when to go out WITHOUT your babe? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 01-11-2004, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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hey ladies!
wondering, how long before you go out without your babe?
do you pump?
do you leave with sitters?
how old were they the first time?
WHERE did you go?
my laina grace and i have seperation anxiety!!!!!
but all the women from my new momies group go out to a bar/dinner once a week.
i feel left out, but i just can't be away from her for 2 or 3 hours!!!
and she feels the same way. (so does my husband...and we don't have any other family in town)
alot of moms think i am nuts! but they aren't ebf, cosleeping, or ap or even sahm
so i want some opions from like minded mommas!
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#2 of 13 Old 01-11-2004, 01:24 PM
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wondering, how long before you go out without your babe?
I waited about 2 months.
do you pump?
do you leave with sitters?
My SO.
how old were they the first time?
2 months.
WHERE did you go?
I went out to a dance club and had about 1 1/2 drinks before I couldn't stand it any more and I came home at 11:30.
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#3 of 13 Old 01-11-2004, 01:36 PM
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I've left the house w/out dd exactly 4 times. Once for 10 min. to take my 3 yo niece home, left her w/ my sister Janice. Once for about 1/2 hr to pick up my 8yo niece from school, left her w/ my other 2 sisters. Once for about 15 minutes to take a friend home, left her w/ my mom and stepdad. And once for about an hour, to walk over and see the apartments we might move into, left her w/ my brother-in-law and his girlfriend (should have seen the results of their attempt to change her cloth diaper, lol!). I decided that last one was too long, and haven't left her behind since!

breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling Heathen parent to my little Wanderer, 7 1/2 , and baby Elf-stone, 3/11!

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#4 of 13 Old 01-11-2004, 02:21 PM
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With Dd it was almost 10-11 months before I went anywhere without her. I went to work, one night a week, pumped and left her with my Dh. It was not fun...mostly cause it was for work :LOL Oh I should add that we lived 45 minutes from anywhere when we had Dd, so to go anywhere would be atleast a 3 hour affair.

With Ds I have yet to leave without him, and he's 6 months now and we're still pretty "attached". My brother (who is awesome...and single ) is absolutely wonderful with Ds and Dd and has offered to watch them both for Dh and I if we want to go out sometime. We now live in a town, so we probaby could go out for an hour without them....but I can't bring myself to leave him totally yet. I do take him up on watching the kids and have a bath to myself sometimes though
I probably wouldn't pump now if I was only gone an hour, just feed him before I left, then as soon as I got back.

I hear alot about this from my friends too....but hey...they can do what they want...it's all about your and your families comfort level.


p.s. People tried to tell me that Dd was going to be too attached cause I never left her with anyone...well we went to a Wedding Renewal vows thing last night, and I hardly seen Dd all night. She was dancing with everyone!! Including family friends (dh's side) that she's never met. My little social butterfly! She'd check in every now and then, but she definately wasn't hidding on my lap like people use to think she would!
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#5 of 13 Old 01-11-2004, 02:41 PM
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I started going out for errands or a movie when ds was about 2 months but I would only leave ds with dh. My dh & I did go out a few times and left ds with his grandparents when they were visiting. When he got to be about 9 months dh & I really started wanting some alone time and we hired a girl that we knew very well to watch him. He has always done really well with her. These days we have a couple sitters who we trust very much and he does great when we go out without him. Usually though, we put him to bed first and then go out.

It was very hard at first but now that we've done it and I see that he is so amenable to it, I really enjoy getting some time out. I never think twice about leaving him with dh because he is as comfortable with him as I am. I also like that he is comfortable and can have fun with other people besides my dh & I.

Personally, I think its very good for the soul to get out by yourself or alone with your dh. If you aren't comfortable yet, then don't. But a lot of mothers on the boards wear it like a badge that they never go out. I don't really see why. It is perfectly healthy and normal to want to have time to yourself. I think its important to remember who you are and what you enjoy...if nothing else as an example to your children.

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#6 of 13 Old 01-11-2004, 02:42 PM
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DS was born almost 6 months ago, and I have yet to go out for any fun or social reason, although I do occasionally run errands. When I do, DS stays with SO or my mother...there's really no one else I trust. And, after an hour or so I start to get itchy, and usually head home ASAP...to find that everyone's just dandy, happily playing or napping or whatever. But it sets my mind at ease to be back within range, so to speak.

I was considering asking SO if we could get a sitter and go out for a nice dinner during the holidays, but just couldn't bring myself to. Now I'm thinking maybe I'll be ready for a romantic V-day excursion, but again, not sure who to leave DS with. My mom's an hour away, and so that's not really practical. We have friends who have volunteered -- namely, SO's ex (she's a sweet woman and all, but...) and his best friends, who have two rather bratty, rambunctious children that I'm not sure I'd want around the baby. If we do go, I'll probably pick a place that's relatively quick service. Romantic dinner at Taco Bell, here we come!

