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

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Old 11-13-2013, 01:10 PM
 
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I cant imagine doing it. For a start,  i would lose my milk supply. Im sure it would  be traumatizing for dd....

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Old 11-13-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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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. 


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Old 11-13-2013, 02:28 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:44 PM
 
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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. 


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Old 11-13-2013, 02:58 PM
 
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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!"

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Old 11-13-2013, 03:22 PM
 
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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. 


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Old 11-13-2013, 09:38 PM
 
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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!

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Old 11-13-2013, 11:33 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:41 AM
 
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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...


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Old 11-14-2013, 04:45 AM
 
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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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Old 11-14-2013, 06:37 AM
 
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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...

 

I think the problem with this is that we (I assume) are lay people interpreting scholarship on attachment theory. I have read that separation anxiety is a good sign - considered part of healthy development. That makes sense to me. But, when we talk about this -- I wonder if we are not looking at the bigger picture. Some people are suggesting that leaving a child over night at all in infancy/early childhood can be damaging. For the record, I would not choose to leave my infant for a week. But, I don't think the scholarship backs up some of what has been suggested - that is is less than ideal for a child to be cared for by people other than her/his parents, that a child who seems OK over night w/o a parent is not attached and etc. We know that we want infants to develop secure attachment(s) to caregivers. 

 

Talking about what is "ideal" is sort of tough because that's pretty subjective and I doubt that any of us are living this ideal life. When I read some of the posts here I will admit that the parenting philosophy that focuses really strongly on just a mother/child bond and the nuclear family -- that, to me, does not sound ideal. 

 

So, to me, leaving an infant (almost toddler, really) with a grandparent for a week does not feel ideal -- neither does the scenario where the child has no other attachment outside of the parent unit. And that may well be where the parents in the OP found themselves. So the OP family may well have felt like they were finding the balance between two less-than-ideal situations. I think we've all been there. 


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Old 11-14-2013, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My mom had a baby when I was about the age of this little boy and I was at my grandma's house for I think more than a week while she was in the hospital and then got things settled. (He was a premature and this was in the late 60s.)

When I heard about it, I was torn between two thoughts. I can't imagine doing it on one hand, but how much I adored my grandma and how close and wonderful our relationship was, in part because I spent the night, or nights, there from time to time.

So this is not a close friend and I don't have all the details, but the grandparents live in another state in the upper midwest, I'm going to guess a 6-hour drive or so. I don't think the grandparents are strangers - they drive up to visit when they can - but obviously they aren't as close to the baby as they want to be because they want more time, and I think specifically time alone with him. I remember my inlaws wanting to watch my kids without me and their dad when they were littler and their point was that there's a different dynamic when the grandparents are taking care of them and responsible, then when the grandparents are around but the parents are still taking care of the kids and responsible. Obviously I didn't go for it, but that was partly because we were nursing all the time and co-sleeping.

I don't know. I can really see both sides, which is why I thought it would be an interesting conversation here. Grandparent relationships are important and I get wanting to nurture that relationship, because I was so close to my grandmother and I think our close relationship was really beneficial to me. But one year is so young and I can't imagine that my kids would have handled it. But on the other hand this little boy isn't nursing or co-sleeping and the hardest parts for my kids would have been not being able to nurse and co-sleep with me.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:54 AM
 
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No. In an emergency situation like me in hospital I would love them to care for them in our home, and with DH and maybe a semi-emergency - maybe. 

 

I would not let them not be in their normal environment without their mommy. (or their daddy if that's the primary care giver). I don't think it's healthy. Plus, I would not want them to be away a WHOLE week (but that might be selfish ;) ) 

 

In fact, my daughter was allowed a week with their grandparents this time first year. She is seven :). My son, who is five, is not yet there. I believe. I need to be absolutely sure that they can handle it, or they need to be close enough to be picked up in an instance, if they start grieving. 

 

My personal experience is: I was totally fine from like four or something, with my grandparents. But my little sister, four years younger than me, would not stay anywhere overnight. Ever. Even if she wanted to stay SO MUCH. She pleaded, my parents left her and my Dad picked her up a couple of hours later. 

 

But one year would be too young for me, I think they really need to be verbal and mature enough that they can actually say that they want to go home. 


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Old 11-14-2013, 08:14 AM
 
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No way--NEVER!  I could never let one of my children at that age be away for a day, let alone a week.  I can't even wrap my brain around the thought of having a one year old child away that long.  Grandparents could visit, maybe even babysit for a few hours if they wanted, but long stays are better left for older children, imo.  A 10 year old spend a week at Grandma's?  Sure.


