being a mom

Don’t Applaud Mommy Martyrs Who Never Leave Their Kids With A Babysitter

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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)


  1. Katie L.

    May 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Early on, I knew I would have to force myself to do these kinds of things so that it would be easier on all of us in the long run. When she was six weeks, we left her with my parents and went to dinner and Trader Joe’s. Now she’s two and a half and is spending the long weekend with my mother in law so we could attend an out of town wedding. It’s great for all of us: my husband and I get time to ourselves and my daughter has a wonderful relationship with her grandparents.

    Of course I realize we’re lucky that we have reliable child care we trust. However, the older the kids get the more difficult leaving them will become. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way.

  2. journalgal2

    May 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    My daughter is four and she spends all day in daycare, and we’ve gone out at night and either left her with one of her grandmas, an aunt, or a teenage babysitter we found and she adores. But we’ve never done an overnight with anyone – grandmas haven’t been willing yet! I’m hoping soon!

    • KaeTay

      May 26, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      this might sound mean but I have to ask.. if she spends all day at daycare.. and with other people.. when does she spend any time with you?

    • journalgal2

      May 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Well, it does sound mean, and I know you know that or you wouldn’t have prefaced your comment as such. However, I will put on my big girl pants and answer your question in the spirit in which I’m sure you intended to ask, which was curiosity.

      I work 7-4, my husband works 9-6. He takes her to daycare at 8:30, I pick her up at 4:15. Not unlike a school day when we get to that point. About once a month, my husband and I take the opportunity to go out to dinner, see a movie, catch up with friends, generally reconnect. Not too much to ask for, I’d say. During those times, my daughter is with a trusted family member or sitter. Every other evening and weekend, we are together.

      It is not everyone’s ideal, but it works for us and we’re all happy and healthy.

      Thanks for asking.

    • K.

      May 27, 2014 at 2:01 am

      Just to let you know–your life is practically my life. Same hours and everything. Only, my parents DO have my son stay overnight until Saturday because they are just so over the moon over their grandchild.

      And personally, I’m a big fan of Friday-night date-night, but I’m a bigger fan of my son having a close relationship with his grandparents 🙂

    • Diana

      May 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      Well you did say ‘ All Day.”

    • journalgal2

      May 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Sorry, I thought reasonable adults would not think that I actually meant 24 solid hours. Will be more careful in future.

    • Guest

      May 27, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      I didn’t realize that reasonable adults would assume that meant 24 hours. Duly noted.

    • journalgal2

      May 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Sorry, I was under the assumption that reasonable adults would know that “all day in day care” was not 24 hours. My apologies, will use more specific language in future.

    • journalgal2

      May 27, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      I’ll be more specific with time frames next time, apologies.

    • Psych Student

      May 28, 2014 at 12:32 am

      It’s really good that you remember to spend some alone time with your sweetie. When you work such long hours, it can be hard to find time to be a couple which will likely make it easier to co-parent, and to enjoy family time.

    • Guest

      May 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Take that stupid face and mix it in with your reply, and yes you sound like a very judgmental person. Don’t do that to another mom. That’s a mommy violation.

    • Jessifer

      May 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      I had no words to reply to the comment. This is the best I could do to express “Excuse me? / Are you fucking kidding me?/ Bitch, please!/ Aw, hell no!” all wrapped in one.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      May 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      WOW your comments! I hate them! All of them!

    • weakforchic

      May 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Kae Tay: You sound like a very judgmental person. Don’t do that to another mom. That’s a mommy violation.

    • SunnyD847

      May 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      You’re right, it does sound mean.

    • candyvines

      May 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Bless your heart.

    • Justme

      May 26, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      You’re absolutely right, it does sound mean. Because working parents aren’t allowed to spend time with one another without their child present?

    • Andrea

      May 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      It IS mean and you should know better.
      Working parents deserve dates night too.

    • The Actual Devil

      May 27, 2014 at 3:03 am

      Dude, what is your problem?

    • Kelly

      May 27, 2014 at 8:54 am

      I’m starting to think you’re just a troll. You post the bitchiest things on here.

    • CMJ

      May 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

      I think she’s serious….which makes it worse then the trolls. Seriously though, every time I read a comment from her I’m like…

  3. Linzon

    May 26, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Yeah.. my kids are 3.5 and 1 and I’ve never left them overnight (well, the older one was with his grandma when I was in the hospital having his brother) D: I’m not sure how this has happened, we’re just boring people and haven’t really had the occasion (or funds) to go away. I know it’s only going to get harder as they get older so next month I’m pulling the trigger and sending us out of town for our anniversary. Holy crap I cannot wait.

    As lacking in a life as I am I cannot fathom NEVER being away from my kids. They get grandma time as often as grandma is willing and I get to feel like a human being again.

    • KaeTay

      May 26, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      I’ve found it gets easier as they get older.. since you can actually vocalize with them that you’re coming back rather then them not knowing where you went.

    • Psych Student

      May 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      Plus it can be easier for sitters when kids can say what they want and need.

    • Andrea

      May 26, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Sometimes I would send the kids to my mothers and then my husband and I would do nothing but sleep and sex. Other times we had more money and we would go out.
      What I am saying is that sleepovers aren’t always for you, it is also for them. It helps them grow independently of us and also become more self-sufficient. Your kids are still little..but the younger they start, the less separation anxiety there is. My kids never had a problem because they don’t remember a time where sleeping away from mom and dad on occasion wasn’t a regular thing.

    • Kelly

      May 27, 2014 at 8:52 am

      I think you’re fine since you said “I cannot fathom NEVER being away from my kids.” That’s very healthy.

      The parents who creep me out are the ones who can’t fathom ever being away from their kids. That’s just not healthy. It’s smothering and engulfing and smacks a little too much of Mrs. Bates.

    • Psych Student

      May 27, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      I think it’s different when it just happens that your kids don’t spend time away. My wife and I have been married two years and haven’t spent a night apart since sometime before we got married. It’s not something we planned, nor is it something we are opposed to, it’s just that neither or us have had a reason to be out-of-town overnight without the other. I think it’s great that you’re at least allowing your children time with grandma, even if it’s not overnight. It’s allowing them to see that mom can leave and come back and that they can trust grandma to take care of them. Then you get to move on to overnights when you get the chance. You’re being conscious of it and that’s spiffy (not that I think you needed/wanted validation, but I’m a therapist, it’s what I do, hehehe).

  4. Jessifer

    May 26, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    When I was in 9th grade, I had a sleepover at my house. One of my friends ended up calling her parents at 11pm to come pick her up because she couldn’t handle being a night away from them… and she was FOURTEEN! I can’t imagine how embarrassed she must have felt about this, as the rest of us shocked girls kept on asking her why she was being so weird and crying about missing her parents at her age, being away from them only for one night! Parents who do this to their children have to think about the consequences this will have on their kids once they are older.

