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I left my kids for five days and it was okay

Last Thursday morning, I kissed Emma goodbye, dropped Julian off at school with a big hug and kiss and continued on to the airport. I hopped on a plane and headed off to Los Angeles, via Chicago for a conference for work. I met up with friends, learned new things, saw a bit of Los Angeles, met interesting people, ate food without thinking about whether anyone else was hungry, slept in a bed by myself, and showered without three people entering the bathroom to ask me questions. I came home five days later, on Monday evening, unpacked my things and snuggled into bed with Emma. I spent five days without my kids and it was okay. It was okay for me. It was okay for them. I think it was okay for my husband and my mom who were caring for them...at least I didn't hear any big complaints.

Emma is almost three years old and Julian is five years old. This isn't the first time that I left them. I left for three nights last year when I went to BlogHer in Chicago. It was difficult, but not horrible. This time though, it seemed much easier. It really seemed okay. I was thrilled to see them when I got back and happy to finally be able to hug and kiss them again. But I really was okay while I was away except for the one time I checked in by phone only to hear that Emma had kicked Julian in the face and there was blood everywhere and screaming in the background. That was not so great. Especially since I had to go right from that call into facilitating a discussion at the conference.

While discussing next summer's BlogHer in New York with Loukia (who is getting stressed about leaving her boys behind), I got to thinking retrospectively about what made it okay. After thinking about it for a while, I think there are three factors that made it easier and that made me comfortable being away from my kids and that made them comfortable being away from me:

1. Being verbal: Both of my kids language skills are at a level where I can have a conversation with them on the phone. Their comprehension is good enough that they understand where I am and that I am coming back. I can tell them about what I'm doing and they can tell me about what they are doing.

2. Sense of time: They both have a good enough sense of time that they understand approximately when I am coming home.

3. Comfortable with caregivers: They are both comfortable with and able to be comforted by the people who were caring for them (in this case my husband and my mother).

If it weren't for those three factors, I don't think I would be as comfortable. I would find it difficult if I couldn't talk to them, if they were hoping I would be home any second but not really sure I was ever coming back, or if they were not completely comfortable with the people I was leaving them with. I would never leave a physically dependent baby to go on a trip. I would find a way to bring my child and a caregiver along or forgo the trip altogether. But I do think that my kids and I, and our relationship, is now at the point where we can be away from each other for a bit without it causing undue heartache or stress for either of us.

It is freeing and it is rewarding to have come to this point without having to push it on my kids or to leave them before either of us was ready.

Have you ever traveled without your kids? Was it okay? What factors made it okay?

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk on flickr
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Reader Comments (39)

Traveling without your kids is a GOOD thing and important for couples and single parents alike, as long as you have good care for your kids in their absence. I think when parents don't take care of themselves, they're ultimately doing their kids a disservice! This is especially true, in my observations, for single moms who tend to become martyr's for their children, which doesn't serve them in the least. Sure, sometimes circumstances limit what parents or a single parent can do. But, there are still half-days you can take for yourself, hours here and there. It's important.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Sallan

@Bruce: Absolutely. Even before I was ready to leave my kids overnight, I always found opportunities to sneak away for a few hours. I play organized sports and I started up again shortly after both kids were born.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I assume Emma is weaned? Or if not, can you share how that worked out with her? My DD is 2.75 and nurses, and I think this kind of separation would be pretty hard on her. We nurse 3x/day most days, and she gets upset at disruptions to that routine. Not that I have the inclination or ability to leave for more than an overnight right now - DH can't take off work, and we don't have relatives nearby, but it's nice to dream, ha ha!

I left my 5 yo DS for one overnight when he was 2.25, and that worked fine - he was already mostly weaned due to my new pregnancy, so he was only nursing every few days anyway. And he got seriously daddy-attached during the weaning process, so it was very comfortable for him to be just with daddy. He was only really upset that I went off by train, and he didn't get to ride on the train, too.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosemary

My husband and I took a trip a year and a half ago without our kids, who were 3 and 6 at the time. It went well. It really helped that they stayed with grandparents who regularly took them overnight anyhow. Made it just a slightly longer than usual visit for them that way.

