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to miss my DC's first day of reception for a work opportunity abroad?

(221 Posts)
deliverdaniel Mon 11-Jul-16 22:36:29

An opportunity has come up for me to give a presentation at a conference in another country. It is very prestigious and would be brilliant for my career prospects and it has given me a real confidence boost to be asked. It's the kind of opportunity that really doesn't come up often.
But it would mean being away on the day that my DD starts school for the first time (reception) and the two days after that (it's all or nothing- can't do part of it.) Her dad is amazing and would take her and do all the things that I would do if I was there. But if I'm honest I think she would be disappointed if I wasn't there too. What do people think? Would you do it, or stay home to be with her for this milestone in her life?

Please be kind! Thank you

Alanna1 Mon 11-Jul-16 22:40:08

Personally I'd go to the conference. You can do something with her the day before. You could also do something at the weekend when you get back. But you know you could also contact the school and see if she could start a bit earlier in the cohort and explain why (or indeed a bit later).

deliverdaniel Mon 11-Jul-16 22:41:20

thank you very much for your reply. She has to start on that day unfortunately. There is no earlier or later where we live. Appreciate it!

Petal12 Mon 11-Jul-16 22:41:49

I would absolutely struggle with this!!! 3 days out of however many hundreds is nothing though and on balance I would grab the work thing with both hands and enjoy it. Let the guilt go, she'll be fine and you'll have plenty of other days to take her. Just get dad to take lots of pics.

CheekyMcgee Mon 11-Jul-16 22:43:33

You really won't be missing much if you miss first days of reception. She's only 4 or 5 and wont remember, whereas your career opportunity sounds amazing! Give the presentation and dont feel guilty. You can always promise to bring her back a toy or treat from the country you're going to to make up for it smile

Idontknowwhoiam Mon 11-Jul-16 22:44:25

Has she been in nursery in the same school? If so the transition to reception won't be as significant as she's used to the site and routine...
To be perfectly honest I think it would affect you more than her and you need to ask yourself honestly would YOU regret not being home? I don't know that she would really be bothered after a few days or weeks at the most...

AtSea1979 Mon 11-Jul-16 22:45:22

You say your DD would be disappointed, why is this? Have you already told her you would and made it in to a big deal?
Usually these things are much more of a big deal so the parents than the kids. Your DD wouldn't even notice unless you told her. In the grand scheme of things it's probably not going to be a milestone as such. I don't remember my DD first day, I know I picked her up but I don't remember it as I've picked her up loads of times.

Dozer Mon 11-Jul-16 22:46:46


Your DD is only likely to be disappointed if you or DH make it a "thing" and he can just take her, take pics and so on.

There will be many, many school related things you'll need to consider taking time off or missing work things for: first day in reception isn't high on my personal priority list compared to some of these other things! When DH enjoys and can cover it.

few men accompany their DC on day 1 relative to the number of women: I doubt most would think twice about missing it for a work thing.

deliverdaniel Mon 11-Jul-16 22:46:58

thanks so much for these kind replies. I will feel guilty if I go, I'm sure but I thik people are right that she probably won't mind that much or at least not for long. She has been in a school based nursery but this is at a different school so although she is pretty used to being in a school setting, it will still be a transition. Like the ideas of a treat from the country and an outing at the weekend

Dixiechickonhols Mon 11-Jul-16 22:47:11

I'd do it. Have some nice time in the weeks before she starts getting her uniform ready and reading starting school stories. Then maybe get her to sykpe you after day one.

I thnk first day can be a bit hyped, better low key.

CointreauVersial Mon 11-Jul-16 22:47:48

You will have many milestones to enjoy - give this one to her dad and go to the conference. She can tell you all about it when you get back.

Xmasbaby11 Mon 11-Jul-16 22:48:02

I'd go to the conference. Your dd has a wonderful dad who can take her. I don't know how it is where you are but for us the first day is 2 hours. Then it builds up to full time over 4 weeks. In this situation the first day doesn't seem such a big deal because I'll be practically living at the school for a month!