    • AP

      May 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      My sister had a girl behave like that on her senior class trip in 12th grade. The girl spent every night on the phone crying to her dad that she missed him. Needless to say, she lasted less than a semester away at college before she transferred back home.

      Now to be fair, the girl’s mother had passed away when she was in elementary school, and she and the dad responded to this loss by becoming clingy and codependent (I can’t lose you too!). They clearly hadn’t received the mental health help they needed to cope with the situation.

    • Jessifer

      May 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      The friend that I mentioned, her mother had MS. I realize that it is a very horrible disease but her mother often used it as an excuse to manipulate her. She’d insinuate that if my friend spent a night away from her, that could be the day that she’d get really sick and end up hospitalized or even die, and she wouldn’t be at her side. I mean, who says that to their kid? It was really awful to see her use her illness to traumatize her daughter and make her feel guilty about having a life with other people in it.

    • Andrea

      May 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      I’m sorry the lady suffered from MS but that behavior is reprehensible.

    • Kelly

      May 27, 2014 at 8:47 am

      I’ll take it one step further and say the bitch deserved MS for emotionally abusing her daughter like that.

    • Andrea

      May 27, 2014 at 8:56 am


    • Kelly

      May 27, 2014 at 8:58 am

      You’re welcome to disagree. I’m just always happy when horrible things happen to child abusers. 🙂

      It’s sad when it happens to a nice person but a horrible person? Yay! There is some justice in the world!

    • pixie

      May 26, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      I was going to say pretty much the exact same thing.

      I can imagine that it’s difficult for any parent to hire a sitter for the first time, or let their children spend the night away from home – even if it’s at a relative’s house nearby – but I’ve had a number of friends who grew up in households where they were never away from their parents except during the school day. Sleepovers were a no-go with these friends, unless it was at their house, and sleep-away camp was seen as the most frightening, cruel thing in the world (these friends weren’t 6 year olds, either, they were 10-13).
      I spent enough time sleeping away from home from a very young age that I learned that even though I was away from my parents for a night, they weren’t abandoning me, and they’d never leave me anywhere unsafe. At 7, I had no problem going to a 5-day sleep-away camp. I’m sure it also depends on the kid on how comfortable they are away from home, but I really don’t think never being away from your child for the sake of being a martyr is healthy for the child in the long run.

      (And that being said, I also understand there are certain situations where it’s not possible to hire a sitter/leave your children with family, so my comment is not directed towards that, just the mommy martyrs)

    • CW

      May 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      I don’t allow sleepovers except with relatives. I’d actually be okay with sleepovers with selected families, but it’s easier to have a blanket “no sleepovers” rule than to get into it with my child about why I’d be okay with sleeping over at friend A’s house, but not friends B, C, or D. And a many of the families that I would be okay with also have a “no sleepovers” rule so it’s kind of a self-reinforcing social norm.

    • pixie

      May 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      That’s something I can understand, and at least you allow it with relatives and it’s not a guilt-laden “I gave up everything for you, so you can never spend a night away from home” thing.
      The kids I’m talking about weren’t even allowed to spend the night with relatives (I know sometimes relatives aren’t very trustworthy, but I’m not sure if that was ever the case) and it was very much a guilt thing. The parents – usually more-so their mom – had given up their identity as an adult to focus all their attention on their kids. No hobbies or anything.

      I think those are the parents Bethany is talking about, not parents who don’t allow sleepovers or hiring babysitters for a variety of legitimate reasons (from untrustworthy relatives to not being able to afford it to not being comfortable with certain friends’ families and whatever else).

    • Andrea

      May 26, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Easier maybe, but it isn’t all that hard to explain though. I am totally selective with whom the spend the night. I usually explain exactly why. Sometimes it is because I don’t know the parents very well. Or it could be because the parents allow things for their children that I do no allow and I am not going to tell them they have to change their rules when my kids are there, but I just don’t agree with the rules. Or it could be because there is an asshole sibling.

      My kids know that sleepovers are usually only approved for certain friends.

    • JenH1986

      May 27, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Absolutely. I remember growing up that certain friends would ask and I knew it was a no go…so I’d wait an appropriate time and just tell them mom said no. Other friends? Almost always a guaranteed yes.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      May 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      I always assumed girls who did this wet the bed or something

    • Ursi

      May 26, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Can confirm. I was a bedwetter past puberty and consequently could not do overnights and left early and one time I did pee my sleeping bag.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      May 27, 2014 at 7:34 am

      I hope I didn’t offend you! My bff was a bedwetter, my house was the only house she would sleep at so I’ve just always figured most girls had a similar “embarrassing” reason…because honestly, what preteen girl is THAT into her parents? I hated my parents, lol

    • Ursi

      May 27, 2014 at 7:58 am

      oh no, not at all! I agree with your reasoning. I would assume the same.

    • Ellie

      May 27, 2014 at 1:09 am

      I had terrible insomnia and just can’t sleep in any bed except my own.

    • Guest

      May 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

      I was friends with one girl who lived just around the block. Itwasnt until my first night over there I realized why the sleepovers had to be at her house. She had to wear the nighttime underwear since she occasionally wet the bed. She also decided that even with me there she was too scared to sleep so she got I to bed with her mom and peer pressured me to go with her…awkward. I’m guessing she probably didn’t do any sleepovers until college.

    • ILoveJellybeans

      May 28, 2014 at 11:20 am

      That is really awkward. She was too scared to sleep in her own room when you were staying at her house, so she went to sleep in her mom’s bed and wanted you to join her?
      Did her mom allow it? Cause I certainly wouldn’t have let neighbourhood kids climb into my bed during sleepovers.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      May 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      I had a cousin who was like this until she was about twenty – not even staying over at Grandma’s, or with other cousins when everyone was gathered. Needless to say, going away to college was out, and since there’s no college in the town that meant no college, period.

      Then she got a boyfriend and suddenly her separation anxiety was cured like snap.

    • Alison Cross

      May 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      I appreciate you later clarification that this girl’s mom had MS and, at least from your vantage point, was rather manipulative. I do think that’s a different situation than a child who grew up not being apart from his/her parents overnight as a toddler/preschooler and, personally, don’t think it’s really fair or accurate to say that “parents who do this to their children…” I mean LOTS of kids who didn’t do sleepovers when they were young do FINE with sleepovers later and some kids who were apart from their parents at a young age, have separation problems later. I don’t think it’s such a causal link, as you seem to be suggesting (based on one, admittedly unique, example.

