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Am I totally mad (to take DD on business trip)

(25 Posts)
Artichokes Fri 20-Jul-07 19:53:18

My DD will be one in September when I have a very important business trip to the US. It involves accompanying pretty high level people to the US. The trip will last a week and I will be busy from 8am-11pm writing briefings, attending meetings and then in the evenings attending receptions (not optional (really )).

I BF and don't intend to have stopped by Sept. DH has offered to bring DD to the US with me. He will look after her all day and I will BF her before I leave in the morning and last thing at night. The fact is DD is very clingy to me and in the US she will be in an unfamiliar environment and jet lagged - so this could be a hidesous idea for all of us.

Am I crazy? Work have agreed but are they laughing and rasing eyebrows behind my back?

Combining a career and motherhood is much harder than I ever dreamed...

moondog Fri 20-Jul-07 19:55:29

It depends on whether you can handle the twin demands.

I would want to if it was me i know but it's pretty hard to concentrate on job stuff with a grizzly babe.

Have you considered taking a breastpump so that you can maintain supply?
(Wouldn't be hard to do so as your supply well established.)

Sheherazadethegoat Fri 20-Jul-07 19:55:47

yes its nuts! you can take a bfing break for a week. dd will be happier missing you at home than being flown across the world.

Blandmum Fri 20-Jul-07 19:57:26

It wouldn't have worked for me when mine were 1. But each to their own

callmeovercautious Fri 20-Jul-07 20:00:45

I would not take her so far and for so long, more for you than her as you may get so exhausted you don't function well. My DD is the same age, but then the most exciting trip I get to go on is to Birmingham (which is fun!) but it would only ever be for a night or two.
I would take a pump to keep things going a bit, am sure she will be fine.

Artichokes Fri 20-Jul-07 20:05:38

I have never been able to pump. It hurts. Nothing much comes out. V strange as I have found BFing itself easy.

Therefore I am very worried that if I leave DD for a week my milk will dry up (and she will dehydrate and never sleep).

However the comment "dd will be happier missing you at home than being flown across the world" does sort of ring true .

Its so hard. I am worried that my milk supply will fail if I go without her. I am worried that she won't sleep or drink if I go without her. But I am worried she will be miserable if she comes. Worried that I will be too stressed to be a good mum or do a good job. And to be honest I am also worried about my prof reputation.

No idea what to do .

moondog Fri 20-Jul-07 20:07:45

It won't dry up.
My ds self weaned at 11 mths and i had milk there for a good few months afterwards.I could easily have got going again.Take a pump anyway in case those babies swell.

lilolilmanchester Fri 20-Jul-07 20:12:34

I am a working Mum, DCs older now. I have every sympathy with your situation.
It's easy with hindsight, but I'd say to you need to be totally honest with yourself about your motivation for taking her with you.
If you are working 8am - 11pm you are not going to see anything of DD. It might be more distressing for her to know you are around but not spending any time with her than just not to be there at all. You will be knackered and your breast milk will probably not be at its most nutritious. Your DD will be jetlagged and you'll be disturbed as a result.
If you were working 9 - 5, then yes, great, take her with you so you can have some family time in the evenings. But that isn't the case. As moondog's already said, if you're worried about your milk supply, take a breast pump and chuck the milk. The only thing is that your DD might wean herself off BF while you're away. But TBH at 1, would that be so much of an issue, especially with such a demanding job when no doubt there will be other occasions where you can't feed her? Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I HAVE been there, and you have to think about what's best for your child, not you (which I was guilty of myself half the time). I fed my DS til he was 13 months, DD weaned herself at 10 months (probably cos I was run ragged and milk like water!)

foxinsocks Fri 20-Jul-07 20:12:56

you are mad

no, you're not, but it does sound like it would be a lot less stressful for everyone if she stayed at home (unless dh has a burning desire to see America with a 1yr old in tow). She's not going to get anything out of the trip - will probably be easier for her at home and you'll get to concentrate on work.

Artichokes Fri 20-Jul-07 20:33:12

OK - you all talk sense. I probably am mad.

Can I just attempt to explain why I was even contemplating it:
- DD is VERY attached to the breast. She has never gone to bed without BF before she goes down(except for naps at nursery);
- She takes a bottle at nursery but refuses it from me and DH (so how will he get her to drink more than a few sips of water);
- DD is very attached to me. I may work hard but I am back to put her to bed every single night and I get her up every morning. I hate the idea she may worry I have left her for good.
- If we do it we will stay in the US for a week after the business so she will get a nice holiday at then end.

Am I just clasping at straws? I should listen to you all and let her and DH bond without me shouldn't I?

Joppe Fri 20-Jul-07 20:35:44

I'd take her. Do you co-sleep? That would give you a few hours together.

tribpot Fri 20-Jul-07 20:36:08

I think I am as mad as you. I would do it. Would not contemplate a trip to the US without ds (who is now 2).

moondog Fri 20-Jul-07 20:37:40

I've done it the other way.Followed dh around the world with babies when off on maternity leave.
It was bloody boring and lonely.

lilolilmanchester Fri 20-Jul-07 20:40:42

You are NOT mad, just a really caring Mum trying to do her best for her baby and keep a job going at the same time. At the end of the day, you have to do what is right for you and your DD.
I think it's hard to realise that your baby can manage without you. Her thought processes won't be complex enough to think you've left her for good. Mine were sometimes a bit off with me when I got back (usually just from one night away). The harsh reality is, if you have a job which takes you away, you either a) leave the job or b) learn to compromise. In my case, I think most of the problems were in my head rather than being real. With my DS, we found the only way he'd take any milk not from me was if my DH did it. OTherwise he could smell the breast milk on me. It's really tough, I do remember that, but sadly you have to make some tough decisions sometimes. It doesn't make you a bad mother. Far from it.

