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Would you send your 1-year-old on a vacation for a week with your parents but w/out you? - Page 2

post #21 of 74
I didn't see this thread as the OP looking for advice on how/whether to talk to the family she mentioned. I interpreted it as raising an interesting point for discussion.

I was left with my grandparents for 6 weeks when I was about 18 months old. They were people I knew well and saw often. I don't know how I responded. They have both died now and I imagine that they would have glossed over any trauma when talking to my parents. I do know that I cried at the airport when my grandparents left after delivering me back to my parents. I was left with the GPs while my parents drove 3000km to set up our new home/business in an isolated wilderness area. We lived in two tents for the first 6 months.

I doubt it is a choice I would make but DH and I do not have the same pioneering spirit my parents do. And they created a wonderful life for us and are now reaping the benefits themselves having self-funded their retirement at 46 & 50 years old.
post #22 of 74

I wouldn't have done that and my daughter wouldn't have been happy if I had.  She saw my parents daily and still would've been very upset to have been left with them instead of me.  My husband traveled from work almost from the beginning and by the time she was a year old, those trips of his were really hard on her.  I can't imagine her "losing" both of us for a week.

 

My in laws live in another country and do not get to see my daughter often.  She doesn't really know them. IMO, if they want to see her, they can come to us or we can visit as a family but even now I'm not handing my daughter off to strangers for a week.  It doesn't matter that I know and trust them, she doesn't.

 

I can see how it might be necessary for one reason or another or if the child has a close relationship to the parents, but dropping them off with people who would be strangers to the child?  No.

post #23 of 74

I'm hearing situations where people had been handed over to their grandparents, I'm guessing the GPs were loving people and took good care of the children:stillheart  Some of these people seem to see this as a positive thing, but most don't tend to remember their emotional state immediately after being left by their parents  in most families, it isn't optimal or common.  I don't see this as "common" anywhere in the world  that I know of for babies and toddlers who are usually still nursing at these ages. Maybe for preteens, in some situations, but I think when we are looking at optimal situations parents raise and take daily care of the children they chose to bring into the world.

 

I think it begs us to think of what are plans are when we plan our families and make the difficult decision to bring our OWN  children into the world! Are our children so much in the way that we need someone else to raise them for weeks, months or years at a time? In most families, I think this wouldn't be planned and I think most families and certainly most mothers would do anything to prevent situations where her children are being raised by someone else to the point where they experience Separation Anxiety when given back to the woman who bore them. It just sounds sad to me.

 

Perhaps some have histories where they see this as common, but I think in Optimal Family Situations most people would chose to avoid leaving their children due to having something better to do with their time than raise the children they brought into the world.

 

One of my close friends had this happen to her, she and her siblings were left with an aunt while her mother "pursued her dreams." The aunt was a violent alcoholic, already raising 6 and then 7 of her own children, my friend was put into the position at 8 and 9 years old to not only take care of the younger children, but to get up at night with both her aunt's and her teen age cousin's babies and formula feed and comfort them leaving her exhausted the next day and having to go through a school day on broken sleep.  She didn't see this situation as loving or caring. She saw her mother's actions as neglect, which I strongly agree it was.

 

My middle daughter's boyfriend has had similar situations. His mother had a job, which she chose that took her on a lot of travel. He says "My siblings and I were just dumped on whatever relatives would take us for months at a time. My mom evidently had better things to do with her time than care for us. My dad had a new family and at that point couldn't care less about us." He, also, sees these situations as neglect.

 

From what I have seen in my life, these situations and emotions are the norm for "relatives raising other people's children," not the exception.

 

Sorry, but I feel really strongly about people who DECIDE to have children pawning those kids off on someone else while they "pursue dreams" or whatever excuse they give. Perhaps in some situations the children see the situations as preferable to living with their own parents but I think that tells us a lot about the family structure they were in before they were given to someone else to be raised. Again, thinking about this makes me sad.