    • JJ

      May 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      This happened a lot to my friends as kids and at least several of them left every sleepover early because they couldn’t stay overnight (were talking preteens and teens too not just little kids). By the way they lived like a subdivision or so over from the sleepover house and it was seriously a 10 minute or less walk away. Still couldn’t sleep over because they missed their parents and their bedroom. I remember one party I went every single girl wanted to go home and was upset so I stayed with the birthday girl at her house overnight because the others refused to stay. I felt soo bad for the birthday girls whose party it was because it went from fun and exciting to depressing and full of teenage girl tears at the idea of sleeping away from home (again home was a subdivision over not that far away). I will totally be that mom if I have kids whose like, “I don’t care if your homesick you said you would stay at that kids house and be their guest for the night so suck it up. relax and have fun for the night I am not coming to get you. That is not fair to the party kid for you to just bail on them like that”. Unless your sick, severly mentally ill or have some serious emotional anxiety issues that you are struggling to deal with kids should be able to spend one night away from their parents and be okay.

    • Larkin

      May 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      In 4th grade, I had a classmate who would still have separation anxiety meltdowns when her mom dropped her off at school. At 10 years old! I remember later that my mom told me she could tell the mother perpetuated the situation, and that every time she dropped her off she would be saying things like, “I know it’s so hard for you to leave mommy… I understand. It’s very hard, and you wish you could stay with mommy all day…”

      She eventually pulled her out and home schooled her. Even at 10-years-old, I knew that was a horrible idea.

    • Kat

      May 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Did we have the same friend? Lol…

  5. Laura

    May 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    I’d love to have a babysitter. My oldest son has special needs and is very impulsive/ has behavior problems. Even my family won’t deal with him. The best I can get is people taking the other 2 and that helps quite a bit. I’m not a martyr. If I could find someone equipped and willing to watch him I would.

    • DionneKerrrba

      May 26, 2014 at 12:53 pm

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    • KaeTay

      May 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      what’s ironic that that I know a couple people who could probably babysit him and I know their would treat him right. One being their brother is special needs and whenever a special needs child would come into our work she knew exactly what to do and the parents were extremely impressed with her and her help.

    • Kelly

      May 27, 2014 at 9:34 am

      You just shamed all parents for using babysitters because there are so many child molesters out there and then you turn around and tell a total stranger you know someone who could watch her kids?

      OK, Miss Possible Child Molester. By your own paranoid logic, why the hell would anyone trust you?

    • Diana

      May 27, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      HOW HAVE PEOPLE UPVOTED THIS? She never shamed anyone. She just explained why SHE doesn’t do it. Because SHE was molested. You respond by calling her a child molester and a bunch of idiots agreed with you. Fuck this site really brings the worst out in people doesn’t it?

    • Almostreal

      May 27, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      Well Kelly also said that people ‘ Deserve’ to get MS. Are you really surprised she bullies and shames abuse survivors? Clearly a troll. But yes. Mommyish is full of Judgmental bitches.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      May 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Try asking if some of the nurses at the pediatrician’s office know anyone (or if he’s in school the school nurse). Our school nurse at my building used to do babysitting like that because she could use the cash on the side and she was certainly a capable caretaker.

    • CW

      May 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Does your local Regional Center/DDS offer respite care? In theory, we qualify for a certain number of respite hours per month. I haven’t ever taken them though because we cannot afford the cost-share.

    • Lisa

      May 26, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Is there a university relatively nearby? If so, I’d try advertising with a couple of the schools-anything remotely health related, social work, special education, etc. If you’re in those programs, there’s a high chance you already had to pass a background check, and more importantly, you end up with college students who WANT to work with individuals with diverse needs.

      I’m currently in grad school for occupational therapy and at least half of my classmates babysit for families who have children with special needs, so this might be an option.

    • Psych Student

      May 27, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      That is a brilliant idea! College students in the types of fields you mentioned are always looking for opportunities to do things relatively in their fields. I’d imagine there would be a handful of students who would be interested in even hanging out with the kid for couple of hours with mom in the house to give mom an extra pair of hands and to help the student get the experience, help the child experience new people (which may not go over well and may be difficult, but that’s part of the learning), and hopefully help mom move towards having a sitter (because *everyone* deserves time away from their children).

    • kay

      May 26, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      I babysat for two families with special needs in HS-once I had watched one someone recommended me to another family. The second family their daughter was 5 and I was the first babysitter they’d ever had-keep looking and keep asking people

  6. AP

    May 26, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I think it depends on the kid, though. My mom was really paranoid about leaving me in the care of other people from about 18 months to kindergarten because I was disturbingly capable of outsmarting adults for the sake of getting into mischief. She was fairly certain that if she didn’t correctly vet the caregiver, she’d return to a pile of smoking rubble.

    And of course, there’s kids with medical issues or special needs whose care requires advanced knowledge to provide.

  7. KaeTay

    May 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    you realize there are plenty of child molesters roaming the world that haven’t been caught. My former step dad is one of them. So you should exercise caution when you find a babysitter. As for me I’ve never had anyone babysit my daughter.. not because I’m a Martyr but because I want to wait until my daughter can vocalize with me better so if something DOES happen she can tell me.

    I also have never had a babysitter because all the people I trust to watch her work long hours. I won’t leave her with a stranger and I don’t have family near by. I consider it being responsible.

    • Ashie

      May 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Of course there are plenty of child molesters roaming the world that haven’t been caught. There are also chances of getting in a car accident, getting food poisoning, catching a sickness from someone when out in public. There are plenty of risks to everything we choose to do daily and really, only so much we can control. The author in no way is suggesting to drop your child off to some random person on the street corner. Unfortunately there are awful people out there who do horrible things, but that doesn’t mean we should live our lives in bubbles.Yes, we should use precautions, but if someone wants their child babysat in no way are they are bad person (which is what it feels like you are saying).

    • CrazyFor Kate

      May 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      You consider it being responsible? So all the parents who do hire strangers are IRresponsible? Interesting notion there…

    • journalgal2

      May 26, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      I think it would be more irresponsible of me to refuse to nurture my relationship with my husband (which, as any mom with a young child knows, definitely has its highs and major lows at times) by taking time together as a couple and hiring a sitter to give us that alone time occasionally. My daughter will only benefit from the time her parents take to be together and remind each other that we are husband and wife as well as parents.

    • Justme

      May 26, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      My mother was not only molested, but sexually assaulted as a child. And as traumatic as it was for her, and as much as that experience shaped the woman she became…she still didn’t let her experiences interfere with my childhood or with her marriage. She and my father nurtured their relationship while I was left in the very good care of my brothers or family friends. Of course my mother was a little bit more cautious than other parents I knew, but she found a way to protect her daughter responsibly while still having a life outside of her daughter.

    • Psych Student

      May 28, 2014 at 12:12 am

      Your mom is amazing!

    • Justme

      May 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      It’s true, she is. She made sure to marry a man vastly different from her father so that her children would have an innocent childhood. I know that her past is always with her, but I feel like she made a conscious effort to separate what happened to her from how my brothers and I were growing up. She was also a pre-k teacher and religious education coordinator for years – the number of lives she has touched through her ministry is amazing.

      Aw, damn. I just choked myself up.

