For this week’s Because I Said So, Buck and I are going to discuss being away from your children. We are going to answer the following questions: What is the longest you have been away from your children at one given time? Do you feel guilty leaving them even if they are with family? What are your views on being away from them if you were to go on a vacation for a long period? Do you think it depends on the age?
I’m not sure these questions can be answered with direct simple answers. For starters I think some babysitters and/or nannies could possibly be better suited to care for your children than some family members. I think that part truly depends on the person and the best judgment should be made by the parents. I also think how long you are away from your child depends on what you as an individual feels comfortable with and I do think age most likely plays a factor.
Now from my personal experiences… The longest I have been away from my daughters at one given time was three weeks. Long time, right? When I was growing up I spent my summers visiting my family in Tennessee (where my mother is from). I loved it. The whole experience was different from the city in Texas. My grandparents had cattle, lots of land and my Aunt didn’t work outside the home so she was able to take me places daily. Plus I just loved the mountains so it was a nice escape. Now my daughters do pretty much the same. They usually go to TN for three weeks out of their summer vacations. My Aunt wasn’t able to have children of her own so being able to spoil my kids over the summer gives her and her husband much pleasure. Noah hasn’t ever went without me yet because he is still only 3 and being away from his father and I for that long is not in the cards yet. I talk to my girls daily when they are gone and they truly enjoy going. They are never forced to go and they decide if they want to stay the whole three weeks or not.
I have been away from my children for a few days at a time here and there when traveling for work conferences in the past or social media conferences such as the one I am attending next week. I think it is healthy for both the children and the parents to have some time apart every so often. A couple of days to me, is normal. Gosh I remember spending weekends at my friend’s house and not seeing my parents for that long and they were at home.
When Gabby was in the hospital for her Hemispherectomy I had to stay with her every day. Unfortunately during these months I wasn’t able to be with T and Noah. T came to visit almost daily since she stayed with my parents but Noah stayed with his father. I have suffered major mommy guilt over that. He was so young that he couldn’t stay at the hospital and during the four months sometimes I was lucky to see him once a week. Of course that situation was completely out of my control but I missed lots of his development during that time. He was only 1 1/2 then so you can only imagine how quick he grew over those four months. Those are memories that I can never get back. That is also probably one reason I wouldn’t let him be away from me for weeks at a time now. They grow too fast and during the early years they change often.
I would never leave my children with someone who wasn’t completely capable of taking care of them. Someone who was very educated on Gabby’s disabilities. No matter if they were family or not. I think each situation is different and every scenario could be played out differently. If you are a parent wanting to go somewhere for a couple of days, go. Don’t feel guilty to take a break, I think it’s healthy. Of course there are extremes to that too which leads to neglect. I think this is the same as with everything else, you have to find a happy balance.
I’m headed over to read what Buck thinks, you coming?
Have a topic or question you would like to hear our views on? Have you always wanted to hear both sides of a topic or answers to a question, unbiased? You can submit topics or questions via comments or even anonymously to djane (at) mommadjane (dot) com. We will pick questions at random and blog on one topic per week.