed, whenever they needed it. The feeling didn't last, of course, and now all 3 girls sleep for 11 hours or so, I revel in my time off. Usually.

'This week saw the twins' third session at playgroup, and I dropped them off with a kiss as usual and headed off. I still feel a wee jolt as I walk out of the building, but G and T have been loving their time there, always excitedly telling me about their adventures when I pick them up. I was starting to relax. After a busy morning, during which I even managed to (briefly) not think about them, I headed back. T was sitting on the playleader's lap looking upset. Oh dear... I rushed over and was handed an emotional little monkey, who clung straight onto me. Apparently, she'd been up and down all morning, getting teary, being cuddled happy, only to be off again. It broke my heart. I swelled with pride when I was told that G had been constantly at her side, offering cuddles and comfort. But that's not G's job. Or the playleader's. It's mine.

‘What happened, honey?' I asked, swallowing the lump in my throat.

‘I wanted you.'

'Knife in my heart. With G pulling at my hand and asking about lunch, I faked happy efficiency as I bustled about getting the girls into their coats and saying our goodbyes (as well as profusely thanking the lovely playleader). With my arrival T had visibly perked up, so I risked another question.

‘So, why were you so upset, baby?' I cajoled. ‘Did something happen?'

‘No,' she said matter-of-factly,' I wanted you but you weren't there, so I cried.'

'The killer blow. That was four days ago and T has long since recovered her normal playful nature. I am still a mess. Typing is hard with big wet eyes. I know. I'm utterly pathetic. But those words. ‘You weren't there.' They were all my fears in one big blue-eyed swoop.

'I'm so lucky to have been able to be a full-time mum since the twins were born. I've been here for it all. All the firsts, yes, but all the tears too. Daddy and granny and grandad bring the fun round here, but if someone trips, or falls, or crashes, it's my arms they run (or toddle) to. That's my job. Only, really, I know it's not. My job is to raise them.

'I'm so proud of how my girls are growing up, and can usually swallow my soppiness and see that I'm doing OK. With M's personality now shining through, I have 3 feisty little souls, and I wouldn't change them for a minute. Of course they have to learn cope without me. All children have to learn to be independent. And although T cried, she got on with it and isn't letting it hold her back. She's already talking about what this week's playgroup will bring, who'll be there and what they'll play. She'll be fine without me. They all will. I'm just not so sure about me.'


Do your kids suffer from separation anxiety or like their independence? Let us know in our comments section below.


Amy's other blog posts... 


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