    • Sara610

      May 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Wait, you’re supposed to exercise caution when finding a babysitter?! Crap, I guess I’m going to have to stop finding random axe murderers and drug-cartel leaders and inviting them over to babysit. I’ve actually just been leaving my toddler on the curb with a $20 stapled to her onesie for the first person who finds her to take her home, but I guess since we have to start EXERCISING CAUTION all of a sudden, I should probably stop doing that. Well, there goes my social life……

    • CMJ

      May 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Wait, I can’t just ask the guy hanging on the corner to watch my kid? Well fuck.

    • K.

      May 27, 2014 at 2:23 am

      I am truly sorry for what happened to you.

      But, as much as I sympathize with your fears, I do think they are unfounded. A child is many times more likely to be molested by a family member than a stranger (your own history supports this statistic). And, while I hate to increase your anxiety, the reality is that a great many victims of sexual abuse are generally able to speak about their abuse, but choose not to because of the shame, so waiting until your child is “old enough to vocalize” is also a bit of some faulty reasoning.

      In all honesty, I think that fearing that anyone who isn’t you is going to hurt your child is not healthy–for you or your child. If your trust in people was shattered because of what happened to you, that is completely understandable, and the assumption of general security while in the general public is a terrible, terrible thing for someone else to have robbed you of. But I don’t think you want to raise your child to live with those anxieties herself.

      Before you let fear control your life, I’d recommend some baby steps, such as leaving your baby with a friend or grandparent in public for a few hours (like at a coffee shop or something while you do something else); leaving your daughter with another baby in the care of the other parents’ longtime nanny or trusted babysitter (both kids with a known babysitter); and asking for recommendations from other parents for good babysitters.

    • Diana

      May 27, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      I know two people ( who have told me) who were molested by unrelated. babysitters. I imagine your logic is a little more difficult to swallow when its actually happened to you. I’m amazed that people are KaeTay but I suppose the article kind of gave them permission to.

    • Cliff

      May 27, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      I can see where you’re coming from and I hate to be that guy. But I was molested by a babysitter when I was a kid. I think part of the misunderstanding here comes from the fact that people don’t expect girls to be molesters. They think. ‘Oh well as long as I don’t ask random creepy men to babysit it will be fine.’ I don’t think I’d be comfortable leaving my kids with anyone I didn’t know really, really well.

    • K.

      May 27, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      I am not saying it never happens–at all–I am saying that statistically, it’s a) really unlikely that her child will be molested, period and b) it’s statistically MORE likely (and this is researched, btw) that people are molested by members of their own family than strangers. Logically speaking, her child is much, much more likely to be harmed in a car accident than by a babysitter, male or female.

      You and she have both been through trauma and I totally understand why there’s so much fear regarding hiring a babysitter. But I quibble with her statement that it’s a “responsible” decision, because it’s not. It’s a fear-based one. And that’s an absolutely acceptable reason for not hiring a babysitter—you can do whatever you want that makes you comfortable–but instead of presenting it as if it’s a safety issue, think that she should acknowledge that for her, given her circumstances, it’s really her anxieties. Parents who employ babysitters are not being “less safe” unless you consider parents who allow their kids to play in the park “less safe” because it’s happened that some kids have been kidnapped from parks or suffered terrible injuries—ie, it’s only “less safe” (and, to use her word, “irresponsible’) in the extreme paradigm of there being the outside possibility of being abused. I mean, my husband was in a Cub Scout troop in which one of the leaders molested some of the boys (not him, thankfully); I wouldn’t consider it “responsible” to disallow my own son from participating in scouting because that happened.

    • Psych Student

      May 28, 2014 at 12:20 am

      I agree. People who are attempting to protect their children based on their own anxieties are not doing their children favors. They are teaching their children that the world is not a safe place and that adults cannot be trusted (all of which may be true, but it’s not something we tell children).

    • Cliff

      May 28, 2014 at 7:51 am

      I’m not disagreeing with you. But people don’t walk around like androids, calculating the statistical probability of stuff. People are once bitten twice shy sometimes and, actually, entitled to their fear based, unhealthy decisions, and to raise their own children however they see fit. My neighbour left her three year old with a virtual stranger for a month while she went on vacation. This was statistically safer than leaving him with a family member. But its not a decision I would make personally. I’d sooner leave my 3 year old with a relative for a month. What is key here is that I wouldn’t write an article about how irritating my neighbour was because she needed a break from her kid.

    • Kelly

      May 27, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Maybe you and your husband are child molesters too. You should send your children away so they will be safe since their parents are the ones most likely to molest them.

    • Diana

      May 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      Wow what a dickish thing to say. Fuck you Kelly.

  8. Paul White

    May 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; you do not win prizes for making your own life more difficult. The world does enough.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      May 26, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Best Advice EVER.

    • Andrea

      May 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      *thunderous applause from the entire Mommyish community*

    • K.

      May 27, 2014 at 1:47 am


  9. Guest

    May 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    In my experience, people who go out without their kids often, also have lots of family support to do this. My folks live 2hrs away, so it makes no sense to leave my kids there overnight (extra driving does not make for a relaxing date night). Babysitters around my neck of the woods cost $15/hr – way too expensive to make it a regular thing. I don’t really see the big deal about not getting babysitters but I don’t think it makes you a martyr either. Some commenters mention kids they know that are 14+ who are upset at being away from home – yeah, that’s a problem, but I don’t think that if your child’s first overnighter is at 5, 6 or even 10, that your kid’s going to have attachment issues.

    • journalgal2

      May 26, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Very true. I am lucky to have family nearby to help. And when we do have a paid sitter, she costs us $10/hr so it’s not something we do regularly. You know you’re a parent when you’re planning your social calendar around which events are “sitter-worthy” :).

    • Jessifer

      May 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      I guess it depends. If the child’s first overnighter happens at a later age due to circumstances (ex. the opportunity never came up, there was no family member or friend to care for them, too expensive, etc…), then it’s very possible that the child won’t have attachment issues and will easily adapt. However, the examples that the author put are not parents who can’t, it’s parents who won’t because they are the ones with the attachment issues to begin with. And those attachment issues later become imprinted onto their children, who often have no choice but to feel insecure about being with anyone except their parents, because that seed has been planted since birth.

    • Sara610

      May 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      Yup. We get a babysitter and go out on a date night maybe once every several months, because we have no family nearby and good babysitters are really expensive around here. We go on day dates while she’s in day care during the school year, though, so we still get to spend time alone together. And if we had family nearby who could watch her more often, we would totally go out in the evenings without her more.

  10. Hansen Harlley

    May 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Friendship is Gift from God and its or duty that we shoud take care of

  11. Youthier

    May 26, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    If you never get a babysitter, do you take your kid to the your doctor appointments? I had no choice but to drag my 3 year old with while I got lab work. Hell is filling a Pez dispenser in the waiting room of a walk-in clinic the Friday before a holiday weekend. Next time, I’ll risk death.

