Am I being a BAD mum? I just can't help feeling terrible for leaving him! :(

Jay - posted on 09/23/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My little man is breastfed and he refuses to take a bottle, I have about 20 bottles of different sizes and shapes and teats. He is just 7 months old (tomorrow).

The thing is, I am back to college on Monday, part-time, I will be doing Mon to wed, 4 hours an evening.

I should be going to counselling for different things but I don't go because I went one day for not even 2 hours when I got a txt off my DH to say that DS was in hysterics. He didn't even feed when I came in right away, he just wanted a cuddle for about five minuets first.

Now I don't know how I am going to be able to go to college for 4 hours in the evenings 3 days a week.

I feel like I am being a horrible mum. I have been feeding him his dinner at 5.15, then breastfeeding him and putting him to sleep for 5.45. That is the time I would be leaving the house. But when he wakes up at about 8.15pm he wants to feed and he feeds again after 10pm (when I should be home).

Do you think that it is okay to leave him with his dad for this long?

I need some advice, have other mum's gone through anything like this? I feel so bad, I don't want to come home every night to him sobbing but I had always planned to return to college when he was over 6 months. I just don't think that I am going to learn much when I am thinking about him crying without me, and my breasts filling at around 8pm will be a painful reminder of him needing me.

I am waiting to see if I get a 15 min break that my DH could come and meet me for so I can feed him. But my Mother seems to think that this would be worse for him...

HELP :( x

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Neva - posted on 09/23/2011

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It sounds as if your baby is developing separation anxiety. The good thing is that this is a normal part of a child's development. It means that he is right on track. The best thing to do is to go ahead and leave him with your husband. The first few times might be rough, but soon he will learn that when you leave, you do come back and this helps to develop trust. I would try to leave breast milk if you can for your husband to feed from a bottle. At 7 months of age, if he is getting 3 meals/day, plus snacks and BF during the day, he should not really need to have that many feedings after 6 p.m. He currently has been used to using your breast for comfort. It will not hurt for him to accept cuddles and comfort from your husband. Mommy's guilt can be strong, but allowing your little guy to bond more with Dad is a positive, even if its hard at first, plus getting your education will help you to be a better mom, too. Rest assured that leaving him for a couple of hours a couple times a week will not cause any permanent psychological or physical damage. He will adjust and so will you and his Daddy. Best wishes to you.

Elizabeth - posted on 09/25/2011

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Have you tried feeding him breastmilk from a cup? If he won't take a cup, partially frozen milk on a spoon is also an option.

To help with the seperation anxiety, leave something with your scent on it. I wore a little blanket stuffed animal (head and arms like a stuffed animal but the body is a little blanket) in my bra for an hour. The blanket tucked between my breasts. It looked funny. Maybe if you also have some special toys that only come out when you are away it would help him be distracted about you not being there.

You asked if you were being a bad mom. The opposite is true since your little guy has developed such a strong bond to you.

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Jay - posted on 09/26/2011

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I never tried the half frozen milk thing, I might get my DH to try that tonight when I'm gone..... :(
I have told him to try and mix if with just enough rice to make it stick to the spoon. But i think maybe its not really hunger, just that he wants comfort.
I will try putting his favorite little teddy under my top for a while before i leave tonight, that is a good plan.
He drinks water from a cup but spits and refuses if I put milk in there.... It is really strange :) xx

Jay - posted on 09/25/2011

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Tanks Neva,
Well he started eating at 6 months but he was sick and didn't eat a thing for a whole week during this month, so he is back on track now at 3 meals a day, and sometimes has a desert after lunch if he seems to have room and finishes lunch. He doesn't eat many snacks yet, but I guess you are right, he will be eating them soon too, I am trying to get him to fill with food as much as possible. Because he doesn't take a bottle it is the only thing my husband can do if I am not there., He does still cluster feed in the evening, so 5.30, 8, 10, 11.30 then he is asleep, but I guess he will learn to take more when I offer at 5.30, will be leaving at 5.45,
Thank you for a really helpful post!
Starting back tomorrow and starting to look forward to it!

Jay - posted on 09/23/2011

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I would love to be able to bring him! I don't think I can because of the insurance. I just don't know to get over the guilt I am feeling, It is making me want to just stay at home, But that wont pay our future bills! :( xx

JuLeah - posted on 09/23/2011

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I don't know where you are attending college, but one of my sisters' took her son for the first few months. She sat in the back with him in a sling so her hands were free.

But, yes, I do think it okay for him to start accepting comfort from others. You want him to learn he is safe in the world, even if you are not there. You want him to learn that if you leave, you will come back. That is a good kind of trust to have.

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