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to be considering being away for my dd's 8th birthday?

(56 Posts)
sleepymother Tue 21-Oct-14 14:57:44

I'm not a frequent poster, but I really need a bit of advice from other parents. I have been invited to speak at an academic conference, expenses paid, quite a flattering invitation, but it is three days long, abroad, and the middle day of the three is my daughter's birthday. I could organise to celebrate her birthday before I go, but I feel that she would probably (almost certainly) feel upset that I wouldn't be at home for her birthday itself (which falls on the Friday). Should I just say no to the conference, or is it just something that she and her sister will have to get used to, with a working academic for a mother? (DH works for himself, and was a SAHD, and does most of the school pick-up/drop-offs/playdates, etc, and would certainly be there to celebrate, and do cake etc on the birthday itself.) I just can't figure this out.

whois Tue 21-Oct-14 15:00:10

I would go. Have a celebration before you go. Call on the day. Bring her back something from wherever you have been.

LadyLuck10 Tue 21-Oct-14 15:01:06

I would go. Her dad will be there, you can celebrate before. Get her something very nice from your trip.

Tigerinthegrass Tue 21-Oct-14 15:01:37

I am a SAHM but has occasionally not seen my girls on their birthdays as they've been with their dad (we divorced years ago). She will get two fun birthdays this way if you do it right, that's how I looked at it

AskYourselfWhy Tue 21-Oct-14 15:03:05

My kids would not have minded at all. I would just explain it to your DD - she should be proud of you. Promise her an exta special treat at the weekend. My DH missed my kids birthdays fairly frequently for work. It was never an issue at all.
These things happen.

mum9876 Tue 21-Oct-14 15:04:35

Could you get dh to give her a birthday party or sleepover on her actual birthday then have a family celebration when you get back? Otherwise it might be a bit of an anticlimax with you missing.

It's a tricky one. I know my dd would be upset. I think I'd probably try and work out how upset she'd be by talking to her about it first.

Sixweekstowait Tue 21-Oct-14 15:05:16

Go, go, go. Birthdays are great to celebrate but it will be good to release your dd and yourself frm the tyranny of tying the celebration to the actual date. Release yourselves now and it will benefit you for ever. FWIW I would celebrate when you get back as you can all look forward to that. Congrats btw on the invitation - you should all be encouraging your daughter to feel proud of you

ElephantsNeverForgive Tue 21-Oct-14 15:06:52

Go, 99% of dad's wouldn't think twice. 80% of Dad's probably wouldn't even realise it was DC's birthday that week!

Just one thing, I'd celebrate when you get back, not before. I suspect looking forward to a cuddle, a present and a special day will reduce grump on the actual day better than looking back on it.

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Tue 21-Oct-14 15:07:14

I wouldn't. 'Getting used to it' wouldn't really be as relevant after her 18th. It's all change after that.

ElephantsNeverForgive Tue 21-Oct-14 15:10:26

Total X post.

But, honestly anticipation, excitement and planning birthday treats, seems always to be greater than appreciation after, with smaller DCs.

Teens look back at trip pictures, enjoy wearing their designer hoodies etc, but at 8 they move on to the next thing more quickly.

gingee Tue 21-Oct-14 15:15:29

I'd go, honestly don't worry. Do something exciting before you go, arrange for family to come round and make a fuss of her on the day (after school) or have a couple of her friends back for tea and cake. Special prezzie from wherever you've been, sorted. It's not like you do it every year. Dont stress and also congratulations, well done to you re your career !

HesterShaw Tue 21-Oct-14 15:21:22

99% of dad's wouldn't think twice.

This. My dad was frequently away for my birthday. Even at 8 I had the sense to realise that he had to work and that it didn't mean he didn't love me, no matter what my mother tried to imply.

wigglesrock Tue 21-Oct-14 15:25:23

I'd go, my husband is away over our kids birthdays sometimes and I've certainly worked on my kids birthdays.

Mammanat222 Tue 21-Oct-14 15:43:57

I'd go!

Had it been a jolly up I'd have said no way but based on the info you give then I would just go and plan something wonderful before / after.

