Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Adventures in letting go

Remember another thing on my list of 36 is to learn to let go?

Yes, well, I'm doing well in some areas (business), okay in others (things that are not good for me) and quite badly in others (babies!!!).

Fortunately, I remembered my ESTJ profile in the Motherstyles book said exactly this so I take comfort in that fact. That I'm not too weird. After all, 6% of women have this style. I just googled and it's the 2nd most common MALE style. Hmmm.

But back to the babies.

I have now "let go" four times:

1. When we took them to daycare for those 3 hours in December
2 - 4 Leaving them in the children's ministry at church

So after this post, D and I started thinking.

I will admit that I pushed a LOT.

But finally we decided that we needed to start letting the kids go to children's church so we could go to big church and enjoy the message.

I especially felt like I needed it (because I'm ministering again through those talks I'm doing) and told D that if he was uncomfortable then we'd go to the family room in the morning and I'd have to make a single trek out to the church on Sunday evenings.

I don't think he was too keen on doing the bedtime routine by himself :) so he agreed to at least try.

"What's the worse that can happen?" - this is a sentence I use quite often actually................. :)

They have now been on 6, 20 and 27 March. On 13th the kids were sick as was D.

Day 1 was actually the easiest, maybe because there was only one other toddler there.

They screamed when we left but I felt okay because there were enough workers to each console a baby.

Day 2 was worse - lots more kids and lots more screaming. The workers distracted them with their snacks....

When I got there (I'm so impatient that I leave the main auditorium before the closing prayer and RACE towards my kids), they were walking around outside. The worker told me they only calm down when they're outside. LOL

Day 3 (this Sunday) was terrible. We started walking towards the room and they started freaking out.


But this time D was very certain and sure so I went with it.

This is what we do well - the one is always normal when the other is not. It's been this way our entire married life and is really helpful so the whole thing doesn't collapse when we go through tough times.

We left them SCREAMING Mama and Daddy but D held my hand, we said our goodbyes and that we were going to church and off we went.

I could hear those screams echoing in my mind for a long time afterward.

Eventually, after Praise and Worship, I told D to please go check on them. I know I'm a little softer with this type of thing and I'd just take them and undo the previous weeks' training.

He returned and said they were fine. He peeked through the window and they were playing (Connor) and eating (Kendra) but were fine.

After the service (but again before the official closing) I was out of there like a rocket.

I think it must be funny to see me speed out of there (especially to those who knew me pre-kids) because I'm usually a big socialiser after church.

When I collected them, Connor was himself immediately but Kendra was super-clingy and kept asking, "where's Daddy?"

Poor things.

Or poor us!

I know intellectually that they will be okay in the long run and I keep telling myself, "no-one's kids have psychological issues because they're left in children's church for 1.5 hours" but my word, it's hard to let go.

As I always do, I tried to rate myself on a scale of 1 - 10. I think I'm a 2 now. I was probably a -3 at first :)

Where are you on the letting go scale? And how do you guys do it with the daycare thing?


  1. I totally suck/fail at the letting go part! I have stopped going to church because I can't bare the parents room nor can I bare the thought of leaving Ava screaming at the kiddies creche! I just can't do it, the mere thought of it makes my heart race. I'm terrified of what that feeling of abdonment may do to her later in life. Mostly because I have issues surrounding abandonment which relate back to being left screaming for my mommy at pre-school as a very young child. I can't bare the thought of Ava suffering through the same thing!
    I don't trust anyone with her, only Walter or I are allowed to look after her and when we go out only MY mother or our nanny are allowed to babysit! I simply cannot get my head or heart around trusting her preciousness with ANYONE!

  2. Sharon, I feel for you! Because I feel ALL that but I let my head rule... mostly.

  3. I've gotten so good at getting rid of my control streak. Even my DH commented on it.

    On leaving the boys at day care, I'm lucky that we don't have to do that except when Niki needs a vacation, which will be coming this June. But I remember from October, they distracted the boys with snacks when I was leaving. That always worked for Phoebe too when she was little.

    We actually have what's referred to as "The Crying Room" at our church for you to sit with your crazy kids during church. We do it every week and I swear it's not getting any better. We don't want them wandering around the room, so we hold them in our lap and they are so not fond of this!!!! My arms are sore the next day as Tommy is over 30 lbs these days!!! Sorry you'll want to convert that. He's huge!!! He needs 3T shirts and 2T pants. 24 months shirts leave a good portion of his pudgy little arm sticking out, poor kid!

  4. Heather, share your tips. Please!

  5. BABY steps over here...I finally made the first phone call this week about a Parent's Day Out program at one of the local churches. I discovered that the girls won't be old enough for true pre-school until next fall, so this is more like a day care setting. It would be for 3 hours, one day a week. I'm not sure if I'm going with this particular church, but I'm really talking to myself about doing this.

    The new program schedule won't start until August, and I keep telling myself my girls will be much more mature in 4 or 5 this age, 4 or 5 weeks can make a huge difference.

    I'm definitely going to sign them up for a program (you have to pay a registration fee to hold a spot), and - if we start and I realize they're not ready or something in the fall - then so be it.

