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12 Comments 12 October 2010


I have child-care-aphobia. You know that thing first time moms normally have for sometimes up to a year or so. No one touches the baby but me. No one diapers him as well as me. In extreme cases even the grandparents and father are excluded from being acceptable care givers.

Well I have been at this mothering thing for four and a half years. I have three children. None of which are anywhere near infancy.

So, you would think I’d be over it by now! Nope.

Not even close.

Most of the human race in unfit to care for my children.

In fact, I only hired help when I found myself on bed-rest with preterm contractions at 26 weeks pregnant with the twins. And the Big Guy was almost two.

I could not keep up with him without going into labor. So we recruited an available teenager that took directions well.

Well, as well as could be expected at nineteen. And gave her a list of the things she was expected to do. Closely followed by a list of things she was not expected to do. Like leave my sight with my son.

Two years later the twins are a little over two (obviously) and the Big Guy is in Preschool.

And just a few weeks ago I left the house to go running. It was late when I left so I informed my husband HE would have to give them all baths. A task he has never tackled before on his own. But, I was trying to be strong and independent, and not the only one capable of taking care of the kids. So I said it and went for my run.

When only moments and not even ten yards down the road it occurs to me. Is he really capable of doing this? How many miles am I really going to be able to go before I get a call that he’s in the emergency room with half drowned children?

I made it through my run without a call but not without visions of my children floating face down in the tub. Fortunately, as I passed the corner of the house where the bathroom windows lie I could here the mantra repeating, “Sit down.” “Sit Down.” SIT DOWN!” So at least I knew they were all breathing.

Mission accomplished!

However, now I have another demon to slay. I caught wind of the Y in my neighborhood having free child care for members. Two whole Hours!

At first glance it sounded like a Tahitian vacation. Doing yoga or spin class while the kiddies play happily in a Disney like setting? Sign me up!

Then the phobia kicked in. And I thought, oh strangers changing my twins’ diapers. Not being there if my kid has a melt down, or loses it and tells one of the teenaged babysitters she has a bad attitude.

So I went for a tour. Figuring seeing the happy place they call “Child Watch” would put all my fears at ease. Not so much. There are some really nice ladies in there. But there are also a few token I-don’t-want-to-be-here-but-since-I-am-I-know-it-all-but-don’t-ask-me-to-do-anything-teenagers. Not my favorite type.

But as I waited there in the sign in area a mom came in to fetch her brood. Who by the way all seemed rather content and happy. And when her littlest with chubby cheeks and curls to die for asked mommy to pick her up, you know what she said as she squatted down to scoop her up?

“Ooh mommy’s legs are sooo sore.”

I can not tell you how insanely jealous I was of her agony, her thighs, her perfectly colored hair, the fact that she had not referred to herself as mommy for at least the last hour. But mostly of her endorphins.

So I figure all I need is now is one of those hypnotizing wands Will Smith had in Men In Black. Then I could zap the memories of all the teenagers in there and turn them all into Mary Poppins!

How do you deal with child-care-aphobia? Or better yet have you ever had any success hypnotizing teenagers?

photo credit: PinkSherbet Photography

Your Comments

12 Comments so far

  1. Momma Chaos says:

    I have 6kids who now range from 2yrs old all the way up to almost 15yrs old.. I still haven’t gotten over Child-care-aphobia..

    Sure I’ve had to leave them a few times with grandparents but I still call (or txt) and check in frequently.

    I’ve seen the same thing at our Y and am soo tempted.. Then I tell myself that I’ll just wait another year or two until the 2yr old actually starts talking so he can tell me WTH goes on in there.. lol.

  2. Emily says:

    Sorry but I’m just of a different elk … I have been fortunate enough to have loving family and friends that have been willing to watch over the girls since they were born.

    I could not make it as a happy mama if I didn’t have some hours or afternoons where my husband, mother in law or close friends take over child care for a bit. On occasion I’ll have a friend babysit in the evening so my hubby can go out too.

    I honestly think it’s good for my kids to have time alone with Dad and also experience other people besides just me … perhaps that’s simple justification though as I KNOW it helps me be a better me :) The twins went to Grandma and Grandpa’s place for a few days this summer and loved it- and I know they won’d be able to enjoy them forever.

    If the alone time, or running, is something of value to you … then perhaps practice, practice, practice will help get you there. Good luck – and as always, whatever works for you, works!

  3. I totally have that, and I will only leave my son with his grandparents or maybe my 21 year old sister. I get nervous when its the inlaws, but I know for sure I couldn’t leave him with strangers. I won’t use our gym day care either because I don’t trust teenagers.

  4. Oh goodness…I had this with my daughter, that’s for sure. But then again, I lived in a city with NO family around and got NO help or even offers of help from my ex-husband. Since I was the only one doing it all, of course only I could do it just right.

