To go away when my baby is so young(101 Posts)
Am on mat leave with DD1, who is now 15 weeks old. I'm not planning on going back to work for a while yet, but I've been asked to take part in a special, one-off project in about six weeks time. It's very high profile and would be really good for my career. But I'd have to spend a week abroad and away from my baby girl - it wouldn't be an option to take her as it's in a developing country. She would be about five months by then, I'm no longer Breastfeeding, and she'd be at home with my husband and a nanny who is a family friend who I'd hire to look after her when necessary (DH is freelance and can be around a lot). My DH is happy for me to go.
I can't decide what to do. Would I be unreasonable to go? Obviously I'd really miss her and that would be tough, but would it be unfair on her or damage her in any way?
I couldn't do it. But your dh is there so can't see the problem if you think you will be comfortable doing it
Totally not unreasonable!
If you feel ok about it, then its more than ok to do!
Nah, she'll be fine, she won't remember.
Not unreasonable at all.
It won't damage her in any way. It might be hard for you, but a week's not that long.
No it wouldn't be unfair or damage her in any way.
Would you think that if your DH went away for a week? Of course not.
Your lucky DD will have a mum with a great career who takes opportunities and adventures when they arise and a dad who will take care of her for that short time.
I wouldn't want to do it myself and i would worry terribly the whole time even if baby was with dad who is perfectly capable. But if it really is a one off chance that will make a big difference to your career when you go back to work, then you should consider doing it. It is only a week and probably easier at that age than a year old as separation anxiety hasn't set in yet.
if your husband needed to go away for a week in sure you wouldn't be thinking he was damaging his child.
Its not so much that yabu, just that i couldnt do it, no way. And your concerns are valid.
I think your baby will be fine. However, this won't be the last career defining opportunity that conflicts with parenting. I'd be inclined to give it a bit longer before stepping back on the treadmill. (Unless you really, want to go for yourself, in which case, go. A man in this situation wouldn't think twice).
She may be a bit unsettled but I can't see how it would damage her tbh. When ds1 was a similar age I contracted salmonella and was in hospital/bed for about 5 days during which time I saw virtually nothing of him. I was distraught, he was - fine.
I couldn't/wouldn't. But each to there own. She will be well looked after and won't come to any harm.
I know you say taking her isn't an option. Is that disease fear, danger or vaccinations etc? Because there are ways around some of that. You can get vacation nannies. Otherwise, she will have one parent there most of the time. She'll be fine. You, maybe not.
I have worked full time since DS2 was 6mo (and DS1 was 9mo) so I'm all for career advancement. But I find it hard leaving the kids overnight - and I am still breastfeeding DS2 - so I tend to take them with me on trips.
If you feel ok about it, it probably is ok. Personally I know that although I can go to work all day, I couldn't do a week away at the moment (even though DH has to and he adores them) without dreading it. So I wouldn't be ok. It really is so dependent on how you yourself feel - your baby will be fine either way with their father.
Which developing country is it? Could your DH and baby really not go along?
Go she'll be absolutely fine! Your DH can love & adore her just as much for a week & you'll be back before you know it. You'll obviously miss her madly but she'll be fine & loved & you'll be helping her ultimate future by going.
Go! Plenty of women are back at work well before 5 months.
Be sure to draw a line that its just a week, companies have a habit of drawing you in once you agree to kit days
I think your DH being there makes a big difference. I always err on the side of never leaving ours but if DH is there or my mum I know 100% they're ok so feel comfortable even if they miss me they're so loved and ok
I would have thought having DH and DD there would be a distraction and an expense you don't need. I would go.
I would go in a flash. She won't remember it at all a week after are back.
Oh for goodness sake! Some of us went back to work when our babies were 12 weeks. It'll be fine! X
Won't do the baby any harm but might be tough on you.
DH and I went away on a much needed break for 6 nights when my DC2 was 6mo and my DC1 was 3yrs. I missed them both terribly but they were FINE, it was FINE. If you want to do it and it will be good for your career then do it as DON'T feel guilty about it. Fathers do it all the time and your LO will be well looked after at home.
I have a 5 month old currently. I would go if it was going to be very good for my career and my dh was doing most of the childcare. From my perspectives it does both baby and daddy's to have some alone time.
I would go without a second thought.
You will really miss her but you are leaving her with her Dad! Think how nice it will be for their relationship.
It would be a bit insulting to your DH if you didn't go because you didn't think he was capable of looking after your DD
baby will be fine, you will find it hard.