Congrats on the job opportunity. It sounds amazing and I hope you go and enjoy it.

deliverdaniel Mon 11-Jul-16 22:48:07

I haven't mentioned it to her yet at all, and won't make a big deal of it. more just trying to work it out in my own mind first.

Wolfiefan Mon 11-Jul-16 22:48:37

My friend used to call this "mega mother guilt!" Would a father feel awful about this? Why wouldn't one parent suffice?

Holdtheslaw Mon 11-Jul-16 22:49:27

I'm going to go against the grain here - some things are milestones and first day of school is one of them. In twenty years you'll regret not being there and it is a big experience for a child. I'd personally stay home - saying that I'm a sahm atm so am not in the career zone

Peasandsweetcorn Mon 11-Jul-16 22:49:38

When DC1 started school, I took the week off so I could take her to & collect her from all of her settling in sessions. DH was abroad with work at the time.
DC2 starts school in September. Unfortunate timing means I will be starting a new job at the same time & obviously can't take time off in my first week. I am disappointed but DH is taking the time off so it will be no different for DC2, just a different parent & seeing me in real life in the evening rather than on Skype. Actually, DH will probably be more exciting as he is rarely able to do the school run so this will have real novelty value.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 11-Jul-16 22:49:53

Go to the conference. she has several years at school. you really don't need to worry about missing 1.

it's all an anti climax anyway. they don't say much wheb they get home they are just a bit tired and possibly overwhelmed. or in my case wondering what the big deal was after spending 5 hours a day at pre school only to be picked after less than 3 in school.

don't sweat it honestly. it's a far bigger deal to parents than the kids

Anandapanda Mon 11-Jul-16 22:50:42

Dad will be with her so she's not alone!
Not sure if this is a new thing but we certainly didn't go together to first day when ours went to reception.

BackforGood Mon 11-Jul-16 22:54:07

Of course I'd go to the conference. I think you ight be abticipating her first day at school as being a bit more exciting for you than the reality actually is grin

tinkerbellvspredator Mon 11-Jul-16 22:58:08

This is what happens. You drop them off, it's a bit of a novelty, you pick them up. You ask them how it was. They say good. You ask them who they played with. They say they can't remember.

Repeat almost every day for years.

That's it.

Cute picture of smiling child in fresh uniform is the only notable part of the day.

BackforGood Mon 11-Jul-16 22:58:28

X posted with a few.
I totaly disagree with holdtheslaw
I have 3 dc (eldest is 20 so that would have been 16 yrs ago, then each of his sisters 3 schoolyrs later) and can't remember any of their first days at Reception but do not nave any 'regrets' - its just not that momentus for normal folk with busy lives. I'm trying to remember who took each of them - me, dh, or the CM tbh.

Ifonlylovewouldsavetheday Mon 11-Jul-16 22:58:30

I genuinely can't remember my dds first day at reception which I must have been there for and I know she doesn't remember either. We had an amazing graduation from nursery (weren't allowed to take too many pics) and she doesn't remember this either.
Being a successful female role model to your DC is far more important than something they won't remember. If you trust and love your OH I really don't see an issue.

Miffyandme Mon 11-Jul-16 22:59:31

Sounds like her dad will do a grand job and that you've got it covered with him doing the school drop off and you taking your work opportunity.
I honestly can't remember who took me to my first day at school. As someone else said above it will most likely worry you far more than your daughter. And very few men would be having such dilemmas.
Congratulations on your conference. You can Skype and plan something exciting for afterwards. I'm feeling excited for you and I know I'd be feeling the same as you but equally would delegate it to DH.

deliverdaniel Mon 11-Jul-16 23:01:04

oh thanks everyone. You are all making me feel so much better. I asked a friend in RL and she was all "I wouldn't miss my child's first day" and I felt so mortified to have even brought it up, but this is makign me feel much less guilty about it all! thank you!

teatowel Mon 11-Jul-16 23:03:05

Holdtheslaw---- 20 years on the memories of my children's first day at school are almost nonexistent.

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