  12. Cruelty Cupcake

    May 26, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    The first non-family member we let babysit was a male friend and on our way to the bar I read a news story about a male babysitter who twisted off a toddler’s nipples. So now I just don’t read the news.

  13. Cruelty Cupcake

    May 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Does anyone else have such horrible family members that they are honestly scared to leave their kids alone with them? My son is only 2 so right now I feel okay about it, but I’ve already caught my grandma saying some atrocious shit to him. Like one time she was reading one of his favorite books (a book about different types of families) and when she got to a page about same sex parents, she slammed the book shut! I don’t think I will leave them alone with my children when my kids are old enough to understand what they’re saying. My grandpa is a preacher and I wouldn’t be surprised AT ALL if they baptized my kids without my consent.

    And tbh, I also trust strangers more in the context of child molestation/sexual abuse. Anyone I’ve said that to looks at me like I’m insane, but statistically your kid is MUCH more likely to be abused by a family member than a caregiver. It’s nice that some people can trust their families, I guess I’m jealous because my family really blows.

    • guest

      May 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Uh, yes. My MIL is very irresponsible with her meds. While staying with us for a prolonged period of time, I would find miscellaneous pills under the couch, in the washroom, etc. We tried to hammer home the importance of keeping them in a safe place, but she didn’t care. One day our kid got into her blood pressure meds that again were left lying around (even I didn’t see it – and I was doing regular checks!). Luckily, the kid was OK, but MIL cannot be trusted.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      May 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Wow that is really fucking scary! Sometimes my mom comes to visit and stays with us, so we can go out and come home late. The last time she stayed with us, I found 4 wine bottles wrapped up in a blanket…so I guess I can’t even trust her anymore 🙁

    • Sara610

      May 26, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      When my little sister was a toddler (she was born in 1984, so this would have been in 1985 or ’86) my mom put her down for a nap at my grandparents’ house while we were visiting and she got into a bottle of baby aspirin and ate like half of it. They rushed her to the ER and she was fine, but it was really scary.

    • anonymous_for_this

      May 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      In a word, yes. I totally get where you are coming from. My partner was molested for years by her older cousin/babysitter, so it’s still a hard thing for her.

      And we haven’t let some grandparents babysit (although they haven’t asked either) because we worry about what they will do/say.

      I’m by no means uptight – I don’t care if my stepmom feeds her cupcakes for dinner and they let her watch way more TV than we normally would – that’s kind of what I expect from grandparents. But yeah, I’m scared of someone flagrantly disregarding our values/decisions when we’re not around.

      I’m also jealous of people with amazing family members.

    • Susan

      May 26, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Both my mother and MIL are very untrustworthy, and since money is tight, we very rarely can afford a sitter.
      We left my daughter – 1.5 yrs at the time- with MIL for an afternoon. When I got home, MIL had her jacket on, and purse on her shoulder, was crying, and told me that my daughter had fallen off the back of the couch, onto the TILE head first. (Which resulted in a concussion) – and MIL waiting until I got home (2 hours!) to tell me about it. She just ran out and didn’t help me deal with getting her to the doctor or explain how it happened. Nothing. Needless to say, she hasn’t watched her ever since. My own mother has been known to leave kids unsupervised (we found my 2 yr old nephew playing with thumb tacks!), feed them dangerous food (grapes, hotdogs not cut-up) and has spanked the kids with out consent of the parents. Nope. Not happening either.
      I wish I could find someone trustworthy and not pay a fortune, but it just doesn’t happen.

    • Melissa

      May 26, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      My mom is trustworthy as far as safety goes, but she’s annoying about certain things so the free babysitting she provides is a trade-off. For example, she’ll just go right ahead and feed my daughter things that I haven’t approved–like yogurt with sugar added when she was just starting solids. Or she bought these Christian DVDs that are a knock-off of Baby Einstein and lets her watch those (husband and I both grew up in super-Christian homes and as a direct result are not religious). So yeah, we’re technically lucky that she lives close and is willing to babysit almost any time we want, but sometimes I’m torn about it.

    • Ashie

      May 27, 2014 at 12:13 am

      ummm my MIL is like the worse person ever. Sounds mean and horrible to say, but it’s true. I have let her look after my children before but my husband refuses to let her anymore. She also says I brainwash my husband and that I am possessed by the devil…so if she feels like that about me, I would hate to see how she treats my children. She also tries to give me parenting advice, like when my INFANT son had a hard time sleeping she told me I need to tie him down to the crib so he can “learn” how to sleep, so after she told me that i’ve been really nervous at the thought of leaving my kids with her!

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      May 27, 2014 at 7:30 am


    • Ashie

      May 27, 2014 at 8:55 am

      yup. I honestly was so caught off guard when she said it that I didn’t respond right away. She also said that I need to lock my older son in a closet when he would throw a temper tantrum like any normal kid at age 2. More stuff has happened recently that we don’t really have much contact with her anymore. We do see her at times, but I refuse to let my children be with her alone ever again.

    • JenH1986

      May 27, 2014 at 10:57 am

      If she says these things out loud…I can’t imagine what your poor husband went through.

  14. CrazyFor Kate

    May 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Moms like these cripple the local preteen economy. MOMS ARE THE 1%

  15. kellyshaun

    May 26, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Early on, I knew I would have to force myself to do these kinds of
    things so that it would be easier on all of us in the long run.

  16. weakforchic

    May 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I despise martyrs, it’s all for show.

  17. Abby

    May 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Call me mother of the year: we left our kid with my parents so that we could have an anniversary date this past Friday. He’ll be two weeks old tomorrow. My parents loved it, my son spent the entire night asleep in his grandfather’s arms, and my husband and I got a quiet night away to celebrate our anniversary. The only thing that went wrong was that because the kiddo spent the entire night with my parents sleeping, he didn’t sleep a wink once we got home, but other than that, everything went really smoothly.

    • journalgal2

      May 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Good for you! That first night out after baby is terrifying and awesome all at the same time.

    • Abby

      May 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      I’ll admit that it was a little of both to start, but as the night went on and hubby and I were able to relax and not worry, the terrifying ebbed significantly and was replaced with nothing but awesome. It was great to have the kid back at the end of the night, but I’m thinking this whole “let my parents baby-sit” thing is going to become a biweekly event at least.

    • Andrea

      May 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      I left my kid when he was less than 6 weeks old. Like a previous poster said #noregrets.

  18. Maria Marry

    May 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    No no I am not agree with that because of

  19. Kay_Sue

    May 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I…don’t understand this. I guess part of that is because my family is so close, and since I was a single mom, I relied on them for childcare so that I could work and go to school without breaking the bank.

