don't trust anyone with your kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 04-17-2003, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
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This keeps popping up in other threads I'm reading - moms saying they don't trust anyone with their kids. Sometimes that excludes dh and sometimes not. Does this mean not anyone - not your mother or sister or best friend? Or just not a 14 year old sitter?

I have always trusted dh with our kids - he may do things differently than I do but I knew they would be safe. Can't imagine not having that feeling. I may not have left dd1 much when she was very little as I exclusively breastfed but I did pump and leave her with Grammy for three hours when she was three months old (dh and I went to a Halloween costume party). I know my sister babysat her a few times before a year old. I left her now and then with close friends. Dh had her without me whenever I needed to do something quickly or something that was just not baby friendly.

High school sitters are a totally different ball game (IMO). Dd1 was three before we tried that.

Now dd1 is 6 and dd2 is 2 and we have two high school sitters, one college sitter, scads of friends, neighbors, family members that we trust with them. I know my comfort level with this has grown since having the second baby and also just with them growing up a little but are there really moms here who don't trust their kids with anyone? What message does that send to the kid about the society we live in? I can understand being careful but not to the extent that you don't get a break and the child is given the message that he/she is not safe with anyone but mom.

I am curious to hear others' thoughts on this.
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#2 of 20 Old 04-17-2003, 04:37 AM
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i think it's something alot of moms go throo, especially new moms.. maybe it relates to being AP and the guilt that comes into play when you imagine your baby crying for your breastmilk and comfort, tied in with the shear vulnerability of your baby, and worrying about numerous other things that a mom typically worries about anyway, but when it's left completely out of her control, with someone who may or may not have mama-instincts.. it can be kinda scary.

i know it took a while for me to be comfortable leaving my son with anyone.. i think he was at least 6 months old before i spent more than 15 minutes away from him (i don't necessarily recommend this, btw!), but even then i was nervous and could hardly get him out of my mind, and could only handle an hour maximum for several months beyond that.

i think it is very important kids get exposed to other trustworthy adults, but it has to be balanced with their needs (i don't think newborns should be separated from mom, if it can be helped, for example) as well as our own.. we all need a break sometimes!
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#3 of 20 Old 04-17-2003, 01:40 PM
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Right now, my biggest reason for not leaving her is because I worry that she will start crying and the person looking after her will not know what she wants, or how to comfort her, and she'll just cry and cry until she has a total meltdown.

My mother lives with us and she has learned to read my DD fairly well. So we have left her with Mum for very brief periods while DH and I go out. We're talking less than 1 hour here, and always during the day when DD is happiest. I would not leave her with my Dad and stepmum - they are wonderful people and I trust them implicitly, but they really don't "know" DD and she doesn't "know" them.

DD will take a sippy cup now, so DH can take her for 2 or 3 hours. Before the sippy cup, I wouldn't let him do that for fear that she would need to nurse (mind you, in the early weeks she'd sleep in the sling for as long as she was in it, so he took her for looong walks).

So, my answer to your question is that my reluctance to leave DD was not so much based on her safety, b/c I trust my family, but more that her needs would not be met, and she would not be understood. A big part of AP is knowing your child so well that they don't have to have a meltdown cry to have their needs met. A baby who is used to communication on that level would not be happy being left with someone who doesn't "speak their language", KWIM? So that is why I rarely leave DD, and if I do it's only with DH or my mother (and her for *very* brief periods).

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#4 of 20 Old 04-17-2003, 01:51 PM
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DH and I LOVE, LOVE to be with our son (14 months). Never once had a need or want to be without him. Sure, DH works during the day but he is working from home 90% of the time...anyway, I'm always with DS and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Has something to do with trust, as the way we parent fosters DS' attachment and bonding to us (plus he is breastfed, no bottles, pacifiers, whatnot) so to put him in another's care is inconsistent with our parenting practices.

Just how we do it...our inlaws aren't trustworthy and we couldn't pay someone outside our family enough to 'get it' in terms of AP practices we feel are crucial to our family.

We had years as a married couple to do whatever we wanted, when we wanted without kids. Now it's time for our family and we love it.

