Wednesday, June 20, 2007

help

So a friend's daughter is coming over on Friday for a hopefully soon-to-be regular pattern of hanging out with Lucy while I write or do whatever. Cassidy is out of school for the summer and is great with kids. She's articulate and kind and has three younger siblings, which means she probably knows as much about baby care as I do. And I'm not planning on leaving the house (or even leaving the room) until I know for sure that Lucy isn't having a 'stranger-danger' moment.
Last Friday, we left Lucy for an hour with my parents while we went out for an early five-year-anniversary dinner. We got back and she was super happy, having drunk out of the garden hose (she grabbed it out of my dad's hand). It was nice to have a night out, and even better to come home to a happy baby.
Our worship pastor asked Dyami to think about continuing to play bass 3x a month in worship at the night service. I (used to) sing at the service too. I've been doing the morning the last three months 1x a month, but had decided to step back up to the plate at night, as often as I could (I was hoping for more than 1x a month). Which would be hard if Dyami's playing, since he was my childcare. He wants to leave her in the nursery or with someone in the service. I'm really nervous about it. I'm not sure (neither is Dyami) she's ready for the nursery (she'd be the only non-walking kid, and I don't know they have the people to really pay attention to her) and I am not sure there's someone in the service she'd want to be with the whole time. (All-told, we're up in front for about 30-40 minutes).
I have several friends I really respect that don't leave their kids much or at all. I've decided that I'm okay leaving Lucy as long as she's reasonably happy. But the problem is actually doing it. How do I know she'll be happy until I try? And do I want to risk her unhappiness in a possibly bad experiment?
Part of me really wants to leave her. Frankly, I want the time off. And part of me wants to be like my friends that don't leave their kids--surrendered to Life With Baby. And part of me hates having to explain (t in-laws, our worship leader, Other People) that I haven't really left Lucy yet. And part of me hates having to explain to my Non-Leaving friends that I want to leave Lucy and have been scheming to do it.

Sigh.

This post was prompted by a post by the Lactivist, who just dropped her child off at a local day-care (her daughter loved it). Jennifer is trying to come to terms with not being superwoman. Her post really struck home with me, because I also tend to duck into phone booths looking for my cape.
I've been continuing to read Judith Warner's book, Perfect Madness. She really lambasts so-called "attachment parenting". Fairly unjustly, I think--she seems to think it's the norm (which it's not, believe me) and also thinks that kids more "attached" are also more indulged and allowed to run roughshod over their parents (which is really not true for the moms I know that tend more towards "attachment style" parenting). She has this story of a woman driving her sons around: the mom homeschools and breastfeeds the youngest, who has myriad allergies, and the mom is suffering from renal failure because she fails to take care of herself so much (she's down to ninety pounds from her chicken-and-water diet).
Argh. That was the last thing I need to read. And my brain knows the example is ridiculous and I'm not on my way to kidney failure, but still.

I know the answer is I have to find the right balance for me and Lucy and Dyami, and not just worry about other people's thinking, or other people's philosphies, but really, copying other people is just less tiring and easier.
I don't know what I'm trying to say, really. Just that I wish I were either more content having Lucy 24/7 or more willing to not have her 24/7. Or that we lived in a commune with three other moms and I could not have to think about these problems.
Hmmmm. Anyone up for a commune?

4 comments:

Michelle said...

I think the commune idea is a good one. I've always been attracted to those more radical elements :)

But hey, you could do swapping with others. I can't swap yet, legally, but would be happy to watch Lucy for a while so you can take a break. I know how important that is. If I didn't have S I would die (ok, not literally...). I promise to not Lulu beat her up!

Christine said...

Hey there - I'm coming out of my lurking closet to comment...

Doug has always wanted a commune (though he would require a community wide Ultimate Frisbee game 3 times a week...) I think it could be great.

If you do decide to try the nursery, you should go there with her the first couple of times. You would get to know the care givers and other kids and see what it is really like. J, the chief care giver, is gruff on the outside, but so tenderhearted and attached to the little ones - she truly loves them. My kids quickly warmed up to her and know how much she loves them (even though I still get scolded for things like my 8 year old's haircut.)

And Cassidy often helps in the nursery - she and Lucy will know each other and Cass will make sure that she is happy.

That said, if she is content in your arms during service, treasure that - kids in worship reminds us that this is a family!

Heather said...

Thanks for the comments!
Yes, Christine--I've felt like I should go check out the nursury; Dyami actually has. But she is okay in arms so far...I hate to miss a service to do childcare, you know? The problem is that Dyami and I want to both start doing 545 worship again. And she wouldn't be okay up front on-mike (I can just see it: "On Christ the solid--Blah blah blah blah. Mamamama. Bah bah!). So.
As Cassidy and Lucy get to know each other, the nursery might be better.

Christine said...

So how did Friday go? :-)