 

My parents were never "parents of the year" but they never gave me away for care for weeks or months at a time. I do remember staying overnight, one night at a time,  at my gramma's house when I was in grade school, but we had lived with her during my preschool age years, so we were quite close. It was NEVER more than one night, until I became a teenager and my cousins and I would stay with her after my grandfather died, her house was broken into and she was afraid to be alone for long weekends during vacations. But, that was our choice, and we were mostly grown.  (it was also a way for my boy cousins and I to be in a situation where we had much different supervision than we had with our parents, so we got pretty wild and our elderly grandmother was none the wiser.) My parents made the decision to live frugally (probably more than they had to) so that not only they could raise me, but so my mom could be home with me. I do admire them for that choice.

 

My father had a nervous breakdown when I was around 3 and it took him a long time to recover, he didn't work for 2 or 3 years,  and it would have been really easy for my parents to give my care over to my grandma or one of my aunts, using the excuse "V. is really sick and we need to get our lives together. Maggie being here is just a hassle so Gramma can have her until we're more stable and have an income." But, they chose NOT to do that to their child and struggle through as a complete family. I'm grateful for that.

 

Other people's mileage may vary.

post #24 of 74

I can't imagine leaving my baby for even a night at that age, barring an emergency, let alone a week...it is especially concerning that the grandparents likely aren't very familiar to the baby, as they live far away.

 

Personally, I wouldn't be able to do this until the teen years...granted, I stayed with my own grandparents for full summers when I was in elementary school and middle school, and tons of weekends during the school year.  They lived in the next town and were like a second set of parents, though.  My parents visited a few times a week while I was at my grandparents' house for summers anyway.

 

We live hours from both of our parents now, so I would absolutely NOT be comfortable doing this with our daughter...I think she would feel abandoned and frightened, and my heart would break from not being with her every day.

post #25 of 74

I have some friends who have done this but I couldn't do it myself. 

 

Growing up, I saw my grandmothers maybe once every 4 years (both grandfathers had died).  I find it really weird that any grandparent would expect this and that any parent would agree to this.  At this point have no intention of ever giving in to the very loud hints that my DH's mom makes about having the kids go visit her for an extended time (several thousand miles away).  Maybe when they are 10 or older. 

 

Even though it can be tedious and I sometimes get frustrated, my kids are amazing little creatures that change every day.  I can't imagine not having my kids near me and getting to see them regularly.  I might feel different if I felt like the grandparent was going to respect how I raise my kids  (nutrition-wise, no TV, playing outside, entertaining themselves, not buying plastic crap, no Disney/Dora/princess crap etc) but I know that is not what would happen.  DH's mom has made it clear she thinks her role is to spoil and do things that we have clearly said we don't agree with.

 

I feel like grandparents had their kids, and did their time as parents, and now I am the parent.  I feel so lucky to be a parent, and I don't want someone else parenting my child - it's as simple as that.  I know my DH had good experiences getting to be with his grandparents, and he relates far more to their way of life (rural, self-sufficient) than to his own parents' (urban, civil servant) so I realize that there may be some relenting on my part, but definitely not for me while a child is just a toddler.

post #26 of 74
My opinion is that it's harder on the parent than the child. Most parents haven't even sent their little one for one overnight stay at that point. And for the ppl I know, the only reason they haven't is because they can't handle it. Not because the child can't handle it. Now sure, a week is vastly different than one night. But I think it's easy for some moms to hide behind the fact that it's a week....but would they admit they wouldn't/couldn't do it for even one night? Idk. And no, I've never sent my kids away for an entire week. So I'm certainly not trying to justify my own actions. I just think a lot of moms make up every excuse in the book because they can't handle things.
post #27 of 74

@rosie2727

I'll freely admit that a lot of it is about me, but I don't think that not sending my kids away harms them, either.  I don't think I have to make up any excuse not to do it.  As a parent, I get to make that decision - kind of like whether I put my kid in preschool, or send them to gymnastics, or whatever.  If my I want to maximize the time in my child's childhood that I get to spend with her, for me and for her, I think that's ok.  There was a prior post about a parent who needed surgery, and I could totally see it under those circumstances.  But if we're available, DH and I will be the parents to our children.  It's not the grandparents' honour to be our children's parents, it's ours.

post #28 of 74

This is one of the most "Not my kid, Not my call" things I can imagine.

