It’s normal to be concerned about the wellbeing of loved ones. However, people with adult separation anxiety disorder experience high levels of anxiety, and sometimes even panic attacks, when loved ones are out of reach. This is particularly true for young mums with babies and toddlers.
Sylvian Sanad is one such mum, returning to work when her baby was just 10 months old. “I won’t lie – it’s hard at first,” she says. “The reality is that you go from being with your baby all day to just a few precious hours. I seriously considered quitting my job after giving birth, and I did resign. But the company that I worked for gave me an opportunity and full support with the flexible hours I requested, and they rehired me after 10 months.”
The reality is that you go from being with your baby all day to just a few precious hours
Many mothers, of course, report feeling guilty and anxious, and often worry that they will be replaced by the childcare provider in the eyes of their child. “This is true, and it’s a feeling that doesn’t go away,” Sylvian explains. “But it’s vitally important that the caregiver is going to love and make your baby happy, and that your baby will return those feelings.”
So what advice would Sylvian give to other mothers who are looking to return to work? “Find the support system around you, chat with your partner, as well as girlfriends who have been through the same situation. Make sure you are 100% happy with your childcare. Knowing for certain that your baby is in good hands helps you to feel less anxious. Last but not least, ease yourself in and look after yourself. You are going through a major adjustment!”