After having my first son, one of the things I was most excited for—besides waiting with bated breath for his first baby smile—was when I would leave him with a BABYSITTER for the first time. I think my son was close to one month old when we dropped him off at the curb at his grandparents’ house and drove off with a cloud of dust behind us.
I’m kidding! But in all seriousness, my son really was one month old when we asked my in-laws to babysit for the first time so we could go to a local winery for a Valentine’s Day date. My in-laws were very nervous about the whole ordeal since they hadn’t dealt with a baby in over 30 years. But too bad for them because I really, really wanted to go out in public and get my drink on for the first time in nine months. I also wanted to sit around and chillax and enjoy the feeling of another person NOT living in my belly.
The date was awesome, my son survived, and my in-laws felt a little more confident about babysitting. Of course, since we were new parents at that time, we went a bit crazy with the detailed schedule we provided of when he should eat, sleep, poop, etc. Nowadays, we’ve lightened up quite a bit and usually toss our house keys at the babysitter as we peel out of the driveway. (I’m KIDDING.)
I’ve read on many-a-forum about moms that seem to take great pride (or great fear) in never passing their baby off to a babysitter. I know many moms have no choice but to put their kid in daycare when they return to work after six weeks, but some women who stay at home take it in another direction.
I am having alot of trouble trusting anyone to leave my daughter with for a few hours so i can get errands run or have a date night with my husband. I have not spent anytime away from my daughter since she was born the thought of leaving her with someone for a few hours scares me to death. i just cant bring myself to do it but sometimes i want a break but im afraid if i leave her with someone she will cry the whole time im gone or they wont take care of her like i do and she wont be happy anymore and when i go back to pick her up something will be wrong with her. i am also worried that because i havent spent anytime away from her she now has seperation anxiety and she wont be happy with anyone but me and thats not good. Am i being too paranoid? Any advice as to what i should do?
i too hate leaving my son not becuase anything has happened just as i feel lost without him…
it all depends on when you are ready. My daughter is 7 months and I have never left her overnight. I am BEYOND overprotective. Today is actually the first time I have been away from her (she is with her aunt and uncle for a few hours) and it is KILLING me being away from her. I am not allowing ANYONE to take my daughter overnight until she is able to speak and actually asks me to sleep over. MIL keeps asking me, but I personally don’t see a reason why my baby would need to spend a night away from me and her daddy.
Some moms are never, ever separated from their children, not even for date night. I know it can be daunting to book a babysitter for the first time, especially if it is someone outside of the family. But I also think it is just as important for a baby to become comfortable with different caregivers so that you don’t have to deal with a major separation anxiety meltdown on their first day of kindergarten.
I agree completely with the response of one forum user:
hi laura i was reading your post and i think its very sad. you so attached to your children that they will miss out on so much normal childhood. and they will never ask for a night away cause they’d be afraid. leaving kids over night is healthy. it teaches them that even though parents are going away they’ll be back. it helps them to stand on their own two feet and face the world when the time comes.
I have felt the same anxiety about leaving my kids almost every time, but I have never considered not booking a babysitter for my kids. Even with grandparents close by, I have started a trustworthy relationship with a sitter so my husband and I can get out of the house. (We use a local sitter now once a month.)
Fast-forward a few years later, and my babysitting standards are even lower. If anyone without a criminal record wants to hang out with my two kids for a few hours, I’ll message you my address.
(Image: Levent Konuk/Shutterstock)