Is It Normal to Feel Guilty About Leaving My Child With Someone Else?

If you've ever felt bad about leaving your child with someone else, change your perspective! You're not doing anything wrong.
Is It Normal to Feel Guilty About Leaving My Child With Someone Else?

Last update: 07 February, 2022

I still remember the first time I left my child with someone else, I felt awful. I cried when he couldn’t see me and thought I was the worst mother in the world for doing it. “If he’s my child, why do I have to leave him with someone else to care for him?” I thought I should be able to handle it all and deal with it, but I felt guilty for not being able to.

If you’re a mom or dad, you may have felt this way at some point, too. But before I go any further, I want to tell you that your feeling is absolutely normal. However, it’s imperative that you learn how to manage your emotions so that you can be a good parent without letting guilt haunt you all the time. Because feeling guilty doesn’t help you at all and prevents you from reacting and thinking clearly. And in the long run, it can make you make the wrong decisions.

You’ll have to do it sometime, even if you feel guilty

A baby crying on the ground and grabbing onto her mother's legs.

Sometimes, you’ll have to leave your child with someone else, whether it’s the other parent, grandparents, a teacher, or a babysitter. There’s nothing wrong with that and, on the contrary, it’s necessary in many ways. For example, so that you can do other activities, such as work or take your mind off things.

As we’ve said, the feeling of guilt doesn’t help at all: It doesn’t solve the going or the staying. Besides, it’s not like you’re abandoning your baby when you leave, you’re just delegating their care temporarily to other people you trust.

And even if you want to disengage, you’ll have the phone close by in case you’re needed and you’ll find a way to be more present than what’s really needed. With this detail alone, you should realize that you’re not being irresponsible.

To your child, you’re the best mom in the world!

Even if you don’t realize it, you’re the best mom (or dad) your little one could ask for. You do what you must and what you can to make sure they lack nothing.

But you have to rationalize the fact that taking time away from your little one doesn’t make you any worse than other stay-at-home parents. Even if you leave your kids with a babysitter because you want to spend some couple time together (like going out to eat and connecting a little more), that’s okay, too.

Remember that if you’re separated from your kids and you’re having a hard time with it, they’ll notice. Therefore, they need to feel firm, confident, and convinced that you’re only going away for a few hours.

Tell them what time you’ll be back, and of course, come back at the appointed time. If you’re late, call by phone and let them know the time you’ll arrive so they know you are on your way and that you have them in mind all the time.

Don’t feel guilty and normalize the situation

Normalize that you don’t have superpowers to be able to handle everything on your own, and that will save you a lot of unpleasantness. Maybe at first it’ll be a little complicated to achieve, but with time and repetition, it’ll become a daily routine for Talcum powder for babies is often used in hygiene routines. However, is it safe to use with little ones? Here’s what you need to know.

To reduce the guilt, you can take into account the following points:

  • Familiarize your child with the caregiver before the event occurs. That is, with you by their side first. This way, your child will feel more at ease when you have to leave for a few hours, and you won’t feel so guilty.
  • If your child understands language and knows how to express themself, then anticipate which day or days you’ll have to be absent and why. Also, make it clear when you’ll be back and that if you’re late, you’ll call to let them know.
  • Always have the phone on you and with the sound turned on so you can be aware of what’s happening and be able to respond to an emergency. You’ll feel better this way and you won’t have that feeling of “abandonment” that makes you feel bad.
  • Make sure that the person to whom you leave the care of your child is trustworthy. If you have to hire a babysitter, choose someone who’s known or recommended and who you know has the ability to take good care of your child.
  • Always maintain good communication with the caregiver in charge of the child. Also, whenever you leave, say goodbye to your child, but don’t say goodbye for too long. This way, you won’t feel guilty or make your child feel bad.
A mother waving goodbye to her husband and daughter.

Accept your emotions and those of your children

In addition to all this, it’s important that you control your most intense emotions when you feel guilty and try to see it as something temporary that will pass. You need to feel good so that your child feels at ease when you leave. Do it for them, but also for yourself.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.