lilolilmanchester Fri 20-Jul-07 20:42:34

tripot/joppe, understand why you'd say that, but have either of you worked 15 hour days and come back to a baby (as artichokes will have to do for a whole week if she takes DD with her?)

hatwoman Fri 20-Jul-07 20:46:06

I don;t agree that flying half way across the world will be disruptive - certainly not as disruptive as not getting a bf every night. flew all over the shop with mine. they barely notice at that age.

having said that, for me, I would use it as a trigger for getting her a little less dependent/clingy. and I'd relish the child-free evenings/chance to focus on my work and enjoy the idea of dh having her all to himself for a bit.

but on the other hand, if you're going to attach a holiday to the end I don;t really see an issue with it. is dh going to get bored waiting for you while you're in meetings or is he going to relish being by the pool/visiting museums/parks etc? If the latter I'd probably take her

francagoestohollywood Fri 20-Jul-07 21:00:05

where are you flying to artichokes?
If it's the East coast I'd say take her. I'd have more doubts re west coast. We flew to San Francisco on Easter and it's pretty hard on the system.

Brangelina Fri 20-Jul-07 21:01:20

I have taken my DD away with me on business trips from the age of 7 months. I was bfeeding too and at that age it's important, plus IMO she was too small to leave with her Dad. In my case it worked very well, BUT I always travelled shorthaul from Europe to the UK, where I could leave her with relatives, plus I was only away from 7am to 8pm max, and she was kept up so I could be with her for half an hour.

I would take your DD with you. I understand your fears about your milk drying up (I worried if I was away for 24 hrs) and IMO her seeing you for 10 mins a day is better than not seeing you at all. Not to mention the fact that you'll miss her like hell too. I wouldn't worry about the feeding when you're not there, she'll be old enough for cow's milk and can drink it out of a cup.

I'd say do it, children suffer a lot less from jet lag and change than we do and if you have a week off with her afterwards it'll more than make up for all the disruption.

Hulababy Fri 20-Jul-07 21:03:32

I'd take her. Can't imagine not being with DD for a week though, so that is most part of it. DH and DD would have fun times on holiday together. You get to keep feeding and still see her for a little bit each day. DD never had jet lag after US flight, either time. She was raring to go just as normal. At a one year old on a plane is far easier than a three year old.

francagoestohollywood Fri 20-Jul-07 21:12:08

I think you forgot what they are like when they are 1 Hulababy. Just spent the afternoon with my friend's lovely 16 months dd. They don't stand still for a minute. They don't know danger. They are highly inquisitive. Of course it depends on the kind of child you have. 15 hrs on a plane with a crawling baby is not easy peasy.

Artichokes Fri 20-Jul-07 21:16:21

Its east coast. 7 hour flight. 5 hour time difference.

Do babies really suffer less from jet leg? I thought it might be worse as DD has an amazing internal clock. Her nap and bed times are consistent and 5 mins before each she yawns and grizzles then goes down perfectly. If I try and put her down even 20 mins early all hell can break loose.

francagoestohollywood Fri 20-Jul-07 21:18:24

Ok, East coast is def duable, 7 hrs are not that bad . Don't know re jet leg. A fellow mn told me that she took her dd to Australia and told me it took her quite a while to adjust.

francagoestohollywood Fri 20-Jul-07 21:20:27

You need someone with good tips on how to minimize jet leg (like taking an evening flight??), I'm rubbish. I really suffered on our trip to California.

Brangelina Fri 20-Jul-07 22:18:22

You tend not to get jetlag too much going to the States, it's usually worse on the way back. Something about going west you follow the sun so it's easier to adjust. Maybe it's a load of bollox, but I know I suffered more on the return from the Caribbean than on the way there, whereas when I went to Thailand it was the other way around. I never remembered getting jetlag when I was small, but that's probably because I'm very old.

One tip re jetlag is to sleep when you're tired (babies do this naturally) but try to follow the new mealtimes IYSWIM. The fact that you're still bfeeding will help a lot as it will calm her on the flight, plus she'll have food on demand whilst adjusting to the new mealtimes. Try and arrive a day or so before you have to disappear for work as it would be better if you were around to help her acclimatise (I always travelled on a weekend so had a couple of days before having to disappear).

thebecster Thu 26-Jul-07 09:26:14

I had this dilemma last year - I'd been back at work 2 months and needed to go to NY & DC on a business trip. I was desparate to take DS as I was still bf too. But after a long hard think I realised that I wanted to take him for selfish reasons. I wanted him near me, I wanted to feel that I was still doing everything for him while doing everything for my career, and I couldn't believe that he wouldn't be missing me every second. So I left him at home. MIL and FIL came to stay with DH while I was away to help with the nursery run etc.. I left for my flight when he was still asleep. He didn't cry for me or ask for me the whole time I was away, slept through the night without a bf to get him to sleep, and was quite happy. When I came home (after 9 days) he reached out for a cuddle and was pleased to see me. I don't think he knew that I'd been away for longer than a working day - babies and young toddlers are very much in the 'here and now' and don't dwell on yesterday and tomorrow like us adults do. The bad news, and I have to be honest about this, is that my breastmilk gave up shortly afterwards. But I think this may have been due to the exhaustion of the couple of months where I tried to be Superwoman, and be DS's primary carer and the main breadwinner, rather than just the business trip. I hope my story is helpful - it's only my experience and I don't mean to hijack, I just identify with your dilemma. I found my first trip away from DS absolute agony - while he was home happy surrounded by attention, I felt like I was missing a limb...

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