I still don't feel comfortable leaving my 2 +1/2 yr old with anyone other than family to babysit him. I am fine with him with dh, which is very often. Also with dh's parents (who live near to us) or my parents (who live farther away- quite so) I am fine with leaving ds with them for 2-3 hours.
So I know I am not unreasonably attached! But I am pretty attached. We co sleep (side car), and dh and I spend almost all our time with ds still. He is not is preschool or nursery yet.
So dh's parents only have a little time they an babysit ds. so mostly it is me and dh. And we are very focused on our ds. And sometimes we try to find a babysitter to watch him so we can do something else! but each time I meet one I feel uncomfortable leaving ds alone with any of them.
Mostly because I don't really know them!
but I realize even with a friend- I don't really feel thatthere is anyone other than my or dh's parents who I want to leave ds with. I wish I had a really close friend I trusted and I think when ds is older I would think about trading childcare with a friend. but I just see my 2.5 yr old as having so recently come into this world- and I just feel very protective of him!
so it is a challenging spot sometimes because my Mother in law for example, we are always asking her to watch ds more but she works a lot and stuff- and she says a lot- why don't you just get a babysitter if you and dh are so exhausted from your child?
And I think- well it would be greatto have a babysitter but I haven't found anyone I trust yet!
Anyone else fee like this? attached and protective in this same way?
I would love to have a sweet little daycare I could drop him a few mornings a week but none such exist near me I have looked a lot!
so till next yr it is still me and dh and our toddler.
any words of wisdom? anyone else just with their kid mostly still?
I know I posted a similar thread a little while back but I am still just processing this.
I felt similarly to you when my kids were younger, but after my second was born I relaxed a lot. When my older son was a toddler we lived around a lot of family that offered to babysit, and you know what? We never took them up on it. It just seemed weird to me to leave my child. Anyway, when DS2 came along, maybe I had finally reached my breaking point and needed to have someone else care for my kids every once in awhile? I started doing occasional swaps with a close friend who I COMPLETELY trust. She and I mother the same way and that was very important to me. She watched my kids for the first time when my kids were 2.5 and 8 months. It was just for an hour, but it was for an appointment I had to keep and couldn't bring the kids to. And my DH had to work. My baby cried the entire time and my friend spent that hour walking around the block with him in the Ergo while her husband played with my older son (and their 2 yr old as well) in the house. We didn't start swapping in earnest until my youngest was almost 2 though. Now that my kids are older I swap childcare with a couple of other families weekly, my mom watches them sometimes (about to be a lot more because she's moving closer) and we have a babysitter (who is younger and doesn't have kids) that comes over 1-2 a month so DH and I can go out on Saturday nights. So I guess I'm saying that your child is young, I completely understand where you're coming from, and as my kids aged my tune changed a little. Maybe yours will too.
Once your child is 3 he'll be preschool age. Are there programs like that around you that aren't daycare? My kids started going a couple mornings a week around 3 and loved it.
Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)
thanks for your response loveandgarbage! I was basically looking for reasurrance like that. yes actually there is a good preschool in my town that ds will start (part time) next fall when he is 3 and a 1/2. so that is another reason I am sort of ok with being with him all the time as I know one preschool starts then school time will continue to increase over the years. I think about that a lot when I am exhaysted! but for now on some level I feel like ds is getting a really strong bonding with me and dh and I like that. I just never intended to go overboard in the attachment parenting thing but at the same time I still see the newborn baby just out of my body in my big boy 2 and 1/2 yr old. 2 and 1/2 yrs ago does not feel that long.
I know, those young years pass by so quickly! My oldest is now in 1st and my younger one goes part days to a 4K program. I'm not gonna lie, I like having that time to myself, but at the same time it makes me sad, too.
Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)
I know just how you feel, Snapdragon. I think back a lot to my teenage years when I babysat a 2.5 year old boy and a 5 month old girl - sometimes for more than 20 hours a week! Two thoughts always come to mind: First, from my perspective as a 16 year old, it was sometimes boring, but otherwise just not that hard. I think I had so much more play and lightheartedness in me back then that childcare was easier and less tiresome. Second, I absolutely, positively, cannot believe that someone entrusted me with her two little babies so often that I sometimes griped about having too much control over the kids' discipline. It felt strange to me, even then, to know that I was molding these kids through my interactions with them. And even though I was an extremely thoughtful, responsible teenager, how can you ever know that about somebody the way you know it about yourself? Suffice it to say that I, too, have trouble with the idea of leaving my baby with others. Every now and again we leave her with my parents, but never when she has any needs that must be met (meals, sleep). I do have one good friend, a mama of three, who I would completely trust with her, but they don't live too close by AND I feel bad burdening my friend with another one :) I've started thinking ahead to school time, and I simply cannot imagine missing so much of DD's life. I wish I could somehow have time to myself AND witness my child's every breath. C'est la vie.
Also, I love these thoughtful posts of yours. I spend a lot of time thinking about these sorts of things, too, and it's nice to be able to share and hear how others are feelings.
thanks newmamalizzy!!! I like your posts too :)
today I was just about losing it with exhaustion and a short nap from ds (thakfully he takes good naps still but today was short) by the time dh came home I was DONE with childcare ad starting to feel grumpy-- thankfully ds went to his grandparents tonight for a few hours and I just woke up from a 5 hr nap! Like dh got home and I went right upstairs and fell asleep for 5 hrs- amazing.
ANyway- yeah I think especially with the first baby we can all be really attached. I may only have this one kid also so I may just always be really attached and protective of him!
but newmamalizzy I know what you mean about how at this age they just respond so much to us- these are such formative years- so it is kind of nie to be the one teahing them. In an ideal world I guess we would all have more balance! But we make the best choices we can with what we have available.
Newmamalizzy will you be sending your dd to preschool next year?
Oh, I so used to be there! And now, well, yesterday I left my 1 year while he was asleep with a brand-new sitter in the house to wake up to. Never in a billion years would I of thought years ago that would be something I would do!
It does get better. They are older, more mature, it doesn't seem so scary to leave them.
I guess what mostly changed me is that I just had too many kids. After #3 was born, I couldn't beg my mom to watch one here and there anymore, she was just done sitting and it wasn't like I was asking her even weekly. Maybe 1-2 times a month. She was making it clear that she would prefer that I find a baby sitter so I did. And I was so nervous at first but it got better and we used more sitters as they graduated (college town) and more sitters. Even had a regular nanny 4 days a week for a while after #4 was born, which oddly enough, was a wonderful experience for my kids. Now we are back to once a while baby sitters when therapy sessions conflict with nap time, doc appointments, my very rare work day, etc... We are also back to using fairly new sitters unlike our old one that really knew my kids, the relationships take time to build. My kids (except the baby), all love sitters because they think of them as fun playmates. Even my 9 year old gets sad if she hears I had a sitter that day for the boys while she was at school! My old nanny still sits for us here and there when she comes to town to visit, like this weekend actually. My kids are so excited, making cards to give her, and I think that is pretty awesome, that they have built this special relationship with her, almost like an aunt. And she really does feel like family now.
I think necessity does play a part in it such as having multiple kids to care for. Like today I took my ds to a play place and saw an old aquaintence of mine's barely 1 yr old there with a sitter. I know this aquaintence is pretty AP minded and all- but she has two older kids as well- and the sitter told me she has been watching the 1 yr old sine she was one month--- and I was like wow! because I knew it was a big change for this aquaintence to leave her little one with a sitter so young compared to how she had raised her older kids. so I think it is just necessity sometimes versus being able to give all one's time to an only child-- but it also got me thinking and feeling a little weird about my own choices because the one yr old looked perfectly happy and content with her babysitter- so I was like- well here I am still having no time to myself with a 2.5 yr old and seeing happy kids being fine with a babysitter much younger made me question my own parenting!! Yet at the same time my protective instincts linger! Like it is my issue more than my ds's.