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Old 11-14-2013, 08:30 AM
 
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My mom had a baby when I was about the age of this little boy and I was at my grandma's house for I think more than a week while she was in the hospital and then got things settled. (He was a premature and this was in the late 60s.)

When I heard about it, I was torn between two thoughts. I can't imagine doing it on one hand, but how much I adored my grandma and how close and wonderful our relationship was, in part because I spent the night, or nights, there from time to time.....
. But one year is so young and I can't imagine that my kids would have handled it. But on the other hand this little boy isn't nursing or co-sleeping and the hardest parts for my kids would have been not being able to nurse and co-sleep with me.

I kind of understand what you are trying to say, but from my POV a baby who is not still nursing and not co-sleeping needs his Mama just as much (maybe more) than a child who has these benefits.

 

I don't think ABM fed, sleeping alone babies need their Mamas less than any other child. Probably needs them more.


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Old 11-14-2013, 08:32 AM
 
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My mom had a baby when I was about the age of this little boy and I was at my grandma's house for I think more than a week while she was in the hospital and then got things settled. (He was a premature and this was in the late 60s.)

When I heard about it, I was torn between two thoughts. I can't imagine doing it on one hand, but how much I adored my grandma and how close and wonderful our relationship was, in part because I spent the night, or nights, there from time to time. This can be achieved later in life, not  with a child under 2. (or older)
So this is not a close friend and I don't have all the details, but the grandparents live in another state in the upper midwest, I'm going to guess a 6-hour drive or so. I don't think the grandparents are strangers - they drive up to visit when they can - but obviously they aren't as close to the baby as they want to be because they want more time, and I think specifically time alone with him. I remember my inlaws wanting to watch my kids without me and their dad when they were littler and their point was that there's a different dynamic when the grandparents are taking care of them and responsible, then when the grandparents are around but the parents are still taking care of the kids and responsible. Obviously I didn't go for it, but that was partly because we were nursing all the time and co-sleeping.

I don't know. I can really see both sides . I cant see two sides. There is only one side to this. The grandparents are putting themselves before the well-being of the child. They can move closer to the child if they want to spend more time  with the child.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:32 AM
 
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Totally. I would book a trip for myself too. Sadly, no one ever offered.

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Old 11-14-2013, 08:33 AM
 
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I kind of understand what you are trying to say, but from my POV a baby who is not still nursing and not co-sleeping needs his Mama just as much (maybe more) than a child who has these benefits.

 

I don't think ABM fed, sleeping alone babies need their Mamas less than any other child. Probably needs them more.

Exactly.

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Old 11-14-2013, 09:07 AM
 
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I cant see two sides. There is only one side to this. The grandparents are putting themselves before the well-being of the child. They can move closer to the child if they want to spend more time  with the child.

Awww... really?  I totally can see two (obviously). Maybe they just don't think it's against the baby's best interests. Separation from parents and child well-being is obviously a subjective thing. We should all have diverse enough lives/experiences where we have been on both ends of the spectrum. Plus, if this person is young it's possible that there is a fourth generation to consider. We are fortunate that our DCs still have one great grandparent and got to meet 5 others before they passed. I guess I just don't really understand the tendency to view this as a bad thing considering how little information we have. Well, I guess I can understand it. In order to get our heads around this we kind of have to fill in the blanks a little. I tend to fill in the blanks with things that help me understand this choice and relate to these stranger parents. I do that because that's what I prefer to do but I am able to do that because I have the framework with which to do that. Lots of good role-models, lots of diverse positive experiences to draw from. I guess if one doesn't have that it can be hard to imagine. Is that right?  

 

I did a tiny bit of reading on attachment theory and extended families - there's some good stuff online if anyone is interested. 


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Old 11-14-2013, 09:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MaggieLC View Post
 

I kind of understand what you are trying to say, but from my POV a baby who is not still nursing and not co-sleeping needs his Mama just as much (maybe more) than a child who has these benefits.

 

I don't think ABM fed, sleeping alone babies need their Mamas less than any other child. Probably needs them more.

I do tend to agree with this. Refreshing my knowledge of attachment theory I recall that a lot of what is talked about is the secure base from which the child can then feel free to explore. I think if this is part of why attachment theory resonates with us we do have to acknowledge that at some point our children are going to venture off. But, at 1 year this is not a choice they will be making. Still I do have a hard time feeling like I can evaluate for another parent when it's an ok choice to help move that process along. 