It will be a while before we manage that again. I'm still breastfeeding our one year old.

No, she isn't weaned. She usually nurses at bedtime, sometimes during the night, and again in the morning when we get up. She would get upset if I withheld nursing if I was at home, but she is completely fine without it when I'm not there. I took my pump with me and pumped once per day.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

That's great to hear she tolerated that well, then! No problems picking up where you left off? My DS weaned after going 5 days without nursing, and then not remembering how to latch next time he tried... (and he kept trying for 8 more months, to no avail :( ) so I'm also a little nervous of that prospect should I need to go elsewhere for several days - but he had the complication of no milk supply left.

To be fair, my DD mostly gets upset about not nursing when I leave around the time of one of our usual nursing sessions. DH says she calms down pretty quickly about it once I leave, and tends to just ask once and then stop asking when it's explained to her that I'm not going to be there until later.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosemary

@Rosemary: She has had a few clumsy latches, but as long as she is paying attention and so am I, it is no problem. I do notice she is nursing a little less though and is less forceful in asking for it, but I'm okay with that. I think I'd be ready to have her wean if she is ready too.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I hear ya! I'm at a pretty take-it-or-leave-it stage right now, but I'd be happiest if she got to choose the time of leaving it. I had to push weaning stages with my DS because of my needs in pregnancy, and am enjoying not having that challenge this time around!

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosemary

My husband and I and our newborn just flew to Vegas for 5 days to attend a wedding of a really close friend. I agonized (tears! teeth gnashing! etc!) about leaving my 18 month old and 4 year old at Grandmas. But we went and had a marvelous time. The kids had a marvelous time. The Grandmas had a marvelous time.

It was beautiful and romantic for us to spend time on a "babymoon" with our number 3 and it was great for the kids and the Grandparents to deepen their relationship. We think the kids actually enjoyed having a break from us and the recent addition to their lives that is a newborn baby sister. Number 2 got to be the baby again.

I have been tandem nursing my youngest two and was a little worried about disrupting my nursing relationship with number 2 (though not about supply, thanks to the newborn) But the nursing relationship just went back to business as usual when I returned - cept that I was a little low on milk after returning and pretty engorged the first 4 days.

The first thing we did was stay in bed till noon! We ordered breakfast in bed and ate it with both hands! We dined! We made love! Like, more than once and not in a hurry. (Our new baby is a very sound sleeper...) We reconnected with some dear old friends! We freaking deserved it! I am so glad we went -- it meant a lot to our friends that we were at their wedding and it was a high point in our relationship. I've been doing so much mothering over the past 4.5 years that it's nice to try a little wife-ing too.

I'm so proud of my confident kids for being securely attached enough to manage such a seperation. And our parents actually called to thank us for letting us spend so much uninterrupted time with our awesome kids!

Of course I missed them and they missed us but it was all so manageable. And talk about hugs when we returned!

Funny thing is remebering how overwhelmed we felt travelling anywhere when our number 1 was a newborn, and now 3 kids later, 5 days with just one little newborn was a relaxothon!

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy

Thanks for this post! Great points, A.
Yes, I'm completely filled with stress over leaving my boys... and I only plan on going for 2 nights! I know my 4 year old will miss me, but that he'll be okay without me on those days. We have great conversations on the phone, he is incredibly close to his father - and he is very close with my parents who will also be looking after him while I'm away - so for him, it's not going to be a huge problem, other than I'll really miss him!
My 2 year old, however - although he loves his father and is almost as in love with my mom as he is with me - is still very needy for me, during the night. If he wakes up in the middle of the night, he only wants me, me, me - no one else will do at all! I've left the movies early because of this, and I left a New Year's Eve part at 11:30 to come home because he was crying for me.
We are weak in my family! If the child cries, we panic! Anyway. I'm hoping from now until BlogHer, my 2 year old will grow a bit in that department. We do talk on the phone, and it's cute, but I don't know if he will understand what 2 days means at this point...
Another issue I have is guilt, of course, and also, because my mom babysits almost every day for me already when I'm at work, it will be tough for her and my dad (and husband) to do even more time... my boys are demanding, and they really tire a person out!
Well. Regardless... I'm going to BlogHer this year!

