Talk some sense into me! (Re leaving baby)(23 Posts)
My lovely daughter (pfb) is 5.5 months. She's the best thing that ever happened to me and as I'm on maternity leave just now, we do everything together.
I'm going back to work later this year (going back part time - 3 days per week) and I have a nursery sorted for her. It's a really lovely nursery with a great reputation and we're delighted with it.
However, I seem to be having some real issues leaving my baby with anyone other than my mum and dad. The baby absolutely adores my mum, who dances attention on her, sings to her, plays games etc. I have even left her there overnight and she got on really well.
I'm really struggling with leaving her with my in-laws, truth be told. I don't know why, it makes no logical sense. They are good people, they love the bones of her, they are kind and generous. They maybe aren't so playful as my parents are, but they're good to her.
It's becoming a bit of an issue because MIL is clearly beginning to realise I don't like leaving the baby with her and so is becoming a bit more forthright about asking to take her. I end up feeling railroaded into it.
I just don't feel that the baby knows my in-laws as well as she knows my parents, who know what she wants and when etc. My husband thinks I'm being unfair, and that we need to give her the opportunity to bond with his parents as well as she has with mine. My mum also says that I need to get her used to being left with other people, as its "not very healthy" for her to be with me all the time and will make my return to work more difficult.
I know deep down that my mum and my husband are entirely right. But it makes me so sad, being away from her. I almost feel like I'm betraying her by walking off and leaving her. Last time I left her with MIL I went home and cried buckets. My husband was like (she was absolutely fine btw).
I know I'm being ridiculous. How do I get better at this?? Scheduled to leave her with MIL on Friday (railroaded into leaving her for a full morning rather than just an hour....) and I feel sick thinking about it
I should also add that i don't particularly enjoy leaving the baby with my mum and dad. I don't enjoy my time without her and I only do it when really necessary. However, I don't worry about her the same way when she's with them, and I don't cry.
I could not have left dd (pfb) at that age so I take my hat off to you. I couldn't have left ds as he had severe separation anxiety!
Can you spend some time with your ILs and DD all together and encourage/recognise the bond they have. It's okay to build up to leaving her with your ILs. An hour at first. Then two. Then a whole morning. Don't feel pushed into doing it all at once.
I do think it's right that you encourage an equal relationship with both sets of grandparents. However, leaving your baby is ruddy tough and I completely understand why you might find it easier with your own kin.
Don't be afraid to be open with your ILs. Tell them how hard you're finding it leaving her. Ask them to be patient. Ask them to work with you. It's better to be honest than let resentment grow.
I've never found it easy to leave my dc and my own parents and ILs have been fabulous. In fact MIL in particular says she was exactly the same and makes so much effort to send me messages/pictures of what the dc are doing and is really reassuring about the whole thing.
Speak up. Your baby is still quite tiny and of course you struggle.
I felt pretty similar if I'm honest. I felt weirdly territorial and struggled not to let my feelings show towards my ILs - I think MIL realised though, and it has made things a little tense between us, more than they needed to be.
When DD was little, I would physically tense up if they visited, hated them holding her and being in her face, would get pissed off if they turned up at bad times, basically just felt completely suffocated and quite panicky in their presence.
By the time DS came along, I was much better about it all. They are good grandparents, but a lot less forthcoming than my own parents.
And I wonder now, looking back: I felt they would somehow be on my territory or take over, but what could they have possibly taken from me? I was her mother, nothing could ever change that.
Does it help a little bit to know that it's not just you, and that it will pass?
When are you going back to work OP. Bearing in mind that a 5.5 month old baby will be a lot different to say a 9-10 month old. My DD is 5 months & I've left her for a total of 4 hours with my parents & 2 hours with my in-laws. Mainly because she's EBF & a bottle refuser to be fair but I know I wouldn't be happy leaving her overnight with anyone at this stage (even though I trust my parents & in-laws implicitly). I'm going back to work FT when she is 10 months & leaving her at nursery/with the in-laws (50:50 split). At the moment I feel fine about that because I know in 5 months time she'll be so much bigger & more independent.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if it's another few months before you go back to work then try not to worry too much about it because your baby will be so different by then. Does that make sense?
