I have left my kids with strangers (m)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
I have left my kids with strangers (m)
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 7:12am
I guess I go on the bad mother list.

When my oldest two were four and two, my DH graduated from the NCO academy in a town different from where we were living. They keep the base child care center open on graduation nights just for that purpose. I dropped my kids off having never set foot in the place before.

When I was pregnant with DD3 we were living in Oklahoma and I had to go to San Antonio to the medical center for a test. We dropped our DDs (5 & 3) at my IL's house (Texas). Since they both work they put them in the child care center that my SIL's uses. I have never set foot in that place.

Later in the pregnancy I had to go back to San Antonio. MY IL's were not able to take care of the girls so we took them with us. While we were at the hospital for the appointment the kids were at the base child care center. Again I had never set foot in the place before dropping them off.

Somtimes you do not have ideal situations and just have to do the best that you can and put trust in people.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2002
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 7:28am
I don't know if other posters feel this way, but I would have FAR less issues dropping my kids off at a daycare center that I have never seen before than dropping them at off at a private home with a stranger I had never met before. I would do the private stranger/private home thing in an emergency, but not for any other reason (and childcare falling through just before a wedding would not constitute an emergency for me). At a daycare center, I know that they are already set up to deal with children, they must follow certain safety standards and generally have clearly spelled and fairly universal rules. Daycare centers also have more than one adult present at all times (at least all the ones I have seen), thus providing some oversight. This is VERY different in my mind to dropping a child off at a private house where one has no idea if there is an unfenced pool, large animals (sorry, but dogs can be dangerous and I would never leave a child unattended with one unless I knew a dog very well...and probably not even then), guns or other hazards. There is no oversight with only one adult present and individuals rules for behaviour (on their part as well as the childrens' part) don't exist.

Just my humble opinion.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 9:27am
I agree. But then, I've always *felt* more comfortable with centers than homes. But particularly in this type of situation.

While I was visiting/living with my parents for about 4 weeks this summer, I needed a break. Ds *needed* to go to preschool. He was being soooo clingy. So, we took him to the local church-run daycare as a drop in. I had never set foot in the place, but I knew the director, I kenw the town, I knew the church, etc.

He ended up going about 5-6 days total, on and off. And he loved it. And while there were things about the center that *might* have kept me from using it on a permanent basis, it was just what I needed. My kid was safe, secure and had a blast.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 10:04am
Well, the first step in BMA (bad moms anonymous) is admitting it. Everyone clap for texigan! Good for you, now we move on to acceptance. Welcome to our group. Join us for our next gathering, don't forget to bring the margarita's. For your convenience We've arranged for some strangers to ply the children with Twinkies and Jolt while watching reruns of South Park so that you may attend. The fee is reasonable.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 11:52am
LMAO!! I may sometimes disagree with you, but you certainly make it interesting!

For the record, however, I have left my children with a person I did not know 1 time, at my BIL's wedding. It was the "daycare service" provided by the hotel where they got married. It certainly wasn't an ideal situation, since "hotel daycare service" consisted of a girl who worked the front desk coming up to my room to sit with the kids for $11 an hour. I say girl, but it was actually a woman of about my age with 2 children of her own. (which is no guarrantee against bad care, but at least I knew she wouldn't be grossed out by a dirty diaper! lol) I returned to the room an hour later to find out she had been letting my 4 y/o jump on a bed that was about 4 feet away from the 2rd story picture window!! Needless to say, I was not at all happy. That wasn't just about something not "up to my standards", but that was about safety. With my one experience being like that, I'm not in a rush to use someone I've never met before, even in an emergency. But sometimes we just don't have any other options. Sounds like a few on this board have been lucky enough to never have been in those circumstances, huh?

But wait, does school count? Because my oldest just started pre-K this year, and until the day before school started, I'd never laid eyes on his teacher (though I went to school with the asst. teacher, and know her pretty well) Now, these two women, one of whom I know and one I don't, are responsible for my child's wellbeing for the majority of every weekday. Does that make me a bad mom too? Seems like the required ratio of kids to adults for DCP is much more strict than that of a pre-K, and certainly more so than that of an elementary school, so are we all being irresponsible by sending our kids to school, without enough supervision? I think most people have the right idea, but then a few come along and blow it WAY out of proportion, ya know? If we all went by the standards of those few, we'd be real crowded here in BMA. And that would be a shame, because who knows if there'd be enough margaritas to go around, and I do LOVE a margarita! ;) --->Dawn

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 2:33pm
Oops, add another time when I left my kids with a stranger that I had forgotten about. When we were in Turkey we left the girls in the room with a hotel babysitter so we could go downstairs and gamble.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 3:48pm
As somebody pointed out in Monster Thread About Ten Different Subjects, school is a far safer proposition than a stranger's house or a stranger coming over to your house (or hotel room). There is oversight, multiple adults, and safety protocols that must be followed. It isn'r foolproof (Columbine), but there are a lot more safety checks in place than some random person coming to a hotel room and letting kids do whatever, or some person's house who may or may not have dangers from a pool, dog(s), guns, dangerous kitchen implements left on the counter, etc.
Avatar for cindytree
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 6:12pm
I don't think it makes anyone a "bad" mom to leave kids with strangers but I wouldn't if at all possible. It would depend in part upon the situation and the age of the children for me. I would never hire hotel babysitters. But that's just me.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 11:53pm
If that makes you a bad mom, call CPS on me, because I am downright neglectful.

- I send both kids to strangers twice a week to the nursery at my gym. I have no idea who will be working at the time. I don't even know their names. Most of the time they look familiar, but they often hire new people.

- Last Christmas I saw a posting at the church that hosts my son's preschool that they were having free babysitting so people could go Christmas shopping. I took them up on this. I didn't know these people. They were a bunch of teenagers raising money for something. I gave them my two children (one was only 7 months old) and $10 and RAN to the mall.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 10:06am
Welcome to our group. I leave my kids at the gym nursery and sometimes my toddler cries. Shh..don't tell anyone but I leave anyway. I also tell the worker to come get me if he keeps crying for more than 10 minutes. So far, so good.

It would be nice if life was ideal and you could always find the time to interview the babysitter and judge your children's reaction to them. Perhaps fingerprint them, do a background check and hire a private investigator but sometimes emergencies arise and you just have to do what you have to do.

When DH was in the hospital for his temporal lobe removal, Zak stayed with church friends. I still, to this day, have no idea which friend he stayed with at what night. I knew he was in good hands and I had to focus on DH. I did what I had to do.


"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 10:15am
What about this? Bad mom or not?

My sister told me this story. A friend of hers had walked to a neighborhood coffee shop with her 12 yo son (about a block away). When it was time to leave, the son was being stubborn so the mom said, "Fine, walk home by yourself then" and left.

Someone called CPS on her.

Now, the mom was flabbergasted. He is 12 and walks home from school every day (further than the coffee shop.)

Nosey strangers or bad mom?

BTW, CPS thought it was pretty ridiculous too.