Thanks, Mel!!!

Mel posted a very insightful response to the question I sent her last week about the Brianna situation.  I felt kind of weird about asking a parenting question on an IF blog, but I did think there were some parallels to the IF experience… anyway, she handled it graciously.

I haven’t decided for sure what to do, but I am leaning towards letting her go.  My other babysitter, Helen, said she can take on more hours, and MIL and T. said they can fill in some as well. 

I’m just so conflict-avoidant that I’m having a hard time getting up the nerve. 

This afternoon I did ask if she’d be open to trying other ways of getting V. to sleep, and she said sure, she just didn’t have any luck before with rocking etc.  “She won’t sleep for me.”  I need to get my work done, not spend 40 minutes trying to get V. to sleep because Brianna thinks she’s ready for a nap.

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4 Responses to “Thanks, Mel!!!”

  1. Farah Says:

    Good Advice by Mel!

    Good Luck with this. I am sorry that you are up against this. It sucks

  2. anon Says:

    I originally wrote this comment on Mel’s blog but decided to post it here instead:

    Elizabeth, I went back to your blog and read your last several entries, and I just want to echo what the other people said [on Mel’s blog]. YOU KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR BABY!!! I think that so much of motherhood is insecurity, and it is so easy to believe the people who say that they know what the right thing to do is.
    I can understand why you would want to hold on to the babysitter – I am in the same situation you are, I am a grad student with a babysitter who watches my daughter while I work – but it seems that it would be far better to find someone else. It is hard to stifle the need to please, I too try to make the babysitter ‘happy’ (after all I am trusting her with a very important job) but I think that there comes a point where the stress is not worth it. Perhaps you don’t have a good relationship with this babysitter, it shouldn’t be this difficult, you shouldn’t have to contort yourself and apologize in order to keep the babysitter (If this was a boyfriend we were talking about, it would be very clear)… there will be another babysitter. a much better babysitter than this one! (when you are interviewing the next set of sitters, tell them she doesn’t nap and ask what they would do. i think that you will find someone who says ‘i’ll hold her and try to make her happy’)
    so I will leave you with this. YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB MOTHERING YOUR BABY! It doesn’t matter if you feed her on your hip or in the highchair or sitting on the lawn. what matters is that you do the best you can and make the choices that work for your family.
    the end.

  3. Annie Says:

    I found you over on Mel’s blog too. I definitely agree with her advice, and then I came back here and read through your email exchange and my response has changed from an “I agree with Mel” to a “Who the F does your babysitter think she is?!” I would feel VERY criticized by her response about suggesting CIO, then bringing up the cosleeping situation, and then telling you where to buy age appropriate toys? Honestly, I don’t think it is worth it to keep someone like that around. Give her just the tiniest bit of leeway and my guess is it will open up a door for even more “suggestions”. Bottom line, you are the parent, if she can’t care for the child the way you want her too then she’s just not right for your family.

    I am sorry you are dealing with this situation. Just be confident in who you are as parents and that you do know what is right for your child!

  4. Annie Says:

    I also wanted to add, there is absolutely no reason to keep someone in your life who makes you feel inadequate as a mother, at least not someone who isn’t tied to you by family or another strong bond. I hate that she made you feel badly about your child’s toys. I mean, I haven’t been in your house so I have no idea, but I can’t imagine that what you have is inadequate. Kids don’t need stuff. Most little kids can be just as happy with crumpled paper and an empty box as they can with a lot of age-appropriate store bought toys. Buying more toys isn’t going to make her happier or well rounded or something. All she really needs is someone who can spend time with her and engage her, and if you can find someone who will do that they don’t need a lot of stuff around to make it happen.

    It breaks my heart to read back and see how her emails made you question yourself. It sounds like we do a lot of things the same way in regards to parenting and I think you are doing just fine. There is no need for you to give her explanations or excuses for why you are doing things the way you do whether it is a sleep situation or high chair stuff or what kinds of toys you have. You are doing a lot more than just your best, you are doing a good job! You may not do things the way she would do them, or the way some other parents would do them, but please be reassured that there are a LOT of parents who do things very similarly to the way you seem to be doing them and there is nothing wrong with that. For some people it helps to have stricter routines or rules or methods, some of us have to go with the flow a little more.

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