I'm expecting #2 later this year so it's not like we don't have a sex life or spend time as a couple being close!
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#5 of 20 Old 04-17-2003, 02:02 PM
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Well, my ds is 27 months old. And, I can count on two hands (7 times actually) the number of times that we (dh and I) have left him with someone else. The first time we left him was with my sister, when he was 7 months old.

There are people that I trust implicitly with him, however, they are either very busy and when they have free time I want to be there too (to spend time with them) or they have families of their own and I do not want to impose.

And, then there are also people in our lives that are more available, but I prefer to supervise when they are around ds.

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#6 of 20 Old 04-17-2003, 02:04 PM
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The first time I left my son with my parents was for 2 hours while I house cleaned a lady who smokes so I cannot bring him there. It was a little hard because he is my first. My parents enjoy their grandson so much I have never worried about his care while there. I do have my cell phone so they can call if need be.
Daddy has a different work schedule so it makes it hard to leave the baby with him.
Other wise there is no reason for me to leave him with someone else. I like bring him with me no matter where I go. He even goes to work with me.

My MIL was asking in the beginning to have him stay the night. I never said no but it wasn't going to happen. He is breastfed and just doens't need someone else to watch him.

I have never wanted any "alone time". I love this time and all to soon he will be off with his friends.

Its funny how times change. When I was 14 and started baby sitting I was so in demand. I had 4 different babies I would watch that were under 1 year old. It helped I knew CPR and first aid.
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#7 of 20 Old 04-17-2003, 03:43 PM
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My DD is 9 months and is very particular about people. The only people she will let even hold her are Dh , my mother, my brother and I. Alot o f family and friends have offered to sit with her but I know she would scream the whole time and I just could not do that to her or them. I try to explain but they say 'it's OK, I don't mind if she crys' Well I do!! Friends tell me i have to leave her with others for her to 'get over it'. Even my Dh has said this I refuse I will not do that to her. Besides I rarely go anywhere with out her. Oh well, so that is my take. It's not a matter of trust for me. It is instead, a matter of my child feeling secure in who she is with.

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#8 of 20 Old 04-17-2003, 04:57 PM
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i feel compelled to write a little about my experiences with this subject, incase there is a mama out there in shoes that feel somewhat like mine did..

while i was pregnant with my boy (my first) i read a lot of books, and quickly realized that AP was the only way to go.. i started filtering people out of my life who i knew weren't going to fit in with my shifting lifestyle (i was 20, and most of my friends, tho nice people, were into partying frequently, etc..) and focusing on the baby inside of me.. (i was also single)

well he had a really difficult birth, and few days after (my heart still sinks to the floor when i remember ), and consequently was a *very* high needs baby. he screamed/cried all the time, i mean all the time.. even in his sleep he moaned and grunted in ways that frightened me and kept me awake.. this went on for a year (diminishing gradually as he learned how to crawl and walk). and since i started out so staunchly AP and with the belief that he NEEDED me so badly (i had to carry him all the time, and couldn't imagine that anyone else would want to carry him that much, and his cries would've haunted me anyway), i never allowed anyone else into our lives to help. also, at the time, i was visiting a very pro-AP site (they even used the words militant to describe themselves), on which everyone seemed to be able to handle APing their little ones so flawlessly, and made anyone who didn't feel terrible. so the thot never really crossed my mind to let anyone help me, because that wouldn't have been "AP"- and so, i would have failed my son and myself..

well.. as a result of carrying him so much/never resting, and this way of thinking, i got a disease called fibromyalgia.. which is never-ending muscle pain and fatigue.

