To go on a work trip?(38 Posts)
So... here's the deal: I've been asked to go on a work trip next month. It's a fantastic opportunity and it's also kind of my responsibility to go. That said, although it would be a very positive thing for my career, there would be no comeback if I said no, I just wouldn't get the positives.
However, I have a 13 month old DS who's still BF, 3x overnight (one at bedtime 7pm, one somewhere between 10.30pm-12am and one between 5-6am. He's in nursery full-time so doesn't BF during the day, and eats well so he almost certainly doesn't NEED to feed overnight from a nutritional point of view.
The trip involves a 12-hour flight and 5 nights away. I'll be working during the daytime, with no option of just flinging DS in a sling and bringing him with me.
I can see three options here:
1. I go and leave DS with DP. No qualms whatsoever about DP's abilities to look after DS, he just can't lactate! I can skype/facetime/whatever from the other country, that's not a problem. I could express and freeze milk: he won't take a bottle but might drink it from a sippy cup, though tbh it's unlikely (he never has before) and in any case, it's not really an issue of just nutrition. I could take a pump with me and pump and dump while away to maintain supply so we could resume feeding when I get back. Or of course we could just wean DS completely. We are slowly cutting back - we've just phased out the 4th feed at 2.30am and it's gone down like a lead balloon! - but we're some way off being night-weaned at the moment and would have to pick up the pace significantly. So if I take this option, am I just condemning DP and DS to nearly a week of Crying It Out overnight?! He does settle OK for DP if he goes in overnight (eventually) at the moment, but obviously that's in the context of getting those 2 middle-of-the-night and early morning feeds.
2. All of us go. DP would need time off work and I would have to pay for his flight, but both do-able at a pinch. We'll be staying in a hotel in an area well known for tourist sites, so stuff to do while I'm working. We just have to wrangle DS on 2x 12 hour flights, cope with change of routine and jetlag etc. Not sure how keen DP is on this option though, although he would suck it up if I asked.
3. I go with DS and DP stays home. We can get day childcare locally through trusted contacts. Has all the negatives of above (plus one-person wrangling of DS on the plane!), and DP will only see DS via skype etc. while we're away (though for context he often is away for one or more nights a week at the moment).
Basically I just have to put on my big girl pants, make a decision and live with it, but I'm interested in everyone's thoughts!
I think option 1 is the best....you say its a fantastic opportunity so go for it and it will be less upheaval surely to leave DS and DP at home.
Can you try one night away now and see how it goes before making a decision?
I think you should go and explore all going together. It could be a lovely break for you all too and you could spend the weekend at either side of your trip together.
If you go for option 1, I wouldn't Skype tbh. Dh works away regularly and it's only since she was 2 that dd could understand and not get horribly distressed by seeing him but not being able to cuddle him etc
I went on a work trip when DD was 2 but still bf and co-sleeping at night. She was fine, good as gold, woke up once the first night asking for me but that was it! I was gone 4 nights and was the other side of the Atlantic
Option 1. TBH it was a week away for me when ds was that sort of age that got ds to give up night feeds. I continued to feed morning/evening till he was 22 months
Remind your dh that you won't be able to do anything, so not to tell you if it hasn't gone well. I always treasure that about my dh, compared to my colleagues dh who is always on the phone about the kids playing up/ needing to give them calpol/ what should he do about x
All go. Flying with a child that young on such a long flight with one adult only would be murder and unless DS is well and truly weaned you will be worrying.
Or find a new DP - a bloke who can lactate - Andrew, behave yourself!
I would seriously kill for a bloke who could lactate! Come on science, sort it out...
I have heard that before about Skype, @TeaBelle. I'd just have to Skype him in his sleep as I'm not sure I could manage 5 nights without seeing him!
I agree on the Skype thing - until children are about 6 they don't really seem to understand that they can see you but you won't be home. Out of sight, out of mind seems to work well tbh - and being very matter of fact and low key about it all.
Option 1. I've done this with a just turned 2 year old. As long as your DP is happy with the arrangement.
It was hard for all concerned tbh, but I needed to go as I was invited to speak at a conference.
DS stayed with my sister and they were both crying for the first night (I'd got Owl Babies for them to read....) but they got through it. It got easier as time went on.
I don't think you'll need to worry about your supply, more that you'll be exploding and just have to pump and dump to relieve pressure (I looked like The Simpson's Boob Lady by the time I came home).
The other options sound like too much juggling to me.
I am currently planning another similar work trip and this one falls bang in the middle of DS2's 8th Birthday (the one above) and DS1's 18th...so a whole new set of problems to sort out
no you're not having a bloody party in my house while I'm away DS1!
I was not able to happily skype with my kids until they were 6 or 7. Too hard for us all before then.
I felt it was better for the person caring for them to pick a time to talk about Mummy being away.
Am wondering if it's the same trip as me OP! Give me a clue...where is it?
Option one. speed up the weaning
I dint Skype when I am away it upsets the kids and makes it difficult for the parent at home.
Could well be, @rightsofwomen, sounds like we're in the same line of work at least! It's an academic conference (well, workshop, to be technical) as part of a project I am (supposedly!) co-running. I guess I'm also very aware that there are other research trips and conferences in the offing, next in July, so maybe biting the bullet and going for option 1 now will work out better in the long run?
Still tough to shake the totally unreasonable guilt though...!
Forgot to add @rightsofwomen, St the risk of outing myself (like anyone cares!) it's in Vietnam
Option 1, then option 2 if you cant face opton 1 but I wouldn't even consider option 3 tbh.
How long are you planning to bf for?
Option 4: You could use this as a prime opportunity to wean. Go away and leave dp to it.
Definitely option 1.
Work on night weaning in the meantime - send DP to offer a drink of water in case he is thirsty, you don't go in at all. Unless you've had supply issues, you should still be able to BF on your return (just hand express while you're away).
I agree about the Skyping. DH and I have both been away from DC at various times, and I think until 3 or 4, it's not worth it. And even then you have to gauge the mood.
Queen Nope, not the same conference!
Please don't feel guilty, no one benefits from that.
It's hard working with a breastfeeding baby. My kids have both turned out ok though.
Shamelessly bumping for the evening crowd!
I'd probably either not go and hope there would be other trips in the near future (I stopped feeding at about 16 months so not far off where you are now) or try one night away before committing to the longer trip. It's a big ask to leave a breastfed one year old with someone who might have five nights of crying.
Sorry, I know that doesn't sound very supportive or what you want to hear and I totally get how tough it is breastfeeding and being unable to leave them
Option 1 - get up that career ladder!!! It's only five days
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