Dear Crissy

I’m supposed to LEAVE?

Because I run my own business and work from home, I’ve been really fortunate in never needing to take my kids to daycare or babysitters.

That said, Evan will be starting a summer preschool class tomorrow (just a one-hour class, one day per week), and as it will be the first time I’ve ever dropped him off with anyone who wasn’t an immediate family member. I’m not sure how he’s going to handle it, and honestly, I’m a little anxious about the whole thing myself.

I'm Supposed to LEAVE?

My parents are the only people we’ve ever left the kids with, and I’m wondering if I’ve set myself up for a major event when I take Evan to his class tomorrow.

We’ve been discussing it for weeks, and he wavers between excitement and anxiety, even asking me, “But, why do the mothers leave their children at the class? Shouldn’t the mothers stay?”

Am I over-protective? You bet.

I don’t know if it’s been a detriment, I just know I’ve done what I thought was right, and what I’ve been comfortable with. I’ve been a little more lax with Kara, but generally, I’m a pretty high-strung mom when it comes to my kids’ proximity to me!

I know that they are their own little people, that they need some space to grow and explore, but they are also the most precious things in the world to me and I like to keep them close.

Parents, do you remember the first time you dropped your baby or child off at a daycare or school? Am I crazy to have anxiety over this?

    16 Comments on “I’m supposed to LEAVE?”

  1. I have an idea of how you feel! I’ve only left my kids (4 and 18 mo) with my mom, and the older one has been with my in laws. The longest my daughter has been away from me is two nights when my husband and I wanted a mini babymoon pregnant with our second.

    I’m very hands of when it comes to them playing on their own, getting messy and dirty, and just being kids. But I’m not comfortable leaving my kids with strangers. Don’t know if I’ll ever be! Eventually I’m sure I’ll warm up to it, but even then, I’m only willing to leave them with aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I think it is GOOD for them to be close, I wholeheartedly believe that the closer the children are to their parents (physically, emotionally), the more comfortable they will be with others down the road. It gives them a secure base, a trust that’s established, knowing that someone has always been there and they weren’t just tossed from one care provider to another through childhood.

    We are homeschooling though and I’m all for classes, play dates, field trips, plenty of opportunities to be with other kids. My daughter is actually a social butterfly when she is with peers, but has a really hard time with other adults (like she will hide for an hour before warming up to saying ‘hi’ to her uncle). In this case it is more important for me to teach her to be more comfortable around adults since she has no problems with peers :)

  2. I felt exactly the same way you do. The only people that ever watched my girls were my parents or close friends. It is so hard leaving them! I just sent my oldest daughter to college for the first time this past year and I had all the same emotions flooding me. But, it does get better and will work out. Just be prepared to cry in the car!!

  3. yes, and mine didn’t even say goodbye. **he’s now 17 (youngest is 8)** it’s not easy, but he’ll be fine. and, it’s okay if you shed a tear or two. I did.

  4. Well I don’t have kids but I have a Niece and Nephew I adore and love to death and have never let my sister have a baby sitter, ever! You girls make me proud, in a day and age where there are some crazy people and some children are not as lucky to have parents that watch their children as close as you do, and they deserve that! On my niece’s first day at kindergarten she went for 2 hours and my sister who is a teacher had to leave her at the day care there first because she is a teacher and had to be at school to get ready to teach her class, she didn’t want to ask me because I live about 40 min from her and when she told me it was the day before the first class and I had am appointment I had waited 3 months for but hey that was it I phoned the specialist, made my apologies and showed up at my sister’s house and when she seen me she cried with relief and I told her I would always be there and I have never let them down! I sat the two hours and waited outside the school for the 2 hours she was there (I peeked through the window where the class was too) so over protective at this young age, never! Now a days if I had a child they would never be able to do a sleep over because no matter how nice someone seems you just never know, it happened to one of my friends kids where the uncle came for a visit. Anyway I did the same for my nephew too! So koodo’s to you great mom’s who actually care and love and protect your children as much as possible :)

  5. My son is 4 and I also had never left him with anyone but family. Not even friends. For the first two years it was me at home then when husband was unemployed I went back to work. Just a few months ago my husband got a job..YAY! But then my heart sank cause I knew the day had come I would have to leave my baby in someone else’s care..anxiety doesn’t even cover it. Luckily we were able to get him in where his cousin goes. I was still anxious but this place is so great. They are kind and caring lovely people. I still call on him a few times a day but not every 45 min like I did the first month. Lol they probly hate me :) but he loves it. And I’ve found that he is so much more independant and shares better and is learning so much from the teachers. So now the anxiety has receded and I’m a happy mama:)

  6. You’re definitely not crazy. I was super nervous and anxious to leave my daughter at daycare not only for the first day but for a few weeks. My husband worked close to her daycare and would normally drop her off. I missed her like crazy. The teachers were great at sending pictures and updates at least once a day for a week and then randomly or if I asked them to. It will get easier. You will trust that he is in good hands once you meet and interact with the teachers.I hope he does great at drop off. I’m sure he will. Try to keep occupied for the hour so it goes quickly. Good luck to you and Evan.