I would do it!
a week is nothing and she will be surrounded by loved ones
Do it. She will be fine. Think of all the sleep you'll get!
Thanks very much for all the replies. No I really couldn't take her along - I'd be working all the time and she would be better off at home. Plus it's a malarial area. I would only be taking her to make myself feel better... Which (though tempting) I definitely wouldn't do.
I went away for a week abroad for work when DD was 5 months old. Missed her heaps but she was fine. If it would be good for your career and you want to go, then go.
You will both be fine, go. I've had to spend 5 nights away due to family member being ill, ds was too young to have a clue. I on the other hand spent a lot of time on FaceTime!
Absolutely you should do it. Your daughter will not remember at all. I know it will be hard for you but if you are career focused it sounds like it will do much for you when you return to work.
I am a WOH mother who has spent a lot of time away from her child. She is now 11 and to be honest it is harder now then when she was a baby. The great side-effect is that she has the most wonderful relationship with my DH which I doubt she would have if I was there all the time (I tend to take over a little bit when I am there...).
If she will be well cared for I don't see why you wouldn't go.
I really don't think all those posters saying they wouldn't do it personally are being helpful. It is all about your situation and how you and your family would cope. It appears that you have the support available to let you do it and that it will help your career.
I did but my OH was with me as we were sent on the same job, would have been way more comfortable if my OH was at home with DS but we all coped and DS was non the wiser
Go. Baby will be just fine with her dad and a nanny.
I couldn't do it! Makes me feel ill just thinking about. I went back to work with DD1 well before she was one but 12 hour shifts was bad enough. I couldn' t have been in another country. I would worry the baby wouldn't know where I was etc etc as well. No work would be worth it. Each to their own though.
That's not really helpful is it Jellybeans? You have a turned the situation around to yourself and are saying why you couldn't do it. 'Makes me feel I'll just thinking about.' What a very unsupportive and reactionary thing to say.
The OP has said the baby will be cared for and if she was male this probably wouldn't even be a discussion. The OP obviously cares about her work and her child. I think it is a good example to set our daughters that life is more than about caring for children. I know she will miss her child but many of us have to make hard decisions in order to progress our careers and earn a good living to support our families in the long term.
Id do it. It would be hard for me but I would have no doubt dd would be perfectly fine.
Dh was away for three weeks when dd was one and while she asked after him it didnt upset her.
I went back to work when my daughter was 4 months old and had to go on a compulsory 2 week course when she was 5 months. Although it was only a 5 hour drive away and not international travel, it was not ideal. But it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be and now, 5 years later I don't even remember it. She never did show any signs of unhappiness at being left and, to be honest, it did me no harm either to have a break and spend time with adults. Go for it.
Oh please Garcia, I did say each to their own! Everybody entitled to opinion even if they maybe saying something different...
I think there's something wrong with a thread where you can go one step further than 'I'd do it' and say 'Do it!' but if you wish to express the opposite, even 'I wouldn't do it,' is regarded as 'unhelpful' - not because it's a personal reaction (what is mumsnet about, and plenty of those from the 'do it' people) but because it's the unpopular view on this thread.
So, those of us who think you might possibly be being unreasonable to leave a 5 month old baby with his dad and nanny are free to do so if we wish!
After all that, however, I don't particularly wish. I had to leave my newborn for one night a week on medical grounds - away 24 hours in total. It was very difficult, as if I was being tugged apart. I could never have chosen to do it and I don't know how good it was for her. She seems mostly normal but we can't draw much from that.
I suspect you'll do what you want and the majority of responses have certainly given you justification to go if you need it. Provided you can weigh his projected distress against the benefits to you both if you can go.
I^ really don't think all those posters saying they wouldn't do it personally are being helpful. It is all about your situation and how you and your family would cope. It appears that you have the suppor^
The op is canvassing opinions. Who are you to decide what is helpful? Only opinions that agree with yours are correct? Please don't be ridiculous.
I said if she wants to go, she should, her baby will be fine. I also said I wouldn't because I wouldn't want to be away from my baby....and she should consider how shed actually feel about being away, its not all about getting ahead at work. What does she actually really want to do?
Of course you should go. I went back to work when DS was 3,5 months - having unpaid time off was not an option for me. My work requires travelling. I missed him horribly when I travelled, was afraid he wouldn't love me, felt like a bad mother etc. now looking back (DS is almost a teen now) I understand I was silly. He doesn't remember any of it and we have fantastic close relationship.
read your original post again - you'd made your mind up even before you searched out Mumsnet.