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLoukia

I have not been away from my kids (5.5 and 2.5) beyond a night -- the first time away from DS1 was when he was 3 and I was having DS2 :) I was so worried -- of course he was fine. We spent the night away due to a wedding this past summer, and I was again worried about DS2 (who was/is nursing) -- again, totally fine. Because of this, I can see being able to be away from them a couple nights in the not-to-distant future. I wouldn't have considered it when DS1 was 2.5 though, so not sure why I am OK with it for DS2? Maybe it's a combo of a) actually needing a break :) and b) knowing DS2 will be in good company with his big brother (and of course, his caregivers, likely grandparents). The fact that I now know he can go a night without nursing and not be upset also helps. I'm not ready for a vacation without them, though, because we haven't had many vacations WITH them -- so any fun time coming up will be family time! DH and I had years of being just a couple, and will have couple time again in years to come. But a weekend apart so DH and I could do some work on the house? That I think we can all handle.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I was really hoping to make it to BlogHer this year, but my son will be 1 wee shy of his 2nd birthday. The lack of verbal ability / understanding of time, plus the fact that I will still be breastfeeding and weaning would really upset me, conspire to mean it's just not time. My husband and I were hoping it would be on the West Coast and we could turn it into a family vacation, but trucking the whole clan to New York, especially with the kids at 2 and 5, doesn't sound like fun.

I'm sad, but I realize that this is such a short time. I am committed to being present for my kids while they need me, and I feel that they still do, especially over several nights.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

Good post! I have travelled without my children on several occassions. My husband and I had a four-day getaway when my first son was 15 months, and then I had a few weekends away after that. My husband and I left our second son for the first time recently for a few of nights, he was 11 months. I heartily agree that it gets easier every time you do it. The key for us has always been that we recognize that the people we leave them with (always grandparents for an overnight) love them as much as we do, so why wouldn't they be okay? My parents are loving, kind, fun people. Sometimes they have a better time with them than they do with us. I've also left my children overnight with my husband, will do so a few times this year. He's their dad. If I can be alone with them, so can he. I agree that the key is keeping in touch and explaining exactly what is happening (at least that works for my oldest). You might remember I was a bit nervous about leaving the baby this time simply because he was still nursing. I got lots of reassurance about this from others and, in fact, it was just fine. We simply continued on with it once we were back together. And the best part of going away? The pure joy they have when they see you when they come back.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine LaRocque

My 2 are 3.5yrs and 19mo now. We left my then 20mo for 3 days to do a quick adult trip to Vegas when I was pregnant with #2 and she barely noticed we were gone. The fact she had self weaned herself by that point probably helped plus the fact Nana was staying with her and Nana is the primary caregiver during the day while I'm at work so it wasn't a big deal.

I'm still nursing my 19mo before bed and if I happen to be home and she wants it. I know she can handle going to bed without nursing but I don't want to force the weaning JUST to get a vacation. Not that I can go anywhere anytime soon ;)

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

My son is 20 months old and I have never left him overnight. I've been fortunate enough to wiggle my way out of traveling for work so far, but my boss recently mentioned he would like me to start traveling again. I'm trying not to panic yet, as no events have come up that he really wants me to attend. I've got a number of major issues with traveling overnight at this time. 1) My husband, although a great SAHD, needs a break for a couple hours a day and 2) we don't really have anyone nearby that could help him much, not to mention 3) I'm still nursing at least twice a day and 4) like Loukia's little one, he wants mama and only mama if he wakes up at night. All these combined mean that I fear I would be an anxious, guilt-ridden mess the entire time.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShana

You were with me Annie when I left my the 2.5 year old for the first time for BlogHer, he had just weaned 6 weeks earlier but I was still worried. The 2nd time I went away was in September for another conference and my sister kindly took care of him since my husband was unable to get out of meetings at work and that was a little better than the previous time. I recently got back from yet another conference and while it was better even than the previous times I have noticed a few things:

1. I never used to worry when I flew. Heck my dad worked for the airlines for over 30 years. I find myself praying about the smallest turbulence.