 

When my kids were actually one, I would not, personally, have done this.  I was way too wracked up about how much time I was able to spend with my kids.  It wouldn't have felt okay to me. 

 

If the things that had happened to my when my youngest was two had happened when she was one, heck yes, I'd have sent the baby to spend a week with her grands. 

 

I really can't evaluate what's right for someone else's family in this regard. 

post #29 of 74
I agree it's our job to parent. And it's the grandparents' job to grandparent. That is a role that does exist. But I just have so many friends that won't let their children stay one night with grandma bc of their own hang ups. And I believe a grandparent/grandchild relationship is something special that too many moms are not allowing to form simply bc they freak out at the notion of them being away. I loved my grandma dearly and LOVED going to spend the night with her occasionally when growing up. If my mom had kept that from me on purpose I would resent her today for it. And of course this is all based on the presumption the grandparent is a good, loving person. I have friends whose grandparents are complete jerks. No need to send child over to those kind of people! I have one friend who's DH got fed up and tried to take their baby to his parents' house - just for a visit - not even overnight. She literally threatened to call the cops! Cuckoo!! Granted, this is an extreme example, but to varying degrees, this happens ALL the time. I just think it's sad. Makes me wonder how we'll all feel one day if our kids don't allow us to have our grand kids overnight....
post #30 of 74

My youngest didn't have separation anxiety all that much. She was/is just a crazy happy baby. Not that kids with separation anxiety aren't happy - just to say that my youngest just didn't even have that normal phase of development. I left her for 3 nights when she was about a year old. With her dad, yes, but still. I was the nursing parent. She did FINE. Just like totally fine. So, I guess if a nursing, "attached", co-sleeping mother can find herself in a position where 3 nights "just for fun" feels like the right choice, I can imagine another family feeling like 7 nights is the right choice, yk? 

 

I do agree that part of this is a unique decision to make as a family - certainly the trade off of an involved extended family is something I would take into consideration. I raised my first for nearly 6 years with little extended family in our lives (we lived thousands of miles away) and I can tell you that it's a hard way to go and I totally understand making major sacrifices to avoid going it alone. 

 

I am now raising my second with lots of family around (we moved "back home"). I leave her more because I have so many people in our lives that I trust and I can honestly say that it is better for ALL involved but especially my child. I am def. not one who subscribes to the idea that "AP" means not spending time away from your kids even, I guess, at a relatively young age. 

post #31 of 74

I cant imagine doing it. For a start,  i would lose my milk supply. Im sure it would  be traumatizing for dd....

post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post
 

Yes I would and I did. When dd was 15 mo, she traveled with dh to see our extended family overseas. Because of my work, I could only join them two weeks later. She had a great time, was spoiled and loved by two sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles. I pumped while I she was away, and she went back to nursing when we were reunited (she self-weaned many years later).

 

I think if the child is comfortable with the adults she is entrusted to it can be a very positive experience for everyone involved.

 

I think this is different than OP because your DD had DH with her. In the OP's friend's situation, its grandparents who the child doesn't know well, without any parents. 

post #33 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaydove View Post

I think this is different than OP because your DD had DH with her. In the OP's friend's situation, its grandparents who the child doesn't know well, without any parents. 

Based in the OP we really don't know how well the kids know their grandparents, just that they live a distance away (how far exactly isn't specified - so it's possible that they might only live an hour's drive or less away) and want to spend more time with their grandkids.