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#7 of 13 Old 01-11-2004, 03:40 PM
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Frankly, I'd say if you don't want to leave her, don't! Take her along! Unless you feel like you really need some alone time or couple time or whatever. I didn't realize how much I'd missed just talking to my husband until we had our date on T-giving weekend--we really needed that time. From the baby's perspective, I don't think they "need" time away from *you,* but in most cases it won't hurt anything! Especially at 2 months, when they're still pretty laid-back about who they're with.

I had to look in my Baby Journal to refresh my memory, but I first left her with my husband for a couple of hours when she was two months old. I just needed some solitude so I went out shopping by myself. (I'm a person who needs solitude periodically in order to stay sane.) Even though I needed the time, it was weird being away from her. Of course, now I don't even give it a second thought when I leave her with my husband. Except for the boobs, he's pretty much the same as me, parent-wise! And he's had lots of practice, since I returned to work part-time when she was 3 months, and we "juggled" caring for her.

Her first time with "strangers" (our neighbors, who really aren't strangers at all) was when we went out to a restaurant for our anniversary when she was just under 4 months old. We also left her with my mom and sister over Thanksgiving weekend to go out on a "date" for a couple of hours. Very nice to re-connect and really TALK without feeling distracted by the (gorgeous, lovable, but very distracting :LOL) baby! Then, most recently, we left her with friends and their same-age baby while we went to see "Return of the King" a few weeks ago--the only movie that I'd leave her for that long in order to see!! It was rough on us, since we'd never left her for that long before, but everyone came through it unscathed! :LOL

I know not all mamas here would feel like seeing a movie is reason enough to leave your baby with non-family, but these are very close friends, besides which she's a fairly independent kid--just depends on the type of baby you have as to whether it's going to work out well or not, and of course how well you trust the people you leave the baby with. When she went through her "stranger anxiety" phase (4-7 mos., more or less), we didn't leave her with anybody--she would cry just *looking* at people who weren't Mommy or Daddy! She still a little picky about who holds her (whatta diva! ), but overall she's fine with other folks.

As for your group of friends, it strikes me as odd that they don't bring their babies to the dinners. Is it because they meet in a bar? I go out to lunch with my friends who have same-age babies, but we always bring the babies. But then again we always meet in smoke-free or non-smoking-section places, so I'm sure that would make a difference. Maybe they wouldn't mind if you bring her along?? Or perhaps you could suggest they meet somewhere where everyone can bring their little ones?
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#8 of 13 Old 01-11-2004, 08:09 PM
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Like the others I have been on short errands but dd has only been left with dh and I have never been gone more than an hour or so.

Just now at 11 months I'm feeling like I could really use some 'me' time. What I've planned to do (I've never had much luck at expressing) was leave dd with my mum (who is THE only other person apart from dh I trust implicity with dd). But do this for short periods of time and work up to say, 4 or 5 hours. We're trialing it this week - I'll leave her with my mum and zip out to do the grocery shopping which will take me about 1.5 hours. And we'll see how she goes.

She is eating solid food reasonably well now so the breastfeeds are down to about 3 a day and for comfort and sleep. I'm going to have another go at expressing but I think half the time it's probably more about my breasts than what comes out of them

I agree with AndiB - if you don't want to leave her then don't. I get pressure all the time from friends and family (the 'OMG, I can't BELIEVE you have NEVER had a break!!!') and I just go with my feelings. Until now I haven't been ready to be without her and that is no-one's decision except mine.

Good luck and if you do decide to go out, enjoy yourself!!
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#9 of 13 Old 01-11-2004, 11:21 PM
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My son who is 8 months old, does really well in the daytime with my DH or my mom, but at night he still needs just me. And I am totally o.k. with that ! I get the..."You need time for YOU though..." from my friends, but I always say to them "He's only going to be a baby for such a short time! What's the big deal? I chose to be a mom didn't I?" They usually leave me alone after that . In a few months I will test the waters to see what will be acceptable to my DS in the evenings.
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#10 of 13 Old 01-12-2004, 12:17 AM
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I have to admit that once a week sounds like a lot to me. It would be tough for me to do that (mainly for scheduling reasons) and my kids are 3 and 5. My friends and I tried to do once a month, but even then it winds up being about three times a year.: We all have more than one child, and if a mom has a babe who is nursing exclusively, no one bats an eye at her bringing the nursling.

Now, looking back 5 1/2 years to when our first was a young infant, I have to be honest and say that I wish that I had left him every so often (maybe not for several hours once a week: ) with my husband. I think that it would have done wonders for my husband's confidence and let him feel like he truly was a necessary and integral part of our son's life. As APing mothers it is so easy to get into the habit of feeling like we are absolutely indespensible and can't be gone for any amount of time. The fact is that just isn't the case. Going out for a few hours doesn't make us any less attached, and may in fact help our spouses feel more attached.

