Your first time can be a bit nerve-wracking. You don’t know what to expect, you don’t know if it’s the right time, if you’re ready, if it will hurt…. and you don’t know if you’ve chosen the right person to be with you for this monumental life transition.
Of course, I am talking about the first time you leave your baby in the care of someone else (betcha didn’t see that coming, didja? 😉 ).
Maybe you’ve left her with family, and that’s great – it’s a huge first step. But trusting a veritable stranger – even if she comes with glowing recommendations from your nearest and dearest friends, can be another realm altogether.
I have been many parents’ “first”, and I know what a big honor and responsibility that is!
They’ll call, every 15 minutes or so in the beginning, even if the baby’s been sleeping since I got there. I always thought they wanted to hear the truth – that the kids were totally fine and we were having a blast together!… until I started teaching. The first time I left my class with a sub (so I could go observe a teacher in another school) I WAS that nervous parent. I called on the inter-school phone every 15 minutes, and when the sub told me they were doing great, I was a little… let-down. Didn’t they miss me at all?? Of course, intellectually I wanted them to be happy and have a great day and I knew it didn’t mean they loved me any less if they loved her as well, but there was still that niggling feeling of just a TEENY bit of jealousy.
After that, I understood the parents better. I’d say, “She’s great, but I can tell she misses you. She’ll be excited when you come home.” And maybe, I’d hear an almost-inaudible sigh of relief.
Those feelings are short-lived though. Usually, once they get a taste of the freedom that comes with a loving, trusted caregiver, they start to want it more and more. It can be huge to have someone you trust, whom your kids love, whom you can call any time you need some extra help with your little darlings. It’s great for the KIDS, too! Having someone there whose sole purpose is to play with them and have fun, and only a short time away from Mama? What could be better?
(If you think you might be ready to take that leap, check out my Guide to Child Care e-book – it has all you’ll need to choose, find, and hire your perfect caregiver.)
What was your first time like? If you haven’t done it yet, what’s holding you back?