When Parents Think They Can Go on Vacation
When is it ok to leave little kids and go on a long vacation -- a 17-month old baby, a 2-year old, a 4-year old and a 6-year old -- for 9 days? And I am not talking about leaving your kids with grandparents when it is a necessity; I'm talking about leaving young children with a caretaker with whom they have no relationship when you have a choice.
According to "Early Childhood Today," young children do not understand the concept of "time" -- that mommy and daddy will be back in nine days. What is 9 days to a baby? It's hard for us to gauge that. And some kids seem to do better than others. They don't understand the concept of time at this age.
In my opinion, if you have very young toddlers, then you might consider waiting to leave them until they are older. Get away for a day instead. Or at least, take the 19-month old with you, as recommended by Dr. Sears.
When I watched my friend's 12-year old son, she left me with her power of attorney for medical treatment and she told me where her last will and testament was kept. It's not just about you; the legal impact must be covered. Permission slips are used for everything -- and waivers.Schools should be notified as well.
If you watch someone's dear children or leave yours with family, you need to get the power of attorney for medical treatment and it must be notarized by all parties. Of course, you don't expect anything to go wrong, but you have to be prepared.
I always think of that classic Doris Day comedy, "Move Over Darling" where she leaves her teething babes for a getaway with her husband and then ends up on a desereted island for several years. That's comedy, not real life.
Babies need their parents or primary caretaker, but that time goes by quickly. Even WHO recommends mothers have a close connection for the first two years, ( World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.)
I chose to have five kids; I chose not to leave my little kids and travel. I gave up a chance to go to Europe and on other vacations. I don't regret it. My husband and I have had lots of time alone when the kids were older and some great vacation memories that have made our marriage strong for 35 years.
*When originally posted, the title was written by an editor at blogher to reflect a different intent of this writer -- the editor titled this : "Why parents should never go on vacation without their children" The writer titled it "When Parents Think They Can Go on Vacation" The intent is different -- "when" is a time.
This is not about situations where you have to go to the hospital or there is an emergency in the family or some other crisis. It's not about leaving your kids with grandparents for a short stay. This is about a choice to go on a long vacation when maybe it might be better to wait until your kids are older. But granted, kids are different and so are their parents. You may have had different experiences and consequently different opinions.
Photo Credit: betzywd.