Stay-at-home mom: Is it okay to be with your child 24/7?

I gave up my career to be a stay-at-home mom with my baby girl who is seven months old. I am not happy with the playgroups in my area. Is it damaging for my only child to be with me all the time until she is ready for preschool?

Question:

It seems to me that you have asked two different questions here: First, is it all right to never be apart from my child? Second, will she be able to separate from me if she has no playgroup experience?

It is wonderful that you have chosen to be a stay-at-home mom. I'm sure that your child will flourish under your care. Whether you are able to stand a 24 hour, seven days-a-week job of this nature is another question entirely.

Children and their primary caretakers sometimes need time apart so they can relax and regenerate their energy. When possible, you should have this time while your child is in the familiar setting of their own home.

Children develop flexibility, as well as a better tolerance for other people, in this manner. It certainly will aid your daughter in separating and in adjusting to others who will be in her life.

Is it necessary to send your child to a playgroup to encourage socialization? No, but it can be fun. If you are interested in having your child socialize with other children, might there be classes at a nearby "Y"? Do you have a playground close at hand where you can mingle with other parents and children? Perhaps you can look into mommy-child programs. More than likely you'll find something that interests you.

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