Parents: when (if ever) did you leave your child so you could go on vacation?

LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
DH and I are supposed to spend 5 days in New Orleans for my 40th birthday, but I am having serious reservations about leaving my three-year-old. DD is a mama's girl and is going to be very upset if I'm gone for that long. I have not left her for more than a night or two while traveling for work.

My parents are going to stay with her while we're gone, so she can mostly keep in her routine. My parents are both dreading it because DD doesn't like it when we're gone (crying, sadness, poor sleeping).

DH and I are using travel points to pay for the trip and can easily schedule something closer for a couple nights instead. I figure that we have a limited time where she wants to hang out with us and I would rather spend it with her.

DH is the one making a big deal about my birthday. I don't care either way. Am I overreacting? WWYD? When (if ever) did you leave your kids for longer than a night?
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    DH and I have gone away alone every year since I stopped breastfeeding.

    When my son was 2, we went on an overnight ski trip. When my son was 3.5 and my daughter was 1.5 we went to San Francisco for a long weekend. Then finally this summer (DS was 4.5, DD was 2.5), DH and I went to Europe for 10 days.

    I've had to be convinced every time and each time I've been so happy that we've done it. DH and I find that we need that alone time to recharge our marriage. We're lucky that my MIL lives with us and knows the kids routine perfectly and my Mom lives nearby. The kids are very well taken care of when we are gone and quite happy.

    We always go away during the school year so that the kids have their regular school/daycare and activities.

    Do what you feel is right for you.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I've never had a kid-free vacation...I've been a mother for 24 years. I even took my older sons on my honeymoon. These days, my older sons no longer come along on vacations...they've got bigger/better things to do. I miss them. I know my younger kids will soon get to the point where they won't want to come along either.

    I have a little boy whom I babysit 4 days a week while his mom works, and occasionally on weekends or overnight. He's 2 now. I've had him since he was tiny. We're very bonded. I recently watched him while his parents went away for 5 days. He was so sad...profoundly sad. You wouldn't think he'd mind or even notice his parents were gone, because he's so much a part of my family, but he did. It broke my heart to see him so sad.

    My point in all this...go if you want to, but don't think your daughter won't mind. She will.
  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    He was so sad...profoundly sad. You wouldn't think he'd mind or even notice his parents were gone, because he's so much a part of my family, but he did. It broke my heart to see him so sad.

    My point in all this...go if you want to, but don't think your daughter won't mind. She will.


    This is what worries me. DD tells me how she misses me when she's at daycare. The last time my parents watched her for one night, my mom said DD would say "I miss my mommy." DD wasn't whining or crying, but was just sad. :sad5:
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  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    She'll get over it.
    She'll be fine.
    Go.
    Happy 40th! :toothy4:
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  • Jess the MessJess the Mess Posts: 5,844Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I've gone away without my kids since they were toddlers. Plus one set of their grandparents live 5 hours away so they usually spend a week there. They go on overnight trips to my parents' houses all the time and spend weekends with their great-grandparents. I also spent time with my grandparents every summer as a child. While DD might miss you it can also be a really good grandparent bonding time.
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  • KurlyKaeKurlyKae Posts: 3,413Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    My girls are 12 and 15. The first time we left them for an extended time was 7 years ago, for a 5 day cruise. So, they were 5 and 8. They'd had many a weekend at the grands previously, so they couldn't wait.

    Before we left, I was anxious, the kids were fine. The day we left, I put cards in the mail to reach them at the grands mid-week. Then, we emailed them from the ship, and called from port.

    DH and I returned and expeted to go get them on day 6, but they were having so much fun, they wanted to stay. I think we finally brought them home after 10 days.

    It was such a good choice for us. DH and I needed the time to recharge and celebrate our 15th anniversary, and the girls benefitted from the extended time spent with their grandparents.
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  • Scuba GalScuba Gal Posts: 383Registered Users
    I've never had a kid-free vacation...I've been a mother for 24 years. I even took my older sons on my honeymoon. These days, my older sons no longer come along on vacations...they've got bigger/better things to do. I miss them. I know my younger kids will soon get to the point where they won't want to come along either.

    I have a little boy whom I babysit 4 days a week while his mom works, and occasionally on weekends or overnight. He's 2 now. I've had him since he was tiny. We're very bonded. I recently watched him while his parents went away for 5 days. He was so sad...profoundly sad. You wouldn't think he'd mind or even notice his parents were gone, because he's so much a part of my family, but he did. It broke my heart to see him so sad.