You need to allow them some practice babysitting sessions in preparation. Sounds like you would all benefit from a few dry runs.
I remember crying my eyes out after looking round the lovely nursery I choose for dd when she was about 3 months old. When she started at 10 months it wasn't anywhere near as bad ( still cried but not the uncontrollable howling that first visit brought on!)
Agree with saul good, tell ILs how you feel, acknowledge that you recognise you're being a bit OTT and turn it into a team effort for them to help you wean yourself away from your baby. I felt the same when I had to hand mine over and now wonder if it was the hormones and perhaps a bit of shock as in - what do I do now? All you've done and thought about day and night since she was born is how to care for her every need from one minute to the next. It's so intense, you possibly feel like a spare part not being with her whiles she is awake. You have to just do it and force yourself to overcome your separation anxiety from her. After a few sessions you'll be fine, if it helps do a routine list and joke about it as you hand the baby over with it. You will need to stress that you know MIL doesn't need it, to avoid possible offence, but handing it over with the baby will help you to relax and let go a bit. Good luck for Friday, do let us know how it goes.
I was exactly the same, it is very natural to feel the way you do because you have bonded with your baby. I would start gradually by visiting with your dd and letting them spend time bonding with her and getting to know her routine. This will put your mind at rest and then once you have gotten used to it and then maybe start by leaving for short periods of time and gradually leaving her there for longer until you feel comfortable. It will get easier op
Why make yourself leave your baby if you don't want to? I had to leave mine with a cm at that age but I absolutely hated it and in retrospect shouldn't have done it.
Think everyone should just let you do what you want - she's your baby.
I just don't feel that the baby knows my in-laws as well as she knows my parents,
Well, if you are reluctant to let them have her, they won't know her as well, will they? Suggest you leave her with them occasionally........then you will have 2 sets of grandparents who can love and look after her.
Gosh. I felt like this too. I always thought it was just me and that I was suffering some sort of PND. All of what DaysAreWhereWeLive said. Didn't feel it so much with my daughter who came second though.
I never even managed to leave my children alone with their grandparents at this stage. Do you have to? It seems so early. Can't the grandparents just see your baby whilst you're there too?
You certainly shouldn't feel rail roaded into leaving her with anyone speaking from experience there's nothing worse than being sat at home doing nothing wanting to go and get your child but feel you can't .
As other pp have suggested try doing something with your in laws altogether so you can see for yourself how your dd and in laws react with each other it will make it easier in the future for you to leave her with them. Also explain to them that you do feel anxious leaving her at the moment but you'll work on it in your own time and to bare with you.
Never leave your baby when they request it only leave her when it suits you. Start off small leave her for an hour whilst you do the food shop and put it all away then get her or go get your hair or nails done then ho back for her. It does get easier and in a few years when your dd is a toddler causing mayhem you'll be grateful of the fact you can ring your parents or in laws and say I'm dropping dd of for a few hours whilst I get some sanity back
Unless your in laws are drug taking violent alcoholics then they deserve to have a lovely relationship with your dd and down the line both your dd and in laws will thank you for allowing this to happen. My dcs have a wonderful relationship with both sets of gp it's lovely to see how much love there Is between them. Admittedly most of us find it easier to leave our children with our own mum's rather than someone else think it's totally natural for some reason.
Take your time don't feel pushed into anything
It is great that your baby has 2 sets of loving and responsible gps. Give her and them the change to bond! Everyone will be happier including you, i know it doesnt feel like it now but it will be fine.
I didn't want to leave my babies with anyone either, even my own parents it was a struggle. I think it is natural and normal to feel protective. If you don't want to leave dd with anyone, then don't, it is your choice.