    Even now, I don’t have any guilt for leaving my kids for the afternoon. My mom takes them almost every Friday or Saturday, depending on her schedule. Usually that means that I drop them off at four. If my husband is working, that means from four to seven I have the house to myself. I can bubble bath. I can paint my nails. I can lay around and do *nothing* in absolute silence if I wish, or watch whatever I want on TV. It’s glorious. Simply glorious. Last Friday, my husband and I did *nothing* except order in Chinese and watch a Supernatural marathon on Netflix. #NoRegrets

    • Andrea

      May 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Good for you. I remember when mine were little and “glorious” was really the only way to describe a few hours of piece and SILENCE. It keeps you sane, it restores your energy reserves and makes you a better mom.

    • Kay_Sue

      May 26, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      I agree. It’s among the best advice my mom ever gave me–take that time, enjoy it, and come back to your kids ready to parent again.

    • Psych Student

      May 27, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      It’s the oxygen mask thing. You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. If you run yourself ragged trying to take care of your kid then you can’t take very good care of them. On the other hand, if you remember to take time away from the child, have a rest, do something for yourself, remember that you’re an adult with adult needs (example: food that isn’t leftover from your child’s dinner, a nap, trashy tv that isn’t interrupted by screaming, a nap, a long, quiet bath, a nap, oh, and don’t forget, nap). By taking care of yourself, you can come back to the kids/family rested, relaxed, calm, patient, understanding, and appreciative of the time spent with your children (and the time spent away from them). It’s very healthy.

    • jendra_berri

      May 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      That’s amazing. And necessary!

    • K.

      May 27, 2014 at 1:49 am

      This is a weird statement and totally unrelated, but I mean it as a compliment: I absolutely love that every time I read one of your comments, you start with “I…” I can like, “hear” you saying your comments now!

    • Kay_Sue

      May 27, 2014 at 9:20 am

      I have an uncanny knack for translating my voice online. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been on social media for so long, or what, but believe it or not, this is not the first time I’ve had someone say that online. Stream of consciousness is apparently my friend.

  20. allisonjayne

    May 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I strongly believe that there are many other adults from whom my kid can learn other than my wife and I.

    I don’t really think “I’ve never been away from my kid” is really something to brag about.

    • JJ

      May 26, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Yeah I have to say people who make statements like that freak me out a bit same goes with “I’ve never been away from my spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend”. It’s great to love someone and want to be with them a lot but its okay to step out without the kids or spouse too sometimes.

    • allisonjayne

      May 27, 2014 at 9:45 am

      Yessssss. I love my wife and we spend a fuck of a lot of time together, but hell if you don’t spend ANY time apart then don’t you run out of shit to talk about???

  21. allisonjayne

    May 26, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    My kid hasn’t actually been babysat that much, though it’s mostly out of circumstance. She did start daycare at a year, so it’s not like she doesn’t know how to live without us. We called in some favours to friends when she was 6 months to take her for a walk for an hour so we could get some packing/painting done, as we moved apartments at that time. We begged our parents for help too but they weren’t up for it. When you don’t have interested grandparents and have to pay for an actual sitter, you ration it out as much as possible.

    We were super lucky when some friends of ours moved into the neighbourhood 6 months ago. They have a kid the same age, so we take turns, and it’s been great to have that as an option. So far it’s just been all post-bedtime stuff. Sadly though, they are moving out of the neighbourhood soon and we’ll be kinda stuck again.

    I did finally get up the courage to ask my dad and stepmom when the kid was like 2 years old, and they have taken her for a few overnights, but it’s hard to coordinate because they live the next town over and we don’t have a car.

    So we mostly take turns ourselves….I had a week away when she was 18 months, my wife will probably go on tour with her band this summer. We go out at night separately fairly regularly. It’s not ideal (I mean, we got married because we like to do things TOGETHER sometimes) but yeah…money.

    • JenH1986

      May 27, 2014 at 11:01 am

      Situations like this is what prompts me to offer free babysitting to my friends from time to time (not like every weekend) but even if it’s just for a few hours. We have friends whose family lives in California (we are in KY) and just grocery shopping together is a big deal for them. We have extensive awesome family near us so if/when it happens we have no worries in that dept. so I try to pay it forward.

    • allisonjayne

      May 27, 2014 at 11:21 am

      You are a good, good friend.

    • JenH1986

      May 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      I try to make up for my absence for grad school, I wasn’t a very good friend then.

  22. Liz

    May 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I’m definitely lucky that I have a lot of great family members nearby who would love to babysit. I’d have a much harder time leaving my baby with a stranger.

  23. Healthy

    May 26, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I appreciate you sharing your perspective. Sometimes as adults we do tend to worry a bit too much about all the things that can go wrong but letting go is healthy for us and our children.

  24. Alison Cross

    May 26, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    I’m a little disappointed with this article, to be honest. The tone is so judgy and I thought mommyish was trying not to engage with the “mommy wars.” Folks, people are different. Different things work for different people. Are there mommy martyrs? Yes, for sure. Is calling them out like this really going to change them? Unlikely. Are most of the moms (and dads) who are not using babysitters ever/regularly doing it because they are enmeshed/codependent martyrs? Well, I’ve no research to base it on, but I’d guess not. There are SO MANY reasons why someone might not be using a babysitter — no family around to help, money’s tight, don’t have contacts for reliable and trustworthy sitters (when we had our first, we knew NO ONE with children and had no idea where to find a sitter other than the internet!). I’m a social worker and have worked my whole career with sexually abused kids and kids who sexually offend; let me be the first admit that I am SO paranoid about who I leave him with as a result. Someone could have been abused as a child. The child could have legitimately special needs. I could go on and on. Now, granted some of these are the greatest reasons and maybe the parent/s need to work on them, but they aren’t the inner working of a martyr mom. Why can’t we just respect and give space for other people’s processes and needs and leave it alone? Sure there are parents who piss me off and annoy me with their complaints but I just try to avoid them.

    • personal

      May 27, 2014 at 12:44 am

      I agree. I thought the title was very in-your-face.
      I don’t leave my kids with babysitters because they cry and throw up if I try. Well, at least the eldest did when we used to try it with her. Now that we have two, we just invite people here in the evenings if we want to socialize.
      We don’t have relatives living within a 10-hour drive, so that’s out. We have, however, left them with friends for short periods of time during the daytime while we’ve run errands or done yardwork and that seems to be going OK.
      I do not consider myself a martyr. Yes, I’d enjoy an evening out with my husband, but it’s not a big deal to wait. They’re not always going to be so dependent.

