Saturday, February 7, 2015

Leaving My Daughter With Someone Else - Will She Freak Out?

The question all working parents face: Will my kid freak out if I leave her with someone else?

The nerves that accompany this question are like little germs making their way to a host, quietly spreading their negativity and malice. As if you don't already feel nervous about a million and one things concerning this little human (Does she feel warm? Are those pjs too small on her now? Is she going to choke if I give her a Cheerio?), now you wonder if she'll feel abandoned when you leave her at day care. You ask the woman there not to let her see you walk out the door, you picture all manner of crumbling, red, forlorn, screaming baby face for an hours long stretch while you - gasp! - enjoy your job. You're so selfish, mom. You're so selfish, dad.

The platitudes and advice from others come ferociously.

"It will be good for her."
"She needs to socialize."
"She'll adjust after a couple of days."

All well meaning, and probably true, but does that stop you from irrationally telling yourself that she's going to hate you well beyond her teenage years, not invite you to her wedding and write memoirs about her self-involved, pathetic jerk of a parent? Hell no.

The truth is, you won't know if she'll freak out until you do leave her there, and you can't NOT leave her there if you want to keep your job, and you have to keep your job if you want to buy her pjs that fit and keep her in Cheerios. Just know we all understand, mama (or dada). You're not alone. We're all worried about this scary, gut-wrenching, necessary milestone called The Babysitter.

UPDATE: Tomorrow is the day. Aside from her food, I have all of my little bird's stuff packed up for daycare. I have, intellectually, come to terms with the fact that this is good for her, that she will need to be around other children, that I am lucky to not have to be on-site to teach five days a week, that this is a way for her to learn to interact with others. I totally get it.

But am I still dreading the drop off?  You bet.

UPDATE #2: Dropped her off today and cried after in my car.  How could I not? When I called to check in, I was told she cried the first 20 minutes or so and then was fed and happy for the rest of the time. I guess this is harder for me than it is for her!

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