Cancel Friday and then ask dh to explain to your mil that whilst the baby is so young you would prefer to be with her, and you feel like that even with your own parents. They can spend lots of time with your baby when you are together...there is no need to leave her. Don't feel pressurised into anything, it is your baby.
I didn't leave either of my babies with anyone when they were very young. Once they were around three/four years old I felt this was the right time, and it worked beautifully. They have grown into confident and happy children, and have a great relationship with their grandparents and everyone around them.
If you can extend your maternity leave or do not need to go back to work, consider your options carefully and enjoy this special time with your baby, she won't be tiny for long
Op how dou you feel about leaving your baby with your oh? Maybe if the three of them (dad and gp) look after the baby you will feel better since he knows her better.
I didn't leave my baby with anyone at that age, except my sister once, out of necessity and even then I found it hard.
You don't need to leave your baby with anyone.
No one should be pressuring you to do it either, nor railroading you into leaving yor child longer than you want to. You need to nip this in the bud IMO.
I still struggle to leave ds with anyone except my sister (so I generally don't) and he's 18 months!!. Your baby's still only very little and I think it's perfectly natural to want to keep her close.
Nolim's idea is really good - could your DH go too? Or spend some time on a weekend with his parents and your baby whilst you have a nice bath and rest or do whatever you fancy.
I was very similar and I think given other's responses it's a common thing. But you should not feel forced into handing your baby over!
At this age, apart from the feeding, she should be fine with the ILs, it will be trickier when separation anxiety kicks in if she doesn't know them as well. My DD (17 months) is much more familiar with my parents than ILs and consequently it's been self-perpetuating that I now wouldn't feel as comfortable leaving her with the ILs! There is a practical factor that they live much further away so it's not all been me being PFB!
And you've done very well that you've managed to leave her overnight with your parents!
No one should force you but inability to leave my baby with anyone was a symptom of my anxiety.
If it's irrational worry not missing her that's the problem it might not magically lift as she gets older.
You need some support (PP have suggested good methods) to alleviate fear/nerves.
At 9 months I can now leave dd with three people with only a few phonecall (and many texts) but that was after I realised it was not affection but fear that I was feeling when away from her.
Agree with Squizita, it's perfectly normal to miss your baby when they are away from you. To sit crying with fear at the thought? Might be a bit more than that. I also have more of an issue leaving DS with my in Laws, I trust my parents with him absolutely and am rarely ever worried about them having him for a few hours. We left him with in laws for the day when we were attending an event and I was stressing for ages in the run up. But they are his grandparents, they are kind, we are a close family so I'd hate to be so blatantly in favour of one set over the other.
One thing I will say is that the difference between my DS at 5.5 months and now (10.5) is huge. Then he would only sleep on me, would only be carried in a baby carrier as he cried in the pram and he fed every two hours and slept a lot. Leaving him was difficult, he felt so attached to me and so in need of me. But now he is so much bigger, he eats well, he's happy being independent and cruising around, and is more curious and interacts so much with others it's actually a joy seeing him with other people, he has so much fun. He seems to learn something new every time he has some time with grandparents. And truly it's nice for me to have a break. He's happy and chilled when I leave him. Nursery settling in has gone well, he grins when I take him in the room, they say he's a happy boy who enjoys himself. I enjoy a few hours of freedom (work doesn't start for a couple of weeks!) but I'm rushing to get him and grinning at the thought of seeing him. That's fine and normal. You will get there, if you have to go to work and DD has to go to nursery you don't have to sit now and cry at the thought, you may feel differently then. Maybe go to your inlaws on Friday and stay for a bit, say to them you are having a bit of sadness about it but maybe try to pop off for an hour or two.
I think it's totally fine and normal to feel like that. I didn't like leaving my baby with anyone. She was bf but really just used that as an excuse. At that age I just felt she needed me. As she has got older I feel happier leaving her.
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