Monday, May 3, 2010

If you know messageboards... I got flamed

Majorly so.  I post on the Bump. I mostly stick to a few quieter boards and that's it.  But when Dude was away for a few days and I got a taste of single motherhood, I wanted to let the moms on the Single Parents board there know how much I admired them for juggling baby, work, life and doing it all on their own. I found it exceptionally difficult for just a few days so I can't imagine doing it daily.  At one point in my life, I had grandiose plans on finding a sperm donor if I didn't meet someone by the time I was 40.  It was SO unrealistic of me.   So I truly meant to be complimentary.

Big. Fat. Fail.

In my post, I mentioned how I left Little Man in his crib while I walked the dog.  The women there took my "walk the dog" comment to mean I took a long stroll around the block with the dog while my child was unattended and in danger in his crib. The part that I'm trying to wrap my thoughts around is that many of these women sincerely feel that I endangered the welfare of my child.  They feel that leaving him alone in the crib is tantamount to child abuse.

So my question is: what do you do when you are alone with your child and you have to pee. What if you have diarrhea?  Do you bring your child into the bathroom while you do your business?  Do you just plop them on the floor while you relieve yourself? The women there were saying they strap their children in bouncy seats.  Well, I'm SO glad that their children are small enough to safely sit in one.  My son is nearly at the weight limit and he's figured out how to fling himself—and the bouncy seat—forward. So I've since packed it away.

I thought having Little Man in his crib while I shower is the safest place for him. It's not like I'm taking 20 minute steam baths. But for 5-10 minutes I like to shower and shave my legs before I go to work.  If I go into the laundry room, I leave Little Man in his crib.  What else should I do?

But the main issue was that I took the dog outside to relieve himself and left the baby in his crib in the condo.  They all feel that child protective services should be called and that I endangered his welfare.  I asked mothers I know about this, and most concur that they have left their child in his/her crib while they a) went to the basement (if they have a house) or went to the laundry room (in an apartment complex) that is down the hall.  My mom said that when I was a baby, she left me in my crib while she walked our standard poodle in the front yard.

So this is actually weighing on me.  Those women got what they wanted. Their flames burned me.


  1. Hi Robin! It is me Jennifer we were on TTC over 35 together and I miscarried last year but now we are 32 weeks pregnant and due next month! Don't worry about the flames I completely understand. My Mom was a single mom and she would leave me in my crib while she had her bathroom breaks and showers it was okay. I think all Moms do that and I will do the same. I was born in 1974 before baby monitors and my room was way down the hall from my Mom's room and I survived just fine. You are wonderful and loving Mom and a good person. Your son is so blessed to have you in his life! Sending you big hugs!

  2. The internet is a glorious and wondrous thing; it truly is. However, it's very easy for many people to sit in front of that monitor, fingers at the ready, and they're ready to pounce and judge everyone. Personally, I think you're doing just fine. If you really want parenting tips, and you think you (and your husband) turned out OK, then your mother and your mother-in-law are good places to go. Or a sister-in-law with kids. It's great to get opinions on devices that we might use for our kids, and books, and recipes, but when it comes to the most important job of all, that of raising small human beings to become productive members of society, strangers don't get a say. And they certainly don't get to make you feel bad.

    P.S. Those now adult children of mine were left in cribs and playpens while I showered and went to the bathroom, and to quote a friend of mine, neither of them is jail or on the pole. Plus they're both productive members of society who love their mom.

  3. Thank you both for your replies. Most of the flames were based upon my going outside to let the dog pee. Perhaps not ideal, but often one does what one has to. I honestly felt my son was safe.

    Live and learn. And one of the things I've learned is to be super careful of how I word things (here on my blog, too) because words are easily misconstrued.

  4. I have three kids- 4, 2 and 6 mos. I frequently put toys in there as a safe place for my baby to play when I am showering or putting the other two to sleep, naps etc. I don't leave him there forever unattended- I just like the fact that he's somewhere safe for 15 min or so while I can't be constantly monitoring him. Don't feel bad!! Don't all moms do this???

  5. The crib is a safe place. If it is safe enough for Colin to spend 11-12 hours a night in by himself sleeping then it is safe enough for him to play in for 15 minutes while I jump in the shower or use the restroom. I also let the dog out to the front yard while Colin is napping in his crib. I definitely could have seen an issue if you had gone on a real walk with the dog but just letting him pee out front is no big deal.

  6. Okay.

    If I have to pee, I go in to pee and 2.3 seconds later Emma crawls in after me. When I shower in the morning, she screams if I leave her in her crib, so she plays on the bathroom floor and I keep the curtain cracked so I can check on her. A lot of times we end up playing peekaboo around the curtain. She's never hurt herself in the bathroom when I'm there. I can't remember the last time I showered alone, honestly, and normally I have the cat in there too. LOL If I have diarrhea, chances are she's sitting there on the floor with me.

    But a lot of the time, I AM a single parent. Pat goes to work earlier than I do, so I get Emma and I up and ready to go in the morning. Honestly, on weekends, when he's home, and I need to shower, she normally crawls in after me anyway. On the weekends, he's out working on our house, so I have the baby.. and when I do laundry, which is on the same floor, I leave the door open so Emma can scream because I "left" her and follow me out if she wishes. She absolutely HATES not being in the same room as me. My favorite thing is that she'll crawl into the bathroom, open the door, sit on the floor, then open the door and crawl back out.. Like she was just checking to make sure I was in there.

    So, would I have left Emma in her crib to walk the dog? No. I would have taken her with me. Because I'm SO used to taking her wherever I go. Walk the dog can mean a lot though. Did you just let Casey out the front door while Aaron was in his crib? Or did you have to take an elevator and go out the door to the apartment complex and have Casey on a leash and leave Aaron in his crib? If it's the first, no big deal, but if it's the second, I wouldn't do it.

    But have I run back in the house with Emma strapped into her carseat and the car running because I forgot my travel coffee cup? Yep. On more than one occasion. I'm a bad mom for doing that because anyone could take her, I suppose.

    And who cares what these ladies on that other board thing? The important thing is what works for you. If it works to leave Aaron in the crib while you shower or pee, then do it. When Aaron starts climbing out of it, I wouldn't.

    Motherhood is allllll about finding what works for you.

  7. As long as he's not climbing out of his crib, you putting him in his crib to run down and let the dog out isn't a big deal.

    You have to do what is best for you and Aaron.

    When it comes to motherhood, women (in general) can be so freakin judgemental. Breast vs bottle, stay at home vs working. How about we all shut our mouths and help each other out????

    Bottom line? Aaron survived being in the crib and is FINE. When we were kids, carseats were not mandatory, my parents smoked like chimineys and I turned out just fine. Sometimes, I think this poltical correct over protectivness is doing kids today a diservice.

    Enjoy your baby!

    You love your kid. That's what counts. Ignore the haters.

  8. Okay,

    I have to say cribs and playpens were a wonderful thing when my girls were that age...I mean hello! I need a little privacy in the bathroom...they have all turned out fine! And they like their privacy too!

    And I agree, if you feel you want or need parenting tips ask your Mom, mother-in-law, or those you trust who have children...can't go wrong there.