    • Lorraine

      May 27, 2014 at 11:26 am

      I completely agree. Our budget is tight and family is far enough away. We do occasionally have the opportunity for a date night but not as many as I’d like. So I am certainly not going to spend our entire years sitter budget for an overnight camping trip with my old drinking buddies. (I had an old friend who was pissed off that I wouldn’t just leave my child and husband for the weekend for a teenaged style drunkfest camping trip. It never occurred to her that perhaps I just have other prorities in my life or that I don’t even enjoy getting drunk anymore and would prefer a family friendly camping trip. If my husband and child were invited, I would have gladly come along.) It’s not because I am being a martyr. I did enough partying in my youth for a lifetime now I enjoy family friendly Sunday outings that the whole family can enjoy. I’d rather save my money and energy than waste it on activities I find boring as hell now. Same goes for going out to bars. Fucking boring. I’d rather go for a hike with the kids or have a family day at the beach.

    • Lorraine

      May 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

      By the way, my son was happy as hell and adjusted just fine when he started Kindergarten despite me being a “martyr mommy” who rarely leaves my kids with other people.

    • Lorraine

      May 27, 2014 at 11:45 am

      We are not all clones of one another. Perhaps that understanding could put the mommy wars to rest.

    • Diana

      May 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      I know! I thought Mommyish was against Judging other peoples parenting choices. As I said in another comment the friends I have who refuse to book babysitters have pretty good reasons for that. I can’t say I’d do anything differently if I were them. The tone of this reads like the author feels judged by people who make a different choice than she does. She perceives them as “Mommy Martyrs” as opposed to, lets say, people who had bad childhood experiences at sleepovers or with babysitters. Maybe the kids grandparents are raging psychos? We don’t know. This suggests to me that the author feels insecure in her own choices.

  25. C.J.

    May 26, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    I had to leave my oldest with a babysitter the day she came home from the hospital and again the day after that. I never had time to worry about whether or not to leave my kids with someone else. I had to find people to watch her for these days while I was still in the hospital. Luckily my 2 best friends volunteered to take turns. I never really worried too much about leaving the kids after that. The kids have also spent a lot of time with my parents and we did have a nighttime babysitter when they were smaller if my parents or friends were busy. We don’t go out a lot and when we do it is usually to a wedding where the kids are not invited.

  26. Melissa

    May 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    We went out and left our first with my mom at three weeks old. It was my birthday and I was dying to get out of the house and get a little crazy with sushi and sake after 9 mo. of deprivation. Before my mom arrived to babysit our daughter was getting fussy and my husband thought maybe we should cancel our plans. I was like HELL no–the fact that she’s being fussy right now makes me that much more ready to run out that door! I didn’t have even a moment of guilt that evening, which ironically made me feel kind of guilty.

    • Psych Student

      May 28, 2014 at 12:25 am

      That is excellent! You had the chance to leave, refresh and then return to deal with the next fussy time.

  27. Sophia Bennit

    May 26, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    I usually suspected females exactly who do this kind of drenched your bed or one thing
    ETA: That will seemed imply however I didn’t mean because of it to, I simply supposed i constantly suspected there was clearly other sorts of reason behind his or her leaving behind and in addition they were being simply just self-conscious to acknowledge this.

    • Sara610

      May 26, 2014 at 8:35 pm


    • Sophia Bennit

      May 26, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      HUH ???

    • the actual devil

      May 27, 2014 at 3:07 am

      Ugh, female bed drenchers. IKR?

  28. K

    May 26, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    For me, it’s not about being a martyr. My son has seizures and I’m scared to leave him with a babysitter. We dont have family closeby so there is no dumping them with grandparents. The ones that are close (1 hour) refuse to buy a crib or have one in their home. That by the way is a WHOLE NOTHER fresh hell to deal with.

    Of course, when we go a long period of time seizure-free then I will be all for it.

    So. Take it easy on some of the moms who are a little hesitant!! I never thought id be that mom of a one year old who HAS NEVER been away from her son (ugh) but sometimes life gets in the way. His seizures are terrifying and sometimes I don’t even know what to do.

  29. footnotegirl

    May 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I think my daughter was 2.5 weeks old when we had our first babysitter so that we could go and see a movie. Most of our babysitters are friends who have already had and raised kids (we are older parents) or the kids of friends who are now old enough to watch kids. We first left our daughter with strangers at 13 weeks, at the nursery on our Disney cruise. First overnight was at about 7 months.
    We can be best as parents when we also have time and space to be ourselves, and we both believe it’s healthy for our child to spend time with other trustworthy adults.

  30. k.

    May 26, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I would love to leave my son overnight. Seriously. I’m tired. But, he’s had seizures since he was 7 weeks old. So, no dice. It’s terrifying when it happens so of course I’m hesitant to leave him with a sitter. Grandparents are out of the question as they are not in the picture and no family lives close by. If family were a little closer to help, then sure! But we aren’t leaving him with someone while this is going on.

    So, easy on some of the moms you guys think are martyrs. I was like that too. I didn’t envision myself having a one year old and barely any time away from him but look where we are. That being said, if our boy didn’t have these medical issues we would more than likely be fine with it. Who knows. One day (hopefully soon) when we figure out what is wrong and we are in the clear, I’ll be throwing our house keys at a baby sitter too.

  31. K.

    May 27, 2014 at 1:52 am

    I mean…

    If you’re not comfortable leaving your kids with a babysitter, then fine. Don’t.

    But I highly recommend figuring out WHY something completely reasonable, normal, and beneficial for both you and your children, is so terrifying to you, rather than trying to turn a fear into some sort of character asset. Now you’ve got attachment AND self-deception problems.

  32. jenstar

    May 27, 2014 at 3:01 am

    My son is almost 11 months and I’ve never left him overnight.. Because frankly I don’t want to. But that’s my choice, it doesn’t make me a martyr I hope! I’ll do it when I’m ready and want to, but until then I am perfectly happy! I never did get the women who act like they’re giving up something massive with this, if you’re not happy then change something. If you are happy the congrats, you’re doing whatever it is that you’re doing right.

    • tfjgkkjljh

      May 27, 2014 at 3:09 am

      You’re a martyr if you complain about, like “i never have time alone, but i’m too good a parent to get a babysitter”. 🙂

  33. ILoveJellybeans

    May 27, 2014 at 10:57 am

    This just does their kid a disservice in the long term. If they never leave them alone for five minutes, how is the kid going to cope when they go off to school? How will they manage when they actually do get invited to a sleepover when they are 8, and get laughed at by their friends because they are crying for mommy and daddy to come and get them. If you shelter a kid and supervise them their whole lives, how are they going to cope when they move out, it has to come to that at some point…and how are the parents going to cope with that? They are either going to end up keeping their kid home alone until they are 40, or end up so upset and guilting the child and making them feel bad about leaving home.
    Its good for both parents and kids to spend some time alone. Kids need to gradually get more and more responsibility as they are older, so they can grow up to be healthy and independent adults. They need these childhood experiences like going to play at a friends house by themselves, or having a sleepover, or getting a babysitter. Its what helps them gain their own identity separate from their parents, and help them become more independent, to prepare them for life.
    Its also good for parents. Spending time by yourself is good, it helps you relax and unwind, and makes you less stressed. Its also important to spend time as a couple with your partner without the kids, as it helps keep your relationship strong. If you spend all your time devoting yourself to your kid for 18 years (or longer, if you have more than one) and putting your partner to the side, youre going to be pretty much strangers by the time your youngest kid moves out and its just you and your partner again. Also, if a parent has hobbies and spends time with their friends, they will not lose touch with all their old friends, so will always have someone to talk to and support when they need it, and wont be lonely when your kids get too old to want you to play with them. If you replace your friends with your children, your putting a lot of pressure on your kids-everyone needs someone to talk like an adult to, and one day your kids are not going to want to hang out with their parents all of the time.
    Sure, kids cry at first when they are left with a babysitter, or start daycare or school for the first time, but they get used to it eventually, and really enjoy it. And it takes them less time to adjust when they are little when it happens, compared to leaving them alone for the first time when they are older.