YANBU in the slightest.
Have you startes packing.yet?
Go, work hard, enjoy being 'you' again and you can always skype if you miss her that much.
Dh is away on a five week course soon, ds2 will be 15wks when he leaves, and although dh might miss his first sitting unaided or first bit of weaning ds2 will not notice at all, I could start calling him 'king amedeus ninnypants' and I'd still get the same smile/reaction from him (ds2, not dh)!
You never know, you might hate being away so much it changes your mind about your career (you mighr decide to go pt or be a sahm or something).
YANBU. Given that you're not bfing and that your DH will be able to spend lots of time, your DD will still be with a loving parent, it may be a lovely time for she and your DH to bond, and I bet that when you get back he will be more appreciative of all you do at home!
Of course this will not be the last parenting conflict you face - but to me, that is why in your shoes I would definitely do it. It is an opportunity to show your dedication and to get ahead while still on leave, so that when you come back to office and are having to take days off for the inevitable tummy bugs, or turn down projects as you can't work late, or requesting part time because the balance isn't working,you will already have banked some career points and some good will.
But that's just me - and if you prefer not to to I also think that YWNBU to say no either.
My dd is 15 weeks and I feel anxious doing the food shop on my own for an hour. I couldn't and wouldn't.
You are not even breastfeeding, so why not?
I wouldn't have and I know my dp wouldn't have either.
God, I would jump at it! A whole week away with decent sleep, career progression thrown in and someone I trusted looking after my child. I'm surprised that you even need to think about it! Just go! Don't be a martyr.
I wouldn't. And would think a 5month old would be unsettled if she was used to you her whole life and then her mummy disappears for a whole week.
But in the long run she won't remember at all.
So up to you really! Your choice either way good luck
When my DS was 3 months old my DH had to go away on a work trip for one week. Can't say that DS noticed/was bothered. It is slightly different for you in that (I presume) you are the primary carer, but I really don't think it's a biggie. You'll miss her but it is only for a week. My DH missed us when he was away but also loved the fact that he got 5 unbroken nights of sleep!
If you are confident in your DH ( and why on earth wouldnt you be !) and your nanny do it !
I travel for my work and have done since my DD was about 6 months.
As someone further up thread says it actually gets tougher when they get older.
It has had no effect on her that I can see - she is happy, loving and embraces new scenarios and situations with confidence.
You have to be comfortable in your decision though -there will always be those who say they couldnt/ wouldnt, - there are some people who will tell you its wrong to work at all. You have to be able to ignore them.
It sounds an amazing opportunity. Good luck.
I did it when DD1 was 16 weeks old. It was fine. I got a decent night's sleep and uninterrupted baths and meals. It's a lot harder when they are older.
Lot easier when they're babies than when they're 11 and can lay on the guilt. I'd do it.
Course it will be fine!
Do it - bet you WILL love getting your teeth into an exciting project after being in lovely but relentless babyworld.
As for those who will say it will be awful for baby 'not being with mummy for a week' - when do you draw the line, when can you go back to work/go on holiday without some people laying on the guilt with trowels? Five months, 10 months, three years, 10 years - it's always a bit of a wrench on both sides but both survived perfectly unscathed!
it might be easier on the parents to go away when your children are babies but I think it can be quite tough on the babies. I do not think it makes someone a martyr, if they feel that leaving a young baby would not be right for their family.
I'd go in a heartbeat. Its a week, its for a bona fide reason, the baby has an equally competent loving parent in situ. All will be well
plus you'll get loads of scrumptious sleep
My husband travelled for business when DS was tiny and continues to do so. How is it different? DS as a baby wasnt even aware he was gone. Now he is he knows its only a matter of time before Daddy and a present come home again. DH misses DS much more than DS misses him
I think you know you are going to g,you just want approval.
I wouldnt do it,but i am guessing my "style" of parenting is very different to yours and its not something i would be able to do even if i wanted to.
I think in your situation,where you want t go,your dh doesnt mind,and your baby is ff anyway,then i dont see why it would be awful of you to go.
I dont get the comparison with men,theres two ways to look at it,the first sint very popular on here,that mothers are more "connected" to their babies as they grew them,gave birth to them,breastfed them etc,so a baby would "miss" a mothe rmore than a father,depending on the circumstances,and the second,that actually its not any different and the dad shouldnt be going anywhere for long periods of time either,if they can help it.
Absolutely you should go, assuming you are confident in Nanny and DH, and you should be. I wouldn't have gone myself until DD3 but with hindsight that was much more to do with me than DH's ability or DDs needs.