2. I prep my son for a long time before I go and that really really helps. I also set up a special event during my time away and after my return. Nothing huge ( a new puzzle and a trip to starbucks) but it gives him something to look forward to.

3. I don't get homesick until the night before my return , then I can't possibly get home fast enough. I am on the edge of tears waiting to see my little guy. This is the worse time and a good book is the only thing that can help me not get lost in the homesickness.

4. Allow yourself to feel anxious and worried . One night this past trip I couldn't get a hold of my husband and I knew he had taken the ferry into Seattle- a particular anxiety producing fear of mine despite our use of it often. I was googling "Seattle News" and "Ferry Accident' on my iPod when I was unable to reach him. Of course he was fine, our 3 year old had turned off his ringer but I didn't hide my anxiety I talked to the women I was with , made jokes about it but still let it out so it was diffused somewhat.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllie

When my daughter was about 2 (she's almost 21 now), she stayed with my mom for a long weekend so her dad and I could have a mini-vacation. On the first full day we were gone, she picks up a framed photo of my mom, her and me, wailing 'I'm never gonna see my Mommy again!' My mom tells her 'she'll be home tomorrow.' Tears instantly stopped, she put the photo down, answers 'okay,' then went about her day. No more worries.

We did all those things you suggested, but at her age, time was such a abstract idea. She just needed some reassurance that we were coming back.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTara R.

I left my then 7.5 mo old for 2 nights back in November and it was fine. I was nervous at first but my husband is such a wonderful dad it was totally fine. I was terrified she wouldn't want to nurse anymore, but when I got home we nursed right then and everything has been fine. I pumped every 3 hours during the day while I was gone and brought home a ridiculous amount of milk (and used up a bunch--nearly all--of my freezer stash while gone) but it was really wonderful for me to have some 'off' time since I'm a SAHM. And to get to sleep throught the night... since at 10 mos DD is still waking every 3 hours at night. I would love to have another night off sometime in the near future! but maybe not 2 in a row this time :)

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

OT: You don't want to hear that a 10 mos old waking every 3 hours is pretty normal, do you? ;) My first was waking that often until 2.5...(sorry! it had to be said!)

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

(sigh) Sounds like bliss and I think you covered all the bases. I've managed a night away (apart from the very early hospital stuff) leaving the Wee Guy at home with dad but he was almost 6y (and dad was almost 44y!) and a blissful 4-night stretch when the two went visiting my husband's family this summer. We don't have family on this continent so long weekends etc are out of the question until Wee Guy feels comfortable going to camp (which he might do this summer)(camp is only 15minutes away)(makes me much more comfortable).
One thing I've noticed with mummy-friends is how little preparation they do with their partner for looking after small bundle of joy. Friends mention that DH looks panic-stricken at being left with one, two or three children and don't seem to realise it's what the mum has been doing Mon-Fri (or whatever the work-out-of-the-home partner's worklife schedule is. I wonder what they think their partner does the moment they leave the front door - dissolve in a miserable heap??? I've been 'training' my man to 'babysit' since the early years (he cooks twice a week, takes sole charge regularly but still doesn't know where the spare peanut butter is kept) so I feel extremely comfortable with heading out for an hour, half a day or a whole day (or another overnight .....)

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterebbandflo aka pomomama

My partner isn't the babysitter, he is their father. I expect him to be able to take care of them. There are tasks that I usually do at home (e.g. cooking) and tasks he usually does (e.g. snow clearing), so we both have to prepare each other if one of us is going to be absent to ensure that the other one is not hungry/snowed in!