I think that the main thing is to remember that Attachement Parenting doesn't require that we be present in the first person for absolutely every moment in our children's lives. It doesn't demand that we sacrifice who we are and what we enjoy so that we can practice AP. Babies need healthy and happy moms, and if a few hours out eating pizza with friends makes you happy and recharges you, that is good for both you and the baby.

I agree with the poster who mentioned moms never going out and wearing it like a badge. Getting out for a few hours doesn't make you any less AP. In fact, it may make it easier for you to be more attached when you are together simply because you are BOTH getting your needs met.

If you feel you would like to go out for a couple hours with friends, by all means DO IT, and don't feel the least bit guilty about it. Don't let the fact that others don't leave their babies until they are older sway your decision. That is their decision, it doesn't have to be yours. It makes you no less of an AP parent. In fact, it will likely make your DH more of an AP parent, then everyone wins.
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#11 of 13 Old 01-12-2004, 03:02 AM
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With Molly I started going out right away. I had to go to traffic court when she was a month old, and I went to two four hour sessions. I also went to choir practice 1 a week in the first month she was born, then in fall when she was about 4 months old. I pumped, but she didn't want to take the bottle. The first month it went OK because I was out during her sleepy period and she didn't even notice I was gone, but after choir started back up in September when she was 4 months old, it was terrible. Apparently she would cry when I was gone and my husband had to pace the floor with he to get her to sleep. In retrospect I don't know why I didn't take her with me in the sling. That is certainly what I'd do now. But now I don't go out because I realize how that one LLL principle about babies having an intense need for their mothers that is as basic as their need for food.

I left Jessie for the first time last Tuesday right after she turned 3 months old. My husband got a new car, and I wanted to try it out, so I drove it around for 20 minutes. I was getting to the point where I didn't want to leave her at all because I wanted to see how long I could go, which was kind of silly I guess. So now that I've left her once, I might leave her if I have to run out to the store. I want to keep her with me always, though. She is so easygoing most of the time and I don't want to ruin it by being gone if she needs me.
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#12 of 13 Old 01-12-2004, 03:27 AM
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Originally posted by Jish
Now, looking back 5 1/2 years to when our first was a young infant, I have to be honest and say that I wish that I had left him every so often (maybe not for several hours once a week: ) with my husband. I think that it would have done wonders for my husband's confidence and let him feel like he truly was a necessary and integral part of our son's life. As APing mothers it is so easy to get into the habit of feeling like we are absolutely indespensible and can't be gone for any amount of time.
Interesting! Here I was feeling kind of the opposite way, so it's nice to see a different view. Although in my case I was speaking of a once a week thing. I think an occasional trip out would have been OK. When I left, Molly cried and my dh could do nothing for her which made him feel like a complete failure. He finally learned how to comfort her, but it meant walking around with her on his shoulder while she cried until she fell asleep. That stage only lasted for a few months, and I thought that maybe it was ultimately good for their relationship, but it really stressed him out and he still has nightmares about it. And I can't help but wonder if some of her future clinginess and shyness was related to that.

He is happy that I don't leave Jessie with him for any amount of time as he is convinced that since he can't feed her, she will cry and he won't be able to do anything. But I do give her to him while I'm here and he does comfort her when she cries because I don't always rush to get her. I want to see what he can do.

It's different now too, because I have a lot of friends that I visit or who visit me, and I always let others hold my sweet, wonderful girl. I have people volunteering to babysit her now, but I haven't taken anyone up on it yet.
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#13 of 13 Old 01-12-2004, 07:16 AM
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My daughter is 2.5 years now and I started leaving her very gradually at about 4 months if I remember correctly.
Personally, I’m glad that I started slowly even though it was hard for me to leave her (it still is!) because getting to a place where I wasn’t a total wreck without her seemed right for our family. I have now had one over night without my daughter and can leave for several hours at a time without much notice.

I mostly came on here to suggest that once a week might be a better solution than leaving her sporadically. I think some level of consistency would be easier for both your child and the caretaker. In my experience, it will make it easier for you as well.

Maybe you could have once a week be the time that you have some time to yourself. If you have free child care or the father is with the baby you can leave it loose to either go out for as long as you’re comfortable OR you could just read or take a bath.

If leaving the baby seems right to you then just start off slow. Making yourself easily contactable would also help ease your mind. You don’t need to pump if you start off with a half hour and work up to longer stretches as your child gets older. If you’re already ready for longer stretches or want some extra time you could pump or go when out at a time that your baby doesn’t eat as much.

All that said, it was very important for me to be able to have some time away. This is the way *I* envisioned myself as a mother. That does not have to be the way you want to be or how you see yourself. If you want to spend every waking moment with your baby…go for it! If that’s what makes you happy, your baby will be all the better for it! If not, set some very small goals for yourself and head from there.

BTW, from what little I know about your friends who go out together as friends and mothers once a week...they sound pretty fab to me! There are some ways to bond with your friends that are hard to do with babies along for the ride. Especially at the BAR! You’ll hear no judgment from me about women/mothers/friends wanting some time together without their kids so that they can maintain their friendships and presumably, their sanity!

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