So, my question is, do you leave your children with childless friends? Are we abnormal not feeling comfortable with this? We swap kids for dinners out with our neighbors down the street and that works out well. Other than that, we have our girls with us. I find it frustrating because none of our friends have children and so it is very easy for them to decide that I am overprotective, etc. But, it's silly to me. They are not set up to take care of a 3 yr old and 9 mo. old. Not to mention the fact that I rarely see this friend and so she has NO idea the nuances of the daily changes in likes, dislikes, needs, sleep changes, food issues, etc etc etc And of course, the obvious like the safety of their house. I could go on and on.
I guess I am just tired of feeling like I have to defend our choices and feeling very unsupported. My dh keeps saying they will all get it when they have their own but I am tired of waiting for that day.
Please, please, tell me your thoughts!
We used to live near a good friend who did not have kids and she used to babysit for us. But she was wonderful with children. She came over for dinner at least once a week so my ds knew her really well and loved her (he still refers to her as his friend Kate). Also, she knew and agreed with the way we parent, so I felt very comfortable having her babysit on occasion. She would come to our house that way there were not issue about baby proofing and so forth.
Single mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler
The only overnights are with grandparents or my sister.
I think you need to tell your friend that you aren't comfortable with the idea of leaving your child with her, and that she is free to disagree or think you are overprotective, but that this is the final word on it.
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
I also have a friend who I would have no qualms at all about leaving the kids with. She is SOOO busy, though; she volunteers but I honestly can't take up her time. Maybe over the summer when we aren't in school. She is a great person, very gentle with kids, and has worked for years as a babysitter/nanny for very small children (1 and under), plus older siblings, and I know she'd handle the kids very well.
I would never leave the kids with people who had no idea what caring for a child was all about. I mean, they might miss things that seem totally obvious for us. It also depends a lot on your kids; mine have very little stranger anxiety, and aren't bugged by me leaving most of the time (they know the drill - I leave, they play, I come back). Your girls may be totally different.
Plus they are talking nights and weekends? Have they no concept of what a 9 month old is like? That is WAAAY too early. Maybe an hour while you go get a massage, no way overnight. They'll be ready for that when they are like 6 and 9.
Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.
Most of the time I trust my children to my children (I have eight, the oldest is 24 and the youngest is 4) They know one another better than anyone else in the world and I trust them with my life (hence my children)
If they are busy my mom watches them
I think maybe I need to stop being "polite" and not really spelling it out to her. It is at the point where she said in anger that she and her husband wouldn't ask us to watch theirs when they do have a child because we had never done that. That is insane to me! It will be totally different. We are already parents. But that is just how she can be.
I'm the same way- very picky, even with my 10yo. It's a bit easier because he's older, so I don't need to worry about child proofing, but I won't leave him with just anyone. My family, the inlaws, and my friends. My ds2 is 10 months old. Honestly, though MIL is very nice and good with him, I feel way more comfy leaving him with my neighbor/friend or my Aunt IL. My neighbor has three kids, the youngest is close in age to ds2; her house is child proofed and has toys! And ds2 loves being around other kids. When dh and I had are first post baby date, a few weeks ago, we left the kids with her. Ds2 didn't care when I left or came back, he was having fun My AIL comes over to help out once in a while, and she is all about ds2's needs. MIL, while nice, and caring, is clueless about somethings and a bit selfish. So while I know she would never do anything against our wishes, she isn't quite as in tune as AIL and my neighbor/friend. And when we go visit California, where my friends and family are, my best friend is awesome and I'd leave him with her in a heartbeat
My folks take them to the park sometimes, though, and pick them up from preschool. And once they babysat when we went to a wedding in the evening, but we took the baby with us.
We have friends who ask, too, but I tell them outright, while the baby & DD still nurse, it's just not necessary. The few who mention the "take the night off" thing, I just say something along the lines of "my kids, my choice." Nothing to say after that.
I'd be uncomfortable, regarding the OP, with friends who've never had kids and are not with them ... and that you don't see often, as you point out ... taking my kids. It seems to me my kids wouldn't like it much, either.
It's difficult, however, because we don't live near each other, so they see my daughter only once every year or two. Had she been born near them, I'm sure she would be spending a lot more time with them, even overnight, but I'm thinking I wouldn't have made some of the parenting choices I did were that the case.
When I took my daughter, Molly, to Virginia last year, she was happy to stay with her cousins for hours. Then I ended up in the hospital and she ended up falling asleep with my sister and niece, and was sleeping there when I came in around 3 am. She woke then and wanted to come in bed with me after that, though. She was not ready for overnight visits even then, and I have no idea when she will be.
My worry would be that the caretaker might not be respectful of my child and the parenting style I have. I know that Molly's cousins and aunt made negative comments about extended nursing, and my mom is just not a person who can take stress or noise. I love my nieces and nephews, and I was a big part of their life before I moved away, but they treat each other so badly and when I hear them over the phone, I find it quite upsetting. They, in turn, tell me how spoiled my daughter is and how she needs to stop being babied, live in the real world, etc. So I want to be careful.
Based on my own experience, I can't imagine leaving an infant overnight. I've heard stories from people I know who left their children with grandma with instructions not to let them cry and to call the parents if things weren't going well. Of course that doesn't happen because grandma wants to help and figures she can deal with a crying infant. The only one who has ever called me to tell me that my daughter wanted me was the babysitter I paid. I feel like sometimes people have this idea that you don't know what is best and they can help you if you'd only let them. I might offer to take care of a friend's child, but I'm not going to guilt her into doing something she doesn't want to do, like leave her child overnight. I guess the issue is that if they offer and you refuse, it looks like you don't trust them and are rejecting them when that really isn't the case at all.
Now if your 3 year old really liked them and asked to spend the night at their house, then that might be another story, but it sounds like that is not the case.
I leave her only to the care of my husband and prefer not to be away from her for more than a few hours.
I've only just started letting my baby (!) out of my sight--he runs short errands with my husband for up to about an hour.
We did leave our daughter once to go downtown (10 minutes away) on business this winter. She & my mother could have come with us and hung out while they waited, but she decided to stay at our house and have her Gramma cook dinner for us all instead!
I've worked with too many abused kids to trust anyone besides DP and my mother just yet, and besides, my husband has a very flexible schedule allowing us to do many things together. We LOVE being all together, and it's for such a short time in the big scheme of things.
luckily i am blessed w/family 'round here. i leave my girls w/my MIL, my mom, my sisters. i have also left my girls w/a friend, fellow playgroup mom or neighbor for a period of 2-4 hrs.
all of these people besides my sisters have kids. my sisters usually watch the girls in my home so being set up for kids is not an issue.
i wouldn't feel compelled to do it if i were you. but it would be nice to know i had this friend should an emergency crop up. i'm not necessarily against leaving my kids w/childless people, i just don't know that many!
WOHM married to SAHD, living the dream w/our: 3 girls (14,12,10) and 3 boys (7,5,3) and tie-breaker due Jan 2014
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