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How does your little one react to the gym or church nursery?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi there

I am having some conflict over using nurseries in our church and at the YMCA. My son is 11 months old now and he is very attached. He also has figured out that when we go to a nursery, that means that we are leaving for awhile and he gets very upset. So, I find myself participating in fewer things now, which is hard on me, because I am in a new area. I really feel that to balance my health physically, spiritually, and mentally, I need to work out a couple of times a week and go to church at least every other week. I also feel that when I am more in balance in these different areas, it positively affects my son.

We always tell the workers to please page us if he is upset for more than a few minutes, and some of them will look at us like we are nuts. Or they will roll their eyes or make negative comments, like one said yesterday, "your mommy isn't ready to leave you yet, but don't worry, she'll get over it." (it really annoys me when people say things to my baby as a method of trying to actually tell me something).

Anyway, dh and I try to switch off with him most of the time, but sometimes we really just want to play a game of racketball together or attend church at the same time. Am I being overprotective here? Should I just make ds attend nursery until he "gets used to it" and enjoys it more?


post #2 of 7

just my opinion here, but, I would not 'make' my baby get used to being without me. I also hate hearing people remark that my dd is "too attached", but I realize this reflects their lack of understanding.

We don't leave dd in the church nursery, but rather, dh and I take turns in being in the nursery with her.

I empathize with you over the trying-to-get-time-for-exercise thing - I'm still struggling with that one. I have found going for walks with other moms with our babies to be the easiest option. Or maybe another trade time with your dh?

you mentioned being new in your area... maybe looking for good mommy groups..? LLL, sometimes a group of independent midwives will offer a support group type thing..

hope these ideas are helpful; good luck!
post #3 of 7
You are not being over protective nor are you being selfish for wanting some time away from your baby. I can't believe that a childcare provider would make such a comment or roll their eyes when you ask to be called if he is very upset. I would not leave my child with people with that attitude. That really surprises me. I've always heard very good things about the day cares at Y's here. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful, I'm just so mad!
post #4 of 7
Hi in8~

I know it's hard being in a new area, trying to meet new people, balance all areas of life....

Just for reference, my daughter is now 20 months old, and is also a very attached girl.

Personally, I wouldn't leave my 11 months old at a gym or church nursery. In my experience (and your child may be different) my daughter simply wasn't ready. She either sits with us in church or her dad or I play with her in the nursery or outside if she gets fussy in the service.

Dh and I take turns going to the gym, too. That means that we each only get about 3 times per week right now, but we try to do more family workouts like walking with Emmaline in the backpack or sling, or even all dancing to music in the living room. It's not the same as a power workout at the gym, but sometimes it's the best we can do, lol.

As for the staff rolling their eyes or making comments, I would worry that they wouldn't page me if my daughter needed me or was fussy. If they are doing those things, it seems as though they think you're being excessive or silly when you say you don't want your son to fuss or be scared (which you're not, you're being a responsible, caring parent). If they think you're being too protective or whatever, what are the odds they'll actually page you to come comfort him? That would worry me. I wouldn't "make" him do it.

I totally understand about missing time together with your dh. We used to workout every day together, and I miss it too. But these baby months are almost over, toddlerhood will fly bye, and then you'll have more flexibility. It won't be like this forever. Emmaline is just 20 months, and sometimes I look at her and think "Where did all this time go???"

Maybe you could find a mommy and me swim class? LLL meetings almost always encourage and welcome children to attend, and it's a great place to meet AP moms. Get a good backpack, and hit some trails or nature areas as a family.

Edited to add: A couple of weeks ago, dh did take Emmaline to the nursery and she saw a little buddy of hers and said, "Bye Daddy" and he sort of disappeared around the corner for a bit. He peeked back in a few times, and she was just fine. So, he came back up for the last 5 or 10 minutes of church. So it will happen, lol.

Good luck to you~
post #5 of 7
I think that the time my child needs me, really really needs my physical presence, is so short that I try to find ways to keep my spirit up while giving him what he needs. He's 2 now and is perfectly happy with Daddy and would probably stay with close friends for a while, so I can pursue some other interests.

I would be apprehensive of leaving my child in the care of someone who thought it was okay to put my feelings down in front of my child or thought it was okay for my child to be kept away from me while crying. It doesn't sound like their philosophies jibe with yours? I think caregivers need to be on the same page with parents. You're the boss! You know?
post #6 of 7
I can totally sympathize with you. My son just turned 2 and I have had such huge issues with leaving him in our church nursery. When we joined our church, we tried ONE time to leave him in the nursery. It lasted 10 minutes and I will never do it again. I was told they would page me if he got upset or cried. He seemed to be doing fine, so we went on to Sunday School. I started feeling uneasy, so my husband and I went to check on him. He was screaming and crying.
We haven't taken him back since. Once he is older(3 or 4) and can understand, he will go to Sunday School. In the meantime, he either goes to spend the hour with nana(which he loves!) or comes to service with us. With the next baby, I will wear him in the sling during the service.
It is perfectly normal for a baby not to want to be seperated from his/her parents. I am a firm believer in not pushing a little one out of the nest till they are good and ready. Our time with them at this age is all too short and I intend to enjoy every minute of it.
When your child is ready, you will know it. There is no reason to "make" him used to the nursery.
I would strongly suggest finding other ways to balance yourself. LLL is a great place to start. Perhaps putting together a playgroup of moms who parent similarily and trading babysitting occasionally once you have established a bond.
GOOD LUCK! I know its hard, but listen to your mommy instinct and it won't steer you wrong.
post #7 of 7
I feel the need to say that not all nurseries are bad. Don't give up on the idea altogether just look for a better place. Your son may not be ready but I'd give it another try at a good nursery or babysitter.
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