The Indian Mother & Separation Anxiety

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Yay!! So I’m finally getting to enjoy the holidays as I envisioned them, relaxing and reading to my heart’s content, waking up at my own will, all the wonderful things I mentioned in my previous post… well … be careful what you wish for…

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I expect that most mothers and especially the new mothers know exactly what the ‘traditional’ type of separation anxiety is. Definition according to Wikipedia: “Separation Anxiety Disorder is a psychological condition in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment, involves inappropriate display of fear and distress when faced with separation. “ Most of us are aware that children are the most likely sufferers.

I have just discovered along my journey of motherhood, an aspect of this ‘Separation Anxiety’ that nobody mentioned to me. This is when the mother begins to have symptoms of anxiety at the thought of her children being without her for an allocated time.

Hi my name is Maryam Bibi and I suffer from secondary separation anxiety… It has been 6 days since I broke up a fight, since my children last spilled things in my kitchen, and woke me up super early. (Murphy’s law ofcourse, my eyes open at 7am everyday this week without fail)

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My boys are currently on holiday with their 2 aunts at my mum’s home, having a ball of a time I might add. Here I am… suppose to be enjoying the holiday I envisioned… and ironically finding it not half as exciting as I expected it to be. Ok ok, I admit it…. those little munchkins keep me going with all their nonsensical chatter during the day. Don’t get me wrong… I am enjoying the peace… well I was enjoying the peace… until I realised how eerily quiet it is, and when I found myself trying to find things to do to pass the time. I have my crafts and reading, and once I’d done coffee with a friend, trips to the beautician and hair-dresser, I realised I was actually getting a bit bored… fortunately I snapped out of that and realised I had better make the most of the peace and quiet before my house and my life turns into a merry-go-round again.

I’m glad that I have boys who are so secure and show such independence in leaving me and spending time with others that love them so dearly… it’s exactly what I wanted for them, but I have to admit- a very small part of me is a little sad… a little sad that my children are happily going on without me, that there was no real fuss, or extended hugs when saying goodbye, or multitudes of phone calls and voice notes to annoy me… while poor old, anxious me pines away 😦 … all alone (*sniff*)… counting the days ’til they get home and make me happily miserable again… while comforting myself with another piece of chocolate (any excuse for chocolate-oh who am I kidding, since when do I need an excuse for chocolate?!) 😉

Ah well….. I’m an Indian mother…. it’s in my blood and part of my job description to feel sorry for myself and guilt my kids when they leave and have fun without me…. this is my training for the future 😉 #Indian Mother
~BiBi~
**Enjoy the holidays, drive safely if you’re travelling and see you in the New Year… looking forward to 2014! Lots of exciting things to come, Insha Allah (God willing)**

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Happy Holidays ?!

The school holidays are upon us and being new to the whole school going routine I thought that the break in the mundane, everyday routine would be healthy for us all. I had envisioned a holiday with late night affairs with the books that have been calling out my name for months, sleep in’s involving rolling out of bed at at least 9am, days spent outdoors gardening, by the pool or curled up catching up on movies and indulging in my latest guilty pleasure: Woolies flavoured coffee, (Hazelnut being my favourite especially in this gloriously rainy weather.) The warm nuttiness of the hazelnut and bitterness of the chocolate flavour is a welcomed change to rather uninspiring instant coffee.

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Instead… I find myself being awoken by little hands claiming one of two things: “Mummy…Mummy I’m hungry” … or my favourite…”Mummy I need to go to the bathroom.” Ofcourse it all happens well before 7am, which is not a decent ‘holiday’ time in my opinion. Yes my manipulative little angels know full well that these are the only 2 statements that I cannot ignore regardless of the fact that my eyes seemed to be glued shut. So I reluctantly find myself pouring cereal and making tea at an hour that would make anyone on ‘Holiday’ cry out in pain. Just so you know, I have tried the theory of keeping them up later with the prediction that they will wake up later… I have attempted this many times, most of them failing to give the desired result. Instead I end up with an overly tired child that insists he “does not need a nap.”

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I also find myself spending more time grocery shopping; I have 3 boys under this roof… all still growing apparently! They are often found rummaging around my fairly stocked pantry looking for ‘snacks.’ So my free time is also spent baking, ensuring there’ ample goodies for them to ‘snack’ on.

I was fortunate enough to have my mother; niece and my husband’s niece spend a week with me recently. It did truly feel like the holidays we use to have as children, with all the cousins getting together. My husband’s nieces are younger sisters to me and the one visiting (Farah) is quite pregnant at the moment with her second little one. My 3yr old asked her quite bluntly what was wrong with her stomach, and once she explained, he happily offered her a solution to her bulging tummy,” Don’t worry,” he said, “ if you press hard like this (presses own tummy) … it will come right!” Simple Solution! I also realised how technologically advanced toddlers of today are as her 2yr old explained to me how to find Baba black sheep on the tablet…”You have to Google YouTube and then press Baba Black sheep.” Yes he knows what Google and YouTube are and uses the words in the correct context lol.

The holiday’s are also a time for self discovery…..I discovered that I am severely lacking in referee-ing abilities! My Mommy program needs an update in this regard. Should any of my readers know of an institution willing to educate me on how to break up arguments involving how the one ‘looked’ at the other, please leave the details in a comment below. Yes, it seems we are going through ‘that’ phase! And once again I’m told about how fast it will pass and all the while I fantasize about how I could coax the advice-givers into spending a week in my place. Yep, it looks like these holidays are going to be quite long!

So as the next few weeks roll around, I brace myself for early nights, and earlier mornings, more snack making and less movie watching…and I know that my only escape comes in the form of a paperback clutched tightly to my chest, as I anxiously wait for their eyes to close… and I comfort myself with the knowledge that I have survived another day… which brings me closer to my regaining my sanity… I am one day closer to school re-opening 😉

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~BiBi~

**NOTE**

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Farewell Madiba
Much has been said regarding Mandela, I would like to honour him and acknowledge the decisions he made and how they impacted the life I lead today.
I would like to thank him for the manner in which he persevered which resulted in the freedom so many of us take for granted today. It was through his sacrifices (and by the will of Almighty Allah) that I enjoy the freedom to practice my religion and don my hijab freely, without being labelled a terrorist.

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He was a living example and the face of forgiveness, and by that he showed us how important it is to let go of the past…as it is how we approach the present and the future that holds more importance. Lessons to live by…
Hambha Kahle (Go well) Madiba
~~ Your legacy lives on ~~

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