Hi there stranger please take my children

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It’s a very strange feeling.
A feeling that only a parent can have. I don’t even know what the feeling is.
It’s not fear.
It’s not untrusting.
It’s just…a feeling.

A while back, I wrote about handing my child over to a nursery. We had decided that a nursery would be a good thing for BB and it has been. He still attends twice a week and happily plays amongst the other children and recently received his first piece of homework. If Michael Gove is reading this, don’t panic, its only about spotting bugs in our garden, not writing a review on some foreign literature!

Well unfortunately the situation dictates that for at least 2 days in the near future he has to go to a child minder for a few days. At the moment this is a one-off occasion, well a ‘four-off’ if thats such a thing. For a few days next month, there is nobody within our normally extremely helpful inner circle that is available to watch both boys while mummy works a couple of extra days. It’s not ideal, but it’s necessary.

So just as we did before he joined the nursery, we went to meet the people we were likely going to the task of looking after our kids too. It was VERY strange!

It was stranger than the nursery. Stranger because I knew that they would be looked after by somebody strange to me in their own home. With the nursery it is a building fitted as a nursery,. This was somebody’s dining room. Somebodys life played out here every day.

The house was big with lots of room to play. The lady who would be looking after both BB and LB seemed nice (She was 1 of 2 child-minders and spoke mostly to The Mrs). She has a disabled daughter so she is obviously well-informed about the importance of child development and behaviour. There was a  young kid (Presumably a son) who has an obvious talent with woodwork as the garden was filled with sculptures and benches all obviously made at home.

There was nothing I saw that would make me think this wasn’t a great place for my kids to go and be looked after (other than the price, goddamn it’s expensive business!), but I just get a strange feeling. A feeling I can’t seem to shake. A feeling I think I would have with any child-minder. A feeling I just can’t get rid of.

Unfortunately, needs must. We don’t have a choice. We both have to work. Nobody else is available. But that doesn’t make me feel any more comfortable about it.

Does any of the above ring true for anybody else?

Am I being silly? After all people send their kids to child-minders every day. Why should our situation be any different?
How do you even decide of a child-minder is right for you and your children?

As always, thanks for reading.
L

6 comments

  1. I do know the feeling. I know it so well that we never did it. For us it was simpler, DH was retired, so he was DDs carer. She went to nursery at 2 ish for a few days a week, more for her to have fun and make friends and prepare her for school than because we needed her to. We both felt the same (over protective?) but she never had babysitter’s and until she was 5 didn’t spend a night away from us and even then it was with family.

    Having said all that my brother had to have a child minder for his girls and they adored her, and were gutted when he no longer needed to send them!!

    I’m sure all will be well, the oddest thing I think is that suddenly your child has a life outside of yours, experineces you have no part of, and is beginning to make a personal private history. It’s an odd thing. Now DD is a teen its even more of an issue….strange.

  2. This feeling passed pretty quick for me but it’s totally natural! So much of parting is instinct and when you force yourself to ignore some of your instincts it’s an uneasy sensation 😉 Gets easier with time and when you see the benefits they get I found x

  3. Yes,this does ring true. We’ve made use of a few different childminders and nurseries over the years. While it is not emotionally easy at first, when you find really good childminder, you’ll know it and the kids will love it.

  4. Sometimes it’s as hard to learn to let go for us as it is for our children. When they’re very young we can’t rely on their “good sense” to let us know if anything seems wrong, however, I think it’s important to give both sides the opportunity to succeed. Does your child get home happy? Does he seem to be learning new skills, words, behaviors? Are those good? If you see no odd symptoms (and these are things that both you, your subconscious, and The Mrs. notice), then I would assume that all is pretty much well. Let the Force be with you – and try to believe in the goodness of people until you are proven wrong (and then only indict that bad character). It’s a much easier way for everyone to go through life.

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