Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Leave Your Baby at Home Day

Yesterday was babysitter day-so exciting! We really haven't broken down too often, and yesterday was the first time we brought in a babysitter to go to work.

It almost felt like a date as Scott and I drove to work together. "Shouldn't we be going out to dinner or something?" was how I felt as the two of us drove to the office together. But no, just work.

It went surprisingly well. Scarlett waved us good-bye, hugged us good-bye, and then got right to playing. I had made the mistake of announcing that the babysitter would be arriving after her nap, so Scarlett made sure not to miss her by sleeping. But she was still pleasant for everybody involved. Then when we came home, both her and the babysitter were still all smiles. Scarlett even hugged the babysitter goodbye. Some days it all goes according to plan, doesn't it? She even fell asleep early and without complaint.

Having a babysitter for the afternoon brought me back to my eternal debate. Do we really want to avoid all forms of childcare and do this without help? How much will I miss if I sneak somebody into the house a few hours here and there, or if I drop Scarlett off at a day home for a morning or afternoon or two? Think of how much more I could get done and how much easier it would be!

That's a pretty big topic and not one that I'll answer here. I sometimes read research on kids raised with a stay at home parent, versus XX amount of time in daycare, or with a nanny. But it all varies-how much time in childcare? How long is the nanny with you? What is the quality of the care? And I don't even know if I've read the most relevant research yet. Yes, in the ideal world, I would have a grandma or auntie or cousin living just down the street (or with me) who I could rely on. Or the most long-term of nanny commitments. Or the part-time, flexible day home of a very caring and stable caregiver. Or??? What else could work?

I'll keep working on wrapping my brain around that. However, it is a little piece of freedom when the babysitter walks in the door and I can walk out with the pang of guilt.

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