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4 weeks separation from both parents

(22 Posts)
DeutscheMutterCymroTad Mon 24-Feb-14 15:26:10

Following a skiing accident my wife has been told she won't be able to walk without crutches for at least eight weeks. We have a two and a half year old and my German in laws have kindly offered to take our little one for a few weeks so that we can cope. We have no family near us and despite kind offers of assistance from friends and neighbours there is a feeling that perhaps the in laws option is the best idea. It would certainly help with our aim of bringing little one up as a German speaker, as well as allowing him to spend more time with the German grand parents, but the idea of being away from little one for this amount of time really worries me. Anything anyone can add to help me decide one way or the other? Thx

MissWimpyDimple Mon 24-Feb-14 15:30:35

Can your wife go too? Or at least for some of the time.

AlpacaLypse Mon 24-Feb-14 15:34:37

I don't think your dc will suffer from spending four weeks away from you and your wife, it's more about how much you will miss her/him.

As Wimpy suggests, will it be possible for you to spend some time staying with them too?

DeutscheMutterCymroTad Mon 24-Feb-14 15:55:06

It's almost certainly more my worry about missing him rather than any negative effect of the separation. But of course I am worried out the possibility of him fretting for us and that this time away may impact on his other language(s) developing.

Have bounced idea about my wife travelling too but that would depend on how the injury progresses. ...

Bumpsadaisie Mon 24-Feb-14 16:36:18

?? I am baffled that people think it won't matter to the child, its all about whether the parents will miss him too much.

If your son had a close and intimate relationship with your in laws, then I would say OK, it would be a change for him but not too dramatic.

If however he doesn't see them much, as I suspect is the case, it is likely to be a dramatic change for him and certainly traumatic to an extent.

It is very kind of your in laws - but there is no way I would do this with my 2.5 year old. Could they possibly come and stay with you and help out? Or can your wife go too with him, so that she is there with him?

Do read a bit about attachment in children before you decide. and

Of course the original studies were of children going into institutionalised care and being separated from their parents. Of course your in laws would offer a much warmer environment than that. But unless your child sees a lot of them, you would essentially be sending him to stay with strangers for 2 months.

I think you should listen to your feelings - you said " the idea of being away from little one for this amount of time really worries me". This is for a reason! Your feelings are there not as a trick but to help you.

In terms of learning German, there will be plenty of opportunities for this later. When your son is four or 5 he can go and stay with them with fewer concerns - he can understand the concept of time and space and that you will be returning.

Sorry to rant - but I feel really strongly about this and am often shocked at how little people understand about attachment in children. Often people say "well they won't remember it, it doesn't matter!" Of course it matters. There is much more to ones psychological make up than merely ones conscious cognitive memories.

Good luck smile

neolara Mon 24-Feb-14 16:38:48

I agree with Bumpsadasie. Sorry. Probably not what you wanted to hear.

FrimpongDench Mon 24-Feb-14 16:46:08

Why can't they come to you and look after your wife as well? Surely that would be in your child's best interests too - familiar environment (his house) and with his parents around as much as poss?

BitsinTatters Mon 24-Feb-14 16:50:07

I wouldn't send my 3 year old in that situation.

SirChenjin Mon 24-Feb-14 16:52:32

I wouldn't send a 2.5 year old away for a few weeks unless they are very, very close to their grandparents.

Why don't they come to you, or your wife and your DC go there together? Surely she's going to need help to do more than just look after your DC?

Treaclepot Mon 24-Feb-14 16:54:58

My 3 year old just spent 6 days with my parents (with her brothers), as I was in hospital, she missed me a lot, and now three weeks on is still quite clingy, even though she knows them really well and they are lovely.

I wouldnt. Though kind offer.

Justgotosleepnow Mon 24-Feb-14 16:57:51

No way send your kid away at that age for weeks without its mum. Madness.

Separation anxiety is what they will have. An adult can rationalise & process the loss of contact. A 2 1/2 year old? Not a chance.