 

I also wanted to add a confession....  

 

I make a mistake in remembering when I first left my own kids. For both it was closer to 2.5. I remembered it was shortly after a birthday for both but I got mixed up. So, yea, I'm pretty far from being able to imagine myself being able to leave for a week at 1 year. 

 

But, still. I'd rather just assume that I could relate because that's what makes me feel all warm in fuzzy inside. :love


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Old 11-14-2013, 11:04 AM
 
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Last winter I took my then 1.5 year old to a conference in the same city where my MIL lives (about a 10 hr plane journey).  We stayed with her and every morning, I had the joyless task of leaving the house and leaving DD with her grandma while my 1.5 year old screamed and screamed for me.  I wasn't bf'ing anymore, but we still slept together.

 

I work outside of the home, full time, and DD usually spends her days with her dad.  A couple of weeks later I left the kids for a week with their dad while I went to another conference for a week, and there were no problems at all - they all had a great week, DD transitioned to her own bed that week and started sleeping through the night, etc etc.  So this wasn't about being away from me, it was about not being with one of her parents - the people who had always cared for her. 

 

Given this experience, which happened every day I was at my MILs, the thought of dumping her at this same house, at that age, and then taking off for a week seems unbelievably cruel and I don't see how that would be strengthening to her relationship with her Grandma.  Particularly since when Grandma comes to visit at our house, my DD is warm, cuddling and very happy to see her, because she feels safe and secure and she knows she is not being left by her parents.  I don't want to leave my DD at that age, and she doesn't want to be left.  I think she made it pretty clear.  Perhaps it would be different if MIL was in our area and saw her frequently - then it would possibly be less disorienting for a little one.  That's not the case, though, and I think with this sort of thing the specific facts of the child, the grandparent, the setting, the context are really what would determine whether it is in the child's best interests. 

 

People have commented that the reason moms wouldn't leave their kids is because of their own needs.  And yes, that's a part of it.  But I have friends who have left their young kids with grandparents, and I think in many of those situations, they were also motivated by their own wants/needs - to go on a ski vacation, to have a week without their child, to "take a break" from their child.  I also think grandparents wanting a grandchild at that age is motivated by their wants and needs.  I just feel like this (raising my children myself) is what I signed up for.  It's what my partner signed up for.  I agree that grandparents have a role, but that role, in my view, is not to assume the responsibility of 24/7 childcare of infants on behalf of the parent, unless there are exceptional circumstances that warrant it, or unless the grandparent actually lives with the child. 

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Old 11-14-2013, 11:23 AM
 
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One year seems too young for this. Unless the grandparent is also a super-involved caregiver. Say the parents live with the grandparents and therefore the grandparents get as much baby time as the parents do, or grandma watches the baby every day at her house when mom and dad are at work. Then maybe. But if they only see each other occasionally, that seems too young. If the grandparents want more time, they should arrange a visit when the parents are also there--either the parent(s) bring the kid to them, or they come stay with the family. In that setting mom or dad could take off for an afternoon or evening and leave the grandparents to solo. But a week is too long. My daughter is just shy of 2 1/2 and my parents are in town and watch her once a week on average. I do want to try an overnight--I think she would probably like that, and it'll help prepare for when her new sibling is born in a couple of months--but I wouldn't want to do a whole week. My husband's parents live out of state and they Skype pretty frequently and visit perhaps twice a year, and I definitely don't think she would have the comfort level with them to do that long of a visit, either. 

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Old 11-14-2013, 01:29 PM
 
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Absolutely not! That's way too soon.

My mother and I talked about this very topic about a week ago since her and my aunts are planning a family vacation to Disney World for next Summer. Mind you, my child would still be an infant and grandma lives over 500 miles away and would rarely see her...so, NO! All I could think of is all the walking that's involved in going to an amusement park and baby stuff she'd have to carry especially when she's not in the best of health. I know she wants to bond with the baby and I would love for my child to go on the trip, but only when she can walk on her own and speak clearly.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:17 PM
 
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I think it depends on the child, the parents and the grandparents.  For me, I still would not send my 6 and 3 year olds out of state to stay with my parents or IL's for that long.  My kids have never had an overnight, but we are super-highly attached...and everyone we know lives pretty far away.  I don't think I'd even be ok with dh taking my kids somewhere far w/o me...although, I can kind of sense that ds1 (6 yo) may be ok with that now.  When my kids were 1, they were still nursing pretty heavily, during the day and at night.  I did start the whole baby making thing kind of later in life, so my parents and IL's are older, and I'm not sure they'd be ok with watching my kids for any length of time - it'd be too draining for them, physically and emotionally.  My kids do have a great relationship w/ my Mom and my IL's.  They've spent more time with my Mom, though, and she's always wanting to Skype with them and she visits very often, although we live far away.  She's here now, actually, because I'm going to have a 3rd any moment now and my kids ADORE her.  I just hope #3 will have a chance to get to know her well ...

