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The First Babysitter

I don’t have any family living nearby, so when my first baby was born there was nobody around here who I felt like I could trust her with. I didn’t seek out a babysitter, and since I was fortunate enough to stay home with her I didn’t have any occasion to actually need a sitter.

Then my husband got order to Iraq, so we figured we better get at least one date night in before he left for a few months. My daughter was four months old, and I hadn’t been away from her yet. I was scared out of my mind.

My husband and I decided to take a lady we knew at church up on her offer to watch our daughter. We brought the baby to her house complete with an arsenal of toys and other baby stuff. My husband had to practically pull me away from the house, and I burst into tears the second he closed the car door to take me to dinner.

I can’t even describe the physical ache I felt for my daughter as we drove away. I was convinced we had made a huge mistake. After all, how did we know that the lady at church wasn’t actually the leader of some ring of ruthless kidnappers who befriended young couples at church in order to build up their trust and then steal their babies?

Yes, ladies and gentleman, this was actually what I was thinking.

We had a fairly tense dinner where I alternated between crying and then making my husband call to make sure the baby was okay. Of course she was. When we picked her up, she was just as perfect as I had left her.

That was the roughest time I had with leaving any of my kids anywhere. After I got that very first time out of the way, though, it got a lot easier. I’m still picky about the people who I trust my kids with, but I’m glad that we were forced to do it so I could see that my baby could be just fine with someone else.

Now that my kids are a little older, I have also realized why all those moms readily offered to babysit for me. Back then I figured there must be some ulterior motive, but now I know that the vast majority of moms just miss holding a tiny baby. I find myself offering to babysit newborns now too.

When the time comes to leave your baby with someone for the first time, don’t be surprised if you feel as though someone has just ripped your heart out. I was devastated at leaving my baby, but it ultimately made me a better mommy to learn that there was nothing wrong with getting away once in a while and catch a breather.

Am I still selective about who gets to watch my kids? You bet. Do I still think everyone is out to steal my kids? Not so much, but believe me when I say the thought still crosses my mind.

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