Why has my 3 year old suddenly started crying when I go to leave her? It’s maybe once a week for a night out or a work event that I’m going on but she gets herself in such a state that it breaks my heart to walk away. 
Is it separation anxiety that makes her scream “Mummmmmy” when she knows that I’ll always come back later that day or the next morning? I’m up front and tell her how the day is going to pan out and I don’t over egg the goodbyes. She settles down from bawling her eyes out 2 minutes after I’ve gone, so I know that she’s fine with it, but it’s really getting to me, putting me on another guilt trip. 
Having no partner around to stay home with her makes me feel bad when it happens, but I HAVE to go to work and I HAVE to have a little bit of time to get back to ME. Any ideas on how to make it easier would be greatly appreciated…

8 replies
  1. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    It’s extremely difficult and heart breaking to leave them when they are so upset. Lewis HATES when I leave him and despite him going to nursery and the crèche at the gym for well over a year he still cries every time.
    My way of managing it to accept and acknowledge his feelings. He’s allowed to be sad, angry or disappointed that I’m leaving but I’m still going to leave. I tell him that I know it’s hard for him when I leave and that I’ll miss him too.
    And then occasionally have a cry in the car before going into work!

  2. stephiebutters
    stephiebutters says:

    Zoe you are not alone. I’ve looked after kids for 22 years now and they nearly all do this to their parents. Ive had parents not go out because they feel so guilty. Little ones really are very good at doing this, and then 5 mins later they normally stop crying and say ” let’s play ” and act completely normal whist mums gone out in tears! What worked well with one family I know is that right before mum left we pulled out a new kids magazine with lots of stickers and free cheap plastic toys. She loved it and soon associated mummy going out means new fun magazine. Good luck, she’ll soon be the one going out ! X

  3. Sammi
    Sammi says:

    My nearly 3 year old is the exact same and like you it breaks my heart and after a few minutes its fine I to am a single parent so I know your struggles and times needed just for you.. As hard as it is for those screaming moments just remember that you know she’s going to be ok she knows your coming back its hard to relax isn’t it when they get like that but you need to we need time to regenerate to .. X


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