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Left toddler with childminder for first time today, feeling very strange ...

(7 Posts)
mummylonglegs Wed 26-Jan-05 20:40:55

Dd, 2.3 spent her first solo hour with a childminder today. We originally planned to get her into a nursery for a few morning sessions when she was 2 years old, prior to that she's been with me and dp 2 days when I work. But we couldn't find any decent nurseries in our area and had 1 very bad experience while settling dd in. So I turned to a woman I've known since dd was tiny who became a childminder after having her own dd, 2 months older than dd. She's a lovely gentle woman and her dd is gorgeous. She only has 1 other boy part time so dd will be with him and the minder's dd one morning and just with the minder and her dd the other morning.

I took her to settle in last week and this morning left her there for an hour. She didn't cry when I left, just waved 'bye bye' and seemed to be ok apart from bumping her head at one point and crying 'slightly excessively', she also wouldn't let the minder change her nappy. But apart from that she played, chatted, had a snack and all went well.

So can anyone tell me why I feel so damned depressed and pathetic this afternoon? I've wanted to do this so I can have a morning's break and so that dd can mix with some other kids without me around as she's an only child. And this situation seems about as good as we'll get right now. But I just feel like bursting into tears and incredibly pathetically protective. Dd was very tired when I got her home and took a while to settle for her nap, was very clingy. She's been the same all afternoon so I guess she's got some anxieties about being left even though she's not showing it directly.

Will this all just get easier and normal? And howlong will it take. I want to crawl into bed like a truly absurd weak wet lettuce this evening.

I had dd quite late in life (37) after thinking I'd never be able to have kids due to health reasons so she's always been especially precious to me. Am I going to be always so clingy myself and unable to let her go?

Sorry to sound so utterly useless. Would appreciate any comments, ideas, tellings off that come to your minds.

RTKangaMummy Wed 26-Jan-05 20:56:28

I was a nanny for years and am now childminder

How you feel is completly normal

DD will settle down really soon am sure

kinderbob Wed 26-Jan-05 21:00:09

Oh honey, I felt exactly the same after dropping off my ds at his preschool for the first time. He goes a couple of afternoons a week. I felt sad that for the first time I was missing part of his life, and felt bad that he wouldn't eat anything.

But then I realised that he was in safe hands and that I had to get on and enjoy the time apart - or it really would be a waste. We just had a whole week on holiday with ds walking to the door every morning and asking if he could go to preschool.

It does get better, but you don't have to do it if you still feel like this in a few weeks.

mummylonglegs Wed 26-Jan-05 21:05:39

Thanks kb. Yes, you've hit at least one of the nails on the head, it's the thought that she will experience things I don't know about or can't ask dp about. And that I won't have total control over her and her safety. I give her such a lot of attention (probably way too much!) and it's not possible for someone else to do that which is, I know, a good thing.

I feel like I'm just babbling on here. Sorry. At least I've stopped blubbing on.

zippy539 Wed 26-Jan-05 21:09:08

Mummylonglegs - please don't feel bad. I think it is inevitable that you feel weird and dislocated after today - leaving them is soooo difficult. I don't have any brilliant advice - but someone else will. All I can tell you is that when ds started nursery at 3 (just regular pre-school, five mornings a week) , he had a miserable time at first, acted very clingy and I ended up crying buckets everytime I left him. It was the most stressful time of my parenting career (can I hear the sniggers of parents of teenagers )

Now, if I had taken that decision off my own back for allegedly 'selfish'* reasons (ie because I needed to work, needed a break) then I would have pulled him out of there because I would have piled a whole lot of guilt on myself - BUT I was forced to leave him there because it was an official kind of thing. Now he loves it. He is making friends. He has time off from his little sister and is doing brilliantly. I'm so glad I was forced to give him time to get used to it.

This is a bit muddled - what I am saying is, that regarding child care it is so easy to feel unreasonably guilty. If you are completely happy with child minder - which it seems you are, then give yourself and your dd time to get used to the idea without adding any extra pressure to yourself. If you have confidence in the carer then you will benefit from the time off and she will benefit from the company of her peers. It is only two mornings a week (is that right?). But it will take some getting used to for both of you. Give yourself that time and see how you feel in a couple of months. My guess is that by then you'll both be happy with the arrangement.

*putting a foot note in here before I start a flame war - I'm not suggesting that either of those reasons are in fact 'selfish' - just trying to make a distinction between electing to put your child into nursery/ to a child minder and being told to do it by the state!

mummylonglegs Wed 26-Jan-05 21:16:54

Thanks zippy. Yes, I know what you mean about the 'selfish' reasons part and I am struggling with that. The thing is I've had very poor health for a long time, 5 years before dd was born, and I do find that doing effectively a 7-day week is taking its toll on me. I work outside home for 2 days and dp's been having dd which means he has to go out to work the other 5 days so I literally never stop and we have very little family time together. This is ideally an attempt to stop this problem. BUT because it's a 'choice' rather than an 'official' thing I do feel like I'm chancing fate or somethng like that. That it will be my fault if there's an accident, my selfishness will have caused it.

Oh, misery me.

zippy539 Thu 27-Jan-05 08:12:17

I think you have to reverse your thinking then! It sounds to me like you are doing the absolute best thing for your family as a whole - which can only have a very positive knock on effect for your dd.

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