02 July 2006

babysitter and the inner critic

today was a monumental day in our lives. it was bb's first time being left with a babysitter. he will be 2 later this month and we've never left him with anyone other than relatives--and even that no so much. i'm a stay at home mom who nursed until he was 15mos. some would call me over protective, but i do what i feel is "right" for him. and we've rarely spent time apart.

i worried for a while about "smothering," "spoiling" and creating a dependent, needy kid. but truthfully, he's extremely independent and always has been to some degree. he is so smart, so kind, so sweet. he's willful and brave and i wouldn't change a thing.

so, i've tried (succeeding some days and not others) to stifle the voices in my head that say what i "should" do, what other mothers "must be thinking of me" and instead just go with my own instincts about mothering and about my child. but it's been hard. i can't help but compare myself to other moms. "SHE drops her kid off at a daycare/nanny's house for 3 hours a day so she can get time to herself." "THEY had a babysitter at 8mos. old." "WE must be freakishly over-adoring parents who don't have any perspective or know what we are doing."

i have issues with comparing myself to others, but in this case, with bb, i feel proud of how i have done. he's anything but spoiled and dependent.

and today he barely noticed we were leaving. he had a great time and so did we, because we were all ready for it. it was no big deal. that's the thing, i think timing is everything with kids. WHEN is he ready to learn how to sleep through the night? WHEN should i stop nursing? WHEN should we get a babysitter? there's no right answer. no one knows what is right for you and your family, but you. that's what i have learned. so, inner critic be dammed! go sit in the corner and think about what you've done.

6 comments:

April said...

Kate, I'm all too familiar with the inner critic. Sounds like you crossed a major road there! One thing that helped me more than I ever would have believed, is giving the voices in my head the freedom to express themselves on paper.

I gave labels to each one and said, "Go for it. Tell me what you really think." So the Critical Parent got her say, quickly followed by the Rebel, the Child, the Victim, and the Compassionate Adult.

When I didn't try to stop even the harshest comments or childish fears, it was amazing. For once the "personalities" in my mind were not told to stuff it and actually ran out of steam on their own. No comment was rejected or ignored - and if the "personalities" wanted to argue or yell with one another, they could! Compassion seemed to be a natural part of the process. It's not like the tirades went on and on...

The result...freedom. Internally, I felt spacious and light, as if a heavy load I had never been aware of was lifted. Letting myself get it all out felt incredibly kind. To me. Whoever that is. LOL.

And, ah, no... I don't think I'm schizo...

Katie said...

People comstantly told us that we should leave Jack with other people more often (pretty hard to do when no family was around!). Now we leave him with a friend are family member once or twice a month and he is FINE! He loves it! No seperation anxiety, no crying, all waves and smiles! I think that going with your instincts and ignoring outside influences (and the inner critic that they lure out) is the best way to go. Jack is fiercely independent and I think it actually has a lot to do with me always being here. I hope you had a great time out!

beth said...

Oh, I so need to remind myself of this. On so many fronts (sleep mostly) I worry about what other people - moms, family members, friends, total strangers - think and say about how we raise Sam. It's so hard to not let those voices creep in and compare ourselves to what others are doing.

It's great that you guys got to go out - monumental indeed. And isn't it great that it was fun for all parties because you knew what was right for your family.

Zoe said...

Oh my gosh!! I totally agree! Mom knows what's best and no one else can challenge that!! Having an autistic child, it is hard not to compare with other children/ moms. Why isn't he doing this? Why am I not doing that? Ultimately, we are the best Momma's for our babies- that is why they are ours!!

Mary Hinkle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Hinkle said...

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