In my whole life there was 3 people that my mom would let babysit me: my dad, my older sister, and my older brother. With that said I had absolutely no memories in being watched by someone that wasn’t a member of my immediate family. My mom was a stay at home mom and was there at home with me everyday. I remember having friends that would go to after school programs because their parents had to work and my mom would explain to me that she chose to be a stay at home so that she didn’t miss a single moment with me.
At the time it was a little bit confusing to me why anyone’s parents would choose to work past the time their kid got out of school. As I got older I grew to learn very quickly that it’s not as simple as choosing to be a stay at home mom rather than work. Being an adult is expensive, and also being a parent is expensive. I realized my friend’s parents had to work and that it wasn’t as simple as not wanting to “miss a single moment.”
The first major decision I made when I had found out I was pregnant with Lila, was to do everything in power to be a stay at home working mom. I didn’t know what I would do from home and I didn’t know if it would work out long term, but I knew one thing, I didn’t want to miss a moment.
Fortunately, 5 months into my pregnancy I was running a profitable online store that had left me with an opportunity to be able to get work with a view more beautiful and more breathtaking from any office. My sleeping baby. As well as the comforting thought that I was the one that got her to sleep and I was the one she was going to wake up to.
Lila was about 4 months old when we left her for the first time. We left her with Jake’s mom at her house while Jake and I went to dinner down the street. From the time I walked out the front door to the time I walked back in the door was about 45 minutes.
In those 45 minutes we were gone I found it impossible to relax. I was distraught the whole dinner and finally asked Jake how he felt. This may seem like a funny answer to you, but we both thought this dinner alone was unnecessary.
I’m not saying that date night is unnecessary and I am not saying time alone from you kids is unnecessary. What I’m saying is that a 45 minute dinner to the two of us is nothing we couldn’t handle without our little girl with us. We took her out to dinner with us all the time, most of the time she would sleep through the whole meal, and other times she would want to be held and Jake would let me eat while holding her and then we would switch and I would hold her while he ate. This was never stressful for us and Lila always behaved as long as we held her.
On our way home from dinner that night we decided not to do this again because instead of having a nice dinner just the two of us, we felt like our little restaurant buddy was missing.
It was well over a year before my mother in law watched her again, and that time was for what I consider a good reason. To this day Lila has been watched by someone other than Jake a total of 5 times and altogether less than 10 hours.
At the end of each day, even if there were things I could have done better, I know we spent it together. I know she safe, I know she was fed, I know she loved, and I know every time she called “mama” that I answered in a heartbeat. That’s why I choose not to leave my daughter with a babysitter.
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