We get many questions from our listeners. Here’s one we recently received that might apply to you too:
“I’ve just started working outside the home and when I leave my toddler at the sitter she screams and cries. What can I do to help this situation?”
The first thing we’d suggest is to examine your feelings about leaving your daughter. Consider the old saying, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” There is a great deal of truth in that statement. Are you tense or unhappy about the situation? Does leaving your toddler at the sitter make you feel guilty? These negative feelings can definitely transfer to your daughter.
Beyond that, here are some practical things you can do to make things go a little more smoothly. Try to make the mornings as calm as possible. Lay out your daughter’s clothes the night before. You can allow her to help you choose her outfit if you want. That takes more time, but if that is something you want to do, there’s nothing wrong with the decision. Let your daughter know that what has been chosen is exactly what she’ll be wearing in the morning. There won’t any discussion or changes.
It’s also a good idea to choose what you will wear. Make sure everything is ready to go with no missing buttons or wrinkles – nothing you’ll have to adjust in the morning.
Have breakfast organized too. You can set out the dishes and even the cereal if that’s on your menu. Allow extra time in the morning so that neither of you are rushed. A few more minutes of sleep will not be to your advantage. Instead go to bed earlier.
Talk to your daughter about the changes and listen to her. Answer any questions she may have and encourage her to see the positive points in the new situation. Be sure to pray with her each day before she goes to the sitter and ask the Lord to be with her and give her peace.
And the most important thing, don’t short-change your time with the Lord each day. A time of study, prayer and worship will help both you and your daughter have a better day.
Have you discovered things that help relieve the stress of separation?