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Would you do this - Leaving your young DCs for child-free holiday?

(106 Posts)
angel1976 Wed 06-Oct-10 22:36:55

Have 2 DSs and love them to death! DS1 is 2.7 and DS2 is 11 months old. It's been hard work having two so close in age; DS2 suffers from reflux (still does and only now going on medication...) but they are entirely gorgeous and scrumptious and I know how lucky I am that they are both healthy. My family is overseas so no help from there. In-laws are very hands-on when available but on their terms (fair enough, they have their own lives) so help is fairly spaced out - we go visit overnight for one weekend every six weeks and they will pop up for the day now and then so we see them every 3 weeks or so. Have a friend who helps babysit once a month so DH and I could go out for dinner / night out.

But our relationship has suffered in the last few years with the kids' arrival. I feel really stretched thin, DH took on a more demanding job when DS1 arrived and things have really kicked off (in a good way) for him there, so at the end of the day, we are both knackered. But we do love each other but sometimes, it's just hard to get back to the way things were (not sure if that is entirely realistic anyway!). And of course, we both adore the children. We just don't have 'us' time anymore. He works very hard for us and I know that. Before I get attacked for wanting to have a 'child-free' holiday, we have gone on plenty of overseas trips and the kids always come with us and they are very well-travelled for their ages. DH also knows that I love our family and I do a lot at home so he doesn't have to worry about the running of the household as such.

So it's his 30th birthday in a month and I have planned a week-long trip overseas to somewhere he's always wanted to go as a surprise. ILs will have the children and I've arranged the time off from his work. I am about to take voluntary redundancy so have some spare cash to spend on this trip. But now the time is getting near and I can't help but think if I am being too selfish in planning a trip like this and leaving the children. I have NO doubt about ILs' caring for our DCs - DS1 loves them to death and vice versa. I think it will be a great bonding experience for them. But god, I feel so bad about leaving DS2 who is a complete mummy's boy! Will my little boy forget about me after a week?

But on the other hand, I know deep in my heart that DH and I need this time away to rediscover our relationship. I don't think we are going to split up anytime soon but I can see that if something doesn't change, we are in real danger of that in a few years' time! I would not have organise a trip like that if I didn't feel that DH and I really need it to work on our relationship. My thinking is that: it's better for our DCs to spend a week without their parents than for them to have two unhappy (and separated?) parents in the future iykwim? And they will be with GPs who adore them and vice versa. And I can only afford this because of my redundancy, I doubt I will be organising a trip like that for a while!

If at any point I feel my DCs are not up for the separation, I would cancel the trip in a heartbeat! But I so do want to put DH's and my relationship first for this week but I feel like such a bad mother? AIBU to go on this trip? And would you? Really interested in opinions here. Thanks.

Vallhala Wed 06-Oct-10 22:39:26

No, you're not BU, yes I'd go on the trip in a heartbeat if I were you... but only you know how relaxed will feel about it.

sundew Wed 06-Oct-10 22:41:46

Sorry - I couldn't leave my 2 dds. Both me and dh have been away for work / play but never together for more than a night and they are 9 and 6! Which makes me sound a bit sad doesn't it!

I'm sure lots of people do this but I couldn't so I'm afraid I think YABU.

jpg Wed 06-Oct-10 22:41:55

your op is too long and it is far too late to read it but in answer to your title, I would definitely leave my dc for a holiday, in fact we did leave our two little ones, youngest was just under 1 year when we went for 1 week to usa, wonderful it was too, shame i can't go again - if you have the chance grab it grin

SeaTrek Wed 06-Oct-10 22:42:27



angel1976 Wed 06-Oct-10 22:42:27

Thanks Vallhala. About to go to bed now so will check back in the morning. We have left DS1 quite a few times before for the weekends with them and he loves it. We have only left the both of them with the ILs' twice and they were absolutely fine. I felt guilty then but the moment I left, I felt fine but that was only for 24/48 hours max! I think I am overthinking this but that's only because I love them too much.

Doodleydoo Wed 06-Oct-10 22:42:50

DS2 won't remember and will probably be impeccable, ds1 will love it as you have said, you will find it hard for a couple of days but ultimately if it takes you back you are doing a good thing for your family, 6 nights, don't feel guilty.

jpg Wed 06-Oct-10 22:43:25

just read the beginning, our dc1 was older than your dc1 they won't hate you for ever and it will do you the world of good, go for it grin

nikki1978 Wed 06-Oct-10 22:44:16


CheeseandGherkins Wed 06-Oct-10 22:44:39

No I wouldn't personally. I couldn't leave my dc's for that long, especially young ones. I really would not enjoy it and would miss them far too much.

angel1976 Wed 06-Oct-10 22:45:22

sundew I don't think it makes you sad! I think you and your DH are obviously a stronger couple than my DH and I. blush

jpg Thanks, just the kind of story I want to hear! DS2 will have just turned 1... so nice to hear your experience...

SeaTrek Thanks!

Will be back tomorrow to hear more opinions... I appreciate you all sharing your stories.