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

To add, when I returned to work after my leave with DS1, I was terrified I would have to travel for work when he would have been about 20 mos. I was NOT comfortable thinking about leaving him, esp. as I was nursing and I did not know how he would be without it. I was SO glad I was not asked to go to a conference and so did not have to explain I didn't want to be away from my child overnight (not sure how well that goes over in the business world...) I've been perfectly content not to have to travel for work (or try to opt out without looking unprofessional) ever since. Travel is a big part of DH's job though, he had to choose between travelling when I was due with DS1, or two weeks after (which is when he went, broke his heart). His bond with the boys has not suffered as a result. It does help that they can communicate and understand he's on a trip and will be back in X days. And that he's an incredibly involved parent when he's home.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I dislike the term babysitter for dads too. Milk aside, I'd actually say my DH is better at wrangling two kids on his own than I am! It is no reflection on him that I've been in no hurry to be away from my very young kids before now.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

The only time I was away from my child was to have my second child!

But both my kids just refused to take bottles and really wanted me at night. I'm sure they would survive without me, but nothing has been important enough for me to want to put them and my husband through that. My 3 yo is weaned but my 17 month old still nurses. Once I no long have a nursling, I'm sure the bar will be lower for "worth it" to take a night or two and do something fun or meaningful or professionally helpful.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace

I was going to say that I have never been away overnight from my 3 and half year old, but then I realized I was when her brother was born. She was two, my sister stayed with her and she was fine.
I am going to BlogHer and very excited about it! They are going to be with their dad for two night and then he is going to fly and meet me in NYC and my sister will be with the kids for three ngiht. My youngest will be almost two. I am thinking it might be hard, but he will have his sister. And the husband and I are hoping to do some practice overnight trips to a local hotel before August. Which in my mind is just an extra bonus.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCapital Mom

I went away for a week when my daughter just turned 2, and she was still nursing. I didn't pump for 7 days, and when I got back, she went right back to nursing. At first the milk supply was low, and she would say, "Mommy, the milk's all gone!" But after a few days of nursing, the supply came right back up.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

At Blissdom this weekend I did have Ivy BUT I put her in childcare some of the time which I NEVER do! And I'm already thinking about leaving her if I go to Blissdom Canada!!!


February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdventures In Babywearing

I have to travel for work several times a year, for days at a time, sometimes overseas, and to be honest, as Munchkin gets older (now 3.5) I am LESS comfortable/happy leaving her. I miss her a lot more now that she's more like 'people' and less a bundle of overwhelming physical needs with a very bad temper.

Her father is perfectly competent and happy to care for her solo. But I miss her with an increasingly fierce passion when I travel now, much more so than when she was 18 months old, or 2 years old. I HATE to be gone from her. She is so articulate now about how much she misses me and how much she loves me and all that. It kills me. No one is making me feel bad except myself. I wonder where all this guilt and angst suddenly came from?

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermimi

You MUST come to Blissdom Canada!

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Oh wait. I can remember my own mom having to travel for work (taking summer courses to upgrade to a BEd after having gone to teachers college in teh 60s) and vividly recall how much I missed her, how much I wanted to be near her, even though my sister and I were in a Caregiver Paradise of cottages and cousins and all the fun we could ever want.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermimi

Next month I'm leaving both kids with my sister and her family while my husband and I go away for 4 days. My husband won the trip at work and totally deserves it . I have left my 3.5 yo ds when dh has won these trips before but we always brought our 21 mo dd. All I can think about is while I'm getting a massage they'll be screaming for me.
I keep reminding myself that they are in safe hands, they love being with their aunt, uncle and cousins. And that I'm with them 7 days a weeks almost 24 hrs a day (depending if I can use the bathroom alone). I'm also just over half way through my pregnancy with their sibling. Mommy needs a massge and some one else to make dinner and plan her day.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

This summer will be the first time I'm traveling without my son, and only sort of. Last summer I had a conference for work, he was 6 months old, so I brought my mother along and she brought him to me every 2-3 hours to nurse. This summer he'll be 18 months and when I have the same conference, he'll come with me again, but the next month I'm doing a long weekend trip in Chicago with my college roommates, neither of whom have kids. I arranged for the trip to be in a city near my mother and sister, so my son will fly out with me and spend the few days with them. I'm hoping this will be a good arrangement.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMZ

I was supposed to go to a 4-day conference this weekend. It would have been my longest trip away from my 2yr old. Weather got in the way, cancelling our flights... but I feel pretty confident that it would have gone fine. My mom flew out to take care of D, and he likes her almost more than me so between her and my husband I know he would've been in great hands.