I literally NEVER left ElderSon, with a sitter, grandparent, or anyone else, until he was 6 years old. We lived on a sailboat, and never were anyplace long enough to set up anything like that. I never went anywhere my child could not come. I say I never was more than 35 feet away from him - the boat length was 36 feet! This was 30 years ago, and I had never heard of AP, but it felt comfortable and right to me. My more mainstream family was critical of me when I brought him with me to such things as funerals - I saw no reason a small, well-behaved child should not be a part of such occasions. I even once went to the dentist, and had a tooth pulled, while he nursed and slept on my chest. I remember often feeling exhausted, wishing he would sleep in till noon just once, but I don't think I ever wanted to be away from him. For our first night out, x-husband and I planned to visit friends - we got lost, drove around Northern Minnesota for 3 or 4 hours, gave up and came home. ElderSon did fine, and had much more fun than we did.
With my next 2 kids, 15 years later, I had to return to work when they were tiny. They stayed with Dad, or sitters, or day care at various times over the first few years. It did not feel natural to me, but there really wasn't much option. Perhaps because my life was more stressful in those years, I did feel the need to get away, to get some "me-time". We all got used to it, and although there were some rough moments, we all survived. By the time they were 5 & 6, I had set up my life to stay home with the Dumplings and homeschool. My bond with BigGirl and YoungSon is every bit as strong as with ElderSon.
I didn't mean for this to become a debate on the pros and cons of babysitters or AP. I just wanted to say that I understand both sides, both ways of raising kids. OP - there is no need to criticize yourself for wanting to be with your child. Or for wanting some time off occasionally. Really, children are amazingly flexible, and will do fine in any case.
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13
Ah - mine is a "probably only child", too. Of course, she was a "probably no child," so you never can tell :) I think that does play a role in how I feel about things. It's like... this is it. I can't miss it.
Preschool is a hard decision for me. For one, we plan to move before next fall, so I can't plan ahead. I also don't really see it as necessary for her, but I've seen some really cool preschools that I would like to send her to because they look so neat. I think that she would absolutely love preschool, though. She totally digs taking direction from a teacher, and she doesn't get anywhere near enough peer time. But really, I'd almost prefer her to be in a daycare with kids her age so that she'll be encouraged to just play. She struggles so much with play when she's around me...
I think your feelings are pretty normal for a first child. I felt the same with my first, then with the second, your perspective changes. I would not say that the attachment is any less, but the world seems much less scary. And I have seen how much fun it is for the kids to be in the world on their own terms. That they have relationships with great people that are between them and do not need me to mediate.
I have thought many times that a mother's helper a couple times a week would bring such peace and ease into our lives. Yet, I have never looked for one. I guess you are just ready for help when you are ready. It is hard to let go of control and to change routine, even if you can see it would be positive!
I left my Little Miss with a very trusted friend (I have no family near me.) and it felt very, very "wrong" the entire 1 1/2 hours I was gone from her.
Not at all the wonderful, free feeling I now get when I leave her with her Papa for an afternoon.
She was fine; a great time was had by all accounts, and our attachment survived. But I admit, I'm in no rush to leave her again. We're thinking of a date night, and I'm really dragging my feet.
I think it's normal. The reason I left her with this friend is because this is the friend that pointed out, when I was feeling very judged for being so very attached and worrying over her a little too much, that a natural biological drive must exist in order for mammal mamas to protect their young, and mine just works really well. Yours does too.
And on 09/23/2011, we were three; husband, daughter, and me!
any words of wisdom? anyone else just with their kid mostly still?
That would be me and I just do it because it feels right to me. My son is three and just starting expressing that he would like to go with dad 'alone' without me on short errands. Then one day he made it clear that 'mom' goes to the post office alone and he will stay with grandma at our home. He is very clear and decisive when he does make these choices and I have to say my heart just sings because I know he feels comfortable. I love the confidence and security he exerts when he tells me these things because it's really his choice. I give him the chance to reconsider, change his mind, after all it's fine either way to me. It's just great though to know he feels secure with short separations, it just feels right to me, no coercion, no tricks, no sadness. I think you really have to listen to your child, or for a non verbal child read cues and body language. As with anything else they are ready for, they lead the way.