I'm a SAHM to a fabulous 16 mo. We have a very strong attachment that he has demanded since birth. He was 2 wks "late", I was induced and had an emergency csection since he never descended and was becoming distressed. Long story - I'm still healing emotionally. Anyway, we love our breastfeeding relationship and he will not sleep without me. Often he will nurse through naps. He's THAT attached (and I love it!)
So, he has never had anyone but DH watch him in my absence, which is only a couple hrs a week tops. I'm starting to get more pressure from family members that want to watch him. All have offered for me to drop him off at their house so DH and I can go out. This distresses me for a couple of reasons:
* DS is not interested in anyone else enough. In fact, he cries when some of these dear family members try to hold him.
* I truly don't think I'll enjoy my time away with my husband. I love him, of course, but "we" are now 3!
I know his family deserves time alone with him. I just feel there should maybe be more in-between steps? Maybe come over here and then take him for a walk to the park? Perhaps play with him here while I go for a brief jog? I really wish they would visit us more. I'm under the impression that some family members believe building a relationship with him is impossible when I'm around. And of course, my husband would appreciate alone time too, though he's not pressuring me at all.
Any advice? Has anyone been in this situation? I look forward to your thoughts...with gratitude!
I think you've already come up with great ideas on your own :) Would your family members be open to some of those suggestions? Developing a bond with a little one doesn't have to mean putting them to sleep or caring for them for hours on end - in fact, you do more relationship and trust building through play and fun, I think! Baby steps are important for him as well as you :) I would hope your family can understand that there has to be some steps between never parting and dropping him off for several hours at someone else's houses!
Our first outing with DS1 was a quick coffee at the coffee place about 2 minutes drive from our house. Inlaws watched him, we were out and back within an hour. It felt weird (he was still fairly small, I think 3 months? So I hear you on the pressure cause we certainly felt it too! We haven't caved the same way with subsequent kids and wait till it feels right for US) but good at the same time. S
If you and your husband are happy with how things are, then things are fine. If at some point you, or he, or both of you want to go out just the two of you, and maybe you'll feel better when he's past his separation anxiety stage, then by all means go out and enjoy the time.
i agree that it sounds like you have some great ideas. i also dont leave my boys very often, and just a quick, "im really not ready to leave him" over and over has made most of our family realize that we just arent ready to leave them. the time will come :) just be friendly about it
Coffee, Vintage and Kids. My Life.
Anyway, since you said your DH is interested in having more alone time, is there a way you can try to make that happen? Maybe you can both get up an hour before baby and have a coffee 'date' in the other room? Or make weekend naps your time to be alone with DH? DH and I try to go places where DS will be entertained for a bit -- i.e. there is a playground nearby with tons of little cars and toys for the toddlers -- and let DS play on his own while we sit together & chat (though he was closer to 2 before this was possible for us...) or take long walks hand-in-hand with DS in the Ergo (often asleep)...
Thanks ladies, for your ideas and support! I have more ideas too! Yeah, I'll just wait until it comes up again and then let them know what works better for us (definitely not dropping him off for awhile). DH and I should make more of an effort to have alone time at home. It may come in 30 min. increments, but better than nothing! And I know this is a passing phase for my sweet angel boy. At some point he will want more separation :( and I'll be reminiscing about the times when he had to nurse all night. Ah, good thing for those nursing hormones!!
Love & gratitude
Please don't let anyone pressure you. You and your husband are doing what is right for your family. Invite family over to your house to do thing swith you there, if you like. I hate that so many people think you HAVE to leave your child in order to find balance or in order for them to bond with other family members. That may work for some families, but it is by no means a requisite.
On Fridays DH and I put a movie on for the kids or put them to bed early . We get a good movie, takeout, and wine. It makes for a pretty good date night in. When we were cosleeping we also had some interesting locations for the end of date night Then some Sunday mornings, we give the kids doughnuts (gasp) and set them in front of the tv with cartoons and have coffee and read the paper together.
Quality time with your spouse is definately one of the best things you can do for your child, but you can be creative if you are not ready to leave DC alone.
I would not be comfortable leaving DC alone at such a young age with someone they are not comfortable with.
He is still at the age where I would request family members come to my house to watch him. Heck, my kids are almost 3 and just turned 2, and my mom still comes to my house just because it's easier. All of their stuff is here, and they can destroy my house with their toy tornado rather than destroying my mom's house.
My mom comes over frequently for dinner, and we do a lot of stuff with her, so my kids have known Grandma from the start, and have always been comfortable with her. I would start doing a lot of stuff with whatever family members might want to watch your little guy. Don't let anyone pressure you into thinking you need to leave him for long periods of time with unknown adults.
SAHM to our 2 blessings through adoption! DD 2 1/2 and DS 2.