My baby just turned 10 months old and is having a lot of separation anxiety - which is normal. She also has not really had a babysitter (except for short stays at the gym day care) because I am home with her, and because I have loved being home with her, and have not wanted to leave her.
I still feel that way, and am still committed to that type of relationship with her, but the time has come when occasionally (VERY! OCCASIONALLY!) I need to get away. So far, the only person she has been able to comfortably stay with is my husband. She often cries a lot when I am at the gym (even though the woman there is remarkable, and I only exercise for about 30 minutes), and the last time I left her with someone else ( my mother in law) she was hyperventilating from hysterics after I was in the shower for 20 minutes.
Okay. So most everyone I talk to thinks I'm a martian, that the baby needs to just adjust to it and I am a freak that I have not been leaving her with babysitters all along. Here is what I am worrying about:
We don't do sleep training. I don't believe in making my baby cry to toughen her up. (etc.) So, I feel that leaving her with someone (mother in law, godparents) even someone loving, if she is crying hard for an hour, is totally traumatic and just like letting her cry to sleep. My husband feels that no, it's not the same - that even if she's crying and it's hard, that she is being held by a loving person, which is totally different from letting her cry alone in her crib. But I feel so conflicted that I can't feel what is the right decision. I know it doesn't help that my relationship with my MIL is strained due to her being annoyed with me that I won't "let" her babysit. Furthermore, the baby doesn't take a bottle, which happened due to the fact that I was just committed to nursing exclusively and didn't intend to go away so when I tried to give her one at 6 mo she wouldn't take it - so I am pretty much the only way she can go to sleep.
My desire to be gone now is still very limited. Almost always my husband arranges to be there. He has even taken vacation time to do so. But a few dates are coming up where he must work, and I have a chance to do some dancing that I have waited a long time for (this opportunity), and it is the only thing I'm really doing just for myself. I think doing that makes me a better person, wife, and mom. So I'm talking about maybe 1-2 times a month for about 1-2 hours with a babysitter, that's all) that I would actually be gone.
My older daughter is almost nine - and she was a very different situation, so I feel as if I haven't even done this before. I would really appreciate ANY advice on this, or any info about what to expect over the next year or so as far as separation anxiety, sleep, etc. Sorry this post is so long!