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How long would you leave 2 and 4 year olds for?

(9 Posts)
thewarmestowl Thu 04-Apr-13 21:43:59

My DCs are 4.7 and just 2. We are considering relocating the family on a long-term basis for DH's work. The place we are going to is about a 6 hour journey away (2 2 / 2.5 hour flights), not in Europe, where we haven't been before and don't (at present!) speak any of the language. DH and I really, really need to go for a reccy before we can make a decision. We need to look round generally, look at houses, look at schools (there are only really 2 schools to choose from so we wouldn't be trailing round lots of them).

We have left DC1 a couple of times overnight with GPs (aged 3+); he has always been fine. I have never left DC2 overnight, and actually it is fairly rare for him to be looked after by anyone other than DH or I through the day either (I am a SAHM). He is quite clingy with me.

I'm really worried about leaving them to go and look round. I've told DH that I am only comfortable leaving them for 2 nights maximum (even if this means that we need to get up at 4am to get 2 actual days in the place we are considering moving to). DH thinks I'm being ridiculous and that we could easily leave them for 4 nights. I'm really not happy about this - DC2 is still BF and often needs cuddled to sleep or in the night.

We'd be leaving them with GPs who they know well and love, but still. Other solution is to take the DCs with us 9and go for 4 / 5 days), but I think we'd find it so much harder to get the most out of our trip, be able to properly look at schools etc. 2 days without DCs would be more valuable to me than 4 days of trying to find parks / food they will eat / ways of safely transporting them around in a culturally very different place (if we actually did move here I'd but a lot of effort into getting this kind of stuff sorted!).

NaturalBaby Thu 04-Apr-13 21:51:38

If you aren't definitely moving then do you both really need to go now? Would you trust your DH to do the trip on his own?
I wouldn't go that far and leave my dc's (all under 5yrs old) for that long for something that may be for nothing if you don't move there.

Beatrixpotty Thu 04-Apr-13 21:57:42

I think even with GPs the longest I would leave mine for would be 2 nights.In reality I have only ever left them with anyone else (GPs) for 1.I think that is mainly though because I feel that it is a lot to ask of anyone as I find them quite tiring myself and 4 days doing everything for them would be quite intense.From the point of view of how happy they would be,I think they would probably cope fine and get used to whoever was looking after them.So I think it depends how capable and willing the GPs are..both sets of ours are 70 and over and would find it too tiring but probably agree anyway if it was really important.

BranchingOut Thu 04-Apr-13 22:04:01

Could you take the GPs with you?

plipplops Thu 04-Apr-13 22:10:19

Probably 2 nights at that age, they're 4 and 5 now and I'll happily leave them for 3 nights (only once a year though as that's all the babysitting I can get). It's off topic a bit but I've got to be away from them and DH for 6 nights next month for work and I'm quite worried about being away for that long, going to really miss them sad

thewarmestowl Thu 04-Apr-13 22:24:11

Thank you. I think we do both need to go - this is the final step in the process; on paper we are happy, so if we like it (enough) in reality we're going. To be honest, I think I could manage alone in terms of choosing a school and a house, I would have absolutely no confidence in DH doing this (!), I can only imagine where we'd end up living, but given that it's his work, I think he really has to be part of the trip.

It's really difficult... taking the GPs looks good on paper, but I think they'd be even worse fish out of water than DH and I, and in practical terms I'm not sure they'd manage with the DCs very well in a culturally alien environment. I'm not sure what they'd actually do with them all day while we did the important stuff - they'd probably just have to follow us about. I don't think it's the kind of place to have soft play cafes! We were only proposing leaving them here for 2 nights / 3 days on the basis that we'd ask our old nanny to work the days and they wouldn't be completely tired out by it (although they are fit and healthy, I do think that this length of time with small and very energetic children is probably too long for people in their 60s).

I feel genuinely sick at the thought of leaving DC2 for even this long. Not so much DC1 who I suspect will view it as an adventure.

Droflove Thu 04-Apr-13 22:35:08

I think the kids will survive. Sometimes mums and dads have things they absolutely must do and this is one if them. It's an important thing for your family and although the kids won't understand that, they will have fun at GPs and probably some tears too but it will do them no harm.

plipplops Fri 05-Apr-13 13:30:00

I should say that although I didn't leave them for that long at that age, I totally agree with Droflove that they'll be totally fine and think you should go. We've been thinking about emigrating and there's no way I'd have moved without having a proper look around first which would probably have meant leaving DDs for a week with GPs. It will be more than worth it to let you have a proper recce without having to consider the faff of taking DCs with you everywhere. Good luck!

Sparklymommy Fri 05-Apr-13 13:40:51

When I was pregnant with DS1 I threatened early labour at 31 weeks. Because our local hospital didn't have a bed for DS1 should he have been born I ended up travelling 150 miles and spending four nights in a hospital on bed rest. DH came with me, as did my mother so DD1 went to stay with my DF. She was fine. It was an emergency situation and I sent the whole week worrying but she wasn't worried. She was 3 at the time and my DF said that the funniest thing was that as he didn't know all her routines or where her pre-school and ballet classes were it was trial and error and when his wife took her to pre-school she was half an hour late. When he collected her he took her to ballet (and got lost), and Dd1 apparently said "oh I'm going to be late again aren't I?" In a resigned tone!

My point is, that with all the best will in the world sometimes emergencies happen and children cope. I had always left my Dd1 with my DM, but when I needed her, DF coped and so did DD1. Apparently, after ascertaining that mummy would be ok and would be coming back when she was better she never even asked about me!!!!

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