Attachment Theory is a psychological theory about parenting styles and how small children react and adapt to them. The child’s behaviour as a response to the caregiver’s parenting style. This is an awesome website that explains it in basic terms Attachment Theory.
This explains the behaviour of the child to the primary caregiver. It explains perhaps why young babies get separation anxiety when the mother or father or whoever is not nearby.
It doesn’t however explain why I behave like an idiot when I’m away from him. Abandoning him at nursery or going back to work. Just traumatic. For me. He, well, he barely notices my absence, especially at nursery- look at these new exciting friends to play with, look at all these toys, look at this lovely person who is going to feed me new food and let me wade elbow deep through flour and water and sand pits, look at how tired and how deeply I sleep, look at how covered in crap my clothes are by the end of the day.
And I know this is good and I know this is healthy for him – to socialise, to play with other children. And he is obviously happy when he goes there and when I pick him up. But it is the hardest thing I’ve done and all I can think of is every generation of women before me looking at me and saying- how can you outsource rearing your child in that way? Why would you pay someone else to look after him?
And there are lots of reasons why you could and perhaps should and lots of reasons why you shouldn’t or won’t. Some of it is necessity – earning an income being one rather important one. Some of it is psychological – a short mental break for me, a chance to socialise and adapt to being around others for him. But whatever the logical arguments are, I feel like I have a chasm in my chest when I walk away and leave him there. And the further I go away from him, the more I notice it and the bigger it gets.