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Daughter can't let Mom be out of her sight

April 18, 2013|Amy Dulebohn

As a child, I was the stereotypical mama's baby. I was terrified of being out of my mother's presence. I'm told this began when I was a toddler, and continued, until, well, let's just say things were like this for a long time.

My mother was a stay-at-home mom, and I was shy, skittish and sheltered. Surely, I wasn't unlike many other children born and raised in the mid-1970s.

More than 30 years later when I was pregnant my daughter, I expected things to be much different for her. Because I would be raising my daughter alone, working full time was a necessity for me.

I imagined that as such she would be independent from the get-go, but I feared she would come to love her child-care provider more than she would me, or, at the very least, prefer to be with her.

My daughter recently turned 3. She is outgoing, fearless and adventurous. For the most part, nothing like I was at that age. Or really, at any age. But one thing we have in common is that she loves me and, like I feel about her, she wants to be with me every minute she possibly can.

 Obviously, this gets a little tiresome. Sometimes a lot tiresome. But in any case, her attachment seems secure to me.

Again, it says that she is sure of who her mother is, she loves me and wants to spend all of her time with me.

 I often have trouble making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning or anything else that requires me to be out of my daughter's sight.

I try to be OK with this. I ask myself how it will be in a few years when she's playing sports, going to sleepovers and other activities that don't include me.

It's not always easy, and I'm not as successful at it as I'd like to be, but keeping those thoughts in perspective does help me feel less guilty about neglecting house work and other tasks in favor of playing and cuddling with her.

 A few weeks ago, I was getting my hair cut and as my longtime hairdresser, friend and substitute babysitter was combing down multiple layers of hair into my face, my daughter burst into tears.

I asked her what was wrong, and she told me she was scared because she could not see my face. I was taken aback. She knows my hairdresser well. And she was already standing next to my chair and holding my hand, but she wanted to be able to see me, too.

There is no doubt my daughter is growing up and becoming her own person.

Whether I want to, I see this more every day. While we still struggle with potty training, she amazes me with her articulate questions and the conversations we share.

She is learning to recognize and write letters and numbers, and we plan for her to attend preschool in the fall.

It is nearly impossible to draw comparisons between where she and I were even a year ago, compared to now. I'm sure the same will be true in another year. Maybe by then she will still cling to me, or  maybe not so much. It doesn't matter either way.

What I do know is that she will realize I am her mother, the one who gave her life and loves her more than anything in the world.



First-time mother Amy Dulebohn is a page designer and feature writer at The Herald-Mail. Her email address is amyc@herald-mail.com.

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