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I have to go away for three weeks, am dreading it, tips for coping please

(12 Posts)
suzyj Wed 06-Aug-03 12:52:13

Sounds very very wet, I know, but I've never left my 10 month old dd overnight before, let alone for this long. My dh is going to be looking after her and he'll do a great job (and seems to be quite looking forward to it) but I'll miss her (of course will miss them both) SO MUCH. And someone very helpfully said, "Oh, she'll hardly recognise you when you get back". Great.

It's a work trip, and I'm going to NZ so it's not all bad, but I was wondering what you would do in a similar situation to ease the pain a bit. Or do you have any stories about long trips away from little children with miraculously happy and empowering endings...

ThomCat Wed 06-Aug-03 12:58:14

Suzyj - of course she'll recognise you, what a nasty thing for that person to have said.
Leave her pictures of you to look at with her dayy.
invest in a video phone each
Invest in a web cam
If you already have a video camers film yourself close up saying hello to her and chatting etc so she can watch you and hear ypour voice.
Enjoy yourself, and look forward to being with her agian.
love TC x

Jaybee Wed 06-Aug-03 13:53:31

Could you record a couple of bedtime stories for her - always ending them with "goodnight sweetheart, see you soon" - or similar. At least she will be hearing your voice when you are away. I worried about my ds when I went away and it was only for a few days, he didn't seem to notice that I wasn't there

Teletubby Wed 06-Aug-03 13:58:01

I think the story tape idea would be great plus loads of photos. I know she won't be able to talk yet but you could still phone and let her hear your voice. Have a nice time and try to find something to help the time pass quickly.

katierocket Wed 06-Aug-03 14:00:57

don't think its wet at all suzyj. Of course you will find it hard and of course she will recognise you when you get back (people say the most insensitive things)

Thomcat and Jaybees suggestions are really good. phone up a lot and talk to her while DH holds the phone.

good luck

eefs Wed 06-Aug-03 14:03:47

I've travelled with work also. (infrequently but always at least overnight, sometimes for a week)
I always take a few days off work everytime I've been away - to rebond with DS. We usually spend those days doing fun things together.
I ring him a few times a day - once at the chindminders and when he's just woken up and just defore he goes to bed.
Remember, it's harder for you than it is for her, she'll be quite happy with her dad.
One last thing: in my experience, if I have gone for a week or more DS tends to ignore me when we are first reunited (i.e. no joyful rushing into my arms) because I think he feels a little deserted, but after half an hour or so he comes running up for a big hug. Don't meant to sound negative, but if you expect this then it won't feel like a rejection.
Even though I am the parent who would travel with work, ds is a lot closer to me, so it hasn't affected our bond.
Although I do miss DS like crazy when I leave him, I also enjoy the me-time in the hotel in the evenings - uninterrupted baths, good nights sleep, getting to use the hotel facilities etc. Make the most of the break and enjoy

Wills Wed 06-Aug-03 14:12:24

I had to leave my dd for a week at roughly the same stage 11 months so I know how you're feeling. Others have given you brilliant tips for dd so I thought I might tell you what I felt did for me.

I found leaving absolutely agony and there's not a lot I can say that will reduce that bit however when you get out there I found it was not so bad. I'm sure your work is like mine in that they don't pay for trips abroad unless you have three times the workload that is actually possible to do. I threw myself into a mix of working and shopping. If I wasn't working my butt off I was shopping for dd and imagining how she would look in things. Luckily my trip was NY and I don't know what NZ is like but it really helped me to imagine what her face would look like when I gave her XYZ. Since it was just before Xmas the BA staff took the serious mikey out of me when I returned home saying things like Father Xmas is flying BA this year.

Be careful of films that have a family element. I flew out to NY fully suited up to go straight into a meeting but whatched chocolat on the way out. Suddenly in a cabin full of business men there I am bawling my eyes out at the bit where she thinks she's lost her daughter. All these nervous looks etc and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stem the flow.

Pictures of dd did help and also a recording of her voice. Unfortunately she flatly refused to talk to me on the phone, her way of letting me know she wasn't happy etc, but my dh used to get her nattering and let me just listen in.

DD is now 3 and half and unfortunately I've had to do 3 such trips. All of them are painful but all of them were liveable with IYSWIM. DD doesn't appear to have remembered any of them so I really don't think they've done her any harm - me however... No seriously I loved seeing both NY and more recently Singapore. I would always prefer to be with my dd (and dh) but she likes the suitcases of presents that I invariably bring back (dh is not so keen), she doesn't seem to remember any of them (the trips that is) and whilst it does take a couple of days for things to settle back to normal, settle they do - promise.

You'll both be fine!

Wills Wed 06-Aug-03 14:14:42

eefs - uninterrupted nights is definitely an enormous plus - forgotton that one !

fio2 Wed 06-Aug-03 14:15:51

my dh works away during the week and is back at weekends, this is EVERY week. I can honestly peoples comments like 'they wont recognise you when you come back' do not help the guilt my dh feels for leaving his family all week. But the kids dont really seem to mind that much as long as they are in familar surroundings and routine they just seem to carry on as normal. Must say though they are very happy to see him when he comes home from work on a friday! You will be fine suzy and Im sure you will be talking to them on the phone every night

suzyj Wed 06-Aug-03 14:32:43

Thanks you guys! Wills, I can agree with the 'triple workload' bit - do we accidentally work for the same company??

I'm going out there to train our teams of people who work for us from home and most of them are mums and know I've just had a child and will want to see photos. I don't want to blub uncontrollably at the start of every session though!! Luckily I've stopped bf'ing so at least I won't have leaky boobs as well, so there's a positive - see, you're helping already!

SueW Thu 07-Aug-03 00:44:02

Not at all wet.

I went to New York for five days without DD when she was about 3.5yo and just about dissolved into tears when they asked for families with young children to pre-board.

My husband was supposed to be looking after her but he was flying in from Texas and my mum had her for the few intervening hours. However, he was ill when he arrived home and DD stayed with my mum for the full five days. I didn't find out until I got home she'd been there all the time - I never would have asked Mum to have her that long - but they all coped extremely well without me.

Hope the trip goes well.

Dannie Thu 07-Aug-03 14:59:04

I left my 2 for a week in March for a long haul trip I really needed to do (I'm pg with #3 and won't go anywhere now for a long time!). I phoned up at bedtime every night, but found I clicked into 'This is what I do' mode and didn't spend ALL my time longing for them to be there. I loved the sleep and the freedom, but the best bit was when DS's exercise books came home at the end of the summer term and in his news book (he's just finished Reception) there's an entry that says 'Mummy came home in the middle of the night with lots of presents'

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