Friday, August 6, 2010

You may be right...

...I may be crazy!  I'm calling on my pro-mom readers to help with this one.  Two years and I am still a rookie.

I'm having a problem leaving my kids.  I'm not sure if this is in the realm of normalcy or not, but hear me out, if you will.  I had two wonderful babysitters lined up tonight in order to go out to dinner with Scott and another couple.  We were going to go to downtown Nashville and would probably be back around 9:30 or 10:00.  He'd given me about a week to prepare for this, and as we got closer, my anxiety grew.  I canceled last night.

Elizabeth as a baby...expressing her displeasure that I wasn't home yet!
Bedtimes can be difficult at our house and I felt like I could get Rachel down before we left but I was worried about Elizabeth waking her up and her screaming her head off the entire time.  Last night, as she "aired her lungs out" after dinner, I just decided I was being too selfish by going out.  She wasn't ready yet.

We've been out on one date since Elizabeth was born ( read that right!) and that was last Valentine's Day when Taylor volunteer to watch Elizabeth.  But even then, we ate at a local place and got back before bedtime.  I've searched myself for all pride in this issue, and I can't find any trace of the fact that I think I can take care of my kids better than anyone.  Instead, I think it's just guilt.  

This is a new problem for me because Elizabeth was always with someone other than me for her entire first year of life.  She stayed with Carleta during the day and then was always with a mom, dad or sibling during my practices or lessons.  But she was an easy baby.  Rachel...well, Rachel is Rachel and if a single variable in her world is out of alignment (hungry, tired, wet, can't see Elizabeth...), she is a crab.  She's getting better at taking a bottle but I don't really have enough supply to pump in order to leave the person keeping her a meal so I've never been away from her for more than 3 hours.  (Her pediatrician said, "Are you doing ok with that?!")

The other problem is that every single time I leave the girls, they are horrible.  It never fails...they refuse to nap or they get into something or Elizabeth takes her diaper off in her bed, leaving her room smelling like a "truck stop bathroom." (my sweet husband's description...ha!)  My time away from them is never enjoyable because I'm always worried about the person taking my place.  Every time I call and check in, I hear that tone in their voice...somewhere between worn out and frustrated.  And I would never wish that feeling on anyone else.  So I see the girls' care as my responsibility.  Does that make sense?  I don't even think it matters who is watching them or for how long.  When I was home, Allison and Andrea watched the girls while Mom and I walked and they had to do a whole song and dance routine for Rachel to stop fussing.  

Is this something I'll grow out of?  (ha!)  Is it something they will grow out of?  Am I right that they are just too young yet?  I'm really looking for guidance here.


  1. Aw, Annie! Well I'm no mother, but I am an independent woman who believes that even if it is hard, you should let the girls stay with a babysitter once in a while so you and Scott can get away and enjoy each others company. I can imagine how hard it must be to leave them with a sitter after spending every day with them, but maybe once they understand that Mommy and Daddy need their date time, they'll settle down and understand that the babysitter can mean fun times for them, too. :-) Again, I speak from a place of NO motherly experience... just your cousin who wants you and Scott to have dates! I LOVE YOU! You're an amazing woman!

    I remember always enjoying having a babysitter because it meant watching movies and baking brownies. (Yum!) So maybe you can reserve certain activities for when the babysitter comes, and that way the girls can look forward to it? Just a thought... I hope it helps!

  2. Well, P and C are 3 and 18mo now, and I do remember using two sitters with them for at least the first nine months. I leave them with one sitter now, even at bedtime, but I am blessed to have a wonderful sitter that I know can handle it! We have company this weekend, but sometime soon I'll send you a Facebook message with more about what works at our house. I'm no pro, but maybe what works for us will work for you too!
    For me, I needed to push myself to get out some at first, but the more I did it (even a quick trip to the grocery store, while leaving the boys with Adam), the easier it got, and I did start to enjoy my time away. I still miss then when they aren't with me, but it's not painful.
    And as far as age, I DO think it gets easier as the "baby" gets older - about 9 - 12 months or so in our case.