Leaving your Child in Someone Else’s Care

When I agreed to send my two year old daughter to the beach with my mother, sister and brother-in-law, I felt completely confident. But as they drove away and I went back into my conspicuously empty house I began to feel doubts. I called my husband at work and cried. I felt ridiculous. I rarely have a day to myself and I can distinctly remember several occasions when I would have given my right arm for a day off from Mommy duty. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and I love being at home with her, but sometimes I need a break. Yet there is something stressful about leaving your child in someone else’s care, even someone you completely trust.  It probably has something to do with feeling the need for the illusion of control. When my daughter is with me, I think that I control her environment therefore she is safe. But the truth is, it’s mostly in my head. My daughter has fallen down a short flight of stairs, off the couch and smacked her head on the edge of a table, all while my husband or I was standing right there. This is not because we don’t pay attention, but because with kids things sometimes happen fast and as a parent, whether we want to believe it or not, we aren’t super heroes. I don’t move faster than a speeding bullet, even when I see my daughter lose her balance and lunge for her. On the bright side, my daughter is a pretty tough kid. Now if she falls down, she gets up and keeps going. On rare occasions where she does cry for a minute she gets over it fast. I’m come to accept that as a parent I try to be careful, we baby proof and take other precautions, but the truth is, things will happen that are out of my control, whether I am there or not.  She came home from her day at the beach tired and excited but completely unscathed. She can’t stop talking about how much fun she had. So, as it turns out, my daughter enjoyed a day off from me as much as I did from here. Next time maybe we’ll all go together.


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