now, obviously i was living my own version of AP, and had taken it out of its intended context somewhat. but incase there are any other single mamas reading this, or mamas who are having a REALLY hard time of it, and feeling guilty for wanting others to share in the load, i advise you to allow others to help you. i'm pregnant and single again, doubting the father will come around to share in his responsibility, and tho it's unlikely this baby will be that intense, i already have it in my mind that i will accept any help that comes to me (if it's from a trustworthy source, of course), and if that means i NEED to go on a 20 minute walk, then i will do it! um.. maybe
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#9 of 20 Old 04-17-2003, 05:32 PM
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There are very few people that I would feel comfortable leaving Dd with. Dh and MIL, well and my mom but she lives too far away. MIL comes over once or twice a week to "babysit" (read play with Dd). So, I'm usually upstairs doing our business paper work or house cleaning, or something. MIL has gotten to know what she needs b/c when I hear her crying, I'll go downstairs and say "oh, she's hungry, wet, etc"
I'm one of those people that *does* need a little alone time with Dh every once and a while. I think it's important for my daughter to have parents that are not only in tune to her needs, but to each others needs as well. And for us, that involves time alone about one a month or so.
We have left her twice (she's 3 months) with MIL for about an hour each time. An hour is all I can handle. But before we go, I always feed her, put her to sleep, express some bm (in case she needs it, although she never has) and then go out. Both times she slept the entire time and never even knew I was gone. We always have our cell phones and we never go more than 15 minutes away.
But other than that, we love to take Dd everywhere with us!!
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#10 of 20 Old 04-18-2003, 04:30 AM
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I did not leave my daughter much at all while she was breastfeeding. I did leave her a few times with my parents for brief (under an hour) stints before she was six months. However, at the time she was eiither on her nap break or really awake time. She also went much longer between nursing then I expected for her age. (Though she was constantly in a sling or held seriously I do not think the child was without physical contact for more than five minutes until nine months and to this day is happily physically attached) It helped that my parents were totally into the Baby Bjorn which she loved so they just took her out. She really liked being out with other people and I was always a cell phone away and could get to her within 15 minutes at any time. (I only got one call and by the time I got back my dad had her smiling again) My daughter had colic and was down to one nap a day and nine hours of sleep by four months. I needed breaks in order to feel like a person and to do something as simple as condition my hair or wax my legs. (not a good project with a baby in a sling)

I also have no problems leaving her with my husband for any length of time. Honestly, I don't think I could by married to a person I did not trust my child with. Now that she is two and not breastfeeding I will take trips for up to three days by myself.

She also has sleepovers with my parents once a month and has spent up to three days with them on two occasions. My mom sleeps with her and my parents have really gotten into being attachment grand parents. My dad even calls to try to work out alternatives to telling her no etc. However, with my in-laws I only let her stay max three hours and only if my sister in law and brother in law are NOT there. We also went over the rules etc and I will call to check in. (my daughter loves talking on the phone so I can hear how she is doing) I really don't worry about my inlaws but I did not grow up with them so am more cautious.

I have not left her with a babysitter other than family and probably will not for several more years. Well wait... twice she played at the park with my brother's fiance who is a nanny, I have known her for five years, she goes down all the slides with my daugher and she knows CPR etc.

We have a policy that if she ever indicates that she does not want to be with someone or have someone watch her than we will not leave her. At this point I am probably away from my daughter more than other SAHM's are comfortable with but my daughter craves social interaction with a wide variety of people and likes to be independent. I also am a person who needs space and for my job ( I work at home ) I need large chunks of time to work out each project.

I do want her to know that it is ok to trust people and that not everyone is crappy but I want to make sure that her world feels secure and let her to the disovering on her own terms. I also think that this whole issue really depends on the child.

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#11 of 20 Old 04-18-2003, 04:53 AM
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Like Piglet said, my inability to leave ds with anyone has less to do with not trusting them than it has to do with him being upset and them not being in tune with him enough to handle it appropriately. Or that ds will just be scared and miss me and I won't me be there for him.

I do not blink an eye leaving ds with dh, especially now that he's almost 2. My mom and ds are very close, and my mom parents much how I do (better in many ways - more creative, more tolerant of making messes in the name of fun, etc.), so we leave ds with her the rare times we go to a movie or whatever. I would trust my dad but he doesn't do stuff like change diapers or fix snacks, so he's out. My MIL loves ds to death, but she's super hyper and it kind of bugs ds. She's also not an incredibly sensitive person - she kind of just barrels along without stopping to read cues from others. She would never hurt ds, or yell at him or anything like that, and I have left ds with her once before, but it makes me a bit nervous. Once ds is talking I will feel okay with her watching him. My bestest friend has offered to watch him, but she doesn't have kids and I notice that she expects him to be able to do things that are not age appropriate, so I worry that she wouldn't know what to watch for safetywise. My sister has taken him to the park, or watched him while I took a nap, but like my dad is not comfortable with the whole package of watching a baby/toddler, mainly just because she doesn't have kids and is unsure of what to do.

