Your child’s too young to read those two words, but not too young to experience them. Returning to work can be an emotional nightmare not just for children, but also for their mothers. I remember the days of checking my supposedly waterproof mascara before leaving my car to walk into work. The only people at my job who could legitimately have black smudges under their eyes were the football players, and that was only on game day. And since I was a teacher, well, it just didn’t work.
Just because it may be a normal part of growing up, separation anxiety is still stressful, if not challenging. It can start as early as eight months of age, usually subsides after age 12-14 months, but can sometimes reoccur under unfamiliar situations.
A new book for pre-schoolers, written by Megan Calhoun, turns “adversity into adventure” with the story of Oscar the Pig: Mommy Returns to Work. Developed for Megan by an artist living in Thailand, the illustrations depict a precious piggy Oscar, his eyelashed, slightly rotund mother, and Nanny Tutu, the inventive caregiver.
Embedded in the story are tips to help in the transition…like introducing the caregiver ahead of time, and having a leaving and coming home ritual between mommy and child. Nanny Tutu knows about Oscar’s love of trains and uses that to engage him while his mother is away.
Oscar the Pig, the first book in a series being developed by Megan, is published by Silly String Media, which is a new media publishing company. Other successful ventures by Megan Calhoun include Twittermoms.com, a social networking and community site for moms.