    I got broken of it when I realized that there was a teacher at her day care that loved my daughter like her own child. Truly loved her. And that love was returned by my child. It sort of stung a little bit, but then it hit me that she was just the sort of person that I would want watching over my little baby…someone that could almost (but not quite) love her as muhc as I did. I was fortunate enough to have her care for my child for the first 3 and a half years of my daughter’s life…

    Now that I have another little one in day care, I’m working through this somewhat again. It’s not as bad this time around…but I have LOTS of help and have had that help since day one…with someone else jumping in right there with me so that I couldn’t do it all alone. I’m not crazy yet about his day care, but maybe that just takes a little time…it’s only been a month, after all! :)

    In no way by my comments do I mean to say that I think that you don’t get help…just trying to explain my own situation!

  5. Gayle says:

    I am like that. I have a limited amount of people that I allow near my children. I realised recently that I have never let my children go anywhere in a car with anyone other than my mother in law. My older two are 9 and 7 respectively.
    I am just paranoid.
    I am relaxing some though.

  6. Michele says:

    I put our older daughter in daycare when she was one and I cried the whole first day. I quickly saw that it was good for her. We have yet to put the baby in daycare–it’s looking like it’ll be when she’s about 18 months (she was a preemie so we wanted to wait longer). I would like to say that it will be easy since it’s where her sister is, but I’m going to be devastated. I’m expecting to cry for a week, and it’s only going to be part-time.

    But like I said, Jocelyn will come home and sing a song or say something about the ocean that she obviously learned at school, and it makes me feel like she’s getting what she needs. And it gives me a break!

  7. L. Eleana says:

    I’m glad you’ve got a term to describe my madness “Child-care-aphobia”, lol! Honestly, I hear to many childcare stories on the news ending in child deaths to trust a teenager. Thank God my mom and my sister are close by, and besides preschool for my 3 yr. old, those are the only folks I trust. My husband and I just didn’t want to leave the girls with anyone but my mom and sister until they could talk, which is one reason we didn’t start preschool with the 1st until she was 2. Looks like the same thing will happen with the baby, because our childcare-a-phobia has gotten worse. He sees to much neglect in his profession and just doesn’t trust many people.

  8. Morgan B. says:

    I have always had a bit of childcare-aphobia. I was a member of the Y before I had my second baby. I would rush through my workout to get Emma out of the daycare. She would always be clinging to one of the care takers. I hated it and she hated it.

    Emma started pre-school last month. She walked right in the door and never looked back. I think she just didn’t like the child care situation at the Y. It was always a little wild in there, which she hates.

    Kids grow up so fast. Soon enough they will be dying to get away from us. I’m glad you enjoy spending time with your children. I would be worried if you didn’t!

  9. With my first set of twins, I never left them with a babysitter before the age of 1, except for my mother. The MIL watched them once or twice, and I was terrified the entire time I was gone. However… I left them many many many times in the hands of caretakers when I went to church or MOPS. I enjoyed the break, and I knew they needed to learn to be away from me 24/7. Besides, I was always no more than 2 minutes away from them at any given moment. I say it’s a good thing. (And, of course, I left them with their father routinely! Girls day out = important!) I went back to work two days a week and left them in the hands of a friend from church who ran a licensed daycare out of her home. We had some separation issues for a while, but we kept going with it. Turns out I got pregnant again pretty quickly, so that lasted only 3 months before I had to quit and go back on bed rest!

    When the babies were born and I needed to go back to work a few days a month, I hired a nanny to watch them every other Friday. I was nervous at first, but when I got home and she had art projects waiting for me and countless photos (in frames, even!) which were left for me, my heart really melted, known she truly loved taking care of my girls (she brought her own preschooler with her, as well). However, I did not let them leave the house/yard. I know she had a van available and plenty of car seats, but the thought of her taking my infants and toddlers out to a park or to go shopping, terrified me.

    When the babies were 7 months old and crawling, and the toddlers were then 2 1/2 and running, I freaked out and decided I couldn’t watch all of them all the time by myself AND potty train toddlers AND try to keep a tidy house, etc… So we got our first live-in au pair. And, well, that’s another whole posting there… but it’s worked out for us!

  10. I can relate to both sides of this issue (is this an issue?)… Well, because of health issues and the fact that I had 2 two year old boys and 2 infant girls — we never went out of the house! I NEVER had anyone watch the kids (except Grandma – 99.9% of the time with me there, too).

    After staying home so much the kids were freaked out about being left with anyone — so for years I didn’t really have a choice. But, I really did *want* to leave them at the gym, for example, but just couldn’t.

    I do think it is good for kids AND mom to leave the kids sometimes. The trick is to find somewhere that makes them and mom comfortable.

    I started by bringing my kids to church each week — one set of twins at a time. I would stay in the childcare area with them week after week until they were more comfortable. It took a LONG time.


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