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 06-Oct-10 22:46:20

No he won't forget you, but equally I would have not left my DS who also had reflux with anyone as it would not have been fair on them as he was a bad sleeper due to it. But that was my decision and I know we would not have had the offer in the first place so if you feel happy about it then go have fun and enjoy your DH.

chitchat09 Wed 06-Oct-10 22:46:26

YANBU - go and have fun! It sounds as if you need the break, and your ILs will love spoiling your DCs. Just make sure you give your DC a chance to do an overnight with the GP first, to give the DC and the GP a chance to get accustomed to it a little bit.

sunnydelight Wed 06-Oct-10 22:46:29

DH and I have generally had a child free weekend away once a year since having our kids 17 years ago - we managed a week diving when DS1 was 10 months old. There will be plenty of people who will come along and tell you they would never leave their children - personally I feel that it is extremely important to keep your relationship with your DH alive, especially throughout the often chaotic years when you have little kids. I have always felt that that weekend gave us a chance to remember why we were together in the first place.

Your kids will have a great time with their GPs who undoubtedly will have a great time with them. Go and enjoy.

Curlybrunette Wed 06-Oct-10 22:46:53

I don't think you will get attacked at all for wanting a child free break.

Your children will most certainly not suffer from being with their grandparents whom adore them and they adore.

Go and enjoy yourselves, unless you don't actually want to go, and feel as if you ought to want to go, in which case you will be away wishing you were home with your children.

Hedgeblunder Wed 06-Oct-10 22:47:18

Nonono go and enjoy yourself! It sounds wonderful and your dc's will have a great old time with their gps
just channel your guilt into buying them lots of presents (that's the tradition in our house grin!)

chitchat09 Wed 06-Oct-10 22:47:35

Oops, took too long posting. If they've done overnights, they shouldn't have a problem.

ChaoticAngel Wed 06-Oct-10 22:48:18


Your relationship with your DH is important. Go on holiday and enjoy it, your DCs will love their time with their grandparents

Tryharder Wed 06-Oct-10 22:49:16

YANBU. Go on holiday! [Tryharder fantasises about childfree holiday in sunny climes with nothing to do but read books, lie in sun, drink copious amounts of alcohol and shag DH!!)
If you genuinely feel that your youngest DC would not cope so long, could you not go for a shorter break? But a week is not that long and your DCs will love it with their GPs - it will be like a holiday for them too.

If it makes you feel better, I have a friend who regularly goes off with her DP on long holidays and has left her children with anyone who would have them friends and family from a very young age.

lisalisa Wed 06-Oct-10 22:52:31

Only read the op but I would say go for it.

Dh and I did this about 7 years ago when we had 3 young dcs and inlaws supported by au pair cam eto stay. My fear was of the plane crashing nad dcs becoming parentless so I did breathe a sigh of relief when we landed. WE booked for 10 days and ended up extending for a further 4 days. We lived off that holiday for months afterwards - the glow and warmth and mutual understanding and attention that we'd poured into eachother and our relationship keeping us going during the next 6 or so months afterwards of the intensity of looking after young children and running careers.

I also have friends who do this regularly - at least once a year. Admittedly they have lots of siblings who step in and help wtih the kids but apart from teh normal missing mum and dad feeling it doesn't do these kids any harm and my friends always return relaxed and completely refreshed.

I am longong to do this agian if and when we get the chance. So go for it

LadyBiscuit Wed 06-Oct-10 22:54:15

I think you should definitely go - sounds as if you need it. Your DC will be fine and you're not a bad mother at all

maktaitai Wed 06-Oct-10 22:57:55

Do it!

We've never had a week but we've had 3 nights, and bloody hell it's been a lifesaver. I would have taken a week like a shot if I could. Personally probably not longer than that but I know others, great parents, who've gone for a fortnight and found it a real tonic. They'll be with their family FGS!

I know a few people who have split up recently and although it's never a simple setup, straightforward things like just spending time together without the children can really help to strengthen a relationship IMO.

JjandtheBeanlovesUnicorns Wed 06-Oct-10 22:58:22

sorry but i wouldnt do it.

i could never consider spending large amounts of money on just me or/and dp, its all about ALL of us no matter what, no matter how hard things are. And after the year im having, i know hard.

id have a night away maybe push two, but i could never leave my babies that long, i had to once for two nights and it hurt missing them, but not as much as the way they brushed me off when i returned. i just couldnt enjoy myself, id feel awful and selfish.

TrillianAstra Wed 06-Oct-10 23:04:52

My parents went on honeymoon when my brother and I were similar ages. Neither of us remembers it, but I believe that at the time I loved staying with Granny.

maktaitai Wed 06-Oct-10 23:05:32

To each according to their needs, from each according to their abilities. For me it's not about spreading the money around the family evenly, it's meeting the needs of each member within the resources available. Does a preschooler really need an exotic break from the long exhausting hours at nursery, as Katharine Whitehorn used to say? What about their need to have a close relationship with their grandparents, if that's a possibility? Not something you can buy, but really important to the little ones.

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