    My point in all this...go if you want to, but don't think your daughter won't mind. She will.

    seriously? You have no idea how her daughter would handle it. Or how *most* kids would handle it. You paint things to black and white to your personal agenda it is ridiculous.

    It is hard to leave your child. The first time will be the hardest. But it is also important to nurture your marriage and child free vacations can be so beneficial, even if you don't realize how bad you, or your spouse, might need it.

    I do think family vacations are just as important, I have taken my kids on all types of vacations (Europe, Jamaica, we go to FL 2-3wks a year, I have taken them to CA and AZ to visit family/friends), but we also take alone vacations and my children are none the worse for wear having spent that time with their grandparents or other family. I think they have a great relationship with our families because of it.

    To answer your question, we went to Barbados when Maggie was 9mo and left her with the grandparents. It was hard, but we had a fantastic time and I have zero regrets. She was so little, she as no memory of it.

    We left Holden at home with my mom when I went to CA for my HS reunion last year when he was about 13mo (We took Maggie). I left them both when they were 1.5 and 3.5 for an anniversary trip to Napa, my mom came and stayed with them. They went to my In-laws a couple of weeks ago for a long weekend while we took our anniversary trip.

    They have also spent a weekend with my brother/SIL, just because we wanted to sleep in and they loved, loved,loved their weekend at their house. They can't wait to go back.

    At this age, yes, your child will remember it. I did the 3 Day Cancer walk in August and Maggie STILL talks about how much she missed me "when I went off on my 3 day walking". She was home with her dad. A parent. But is she fine? Is she a normal, healthy child because I have gone on vacation without her? YES.

    Going on vacation won't ruin your child....I would argue it is HEALTHY for your child and a great experience to have with their grandparents. They won't walk around for days profoundly sad. I think that is a ridiculous statement that seems to imply it is bad parenting to leave your child with their grandparents so you can reconnect with your spouse.
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I've had to leave my kids while on business trips...mostly 4 nights...but daddy was always there and vice versa when DH was on business trips. I think my first trip son was 18 months...second trip he was 3 and daughter was 1.

    Both of us had our first trip this last April...1 night. Ages were 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. It was wonderful for us to recharge...although I did miss my kids. We are thinking of an extended trip (5 days) to D.C. this spring when the kids will be 4 1/2 and 2 1/2. Kids will stay with Grandparents at night and Nanny during the day. Their only change will be the Grandparents at our house every night instead of mommy and daddy.

    I think vacation is good. Helps you recharge and enjoy your SO company which is not always easy to do with the every day workload around. Although, I know they will miss me..we will talk every night on the phone...or more....and we'll have to deal with Grandparent's spoiling but that is fine.

    In other words, GO. Kids will miss you but they will be fine. Enjoy and bring back lots of presents. LOL.
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    We've never been away from our children, but not for lack of want. We just have no family to watch them for any extended period of time. My in-laws are up there in age and at this point, we have too many kids for them to handle. :lol: My mom would be up for the challenge if she weren't such a nervous wreck all the time. So, we do vacations together as a family.

    Do it if you can, Lolo. Your daughter will miss you, of course. But she will be fine.
  • kat180kat180 Posts: 6,280Registered Users Curl Novice
    She will be sad, but she will get over it.

    Im not being harsh just truthful. She needs to learn to get along without you there 24/7.

    5 days away while she is in her own home with her grandparents is a great, small, start. I honestly think it will be better for her in the long run :D

    Plus it sounds like you and your husband (and he obviously very much feels this way) need the time alone together and the break :) Your marriage is important too.

    Go and have a great birthday- your daughter will be just fine.
  • cmb4314cmb4314 Posts: 984Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I think it depends a lot on the particular kid.

    My husband thinks it is cruel to leave kids, even with grandparents, for a few days. But he was unhealthily attached to his mom as a kid. He couldn't sleep in his own room until he was about 8, he cried every morning at school until nearly middle school, and he couldn't bear to spend the night away from his parents until high school, not even for a sleepover at a friend's house. He's not quite this crazy now, I swear, though he still thinks the way his mom does everything is the 'right' way to do it. I'm going to have to stand my ground when it comes to parenting because I refuse to have my inevitably huge 7 year old sleeping in my bed. Anyway, I digress...

    My parents left me with my grandparents for a week once when I was 4, and it clearly must have not been terribly traumatizing because the only thing I can remember is eating the chocolate hearts my Grandma gave me for Valentine's day. Then again, I was also the kid who got dropped off for the first time at preschool at age 2.5 and just said "Bye Mom!" and wandered off to play without even worrying about the fact that my mom was leaving.

    Both of our moms were SAHMs and we both spent all our time with our moms, but he was just a clingier kid.