    I need to plan ahead...although it's hard for me to picture leaving them just yet.

    Of course we're making even smaller steps with having a sitter over for 2 hours once a week, and that's going hopefully it will just take a couple of weeks for the girls to warm up to a new situation.

    I know it will be good for them...and for me!

  6. I've only left them with Aaron. Actually once we left them with a friend, but they were here at the house with their sisters too and didn't seem to even notice we were gone. I think having older siblings makes it easier.

  7. I had an epiphany! I really don't mind leaving them at MY house, in their routine and with their stuff if people could come babysit.

    It's the TWO new environments that freak me out totally - no familiarity and strange environment.

  8. We have our nanny come to us and she particpates in their activiies with them. It is not until age 3 that you start to "leave" them - preschool, art, whatever. It can be hard for kids and some early intervention groups have "drop off" playgroups where you gradually teach your kids (around age 2) to be by themselves without parents for a short period of time. We don't do that (not in the program anymore) but I try to leave the kids at my folks once in a while to see how they do. They are starting pre-school in the fall so they'll learn soon enough!

  9. We started leaving A & M in the nursery at church around 12-14 months. They do great with it, for the most part, and it's just part of their church routine. They love their teacher there now, and often talk about going to "church".

    School wasn't too hard either, mostly because I felt 100% sure that it's a program I wanted them to be involved in and that would be good for them. It is, and now they love it! We name off their classmates and teachers at night when we talk about their day, and it's very rare that they don't want to stay in the mornings.

  10. You asked for tips and I didn't include any, so here's my only advice: YOU should go peek one day after dropping them off. I can almost guarantee they will be playing happily, or at least content, and you will feel much better! (Don't let them see you peeking me!) : )

  11. I was a SAHM for the first years of my children's lives and I remember shedding more tears than them when I had to leave them at daycare when I started working again. Letting go never gets easier even when your children grow up. It was hard to let my 31 year old son go when he moved out this past weekend:-) I know, I am a silly mom.

  12. This is a bit of a grey area for me. I really enjoy spending time away from them and I sometimes feel bad about that. With child 1 we were really lucky that he didn't need daycare until he was 3 as MIL looked after him. She was also his permanent babysitter when we went out and he used to sleep over quite regularly. Child 2 is a different case altogether. I had no choice but to put him in a daycare environment and he started there at 5 months. He is generally very clingy so I am hesitant to leave him anywhere, even with MIL. It's only in the last 8 months or so that I will leave him with her. He still goes to creche and I'll admit that I was in tears many a morning when leaving him there. Apparently the kids cry while the parent is around and about 30 seconds after you leave then they are very happy. To be honest, I don't like to leave him. My MIL is happy to look after him but when we go out at night she comes to our place - I am not ready for sleepovers with him just yet. We wanted to try out a new church this past Sunday but didn't do it because we weren't OK with leaving him with complete strangers in the nursery. For me it is all about who is taking care of them. If I am not sure about them then they don't go.

  13. Mmmm, it's not easy - that's for sure!

    I didn't really have a choice about school for Nicola. The first one I put her in she was miserable. I couldn't have that so I took her out after two months and asked my gran to come look after her at home for the winter. Then I put in a lot of effort finding the perfect school for our second try.

    Seriously, I inspected 10 different schools, interviewed almost every person on their staff, checked out kitchens, bathrooms, sand pits, everything.

    Luckily she is happy in the new school, which makes it easier. But even so, so has those odd days where she really doesn't want to let go in the mornings. I never just put her down there, I always personally put her in someone's arms, then I give her a big kiss on the forehead and wish her a nice day at school. I tell her I'll see her later, and then I leave. Even if she cries. I read somewhere that a quick goodbye is less traumatic for them at this age, so I stick with it, even though I might want another snuggle before I go.

    For after hours and weekends I don't really like leaving her anywhere because I get so little time with her during the week. Also I'm slow to trust when it comes to anyone taking care of her. The only person I feel comfortable leaving her with is my mother. And never for a sleepover or for more than a few hours at a time.

  14. I just found your blog! {I googled 'crafts with formula cans' and found you.} I love it! AND my BFF has iv twins, Connor and Kenna! I don't know how y'all do it, but it IS fun to read about:)


  15. I just found your blog! {I googled 'crafts with formula cans' and found you.} I love it! AND my BFF has iv twins, Connor and Kenna! I don't know how y'all do it, but it IS fun to read about:)


  16. Oh I feel for you, but they cry for your behalf - they do calm down. And you know the issues we had with L in January? Well now he loves school - he cries if he can not go.

  17. For a while, the Crazies started crying when we turned down the street for did they learn streets???

    I hated leaving them in the Kids' Zone at the gym, but I knew I had to do it for me and for them. It's good for them to be away from you and with other kids. Yes, they'll fight it at's unfamiliar territory.

    People who coddle their kids are in some real trouble when they have to start school (Gawd, I've seen some horrible school phobias) or any other new situation...they won't have any coping skills. That's how I think of it...I'm giving coping skills.

    It will get better...I'm an 8.


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