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How long is too long?

My husband and I are involved with our church's high school youth ministry and every year since our son was born we've gone on a week-long mission trip (this will be our third mission trip). We leave him with grandparents who babysit him during the school year (we're teachers) and we spend lots of time with him so this is really the only time we're away. Every year he has done fine because he has a great relationship with our parents and they love keeping him. This year, though, everyone has been iffy about my going on this trip ( although we will only be in the inner city of an area 2.5 hours away). He has done fine in the past and isn't really a clingy child. We leave tomorrow and I'm already packed. I hate leaving him but I've been looking forward to this week for a year. Am I an awful mom if I go?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:53 PM on Jun. 12, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (10)
  • I think your son's needs supercede those of the church.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 5:54 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • Nothing wrong with it at all. You are still a person with your own wants and needs and a week isn't that long. He'll survive. In fact I think it is a healthy thing to spend time away from the kids.
    Me and my husband took a vacation to Maine when our kids were 20 months, almost 3 and 4. They stayed with my inlaws for a week while we were gone. It was our one and only vacation since we've been married. The kids, although upset at first when we left, had a blast with their cousins and me and my husband got a much needed break from them.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 5:58 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • I could never do it.

    Answer by mompam at 5:59 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • I couldnt do it either, but I also couldnt skydive, or parachute. I dont think it makes you an aweful mom. If you've done it every year before, why is everyone so "iffey" about it this year?

    Answer by new_mom808 at 6:04 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • This is OP here. to "new mom 808", I guess everyone feels a little scared about it this year because he's a little older and actually knows what's going on now. I've talked to him about it and explained everything and he is just really excited about the week with his grandparents. They wonder if he will miss me really bad (he never did before, though!) He gets to see them really often, though and absolutely loves them. I will miss him like crazy believe me, but he will be more than well taken care of and I really need to go because I am now the only female sponsor and they require at least one (the other one had to back out). I guess I know in my heart he will be alright but I hate being judged about it because I will miss him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:28 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • "I think your son's needs supercede those of the church. "

    It's not like they're going on a month-long tour of Europe. I seriously doubt that their son will have lifelong trauma because Mommy and Daddy went out of town for one week.

    To the OP: No, you're not an awful mom. Your son will most likely be fine.

    Answer by makelineerror at 7:15 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • I think your son will do fine, especially since you've been talking about it with him. Kids tend to exceed our expectations & are usually ok with whatever we throw at them. Could it be your family is nervous about having him for a whole week now that he's older & probably more independent, energetic, etc.? I've noticed that as my son has gotten older my MIL (who kept him all the time as a baby) seems less inclined to watch him for long stretches now because she probably thinks he's a lot more work. Last year, we left our son who was 2.5 with some friends while we went on vacation. My husband was a little worried, but DS only asked about us once about 30 minutes after we dropped him off & was fine the entire week we were gone.
    At this point, it's a little too late especially if you're leaving soon. How do you explain to your son that he can't go visit grandma when he's been so excited about it?

    Answer by Journey311 at 8:10 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • Nah, you're not a bad mom. He's just being 2 :)

    Answer by emslala at 2:38 AM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • me and my dh left my 2 1/2 yr old and 6 mth old with my mom and they did fine...yes they miss u but they will get over it and ull be a better mom for it by giving urself a break...dont wry about it if ure comfortable leaving him ull be fine

    Answer by zperez0809 at 10:49 AM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • I don't think you should worry. You said your son is excited about spending the time with his grandparents and that he isn't a clingy child. Every summer for a week I go to Dublin, Ireland to visit family without my kids and then towards mid-summer I spend two weeks there with my kids and during my week without them they rarely get whiny and tell my MIL they miss me - if they do my MIL calls me and usually just a little reassuring phone call is enough to satisfy them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:49 AM on Jun. 14, 2010

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