    I'd say you know your kid best, and how she is going to do without you. If you don't think you'll enjoy yourself because you're worrying about her, then it's probably not worth it to go.
  • kat180kat180 Posts: 6,280Registered Users Curl Novice
    cmb4314 wrote: »
    I think it depends a lot on the particular kid.

    My husband thinks it is cruel to leave kids, even with grandparents, for a few days. But he was unhealthily attached to his mom as a kid. He couldn't sleep in his own room until he was about 8, he cried every morning at school until nearly middle school, and he couldn't bear to spend the night away from his parents until high school, not even for a sleepover at a friend's house. He's not quite this crazy now, I swear, though he still thinks the way his mom does everything is the 'right' way to do it. I'm going to have to stand my ground when it comes to parenting because I refuse to have my inevitably huge 7 year old sleeping in my bed. Anyway, I digress...

    My parents left me with my grandparents for a week once when I was 4, and it clearly must have not been terribly traumatizing because the only thing I can remember is eating the chocolate hearts my Grandma gave me for Valentine's day. Then again, I was also the kid who got dropped off for the first time at preschool at age 2.5 and just said "Bye Mom!" and wandered off to play without even worrying about the fact that my mom was leaving.

    Both of our moms were SAHMs and we both spent all our time with our moms, but he was just a clingier kid.

    I'd say you know your kid best, and how she is going to do without you. If you don't think you'll enjoy yourself because you're worrying about her, then it's probably not worth it to go.

    Thats kind of what I was getting at. Sometimes it is better not to let your kids constantly be with you - its like a tiny step at teaching independence- after all you cant be with them forever :)
  • MunchyMunchy Posts: 5,206Registered Users Curl Novice
    Childfree: I took three trips to Chicago and a trip to Philly last year, several trips to the Hamptons and a trip to Miami this year. I'm planning a Chicago trip in the next few months, but I may bring her.

    BK just turned three, the first trip I took without her was last July right before she turned 2. She has always missed me and asked for me, especially with the most recent trip. However, she was fine, and I came back refueled for her. Grandma and Grandpa spoil her, and she's very close to them.
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    Scuba Gal wrote: »
    Going on vacation won't ruin your child....I would argue it is HEALTHY for your child and a great experience to have with their grandparents. They won't walk around for days profoundly sad. I think that is a ridiculous statement that seems to imply it is bad parenting to leave your child with their grandparents so you can reconnect with your spouse.

    Totally agree.

    If you are going to go, then start to prepare your DD. Does she spend the day with her grandparents? An overnight trip? Can your parents include some special acitivies in her week with them? Make it something fun for her to look forward to.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,898Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I would want to but I don't think I'd feel entirely comfortable. My mother has offerred. And she is just about the only person I'd consider allowing my kids to stay w/ for an extended period of time. But I think she might be too old now to keep up w/ them in a way that would be 100% safe.

    My BIL/SIL watched my daughter one night while I was in the hospital having my son. And that turned out fine. So who knows. Maybe it's not as big a deal as I make it out to be.

    Would three days (instead of five) be too short to make the trip worth your while?

  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    What do y'all consider too old?
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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    Not a parent but -- when I was a kid, my parents used to take vacations without my sister and me pretty frequently, and we were fine with it. We had fun staying with our grandparents. Once when my father was in Atlanta for two months on business, my mom went down and stayed with him for two weeks. We were maybe 3 and 5 -- no older, I know I wasn't in school yet.
  • FieryCurlsFieryCurls Posts: 2,904Registered Users
    We left her with my parents (an hour away) for a weekend at 16 months.

    She's stayed with my M-I-L (2.5 hours away) for a week and a half at 19 months.

    She stayed with my parents for four days at 21 months. I was worried about that one because my husband had just deployed and she was taking that hard. I was told she loved it.

    M-I-L again for a week and a half at 25 months.

    Parents for a weekend at 27 months.

    M-I-L again for about a week and in two weeks.

    I love been told that each time that she loves being there. I call every night a little bit before bedtime to see how the day went, to talk to her for a few minutes, and to tell her that I love her. I always get a big smile, huge hug, and a kiss upon picking her up/her being brought home.
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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,898Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    What do y'all consider too old?

    My mother will be 69 on her next bday. And she is a very 'young', in shape, active 69 y/o. But my kids are a huge handful and really give me a run for my money everyday! And I live w/ them and am used to them. They are not like regular kids! LOL I think she could handle one of them just fine but not easily both of them together.