What does DH think? What will he do on the actual day?

sleepymother Tue 21-Oct-14 15:56:30

Thanks for all this: very helpful, and encouraging advice. DH says 'go'! He would probably have a friend or two over for tea on the Friday - the birthday itself (as gingee is suggesting), and then do an outing or something (maybe involving grandparents) on the Saturday. I'd then be back on the Sunday.
I do think it's important for my children to know that women have important jobs outside the home too, and that men do a good deal of childcare. As some of you are saying, a lot of men wouldn't think twice about this, and that's what was confusing me - should I just think about it as most 'primary breadwinners' would, or is it just different because I'm 'mummy' and not 'daddy'? Almost all of you are saying no, it's not different just because I'm mummy, and that I should be able to manage this in such a way that it's acceptable to my daughter, and that she might even be able to be proud of me. (That might be asking a bit much, but we'll see!) I will have to make sure I get some decent shopping time in (prob at the airport) so as to equip myself with good bribes gifts to bring home.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Tue 21-Oct-14 17:09:18

You could always skype her in the evening or something, and get her something while away.

playftseforme Tue 21-Oct-14 17:13:26

I've been away twice over dd's birthday with work, and dh will be away this year. It's sometimes just unavoidable. I've left presents behind to be opened, organised birthday lunches for when I've got back, bought extra presents to bring home, sung Happy Birthday across facetime!!

PacificDogwood Tue 21-Oct-14 17:17:16

I'd go too.

In fact I remember one or the other of my parents not being present at a number of my birthdays and it did not particularly register on the day grin (hope this does not hurt your feelings): excitement, cake, presents etc etc were all much more important.
And of course the extra gift that arrived on whichever parent's return which was extra special because it was NOT on my birthday and often something rather exotic and interesting.

Hope you have a great time.

yellowdinosauragain Tue 21-Oct-14 17:20:56

I haven't been away but I'm in a job where I rotate to new departments on an annual basis and for the last 2 years that has coincided with my youngest son's birthday (aged 6 and 7). So I've had to leave before he'd usually get up and not got home until late. He's been happy to get up early and have a later than usual meal out followed by spoiling on another day. Obviously he would have been in school but on years when it's possible I take a day off to spend as much time with him as possible, and he's seen me doing this for his big brother, so I reached to make sure he understood the reasons which he does.

Not the same as being away I know, but just to illustrate that kids are adaptable depending on how you pitch it.

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Tue 21-Oct-14 18:19:18

Sorry, I read it as her 18th. blush

Hairtodaygonetomorrow Tue 21-Oct-14 18:45:56

I am also an academic and so is my husband and we both miss things sometimes. The other one just goes out of their way to make it special for the birthday child and we do things as a family when they get back. Mine are, for better or worse, used to having one family member away. I do have a supportive family though, so there are always other relatives around to make it special

Get her a present for your return and call on the day. Your husband sounds ace.

JohnCusacksWife Tue 21-Oct-14 18:50:50

I wouldn't go but only because I wouldn't want to - not because I felt I shouldn't.

sleepymother Tue 21-Oct-14 22:18:18

Hairtoday - he is ace, it's true. smile
Mymum - no worries - I think I'd see the 18th as different too.

Mascaramascara1 Tue 21-Oct-14 22:32:58

I'm obviously in the minority here, but I wouldn't go if it was at all avoidable.

Birthdays are special and exciting to a little kid. Apart from the fact I wouldn't particularly want to go, i'm pretty sure the dc would be upset if I missed their birthday. They have a party on the closest weekend to their birthday, but on their actual birthday we either make a day of it and go to the zoo/fair if in school holidays, or go for a lovely meal and activity of their choice after school. I'd be gutted to miss it, and I think they would be.

Contrary to the men thing, dh also wouldn't consider being away on one of the dc's birthday. In the past he's missed a stag do of a relatively close friend, and an awards ceremony (where he was up for an award!) because it clashed.

PiperIsOrange Tue 21-Oct-14 22:39:25

I can always get DC birthdays off work, so I wouldn't dream about missing their birthdays. I feel guilty enough working Christmas Eve, day and Boxing Day.

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