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If I Go on Vacation, Will My Baby Forget Me?

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One mom left her baby for almost two weeks ... and lived to tell the tale.

Young woman with arms crossed, looking out of window

Angela Chee: When I tell people I just left my baby for almost 2 weeks to go to Italy with my husband, they either think "How could you leave for that long?" or they can't wait to start planning their trip.

Believe me: it wasn't easy. My son will be one this week. We had planned our trip when he was only a few months old. Our friends with kids kept telling us that we needed to get away alone, before it's too late. Going on vacation was the last thing I was thinking about when I was just getting the motherhood thing figured out. But when it was time to go, I was glad we had planned it. Leaving was actually harder than being gone. The weeks before I left were filled with anxiety. I was nervous about leaving my son, even though I knew he would be perfectly fine with my mother-in-law. I felt guilty. While I deserved some time with my husband, it felt strange to leave my son. I didn't even pack until the night before because I wanted to make sure he had everything he needed, that laundry was done, food was prepared, and everything was in order. I even weaned him off breastfeeding.

While I missed my son, I have to admit it was nice to not wake up at 6:30 AM, to not have to breastfeed and worry about what he was going to eat or not eat that day. It was just me and my husband and a bottle of wine. I was able to forget about missing him for moments throughout the day, but as a mom you can't help but think of your baby every time another baby or child goes by. But technology made it easier. With Skype, we could not only talk to my son, but we could see him on the computer. I'm not sure he understood exactly what was going on, but he waved and blew kisses. We watched him eat his lunch and throw food ... nothing had changed.

For you moms out there who are considering a vacation -- he didn't forget me. The first morning back at home when I went to get him out of his crib, he did stare at me a little longer, but once I picked him up it was like not a moment had passed.



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61 comments so far | Post a comment now
Danni August 14, 2009, 7:04 PM

Oh thank you! I’m leaving for Phuket, Thailand for 2 weeks and my 11month old will very well cared for by mom. But the guilt and the accusations from those others has made me doubt this choice. Your article really helped! I’m not a terrible mom and most importantly it showed me she won’t forget me. Thanks again

Stephanie August 21, 2009, 1:10 AM

This article made me feel alot better, i am going to mexico with the hubby for 6 nights and i have been feeling very anxious lately.. i am scared she will forget me :(

katie March 9, 2010, 2:52 PM

what a shame - think about all the bonding time missed out on. life is LONG, the time you have with your child is extremely short… i am the mother of a 1 year old baby - and as i admit that i am tired - a night out here and there is all that my husband need to “reconnect” our priority right now is raising out daughter because she will be big before we know it!

Lisa March 15, 2010, 11:17 AM

To each her own, I suppose. I simply would not want to be away from my child for that long. Last year, hubby and I took a three-day trip without our son. It was our first trip alone since he was born … 12 years ago! :shrug: We like spending time with him, and he’s a great traveler. We took him to Italy for the first time when he was 3. And no, Wendy, we don’t feel like we’re in a “hostage” situation. And we do feel fulfilled as a couple.

Marjorie April 8, 2010, 8:22 AM

It is beyond absurd to think that going away on vacation without your children is a selfish thing to do. It is very healthy to get away and reconnect with your husband once in a while. It does not, in any way make you less nurturing and loving of your child. I am certain that the women who do feel it is a problem are envious of people who can keep themselves and their marriages together WITH children. Very sad. Ladies, go on your vacations and relax. We mothers need a break from time to time, you deserve it!

Meghan April 19, 2010, 9:30 AM

Wow.

I am currently in Italy for my honeymoon. My husband and I have been married for almost two years and we have an almost one year old baby boy. That we voluntarily left. At home. With my sister and her family.

I’ll admit it’s been harder than I thought to be away from him but I truly believe that my husband and I needed this time to ourselves. The hardest part, however, is that we can’t go home when we were supposed to because of the Icelandic volcano!

Everybody has very different ideas on how to parent their children. Just go easy on the judgement people. Nobody has it figured out. We’re all doing the best we can. I love my boys (yes we have four boys total) but I also love them enough to make sure to take time for myself. So that their mom is a whole person.

Kirsten September 21, 2010, 8:47 PM

I come from a divorced family. Trust me, the BEST thing you can do for your child is nurture yourself and your marriage. Happy parents happy marriage=happy child. Ask any psychologist.

I am leaving my baby for a week to go to the Dominican in 8 months time.

No one has the right to judge another’s parenting if that parent is coming from a place of love. But personally, I feel that “helicopter parenting”, where you are obsessed with your child to the point where you refuse to leave your child’s side; will backfire. Letting others have a hand in raising a child (say, by letting a grandmother care for the child for a week instead of mom), will help show the child she has many supports beyond just mom and dad. She will learn to bond with someone other than her parents… and all in all, might just grow up to be more independent, trusting and confident in the long run. It takes a village to raise a child.

And I do feel very comforted in knowing that my baby will remember me when I come home!

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