Chris turned 32 on Saturday, so we headed up to Portland on Friday to spend time as a family. When we got home on Saturday, Chris and I left the kids to go to a movie. I asked a wonderful teenager from our church to come over. I warned her in advance that Miriam might cry the entire time as she is not used to being away from us, so she may want to bring her little sister as extra support. She did decide to bring her little sister with her, and I had them come 1/2  hour early so they could hold Miriam while we were there. Chris walked Miriam to sleep in the stroller right before we left, and we smiled and said a little prayer in our heads that she would stay asleep for awhile as we walked out the door.

Chris and I enjoyed our movie and came home and got the following report that: Miriam slept in the stroller for about 20 minutes before she woke up. She then cried for almost the whole time with a few breaks of temporary calmness. We came home to a Miriam finally conked out being held on the couch. Gabe and Sofia were in bed and did great. Sofia was trying to help the sitters know what to do, so she drew a list with pictures of what they needed to do to make Miriam happy.

I’m not sure of what is happening in all of the pictures, but it made me laugh that in number 4, it looks like the sitter is crying. Poor girls… I bet they may have wanted to cry after 1.5 hours of holding a screaming baby. I thought that it was so cute that Sofia wanted to help and she thought that she had answers that the sitters needed.

So I will totally admit that I am really weird about leaving my babies with sitters. I know that it is time to start getting her used to sitters as Chris and I need time with each other, but it is very emotional for me to come back to a baby who has been screaming. It makes me feel bad for everyone. Bad for the baby. Bad for the sitters. Bad for Sofia and Gabe that Miriam  took most of the sitters’ attention. All of my babies have been like this,but once they all have hit about 3, they love to be watched (although Gabe will only be left at someone’s house if he knows them well). Anyone else have a really hard time leaving babies with sitters? I know that Miriam is going through some separation anxiety right now, but I know that she is used to being with her mama almost 24/7, so it is just going to take some time for her to get used to me leaving her with anyone (besides Chris.. she usually is pretty happy with him when I am away or working). My friend Becky watched Miriam a couple of weeks ago so that I could volunteer in Sofia’s class, and Miriam cried a ton with her too. I think that a key will be to minimize how many people watch Miriam so that she can really warm up and bond with a couple of people. It is hard for me to want to leave her again soon knowing that she will cry, but I know that she just has to get used to other people, and that I am starting to need short breaks from her.  I would love to hear your experiences of leaving your crying kiddos. Also, just out of curiosity, what is the going rate where you live for a 15 year old per hour?

Wendy M. - October 31, 2011 - 6:32 am

It is really hard to leave your baby when you know s/he is going to cry. I think it’s smart to do it, though…I’ve seen parents who were stuck with a three or four year-old too terrified to go to preschool because they never left their child with anyone. I think it also just gets harder (on the parents) to leave them for the first time if you wait too long. We’ve been fortunate…our kids have never really had much separation anxiety (and now they look forward to having a sitter!)
We’ve found the going rate to vary greatly amongst the sitters we’ve hired…anywhere from $5 to $10 an hour for both kids.

camie - October 31, 2011 - 7:05 am

I can soooo relate! I’m leaving my youngest kids this week to go to the temple and I already have anxiety leaving my “baby” who just turned TWO! Needless to say we haven’t gotten out much but I hope we’re turning a corner. We need OUT!

adrienne w - October 31, 2011 - 8:54 am

My kids weren’t ever really too bad that way, so I never really struggled with it. Vienna had a bit of a harder time when she was a baby, but we often put her to sleep before we left so that usually the babysitter didn’t have to worry about it. We also had a babysitter that we started having on a regular basis and Vienna loved her. We’ve been pretty lucky since moving here because we get two 12 year old girls from church who are best friends and love to babysit together. Then I never feel to bad if Geneva needs more attention, because there are two of them to deal with it. We pay them $10 an hour and they split it. It’s actually a good deal. In our last city we paid $7 an hour. I think it’s good that you realize it’s important to go out regardless of how hard it is. It will get easier. It helps if your babysitter is pretty laid back, because then they aren’t as stressed by the crying. But I guess you don’t want them to be TOO laid back!

Kim - October 31, 2011 - 1:23 pm

I had one of those babysitting nights when I babysat. I took a friend with me because the youngest of three had never eaten anything but breast milk straight from mommy. And I was to feed him his first bottle! He basically cried for five hours straight and then about 15 minutes before his parents got home he finally fell asleep – from shear exhaustion I’m sure!

I heard between $7.50 and $10 an hour – depending on number of kids and extra duties. That makes it so hard to hire a sitter for an evening out!! We have yet to get a sitter for our three-year-old. Fortunately we have family close and they keep her. But we need to bite the bullet too and find a regular.

I just saw someone with a similar problem and the suggestions were to explain leaving the room but let the child know you’ll be back. Then come back. Lengthen the amount of time you are gone and always, always let them know you are leaving. It’s better to tell them and let them know you will be back than for them to discover it and be surprised. That just adds to the trauma. Hope it all goes well!

kara - October 31, 2011 - 8:19 pm

My gut is to not want to leave her again after that, but I know that I must. Maybe you will be the lucky one who watches her someday :). I’ll provide earplugs :)
You can do it!!
Way to go for already having babysitters!
We are thinking of doing that with a neighbor girl babysitter. We were thinking we would have her come for 15 minutes at first and then slowly building from there.
Yes, it will be hard but needed time with Chris!