    (I was a much quieter kid and there was only one of me...and I used to stress her 30 years ago...so I'm not sure how two kids who are borderline hyperactive when she is almost 70 would work! LOL)

  • Scuba GalScuba Gal Posts: 383Registered Users
    What do y'all consider too old?

    ETA: you mean the parents?

    I think if you question if your parents are capable of chasing after your kids, it might be hard to leave them and you should trust your gut. My mom is only 66 and she expressed sometimes both of them (when they were a bit younger) were hard on her all day, which made me feel bad for asking her to watch them. Now that they are a bit older (2.5 and 4)- they are a little easier to manage.

    Now normally my Bro/SIL will help out and between them being in preschool and the option to let them spend 1/2 day there, it is easier on her to take care of them without it being the 24x7 demands when Holden was younger and Maggie was in her terrible two.
  • NalliaNallia Posts: 2,979Registered Users
    We left my son with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law for a week when he was 15 months old. I was pregnant with our daughter and we went to Puerto Rico on a business-related vacation, because my husband won and award.

    We left both of our children with the same family members when my daughter was 15 months old and my son was almost 3. We went on a vacation with friends for a week.

    Both times we first flew to FL and spent a few days there with family before leaving our children there and continuing our trips. We have no family in our state and have to fly to see anyone. Both times they were fine. Yes, they were a bit sad, but they still had a great time and had no issues when we got back.
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    What do y'all consider too old?

    My MIL is 70, and she could look after them; however she doesn't drive and so its not practical for her to look after them alone for more than an overnight. So the solution for us (since both Grandmas live nearby) was that my Mom drove them to school/daycare/activities and handled them during the day; while my MIL looked after the kids in the evening and overnight (in our home).
  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    What do y'all consider too old?

    My mother will be 69 on her next bday. And she is a very 'young', in shape, active 69 y/o. But my kids are a huge handful and really give me a run for my money everyday! And I live w/ them and am used to them. They are not like regular kids! LOL I think she could handle one of them just fine but not easily both of them together.

    (I was a much quieter kid and there was only one of me...and I used to stress her 30 years ago...so I'm not sure how two kids who are borderline hyperactive when she is almost 70 would work! LOL)


    I don't think that's too old. You have to remember that when u were a kid, your mom was probably also working and dealing with 50 billion other things so you "stressing her out" was on top of everything else. I've noticed that with my mom and dad since they retired, they are SOOOO much calmer and mellow. My mom is 66 and keeps my neice and nephew (4 and 8) 2-3 nights per week while my sister is working on her Master's degree.
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  • Bonnie.Bonnie. Posts: 95Registered Users
    She'll get over it.
    She'll be fine.
    Go.
    Happy 40th! :toothy4:


    This!

    We went to Hawaii for our 10th anniversary. My kids were 4 and 7. They spent the week with my SIL and her kids and had a blast without us. They still talk about that trip and that was three years ago.

    Parents need time away from their kids to keep their marriage strong. I firmly believe that.
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    ita w/ Bo...
    btw..good to see you! :toothy4:
    How about the Piney Woods Game? 8-)

    Oh, also, yeah, my folks are 73 and 75 and my old neighbor is 80... so :dontknow:
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    Ever since the sports thread wars I have sensed a special connection between [edit] & Wile. Like the connection oil has to water. I almost can't speak of it. Wait....my eyes are misting. ~asq
    Let’s just stay together and tell the world to kiss our ass. ~P


  • TrenellTrenell Posts: 3,562Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Isaiah has been ON vacations without us. I think it the longest was about 9-10 days.

    I'm going to be out of town for two months (starting Monday.eeek) I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a harder time then him.
  • Bonnie.Bonnie. Posts: 95Registered Users
    ita w/ Bo...
    btw..good to see you! :toothy4:
    How about the Piney Woods Game? 8-)

    Oh, also, yeah, my folks are 73 and 75 and my old neighbor is 80... so :dontknow:


    Piney woods game? Im lost.

    Good to see you too! I still lurk every now and then.
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/showthread.php?t=113243
    Of course, it's about football... :toothy4:
    Battle of the Piney Woods..lol
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    Ever since the sports thread wars I have sensed a special connection between [edit] & Wile. Like the connection oil has to water. I almost can't speak of it. Wait....my eyes are misting. ~asq
    Let’s just stay together and tell the world to kiss our ass. ~P


  • LAwomanLAwoman Posts: 2,949Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    No kids, but I can tell you that my parents took a 3-7 day trip without me every year from the time I was 4. I stayed at my grandparents and would have a blast.

    I think you should do it!
  • WiregirlWiregirl Posts: 1,695Registered Users
    Never left my kids at all DD is 23, DS almost 16. I get too anxious!

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