The other time we've left is for 1 and a 2-night stay away, while leaving him with my mom and step-dad. Both times it went great, and he hardly even seemed to miss us (though was clearly happy to see us upon our return).

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy

[...] Annie from PhD in Parenting left her kids for five days – and they were all okay [...]

Hahaha If all goes well I'll be holding @Loukia's hand at BlogHer since we're planning on being roommates this year and she's definitely nervous about being away. And I don't blame her, it's certainly hard those first few times!

But I agree with you wholeheartedly on the things that might make it easier and above all else the #1 thing is comfort with the caregivers. Comprehension of language and time are great, but that's just gravy in my book.

I had to leave my son for several days when he was a little younger than 18 months and his father took time off work to be a full-time dad. Hollis didn't blink an eye. He ran around the house looking for me, but accepted that mommy wasn't around and didn't think twice about it. Had I left him with someone OTHER than his father, I doubt this would have been the case. He would have been off balance, nervous, and otherwise upset.

Also, kids tend to reflect what you put out there. If you're confident that things are going to go well, then they'll lean in that direction. I knew my husband and son were going to do a bang up job and they did.

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica - This is Worthwhile

I'm revisiting this post tonight as I can't sleep for the anxiety I have for Blissdom11. (months away!) (I won't be going to Blissdom Canada).

I just don't know if I can leave all my kids that long. But I'm also struggling with- should I be able to leave them? Is it GOOD for them to be apart from me? Am I hurting them in some way if they grow up with me never being apart from them? I'm googling and not finding it much help.

In the past I have always had Ivy, but she's at the age now that I wouldn't want to bring her. I think I'm most worried about my older boys. Carter is 8 and he can get really "homesick" for me when I'm gone just one night. When I weigh the pros/cons of going to the conference or missing out and staying home I keep coming back to wanting to stay home. I just feel like the only blogger that can not leave her kids for a trip or conference...



October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdventures In Babywearing

[...] Recently, when Rebecca Eckler wrote about leaving her 10 week old baby to go on vacation and the Internet reacted viciously, my thought was: meh, maybe it forced someone to think about it in a way they hadn't considered. In this instance (unlike some of the "mommy wars"), I do think Eckler probably knew what she was getting into when she decided to write about it and she did it anyway. I'm not sure if she was thinking about other moms when she decided to write it, but I do think the conversation that it sparked probably forced a lot of new parents to consider whether they would ever leave a 10 week old baby to go away and also to consider what their own criteria might be for deciding when the right time is to take a vacation without thei.... [...]

Hi Ladies, I found this site after googling various sentences about my situation which is… I am a mother of two, my daughter just turned 5 and I have a 22 month old son who still is breastfed to sleep and wakes for a soothing breast during the night.
I have left them on 3 occasions over night and it was OK.
But I have to travel home overseas (27 hour travel time) to spend time with my terminally ill mother. I brought the kids the last two times I travelled (tough) but cannot take them this time as my daughter just started school and I know I'll regret not spending quality time with my lovely mum befroe she becomes too sick to do stuff with me.
I worry about silly stuff and I know I will cry all the way to Europe as I will miss them terribly but what else can I do???? My daughter is old enough to talk to me on phone and skype etc.
My husband will take time off work and my mother in law is a great help….. Maybe it's a good thing to get him off the boob totally…..??
The whle situation is very stressful and out of my control. Any advice or encouraging words would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks to all you wonderful mothers! x

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeany

I'm a researcher and have to spend week-long blocks of time away from my kids four times a year and have since they were weaned at 6 months* and it has had very little effect on them except that they are super pleased to see me when I get back. My husband is the full time stay-at-home parent though. I think if it was the other way around and Daddy left for a week while I stayed at home they would be properly traumatized. A week is a long time for a toddler to be separated from the primary parent.

*Sorry, but in my opinion teeth are nature's very painful way of saying "weaning time!" ;)

June 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

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