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Old 11-14-2013, 02:39 PM
 
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I'm totally in favor of one-on-one grandparent time (in the case of loving, supportive families), and left my kids in the care of DH while I had a fun weekend away once or twice a year starting at about 18 months, so I'm definitely not a "toddlers need mama 24/7" person, but 1 year old would be way too young for me to be comfortable having my kids away from home for a whole week without either parent unless it was an emergency.

My kids started spending the night at grandma's house at about age 2 and loved it, but longer time periods would have been tough on them at that age. Even now, my kids are 9 and 5 and we spend 1 week at my mom's house in the summer without DH, and although they love our adventure, it's tough on them to be away from DH for that long.

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Old 11-15-2013, 02:55 PM
 
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Didn't read the entire thread, but my baby turns 1 in three weeks.  I hope to parent as well as my mother one day, and I'm preggers and nursing ended just recently, so I have no issues with the idea.  

 

I think it would be more of a problem if I didn't have such a great relationship with my mom, but then, she lives close and sees the girls 2-5x a week so...  it'd just be like normal only with a little less me time, lol.  The girls never cry when I leave the room and they are with her, but she plays with them so often its really less like leaving them and more like going to get something done and I'll be right back.  It doesn't hurt that she has a horse and lets the girls take turns riding with her (even the nearly 1-y-o who LOVES these sessions.  How did I get the horse loving girls? Never understood why people pay to keep the dirty things when you can have a cat and a turtle... but I digress.  They share alot of things with my mom.  I'd prefer it not to be so long, more for her sake than thiers, but we are already talking about a weekend beac getaway next year and they would stay with her for three days).

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Old 11-16-2013, 05:09 AM
 
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Just to add to my previous reply...

 

We live overseas from our extended family, so unless we make a huge effort, our kids wouldn't have their grandparents in their lives. Their grandmothers went out of their way to spend time with our kids; each of them came to stay with us for 6 months at a time when they were babies and they couldn't be separated from me. As I said, when dd was 15 mo, she traveled to see them and she was away from me for two weeks (but with her dad, who was SAHP at that time). She knew MIL well, as she had been living with us for 6 months just before the trip.

 

Now that she's almost 5, she and her older brother will be spending the whole summer vacation at GP. She CAN'T WAIT! She makes plans with her grandma on the phone. Sure she will miss us. Maybe she'll even cry. But I'm sure she'll make memories that will last for a lifetime. We can't afford to send them over every summer... it's very expensive. It would be much easier (and cheaper) for me to keep them here. But I had amazing childhood experiences at my grandmother's and I love her dearly. I want to give my children the gift of time spend with their grandparents.

 

I understand the "no, I wouldn't do it" replies. Some kids and/or parents are not ready, some grandparents are unfit or not interested. Completely understandable. But for those who deem all parents unfit and all babies traumatized if they spend time with extended family, think twice before you judge.

 

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Old 11-16-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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My first response is this generally would not work out with most kids.

 

Of course, it really depends on the kid and the the family and all sorts of factors, but even a friendly, outgoing child who is no longer nursing probably needs a stronger relationship before spending such an amount of time with anyone.

 

If this family feels confident, so be it. 


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Old 11-20-2013, 12:54 PM
 
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Maybe it's also cultural. In cultures used to big extended families, perhaps it's more acceptable. I'm from an Indian family (though I was born and raised here) and I've never hesitated to leave my kids with my parents for a few days or even weeks at a time. They've spent weekends with their grandparents since they were infants. Now that they're older, they spend a month with grandparents every summer, and I do send my youngest along. She started spending a month with her elder sisters and grandparents when she was about a year old. For me, it's a blessing that my kids feel that their grandparents are important caregivers in their lives. My children have not found it traumatic, even when they were babies, and are very close to their grandparents. It's a relationship I'm sure they'll appreciate for a lifetime. 

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Old 11-20-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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@lamom3girls - your post expresses exactly my own personal experience. It probably has to do with big extended families and cultures where it is expected for grandparents to be as involved in the caregiving process as parents. 

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