Tamara Ecclestone, the Formula One heiress, has revealed that she suffers from parental separation anxiety. As mother to three-year-old Sophia, she admits that her battle with excessive fear and anxiety began when she became a mom and it’s a daily struggle as she worries that her daughter is in constant danger. Earlier this year she admitted that on her daughter’s first day of nursery school, she cried in the car for three hours. She adds, “I’ve just got to get my head around the fact that I’m not going to be there to pick her up every time she falls over, and that’s the brutal reality.”
Many first-time parents can’t bear leaving their children in the care of another person, no matter how much they may need some time to themselves – even if it’s only to get some sleep.
Dealing With Separation Anxiety:
- Separation is a part of life. When leaving your child for the first time, start with a quick outing – a 20 minute walk in the park or to the supermarket. Make sure your child has consistent and reliable care during your absence.
- Introduce the new caregiver gradually. Make sure that your child knows or gets to know a caregiver before being left alone with them.
- Be casual about your goodbye. Don’t have a long, drawn out goodbye. Just say goodbye and leave without looking back.
- Let go of guilt. You’ll be a better parent to your child if you get some ‘re-charge’ time to yourself.
I recall the first day I left our twins at nursery. With two lots of arms clinging desperately to my neck and screaming for dear life, I had to pry their tiny hands off me, turn my back on them, walk quickly to the car and drive to work. I bawled all the way to the office. Wracked with guilt at leaving my precious children in the care of others, I sat, blotchy-faced in the car park, trying to compose myself before facing my colleagues. As I sat in the car, I prayed. I prayed for our children, I prayed for those taking care of them and I prayed for myself. I started out in frenetic fear and with a panicked anxiety but then, I was still. An immense peace filled the car and I felt compelled to pray that God would sing His song over our children. In that instant, I knew they were going to be okay. Ten years later, I still have to daily surrender our children to the one who loves them more than I do – their creator and heavenly Father.
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