I don’t know what it is about me and my ability to feel guilt like no other.  I feel it unnecessarily.  I have been trying to learn how to let it go, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  One area that I feel guilty a lot about, is my family/Rob/daycare.

We are really lucky in our daycare situation because we have family watching Luke but then I have guilty feelings BECAUSE it’s family and our situation is unique.  Here’s the rundown: 

Rob cannot drop off or pick up Luke from daycare because he drives a work van supplied by his employer.  He is not allowed to have passengers.  I understand that.  Originally we discussed that I would pick Luke up when he’s at my mom’s because she lives so close to where I work that it makes sense.  On the days he’s with my sister, Rob would come home and get his car to go back and get him because he usually gets out earlier than me.  Well, last week that didn’t happen.  Robs schedule isn’t set to end at a specific time so Luke was at my sisters from 7:30 when I dropped him until 5:00.  Since where I work does not operate on Friday’s I’m required to work 9 hour days Monday through Thursday and then on Fridays I work 4 hours.  That means that Luke is at my sisters for almost 10 hours between drop off and pick up.  She has not said anything to make me feel bad, I just do.  I just can’t happen to feel like if he was at daycare facility, I would not feel guilty because that is there job and they get paid to do it.  My sister will barely accept any money at all and I could only get her to agree to 50 dollars per MONTH. 

Last Thursday my dad had Luke and he watches him at our house so that is super convenient, anyway, when Rob got home my dad left (like he should) and Rob was upset about it.  Rob was upset because he wanted to get some moving done, which I can understand, but at the same time Luke is our responsibility.  It’s not up to my dad to stay there, so then I have to feel bad about that.  Now last night my dad called and said that today he has to leave by 3:30.  This week is rather unique because Rob has taken vacation, but we asked my dad if he wouldn’t mind still coming over everyday because Rob took vacation to finish moving (we still have to get all the crap out of our garage) and do other things, like be there for the cable guy and hook up the washer and dryer..etc.  My dad said that was fine but then last night when he called and said he had to leave by 3:30, we were like huh?  I won’t get home until at least 5 and NOW I FEEL GUILTY AGAIN. 

And then just this past Saturday we had a wedding and had made arrangements for Rob’s sister’s to watch Luke for the 4.5 hours we would be gone…and my dad calls and asks who is watching Luke and I tell him and he says he’d rather do it and just come over.  Since that was easier for us we went with it but then when we got home (early) he seemed irritated.  He made a comment about how Luke was fussy.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I trust my dad completely with Luke and I don’t think my dad gets iritated with him or treats him differently when he’s fussy, I think it’s just that my dad feels bad when he doesn’t know what to do, but then I feel bad because he had to sit with a crying baby for 2 of the 4 hours.  But why should I feel bad when HE VOLUNTEERED?  In fact, 95% of the time that someone watches Luke it’s because they volunteer. 

Why do I feel so guilty all the time?  I guess I should talk to my sister and let her know that Luke will be there at least 10 hours and make sure she is cool with it.  And, I’m going to have to let my dad know that we don’t work 8 hour shifts so he’s in the same boat as my sister. 

Notice who is not in the equation?  My mom.  Because that lady does not give a hoot and has been more understanding then I could ever imagine.  And not just about Luke, so as annoying as she can sometimes be, she is very generous.  When I pick up Luke and she comments on how he was, she might say he was fussy but she always follows it with, “So I just did this, this or that and he was fine.”  And she always let’s me know how he misses his mommy and I like to hear that.

I have to stop this.  Seriously.  I’m giving myself all this guilt and I don’t want it to rub off on Lukey.  I don’t want him to feel the stress I carry. 

If you have any advice, I’ll take it.

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  1. Mrs. W

     /  November 3, 2008

    Guilt is an undeniable part of motherhood. I have a six month old and due to my in-laws age (late 70s) and my parents distance from me I don’t have family to babysit at all. But, my parent keep my niece and nephew full-time and love it despite how much it ties them down. Have you considered your mom one day or two, your sister one day, a day care one day or two and your dad on your short day? My little one LOVES the interaction and has thrived at day care, especially once he moved into a classroom with crawlers!

  2. Sassafras

     /  November 3, 2008

    Yikes. I tend to feel guilty a lot (case in point: I feel guilty that our leaves blow out of our yard and into our neighbor’s yard). I think if you’re upfront with all of them, like you are being, then you shouldn’t feel guilty. They are volunteering and if they decide that it isn’t working out for them then they should tell you and you won’t feel bad about it, you’ll just find another arrangement. Communication on both sides is definitely key in this situation.

    I’m wonder if part of the guilt is stemming from the fact that a small part of you feels like you should be watching Luke?

  3. Sparkling Cipher

     /  November 3, 2008

    Our 4-moonth-old is with my SIL, who runs a daycare out of her home. She’s with family, so we know she’s getting good care, but we pay, so we didn’t feel like we were taking advantage. Then I realized I was almost always first to drop off and last to pick up – almost 11 hours! She says she doesn’t mind, especially since she enjoys the time with her niece, but still…. I also feel bad when I visit family and they feed her and change her, like those are my job.

    I think it helps to think that if they minded, they could just not offer. If they find it’s more trouble than they anticipated, they can just say, “I’m not up to caring for a baby for several hours on my own. Can we just arrange visits so that I can still spend time with him?”

    Also, realize that there have probably been days when you were totally frazzled and so happy to see someone come to take some of the responsibility off you. It doesn’t mean you love him any less, just that caring for a baby takes a toll. It’s no different for your family. I’m sure they wouldn’t trade those special moments they get for anything, no matter how many dirty diapers and crying fits they endure.

  4. floridagal

     /  November 4, 2008

    I can just say that you are so lucky to have so many people around.
    When i have my first(in 1-2 yrs), niether my mom nor my sis nor my in-laws would be near me because of the distance!! it will be just me and my husband!! just thinking of it makes me more nervous and i keep postponing it even more!

  5. I can’t offer any advice on this since I’m not a parent, but I’m sure what you’re going through is completely normal. Hopefully once you get everything worked out and are a little more set in the routine, the guilt will go away.

    Luke’s a lucky baby to have so many people around him who care about him so much!


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