Oh I'd definitely go! Good luck
There are some really interesting and thought-provoking responses here, thank you. As for the person who commented on my "style" of parenting, I guess with my first baby being 15 weeks old, I'm still figuring out what that "style" is (do other people really have it all worked out at this stage?), and this is the first of what I'm sure will be many dilemmas that come to define it.
Although it does seem a little harsh to extrapolate on my parenting style based on the fact I still care about my career...
I'm a bit confused about if you're breastfeeding or not? Are you now and planning to stop soon, or you're bottle feeding now?
If the former I would think carefully about accepting the job. You may find you're not ready to stop, or your baby may struggle to take a bottle. You don't want to be in a situation where weaning your baby off the breast is stressful because you've got a time deadline. Just something to think about.
OP I wouldnt worry too much. obviously some peoples 'style' is alpha parent or martyr.
fact is, your baby will be surrounded by love and will be delighted at your return and lots of love and cuddles
this whole 'baby will be damaged and confused' - what about adopted babies, I was in care for 4 months and adopted at 6 months. no harm done and I am crazy close to my mum
I went to the States for a week for work when ds1 was 5 months. It was hard and I spent the whole journey there in tears, but he was with dp and the two of them were fine.
You will miss her, but you will also miss her when you go away and she is older too. Just because you still care about your career does not make you any less of a mother.
I'm surprised this thread is not more unanimous. If the idea of going makes you excited for your career and just as an experience, you should GO. No question. The baby will be fine.
I say this as a SAHM. There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to further your career. You may find it tricky because you'll miss DD, but don't let guilt compound it. Useless emotion.
no no no!i didnt mean it like that,im not saying one way is better than another!
everyone does things differently,what im saying,is that the fact you are even considering it,shows that the way you do things means you are physically able to go!
I have 4 under 6 and another on the way,i have always co slept and breastfed,at 5 months i couldn't of left mine for longer than a few hours without them being affected in some way,if you are doing things the more "normal" way,like using cots and shes having bottles anyway,then its not going to affect her as much,there wont be any major changes,like changing her onto a bottle or not having you there to snuggle into at night,thats all i meant!
and no i didnt have it worked out by 15 weeks either!it wasnt until my third i just decided to ignore everyone elses opinions/the books and just do what felt right!
Nah, NotYo some women just love their babies more. At least that's what they insinuate - which is pretty nasty and also complete bollocks.
Sunny is absolutely right about work brownie points. As children get older there are often times when you need to call in favours at very short notice.
Oh lord, x-post Rosy. Sorry - I think I got you wrong there
Ah thanks ringarosy I did misunderstand . I was unable to carry on Breastfeeding very long for physical reasons beyond my control and I think I'm still a bit touchy/gutted about it. And now this has come along and I feel all torn in two again... Welcome to parenthood I guess!
dont worry about it,my first two were formula fed from a couple of weeks old and there is no obvious difference health or otherwise between them and my other two!plus you can always try again next time if you want to!
I was breastfeeding and by that point was desperate for someone else to take DS for a day or two, so on that grounds I'd go if you can.
But have you checked what this will mean in terms of maternity leave? I thought if you went back for a certain amount of time or more than your KIT days maternity leave will be deemed to have ended and you will no longer get SMP. Not sure who you'd contact to get an objective view on this.
Maybe I'm just a hard nosed career bitch but people actually cry every day that they are on work trips and they are not with their babies?
I love my children like crazy, as much as all parents do, and miss them when I'm not with them (depending on how busy I am!).
But I just don't get this - sorry, what I consider to be - OTT reaction to leaving their children.
I would absolutely hate it (my ds is eight weeks now) but I would still do it. I think it'll be far harder on you than her. If your dh is freelance and happy to cover this it sounds like he's been around for your dd the last fifteen weeks and has a good relationship with her? My dh does with my ds despite me bf so I know they'd be fine, it would be me that would be miserable, but.. high profile and good for your career is imo good for you all in the long run (usually the better your reputation in your work, the more flexible you can be regarding hours and sick child days).
Thank you PintofBlood (I like your name). I'm a journalist and this trip is the culmination of a story I was working on for a while before DD was born. I'm doing it freelance so think it should be okay Mat leave wise. But will now check!
Of course you should go.