    • Psych Student

      May 27, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      You make a great point about the partner situation. A great many couples end up with major problems once the kids leave (and/or when someone retires) and the coupe no longer has anyone else to focus their attention on. Couples think that they can pour all their attention into the kids ad then just resume being a couple when the kids are gone, but it doesn’t work that way. It also doesn’t present a good example for the kids (though I’m guessing that people who think it’s a good idea probably don’t imagine it’s a bad example to model).

  34. amyp

    May 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    When we got married we had an adults only wedding. Mainly because of DH cousin who is 14 (I can’t stand how bratty he is) since the hall was tiny no one complained except his aunt and uncle who wanted his 14 year old cousin to come. First they tried putting him as the “date” on other peoples invites, stating that he wont be using any extra seats up. I told them it wasn’t the point, we were having adults only unfortunately and it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else if we allowed him to come but not the other kids. They threw a HUGE hissy fit because the 14 year old boy had NEVER been away from them for any event. EVER. Other than school he is NEVER alone and they didn’t trust any babysitters enough to leave him with them so they ended up not coming (which was probably a good thing)
    1) When I was 14 I was babysitting!
    2)What 14 year old boy WANTS to go to a wedding when he is the ONLY kid there?
    3) The kid doesn’t have any special needs, he is just super super spoiled and a total mama’s boy
    This is what I think of when I hear of these parents who are “so proud” they never leave their kid alone…

    • SA

      May 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm


    • Lorraine

      May 27, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      I would have just used my kids as an excuse not to have to spend money on another wedding and special snowflake couple. I’m not a big fan of weddings It’s a bit difficult and expensive to find sitters in an out of town venue and a wedding is just not worth the hassle and money unless they are a REALLY close friend.

    • Lorraine

      May 27, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Thankfully my husband and I eloped so I don’t owe any of those special snowflakes attendance at their childless wedding.

    • Lorraine

      May 27, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      My favorite weddings are the ones where all the little kids are tearing up the dance floor. So much more fun than just a bunch of drunk adults.

    • amyp

      May 28, 2014 at 11:50 am

      My favorites have been when there have been no screaming kids and we all drank and danced and had a blast. Thank goodness everyone likes different things or else I guess life would be really boring eh?

    • amyp

      May 28, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Yeah, It wasn’t worth my money to spend 100 a plate on a bunch of 2-14 year olds dinner because the “special snowflake” kids cant stay with a babysitter, so I guess I can see if some people wouldn’t want to pay money for a babysitter! To each their own!

  35. Diana

    May 27, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Theres a bit of judgement going on here. I know two people who do this but its because they don’t trust anyone else with their kids ( because they were both molested by babysitters) Not because they want to make martyrs of themselves. They have a genuine fear. They’re allowed to feel this way.

    • journalgal2

      May 27, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Fair enough, I’m sure I would feel the same under those circumstances. That’s not who the article is talking about. If a parent doesn’t ever let anyone else take care of their special snowflake because no one else in the whole wide world could ever measure up, that’s an issue.

    • Psych Student

      May 28, 2014 at 12:06 am

      I understand where such folks are coming from, but I might suggest that the people in such circumstances need counseling. If they can’t trust anyone else with their kids, then the kids are going to grow up with the belief that all people are dangerous and not to be trusted. The fear is completely justified, but it does need to be treated (in a similar fashion, my wife is getting treatment for her needle phobia and entophobia (insects and arachnids) before we have children so she doesn’t model the fear).

  36. Diana

    May 27, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Personally I don’t ask friends to babysit EVER because I don’t want to reciprocate. Paying someone is fine as long as they don’t have their own kids and expect me to do the same for them.

  37. Jodina Joseph

    May 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I can’t believe on it because of

  38. Grace

    May 28, 2014 at 12:50 am

    A great way to get your children used to overnights (from reading the comments, the main subject seems to be overnights) is to start them off with overnight babysitters. That way they can get used to sleeping without mom and dad while still in the comfort of home. That’s what my parents did, I still remember my aunt babysitting us overnight when I was extremely young. From there they started letting us stay overnight at grandma and grandpa’s house, then when we were around 7 or 8, at a friends house. My first sleepover at a friends house went fine, I had a great time, didn’t call them once or have any meltdowns. If your children don’t get used to being left with other people from a young age, it’ll be extremely difficult for them to do it when they’re older. I still remember my best friend having to get picked up from my house because she was too scared to spend the night. She was nine.

  39. amomofboys

    May 28, 2014 at 10:25 am

    No kidding. Have you seen this?

  40. Mama Bear

    May 28, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I have never left my kids with a babysitter or family member and they are 5 and 7. It’s just a personal choice. And my kids are not overly attached or weird.

  41. KJ

    May 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    One of the few things my parents did right was leave me with babysitters. Ok, they could have been more choosy (they were chill with anyone without a record and who was breathing) but I LOVED it. The teenagers were the best. They were these super-cool people and they were hanging with ME! They’d teach me fun crafts and games and I felt so grown up and responsible with them. It really helped my self-confidence and self-reliance.

    DH’s parents (who were, objectively, far better parents) wouldn’t trust those who weren’t family and, since family didn’t live nearby… too bad. He missed out on so much because of that.

    We’re more in the middle. No throwing a two-week old at his parents and pulling away, tires squealing, like my parents apparently did, but we’re all about the well-vetted teen giving us some time to get away. I figure it’s good for everyone – small one gets to interact with someone who’s not us, teen gets some spending money and responsibility, and we get some time for us. Win, win, win!

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  44. Mikasa Ackerman

    November 4, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    I almost never leave my daughter with anyone and yes, it is because of my personal anxieties. Not one, but 3 of my parents’ “close, trusted friends” when I was growing up turned out to be child molesters. And this is in addition to my own grandfather. One of the few times I let my parents care for her I found my dad driving her around as an INFANT strapped into a truck without a carseat. After that I didn’t feel much like leaving her with them. Despite my “martyring” she has no separation anxiety issues. In fact, she handled separation at pre-school and kindergarten better than most of her classmates.

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