They will feel abandoned, confused and scared. Doesn't matter who they are with, it's who they are missing is the problem.

Sorry to be harsh but I was similarly abandoned at that age & am still suffering abandonment issues as an adult. If you can come up with a plan where mum stays with then that's great.

pilates Mon 24-Feb-14 16:59:46

I think the best option would be for them to move in with you, is that possible?

TheScience Mon 24-Feb-14 17:07:10

Though Bumpsadaisie - those studies into attachment did find that children coped ok with separation if they were left in the care of a substitute carer like a foster parent.

That's not to say your 2 year old won't really miss you and their mum and might be quite unhappy though.

Theyaremysunshine Mon 24-Feb-14 21:10:09

My son would have been devastated at 2.5 years old. I'd have missed him terribly but I have no doubt he would have found it very traumatic. There is no way he would have understood why, he would have just felt abandoned. If he was 4/5 and knew them well, it would perhaps be a good idea. He's just a baby.

I agree with pp, why can't they come over and help?

Or if money isn't an issue, perhaps consider a childminder or nanny for a short time, or a mothers help. Or just accept those kind offers you've already had from people close by who he knows.

I can understand why your DW would struggle on crutches with a toddler, DS was 2.5 when I needed crutches for SPD. I was desperate for some help and barely sleeping, but there is no way I'd have sent DS away.

QTPie Mon 24-Feb-14 21:18:25


What has your wife done?

I had a skiing accident when DS was 12 months old and spent some weeks on crutches - so I feel your pain, literally. We got by: some family help, some paid help and quite a lot if me shuffling around (although DS was JUST walking at 12 months - a lot easier to look after than a 2.5 year old...)

I still couldn't spend a month away from DS (now 4). How does your wife feel?

Agree with others: can in-laws come over? Can you get some paid help?

If you have to send your DS over, then he would be ok, but it would be tough on all of you (and not at all easy to "pop over and see him"). If you can find other ways...

Badvoc Mon 24-Feb-14 21:22:26

Hell, no.

EirikurNoromaour Mon 24-Feb-14 21:25:57

Why can't you look after the child?

apermanentheadache Mon 24-Feb-14 21:28:05

No way on earth. Your child will be really traumatised.

Could you drive your wife and child over? Or like others have said, have your in-laws to stay?

Failing that could you take caring leave?

sixlive Mon 24-Feb-14 21:29:34

No way. They come over and help. Or else consider Childcare options, preschool, nursery, mothers help, nanny. On crutches you can still do a lot especially with only one child. Two months of having to eat ready meals and watch cbeebies and do sedentary activities like jigsaws etc... Will do far less harm. I went away for a weekend from my two when the youngest was a similar age, my DS two years later still worries I'm not coming back when I go out for an evening.

DeutscheMutterCymroTad Mon 24-Feb-14 21:50:05

Much food for thought, thanks. We now appear to have some other (less drastic) options presenting themselves. Always interesting to hear other views and accounts, thx smile

lolalotta Mon 24-Feb-14 22:18:10

My 4 year old found it difficult to be away from my DP and I for a couple of nights when my youngest was admitted to hospital unexpectedly for very serious surgery. I would not recommend it if you can help it. She was staying with an Aunty she knows very well too.

AuditAngel Mon 24-Feb-14 23:29:43

When DS was 2.5 I was hospitalised (locally) with pregnancy complications. Granny moved in, he continued attending nursery 5 days per week, he was still in his own home with daddy trying to work shifts as normally as possible (DH was warned that too much absence would mean he had already had his paternity leave), this was still very difficult.

At 7 DS spent 3 weeks in Spain with family friends (actually he was 6 when he went and was away for his 7th birthday). We had planned on him staying with his grandparents, but due to a sudden death, he stayed with friends. He managed 2 weeks before he was so homesick he was taken back to stay with his grandmother who by now had an aunty/uncle/cousin staying too.

I wouldn't do thus with a 2.5 yo.

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