You sound really thoughtful and a great mum - of course people are allowed to express their opinions but it feels more like one-upmanship than a helpful perspective when people comes on to say 'Omg I love my baby too much for that'. We ALL love our babies and are doing our best. I'm one of those hippy mums who babywears and cosleeps and feels like a limb is missing if I head out for a weekend coffee and leave DS with DH, and I still think that in the OP's shoes I'd be tempted to go, even if my heart took a bit of a beating. I also know mums who formula feed and sleep train and can't face going back to work at 12 months because they miss their baby too much, so would never go on this trip - and that is very understandable too. Most of our parenting decisions reflect a mix of what our babies are like, what we are like and what our situation is like, not a particular 'style' or whether or not we actually love our children.
Anyway, rant over and have an awesome time whether on your trip or staying at home with DD!
I co-sleep, sling and BF and think that the first 2 made it easier to leave my babies for periods of time as they were so easily replaced by DH or my mum.
Mentally easier for me, I mean, I really think baby will be fine whatever!
To all of you saying that you wouldn't go, what would you do if you had no choice but to not see your kids for a week? Like a PP, I ended up in hospital for a week when DS2 was a few months old and there was nothing I could do about it. While I was in there, he learnt to crawl and DS1 started nursery. It was crap but hey, we survived and OH lived to see another day.
Just go OP, there will be many more things to worry about as your daughter grows up!
Howsuper, if your comment was aimed at my previous comment, I think you'll find I said I was in tears for the journey, I did not say I cried every day I was away on a work trip.
tarty obviously we wouldn't be able to do anything other than accept the situation. we are saying we wouldn't choose to leave our babies for that long, going to hospital isn't much of a choice.
My mum went to Hong Kong on business when still breast feeding me (about 5 months old). Single mother so i was left with the nanny for a week and i was bottle fed. Mum came back, I instantly started breast feeding again as though she had never left.
Go. DH went on a 10 day work trip when DS was 16 weeks. There wasn't this much hand wringing. He was originally scheduled to go when I was 36 weeks but both of us decided that going post partum would be preferable (I knew I was having a CS as well). Everyone was fine. I was a bit tired but we all coped. I am a working mother and these dilemmas come up all the time. There are things I have said no to, like a late night radio talk thing on something mundane. But went off for a few nights for the biggest conference in my field without a second thought. Again, everyone survived and flourished even. In fact, it allowed DH to gain real confidence with his parenting.
If you want to get ahead career-wise and make sure you can provide for your children as they grow older (and more expensive) then sometimes you have to do these things. Yes it's a choice, but it's one you make to benefit the whole family.
Ehhn - did she pump while she was away to keep her supply up?
You can have up to ten KIT days, MinesAPint, so if the OP hasn't had any yet then a week will be just fine. I believe that if you go over, it's not a "that's it, mat leave is over", just a "you lose SMP for that week": www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/ni17a-a-guide-to-maternity/statutory-maternity-pay-smp/working-in-your-maternity-pay/
This is interesting timing for me because I'm going away for work related purposes quite soon. My DS is a lot older - 14 months, so while I feel a bit nervous about going, I know rationally that he'll be just fine. In a way, I kind of wish I'd gone away a bit earlier than now - it would have been good for DP to have sole charge of DS for a while, and that would have been good for us too.
Enjoy your trip OP!
I went on holiday for 2 weeks when my DS was around that age and he was fine. They really aren't that fussed at that age and he doesn't even remember.
I would go
I think it will be hard for you.
I think you'll have to pay your nanny for a couple of 'settling in' days before you go and make sure baby is spending a considerable amount of time with DH before you go too - I do think if you are the person who is there 90% of the time a big change in routine needs to be broken in gently.
The only real note of caution though is to think longer term about your business - yes, there are a lot of positives about the project but be careful about being too available, particularly if you plan or hope to reduce your hours when you go back. You're setting a precedent that you will basically jump when they want you to. Now, it may be there is no problem with that - I did a lot of flexing when I went back to work and always got it back in other ways, but just make sure you know what you're getting in to here and that it's the approach you want to take.
I couldn't have done it, but there's nothing wrong with doing it, in principle.
Of course it will be fine, your daughter will be with her father - what on earth is wrong with that?
I do think some mothers (not many fathers seem to do this) like to think that no one can ever take their place in their child's life and they almost want to make themselves into some sort of martyr. .
What would happen if you had to go into hospital (or worse ) - then you would have absolutely no choice but to leave your child.
Go - I'm sure you'll enjoy it and it's a vote of confidence in your DH. Shockingly, I went on a long weekend for fun when my DD was about that age. I Skyped DH in the mornings, I really enjoyed getting some sleep and everyone was fine.
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