You know (as I’ve told you) that I just couldn’t leave BG during the first 12 months of her life. Sometimes I was overwhelmed, but I sucked it up and devoted myself to her 24/7 because that was what I was compelled to do.
Mr. MLACS was working out of the country more than 50% of the time, but even when he was home I didn’t leave because BG would freak out.
But as she turned a year old, nursing less and generally being more interested in and relaxed around people besides me, my intuition said it was time to try leaving her with someone so I can do things for myself.
Unfortunately, the first time I left BG was because I had to have a colonoscopy. She screamed bloody murder as Mr. MLACS walked away from me when the nurse came to take me for prep. It was AWFUL. And I forgot my cell phone so I was sitting around twiddling my thumbs for an hour wondering if BG had calmed down. Finally I asked a nurse if I could use a phone, and I was shocked when Mr. MLACS informed me that BG was happily playing after he had just fed and changed her. And here I almost certain that she would be scarred for life. Quite to the contrary, she was playing and having fun. I was SO relieved. The day after the procedure I got really REALLY sick and had to go to the emergency room, and again Mr. MLACS took care of BG for several hours and she was perfectly ok.
This was Step 1 in my quest to free myself from my mental prison of anxiety.
Step 2 was to leave BG under *normal* circumstances (not due to invasive medical procedures or illness).
I seriously missed working out at the gym, so I decided to take BG to gym daycare while I worked out. The advantages are that I’m close by if she were to be inconsolable or otherwise need me, there are other kids there of all ages to distract and entertain her, and the girls that work there are sweet as pie.
When I left her for the first time she *wailed* and I cringed and repeated to the girls that they shouldn’t hesitate to come get me if BG didn’t calm down. I went to spin class and for the first half of the class I kept looking over at the door expecting one of the daycare providers to summon me. But no one came. I skipped stretching and practically ran back to the kids corner. But I needn’t have been so hasty, because the girls said she stopped crying after a couple minutes and didn’t cry at all after that. I was floored! Could it be that my high-needs baby was blossoming into an independent little kid?! I grinned from ear-to-ear, so proud of both of us for taking this step out of our comfort zone.
Step 3 was to hire a nanny so I can actually go somewhere and do something *by myself*. By 13 months, BG turned into a toddler almost overnight and she was taxing me. I thought I might lose my mind. I was ready for a break!
I could tell that one of the girls from gym daycare was fond of BG, so I asked her if she was interested in nannying for us once or twice a week–she enthusiastically agreed! I had her over one time to go over things with her, and then she came for the first time last week. I was ridiculously nervous, but needn’t have worried because the nanny said BG didn’t cry AT ALL! I felt like an idiot for coming home 30 minutes early–but proud that I left for 2.5 hours. I seriously did not even know what to do with myself–I have not been *alone* in 14 months.
Today I had the nanny over again and this time I had lots on my to-do list and no intention of coming home early. I grabbed starbucks and got a bikini wax and a pedicure and thoroughly enjoyed every minute, knowing BG was in good hands. The nanny even took her to our neighborhood park in the stroller and I remained perfectly calm. I did come home 10 minutes early–maybe next time I can stay gone the full 3 hours!
Also re: “baby steps” I am happy to report that BG started walking at 13.5 months! Now the world is her oyster ❤