  7. The first time I dropped my daughter off anywhere other than with my mom (and even that didn’t happen very often) was her first day of Kindergarten. She was SO ready and she ran off all smiles… and never looked back. Me on the other hand? I bawled my eyes out and hubby had to practically drag me from the room/school… okay home since its a short walk from our house lol. I hated every second of it and had major anxiety (2 weeks into the school year she had her first grand mal seizure, she has epilepsy – I was a MESS). I cried for weeks and spent a lot of time hanging out at the school (my son was in a VPK program a that school 3hrs a day). Thankfully the school was amazing, her K teacher was actually the mother of someone I went to school with and my niece & nephew also had her as a teacher.

  8. For me it was taking them to camp for the first time. I wanted to stay at a hotel near there just to make sure they were OK. So we always did that for ONE night after we dropped them off just in case. Turns out they loved the camp and went for the next 4 years in a row, 3 weeks at a time. Still was always worried — but felt comfortable with the camps ability to keep them safe.

  9. Thousands of Moms have left their children in the hands of day cares, pre-school, day camps, 1st day of school, etc. without any damage to them. Usually, within minutes they are adapting and don’t want to leave because they are having so much fun socializing with their peers. Moms are the sufferers but when they go back to pick up their kids, they realize it was a good decision they made.

  10. You’re not crazy at all. I remember dropping Jas off. We had to drop her off in carpool. Parents were not allowed to go in. I had my husband ride with me. It was so hard, but she ended up having a great time and couldn’t wait to go back.

  11. I am facing the SAME situation very soon! My daughter has only ever been left with my parents and we are going to look at a preschool tomorrow to see if we like it. She is an only child right now and I know she would LOVE to be around a lot of other children. That being said, I am riddled with anxiety and a touch of guilt for having to leave her. It’s a completely normal mama feeling (not necessarily over protective at all) and will feel better once you’ve taken him. It’s the unknown that is frightening–especially when it comes to our precious little ones. <3

  12. No, you are not crazy to feeling like this.
    I felt the same way when I dropped my #1 at day care for the first time. My best advice, is to stay with him for the 1st 10-15 minutes to make him comfortable, then just say you have to go to the bathroom and that you’ll be right back. I would highly suggest not dropping him off quickly and running away. That will make you feel horrible and put unnecessary stress on him. It’s just for 1 hour, so very little time if he is comfortable.

    With that said, when it was time for #2 to start school, it was a completely different story: He said “BYE mom, blew me a kiss, and yelled, as he is running away: Don’t come back too soon, I want to play all day”!

    I would see how Evan fits in, how he’s reacting and go from that. Also, don’t forget that he feels your emotions, if you are nervous he’ll feel it as well, and wonder whats wrong…

    Good luck! and remember that kids (usually) adapt really fast to new situation!

  13. I’ve been there and done that. I worked as a Preschool Teacher before becoming a Mom, so I think that helped my insecurity about leaving my child for the first time. I recall as a teacher many times that the child cried when the parent left and then was perfectly fine as soon as Mom was out of sight.

    I remember feeling anxious about leaving my child and also little jealous of the teacher who would get to experience things with my child that I couldn’t. But I tried to keep the focus positive and not transfer my anxiety to my child.

    It was always helpful to me when the preschool teacher wrote or told me about something they did in class that day so I had something to ask my child about their day.

    Just be extra kind to yourself and your child tomorrow. It’s O.K. for him to cry, and it will tear at your heart strings if he does, but it just shows a healthy attachment to you (not that kids that don’t cry aren’t attached, they just show their anxiety a different way). Reassure him that you’ll be back and then show him you keep your word by showing up on time to pick him up. It’s also O.K. for you to cry after you drop him off. I know I did. As a matter of fact I cry just about every year at the first day of school and my oldest is in Middle School now!

  14. my son was 1… I left him with a family friend… I had a meeting at work I couldn’t take him with me… I pulled over about 8 houses down the street and bawled … they are only ours for a little while… we have to do what’s best for them… just wait until first day of school… :((

  15. I was “lucky” in that I wasn’t able to drop my daughter off to her first day of pre-school myself. I run a home daycare, so it worked out that my husband took her. I’m not gonna lie… I cried! (After she was out the door, of course. ;) ) I’m in the same boat, haven’t left my kids with a babysitter aside from my Mom and Brother. She starts Kindergarten this fall… I’ll be taking her… We’ll see how it goes!

  16. “Am I over-protective? You bet. ”

    Me too, mama. You have to be in this world. “Free range parent” is not how you’d describe me! Sure, I let them explore and get messy, and do things on their own — but I’m right there available in case they need me.

    My kids are 8 and 2 and I’ve never left them except with immediate family members (my mom, mother-in-law, and my sister). Even then, I’m calling to check in every so often. They’re little for such a short time, I don’t see anything wrong with treasuring every moment. — and with all the terrible things that happen, I think in this day and age you can’t be too careful.

    That said, I think one hour, one day a week is a good start to get your toe wet in the world of letting them spread their wings a bit!

    Personally, I think your little one will be fine — you will be a different story! I wouldn’t be surprised if you sat in your car the entire hour outside, counting the minutes until you can come get him — oh wait, that would be me LOL The first time anyway!

    I’m sure it’s gonna be awesome, though! Boy, this mommy stuff can be a tough gig, right?


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