OK so I am going to try to make sense of what happened today at church.....
DISCLAMER- I KNOW I messed up, I feel HORRID as a mother and have cried a TON today about this and my choice.
My youngest child is just 13 months old. We recently started attending a new church near our home about a month ago. We do a more attachment parenting type lifestyle with our kiddos. I have always kept my babies with me during church and would go to the nursery and stay with them so they could play if needed or nurse etc. I have never had a problem doing this at any church we have gone to. Well at this new church I did my normal routine of going with my son to the nursery to nurse and play when he would get restless in church. He is going thru pretty strong seperation anxiety currently and prefers to stay with me or his daddy etc. Pretty quick at this new church I felt strong pressure from the head nursery lady that I needed to get my son use to the nursery and start leaving him....she even told me that his problem is ME...cause I won't let him go....won't seperate and make him get used to other people etc. I feel he is not ready to seperate or he would on his own- all my other kids did on their own without being pushed. Anyways...I continue doing my own thing with him every sunday....up until a week ago. The nursery worker made me feel like I am ruining my son. I also feel very akward and disliked when I stay in the nursery with my son. I can feel them being super annoyed with me that I am still staying with him. Fast forward to today- I finally agreed to letting them keep my son for the church service- reluctantly....I totally caved into the pressure! (Enter bad mommy sign
I was repeatedly assured they would come get me if he kept crying, or they felt he was too upset. They kept telling me how he NEEDS to learn to stay with other people and such. I started questioning my parenting...and really started thinking maybe I was messing my son up!
So I handed him over... he started crying immediatly. I walked away and tried to go to service. I could not sit in the service because my heart was SICK. SO I go back and hang around the nursery area to see if I can hear him...He is crying off and on. I am thinking, Ok...maybe they are doing good with him..he is gonna be fine and maybe they were right afterall. I kept going back and forth from the service to the nursery wall...he was crying off and on...then while there I hear him start crying pretty hard....I run to the nursery to get him...but another lady stops me and tells me he is OK and I need to relax and learn to let go of him. I felt like a whipped dog. I went back to the service and sit there just kindof disconnected. My husband tries to talk to me and I tell him our son is still crying but they told me they got this and I need to let him go. Service ends and I go to get my baby.
(Before I type the next part I want to clarify that my son is just 13 months old- was a month premature and is smaller for his age- he is just starting to pitch a "fit" when frustrated because he cannot say more than a few words- his "fits" are where he will squeeze his fists and shreak at you or simply cry out in a frustrated tone...he does not do anything worse at this age and we are doing gentle teaching/discipline to correct this behavior-he does however cry very loud and desperate when seperated from me- he will scream frantically. This was my son's first time to stay in the nursery without me and with strangers so he was scared, confused etc)
This is where it gets super bad. So my baby pratically runs out the nursery door to me and is crying- while the nursery worker hangs onto his arm. I pick him up and the secondary worker starts telling me that he did really well (liar- I heard him crying!) Then the primary lead worker starts telling me that when I left he was not just crying he started throwing a temper tantrum and she had to put him on the floor to teach him not to throw a fit with her...she said that made him mad that she wouldn't hold him so he started screaming worse at her. She then tells me how she put her hands up inches in front of his face (like fingers up to the ceiling with palms side by side- like a wall) so he would learn not to cry and scream at her! She said he cried for a bit then stopped crying cause he learned his lesson!! I had to stop her and clarify what "tantrum" he was throwing based on what I know about my son (see above for a description of the only fits I have seen him throw). She said that he was just crying and screaming NO fist clenching- her definition of a tantrum, MY definition of a frightened, frantic baby!!! SO she then tried to show me on my son what she did and he freaked out and started crying and pulling away- and I said "YOU DID WHAT??!!". So she shows me up against MY face how she did this and said we need to do this at home with him! My jaw dropped on the floor and I stood there STUNNED as she proceeded to continue to tell me how after she did that my baby kept crying and following her around the room, but she had things to do and he just had to stop throwing his tantrums! She then tells me that he finally stopped crying and went and hid behind a chair in the room and sucked his paci! She said he finally understood he could not act bad with her and she laughed! She said they told him if he wanted to be alone that was fine with them!
She then proceeded to tell me how he needs to learn to socalize better because he would not play with the other babies in the room- all he did was cry.
Both workers then tell me I need to toughen up and keep bringing him so he will learn to socalize and learn he has to behave and not throw fits to stay with his mommy.
So I took my baby and left... and processed what all she had said the whole way home. I burst into sobs when we got home, and told my husband what all had happened....I wasn't sure if I was being an overprotective mom or they were in the wrong for how my son was treated today... But my husband assured me he is LIVID for how his son was treated and I have every right to be angry. We are not sure what to do at this point...I feel SOOOOOOOOOOOO guilty for leaving him in there against my mommy's insticts! You would think after raising kids all these years I would have more of a backbone...but this nursery leader is one tough cookie and I have never encountered this before so I was not prepared at all.....she really made me second guess my parenting choices...ugh...I know its my fault and I just needed to vent about today and hopefully get some feedback that helps me solidify that its OK for my son to still need me so much and stay with me. He won't be going back to the nursery...and honestly after this we are probably going to find another church.