Isn't there also a chance that there is something going on in the parent's lives that they need their parents help with childcare? I'm just not comfortable judging these parents as making a poor choice for their family based on such limited information. Loving grandparents are a wonderful thing for kids - my nieces would often spend a month at a time over the summer with their grandparents and they grew into amazing, confident women. For some people, kids included, extended visits with loving family just works.
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post


Based in the OP we really don't know how well the kids know their grandparents, just that they live a distance away (how far exactly isn't specified - so it's possible that they might only live an hour's drive or less away) and want to spend more time with their grandkids.

Isn't there also a chance that there is something going on in the parent's lives that they need their parents help with childcare? I'm just not comfortable judging these parents as making a poor choice for their family based on such limited information. 

Right. I think it's an interesting thing to just ponder how we as mothers respond to a thought experiment like this. Do we go way negative? Way personal? Do we stretch to relate to this stranger family? Do we go literal? I think how we respond to a thought experiment like this says way more about us than anything else. 

post #35 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
 

Right. I think it's an interesting thing to just ponder how we as mothers respond to a thought experiment like this. Do we go way negative? Way personal? Do we stretch to relate to this stranger family? Do we go literal? I think how we respond to a thought experiment like this says way more about us than anything else. 

 

ICM, that's exactly where I am with this.  My answer is ALL about me, because the first thing I think is "medical crisis," and having been where I have for the past year, the second place I go is that if there's not a medical crisis now, how nice to have an unstressful vacation that might accidentally prepare the kid to spend time with grandparents if there's a medical crisis later.

 

I can work at it and imagine situations in which the week with grandparents is a bad idea, but it's not where I go naturally.  I'm pretty sure, though, if you'd asked me when my son was one year old, I'd have been all "No!  Don't send the poor baby away!"

post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
 

ICM, that's exactly where I am with this.  My answer is ALL about me, because the first thing I think is "medical crisis," and having been where I have for the past year, the second place I go is that if there's not a medical crisis now, how nice to have an unstressful vacation that might accidentally prepare the kid to spend time with grandparents if there's a medical crisis later.

 

:Hug  

 

One of the hardest things to hold, IMO, is both the belief in the importance of the choices we make as parents AND the incredible resilience of our children. I really can't imagine parenting without both of these ideas firmly held in my heart. 

 

Quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
 The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

 

I totally get you on the "better be prepared" thing. Parenting these past two years with lots of extended family is such a wonderful experience. I realize it's impossible to crystal ball into the hows and whys that make our kids who they are but my gut tells me that my child raised with lots of extended family is happier and more secure as a result. 

 

If we got deep into what is more culturally "normal" from a historical perspective I'd wager the OP's choice against the nuclear family with little support outside the parent unit. 

post #37 of 74

I couldn't do it.  I had a hard enough time spending one night away from my DD the day before she turned one when DH took me out for the night and we got a hotel since it was going to be late and we didn't want to do the long drive back.  I had pumped and she was with my parents who are phenomenal with her but I still couldn't relax.  I just took a trip with DD and mom to see my sister but it's something I could never imagine even DH doing and she's 2 now.  Sure every kid is different, but I want too much to be part of her life now while she's young and wants me around!

post #38 of 74
My kids have all still been nursing several times a day at a year old. My MIL has been hinting about having our 5 and 6.5 year-olds visit her in MO (we live in MT), but that would mean them flying alone, which isn't going to happen till they're a good bit older, and not even then unless the TSA gives up groping children at airports.
post #39 of 74

I would never have done it.  I don't think it's acceptable to leave an infant overnight without there being some sort of emergency.  I believe it to be traumatizing, even on a subconscious level.  If a baby is removed from its mother for a long period and doesn't seem to be suffering, I would question that child's attachment to its mother.  But that's just me...

post #40 of 74

Nope. It just wouldn't happen unless like other posters said it was necessitated by an emergency, but even then it would be a strange occurrence if dh couldn't take them. Even if the gps are distant I think I would suggest they come stay with us rather than my children being separated from us for a significant time period. If they're spending a week with the kids they've apparently cleared their schedule at least somewhat so you might as well just come stay with us.

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