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?
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.
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.
I couldn't have done it, but there's nothing wrong with doing it, in principle.
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 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
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!
Ehhn - did she pump while she was away to keep her supply up?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Mentally easier for me, I mean, I really think baby will be fine whatever!
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.
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!
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!
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).
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 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.
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!
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