Parents: At what age did you first leave your child?

I’m going to the States tomorrow (29th) and returning on the 8th. That’s 9 nights away from my daughter.

The longest I’ve ever been away from her before this was Londope and that was for 2 nights/3 days. She’s 2yrs and 5 months old and I’ve stayed at home with her since she was born. I’m not used to being away from her for even the whole day, much less EIGHT WHOLE DAYS AND NINE WHOLE NIGHTS!

She’s staying at home with hub, who is taking 6 days off from work. It’s not the ideal situation, but my mom needs me, so off I go. Hub will be fine with her and it’s not that I’m worried. Well, I am worried that he won’t do any housework at all until the day before my return, but that’s another matter. I just cannot imagine not seeing her for that long.

Tell me about your first experience leaving your child. How did it go? Did they cry? Did they miss you? Were they cross with you when you came back? Did you take anything with you to remind you of them (I’m taking one of her blankies and a lot of photos)?

Mrs.Phlosphr checking in!

I cried! cried! cried! and called all the time! I too took tons of photo’s and one of her little slippers. When I came home she crawled in bed with me that night and slept with us. :slight_smile:

You’ll be fine! So will she.

My kids are 10 and 8 and I still have a hard time leaving them. When they were little the longest I ever left them was 2 nights. Then they either stayed with dad or grandma. I cried every time I left. I have some friends who go off for weeks at a time sans kids and they think I’m a nut.

Mr. Pundit and I went away for the weekend last weekend and their favorite aunt watched them. They couldn’t wait for us to be gone already and were seriously bummed when we showed up on Sunday. Ungrateful little brats. :slight_smile:

I think I’m going to cry, too, Mrs. Phlosphr. More because it’s the first time and I’ll be so so far away. I’ve already checked into changing my flight back to an earlier flight and it’s only 75$. A mere pittance, really.


I can’t imagine a time when mine will ever wish for me to GO GO GO away. I’m sure it’ll happen; I just can’t picture it.

My parents left me with my (very loving) grandparents for a week?? when I was maybe 2??

The fact that I don’t remember it means it can’t have been that traumatic!

Any other times I do remember being left with my grandparents never felt like being “left” - I was with my grandparents, they were family. And you are leaving Y with her father anyway, so there’s even less need to worry!

I actually think she will benefit from being able to get a whole week alone with her father, it will give them a great chance for one-on-one time.

Don’t you dare worry or feel guilty! You are an excellent parent (so speaks the non-parent, but I remember the child’s perspective!)

It may even turn out that you end up missing her more than she misses you, from the above posts!


I’m sure I’ll miss her much more. He’s got all sorts of things planned (visiting a friend’s farm, going to a holiday song show, trips to the shops) and I’m sure she’ll be busy busy busy.

The only thing I can compare it to is being given tickets to a lovely wonderful island, but you have to go alone. Or something.

I just can’t imagine waking up and not going to change her nappy for 9 whole days!

Anahita, I don’t know if this is comforting at all, but I think that one of the most precious gifts that parents can give a child is the freedom that comes from knowing that while you are the most important thing in your parent’s lives, you are not the only important thing in their life.

You don’t want your daughter to turn down a fabulous opportunity to go to school somewhere in 18 years becasue “what would my mother do without me?” You don’t wan your daughter to break up with a wonderful man when she is 25 because “Mom couldn’t handle it if I lived too far away.” Balencing love and over-dependence in a tricky thin line, and it looks to me that you are walking that line beautifully, so pat yourself on the back and try to concentrate on the good parts of having some time to yourself.

Manda JO

Wish I was going back for some fun, but unfortunately, I’m goign to help my packrat mom pack up her condo and move to an assisted living place.

I will, however, meet a select few Dopers, and catch up with some highschool friends.

On the plane, I plan to read the book, “How to Stop Overusing Commas.”

One month old, overnight. We were living with the in-laws then and my son was on formula, so I left him with MIL while I went to cheer on my husband at a mountain bike race. MIL arrived with bub in tow the next day, It was my first night of uninterrupted sleep in about six months, even though we were camping, and it was bliss!

My kids were both over a year before I let someone else watch them. Both times it was with my Mom but I had a horrible time. I’d call my Mom asking if they were asking for me and I could tell my Mom was lying when she said yes. I could hear them laughing in background. They would ask about me but as long as she assured them Mommy would be home soon they were fine. I’ll give you my Mama’s advice, as long as you stay calm and act like things are fine about her being without you, she’ll feel the same. If you panic and cling to her she will panic too. Good luck and you are NOT a terrible parent.

Just in general I think this is the more healthy response at this age level but that is just my opinion.

My wife and I took a four day vacation from the kiddiepoos in January 2000, when they were 6, 4 & 3.

We also took a 10 day vacation to Israel without the kids in December 2001 when they were 8, 6 & 5.

Both times they stayed with my mother-in-law who is very good with the kids.

In both cases, we called every day (excepting one day when we were in Israel – the time difference, Shabbos and the kid’s bedtime made a call impossible) and made sure they knew when we were coming home.

Zev Steinhardt

I left my kid for the first time overnight in May–she was almost 2. I went to a church women’s conference in another state for 4 days, and Dad stayed home with her. I had a great time, but I sure missed them! She was fine without me and didn’t cry until I got home, and mr. genie had a new appreciation of me.

We’ve never both left her overnight at once, but probably will in April when #2 is born.

My husband and I have left the kids several times, at first just for overnights. They have always stayed with my parents or his mom. I want to say that the first time, our oldest was maybe 5 months.

We just took a vacation without the 3 yr old & the 7 month old, for 17 days. We were wrecks, they were fine, had a blast at Nana’s house.

Take time for yourself away from the kids, even for just one night. It’s good for them and good for you. Besides, grandma’s dying to spoil them for you!

Let’s see.

Didn’t meet my son until he was 6 1/2 months old. Then discovered I’d been knocked up. So within seven months of his coming home, spent three days in the hospital giving birth to his little sister.

Breastfed her for six months, so was tied to them both. Grandma started taking them both for overnights as soon as the breastfeeding had ended.

Went on a business trip when they were 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 for five days. They stayed with my husband for the first two days or so, then he flew out to San Francisco to join me for the weekend. Went last Spring when they would have been 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 for a full week, business again.

They stay with Grandma just fine. They love staying with Grandma and do it every couple of months. Sometimes I even go along (if my husband is out of town or working alot, I’ll pack up the kids and move back in with my parents for a few days).

Now, we’ve never had a sitter, other than our daycare providers, Grandma and Grandma.

EJsGirl is right. Its hard, but suddenly you are sitting back, reading a book and realizing no one is going to interrupt you for juice (and it isn’t 11:00pm) and you realize that this isn’t bad.