On one hand I feel lucky that I have so many safe, trustworthy, loving people in ds's life, but I rarely get to take advantage of it because I worry about them knowing how to respond to ds. This is getting better as he gets older.

Strangers are another story. I can't bring myself to leave him at the YMCA daycare for an hour while I work out, although the place seems great and I desperately want to. I think he would love preschool, but the thought of it makes me nervous.
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#12 of 20 Old 04-18-2003, 09:51 AM
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DD is now completely comfortable (at age 3) for me to leave her with DH. I trust one friend implicitly as well. I would not, however, leave her with my mother or father for more than half an hour--because I know their style and scolding of some sort would inevitably happen. Fortunately that's not an issue because they're all the way across country. We never have left her with non-family sitters, and it would take a long time of establishing trust for me to ever do that. I had some scary instances with babysitters when I was a kid--with neighborhood girls that were "good" girls that my family knew for a long time.
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#13 of 20 Old 04-19-2003, 12:38 PM
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I trust dh completely with dd's. I can't imagine what I'd do if I didn't have trust in him.
I leave them with a friend of mine for an occasional date. She and her dh AP and have alot in common with us so I trust her too. Not as completely as dh, like I don't trust that she will always know what dd's need, but I trust her to not just 'let' them cry or be sad, etc...
That is about the only people I trust. I do trust my MIL with my oldest dd, because they get along great. DD loves her. My younger dd loves her too, when we are there, but I don't think I would leave her with her alone. This stems back to a few months ago when we left them both with her for about 10 minutes. When we came back Hero was standing on the floor crying and MIL was on the computer checking email. I know how this goes, that Hero will arch her back and not want to be held if she is mad. But Hero was scared to death and doing the choking sobs thing. I wasn't mad, just not ready to leave her with Grandma again yet.
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#14 of 20 Old 04-21-2003, 09:27 AM
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I'm not sure if this is a vent or if this post will actually shed some light regarding the original question. I'm probably on the far end of the spectrum here but there is no one that I completely trust with my kids. One of the reasons Im sure has to do with the fact that my mom would leave us with anyone and as a result I had many bad experiences with babysitters when I was a child. The only person I half way trust is my mil and fil. Although it bugs me that they spoil the crap out the kids (candy, movies, crap toys) and try constantly to infiltrate their little minds with religious stuff that I don't agree with, I know they love my kids and give them lots of one on one attention, no yelling, blah, I deal with the other stuff.(they live 900 miles away so its rarely an issue) My mom won't babysit and I wouldn't let her even if she wanted to. She would just plop them in front of the tv anyway and probably scream at them if they messed up her house:
As far as dh goes, I know a lot of you said you couldn't be married to someone you couldn't trust with your kids, but let me explain that situation a little bit. You don't marry someone knowing that you won't be able to trust them. When dh and I got married I had seen him around kids lots of times and he was great with them and seemed to have a wonderful parenting philosophy. But he has changed a lot since then. He is deffinantly not the person I married. I don't trust him because he has a bad temper(not violent) (i had never even seen him get mad when we got married), he's very impatient, he yells a lot, thinks spanking is the best discipline, and demands respect and obedience from the kids (he's military: ) not to mention that he drinks a lot. Now don't get me wrong, he has many good qualities too, and he loves our kids dearly and would always watch out for the safety. But because of all the bad stuff I rarely leave them alone with him. I think he harbors a lot of resentment towards them (and me) because he's not free to do all the things he wants to do(I know, I know, poor baby,right?) and that's why he has the attitude he does. And the reason I stay married to him is because as long as I'm here I can shield them from his misbehavior by taking on all the parenting responsibility-which he is happy to let me do. If they were to have weekend visits alone, I couldn't do that. And I would not have the freedom to stay home with them or homeschool (and no I don't trust schools either). I know you guys are probably thinking my house is a war zone, but it's not. We very rarely argue and things are for the most part peaceful. My kids have a good home with two parents that love them very much, but who just have very different parenting philosophies and lifestyle choices. Sorry that was so long, I just wanted to shed some light on the subject and perhaps offer an explanation as to why someone would be married to a person they didn't trust.
Bottom line: Its sad but I don't trust anyone with my kids.
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#15 of 20 Old 04-21-2003, 12:12 PM
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My dd is 14 mos old and she has never been left with anyone other than dh, and then only for an hour, max. I did not leave her for even one second before she was 9 mos old.

But I'm one of those moms who is finding AP effortless. I LOVE being with my dd, I never need a break from her and when I have left her with dh to run out and do a few things, it hasn't been so that i could "get away from her". I leave her when she's having fun with daddy and doesn't want to get all trussed up and taken out. It has nothing to do with me needing to get away.

Having said that, I spent a few days with a friend who has one of the most negative, screechy, whiny annoying children I have ever been near, and I can definitely see that if I had a baby like that, I would be finding support and extra arms right from the get go! What a hard time she has with such an unhappy baby! My poor friend works her butt off trying to satisfy this child, but getting that baby to even crack a smile is an exhausting song and dance.

So it's not a trust issue for us at all. We're really happy being with our child at all times, but she makes it easy to be with her
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#16 of 20 Old 04-21-2003, 01:27 PM
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There are very few people I trust completely with my kids (ages 6, 4, and almost 2.) My husband, definitely. My mom. My MIL. My SIL. My best friend. Actually, that's starting to sound like a lot. However, I don't leave my kids when they're babies, with *anybody*, because experience has taught me that this is traumatic for the baby and interferes with their developing trust in me and therefore interferes with bonding.
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#17 of 20 Old 04-21-2003, 01:30 PM
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I was a mother tiger untill my mom died. And I realized that I must learn to trust other people if I ever wnat to have time to myself or go to college. I think it is kind of conseited to think no one can understand your baby but you and it isolates the fathers. MY MIL is a Republican but totally into the same things with kids as I am. She alway loed to hold the babies and she nursed her own kids on demand and was deligthed I did the same. yes, there more rules in her house than inmyne, but there are also facinating things in hers which i do not have (10 cats instead of 2, creek etc). And my mothers death also borgut one importan thing closer ot me : importance of support systme and multiple caregiver. I know if I die tomorrowe, my childrne have formed deep bond with my husban and other people. They will not be alone intheir grief and there are people who understand them just as well as I do. I can die with peace in my heart, knowing that my DH will take crea of them and other people will be there to help
I did not grow up here. I grea up where extend family is a fact of life and child is raise by a village. So, it is my 2 cents. I know things are diffrent here
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#18 of 20 Old 04-22-2003, 12:00 AM
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Well, we had the usual anxieties about things going wrong, but in my case and dh's we both had good reason to mistrust others. My 6 year old very handicapped brother was shaken to death by a friend of my mom's who was supposed to be babysitting him. And my dh was molested by a friend of the family and never told anyone about it until recently. That being said, I have made some great mommy AP friends and we are setting up a babysitting trade-off system. Dd's almost 2.5 years and I trust these women because I've seen them with their own kids.


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#19 of 20 Old 04-22-2003, 12:57 AM
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I've never really had the need to leave him. He's a baby, he needs his mama. Daddy isn't even the same, not that I wouldn't trust him with ds, I certainly do, but he's just not mommy!

Ds is now 18 months, and I did leave him with daddy a week or so ago for a few hours to see my brother's play before he transfered to a differant college. It was like heaven and hell. I loved being there and seeing the play, but I kept worrying about ds. When I got home he was in front of the tv: and I said hi to him, and he just looked up and smiled - he didn't even miss me! I hugged him for the loggest time! It was tramatic for me!
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#20 of 20 Old 04-22-2003, 01:01 PM
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One theme I see here is trusting dc's grandparents, and I'm surprised at how many people live near one or more sets of grandparents. We don't, so that's not an option. I have trusted my mom with dd when my mom has been here to visit, though.

I trust my dh implicitly. I used to be a big time career woman (director of my own center which I created from scratch) before I quit to be a full-time mom, and the transition was tough for me. I was on several committees for a while to help with that transition, and one met all day (6 hours) bi-monthly. With travel time, that was about 8 hours away from dd, and dh handled it wonderfully. I expressed bm for dd and went to these meetings from when she was I think 3 months old. (Missed one meeting.)

I quit last summer though because I had gone further in the transition and was more comfortable with being "just" a stay-at-home mom.
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