Parents Leave Toddler for 2 Weeks With Disastrous Results

Say What!? 115

suitcaseIn an advice column today, a mom asked how long a vacation she can "responsibly" take from her toddler girls. She's overwhelmed. She needs a break! Like, a "looooong break."

Well, ask the couple who left their 21-month-old with her grandmother while they went on a two-week-long vacation in Europe. By the time they came back, their daughter was with a total stranger! Apparently the grandmother "burned out" on the toddler and passed her on to an aunt, who got called away on business and passed the toddler on to her ex-girlfriend.

Call me crazy, but I think if you leave your toddler for two weeks and never call or check in, maybe you shouldn't be so surprised when something goes wrong!

I have some friends who did something similar. He had just gotten a job with a tourism company, and they sent him on a FREE two-week vacation through Europe. She was home with a 10-month-old baby and toddler twins and she was LOOOOOSING IT. So when the opportunity came up, they just took a deep breath and went for it. And I don't blame them.

But they have a ton of support -- a big, well-organized family to watch those kids. And they called frequently. Still, I remember thinking it just wasn't something I could have done, and I only have one. I know my son, and he would have been sad and bereft without his parents for that length of time.

Every kid is different. I think there are some more happy-go-lucky toddlers who could handle it -- but still, I think parents should be calling, if not daily, then pretty regularly. NOTHING should be a surprise by the time you come home, except that maybe someone's grown a lot. I think that's the first Euro-traveling couple's biggest mistake: Not calling often enough so they know their child is all right! Otherwise, it's like Mommy and Daddy just drop from the face of the Earth. And a vacation isn't worth it if you come home to even MORE stress!

What's the longest you'd ever leave your child?

 

Image via emmamccleary/Flickr

child care, travel

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nonmember avatar Emily

This article is a little ironic. Right now, my mom is watching my kids so I can help my friend with her baby for two and a half weeks. My husband is still there, and my neighbor is on call if anything should happen. But I still plan on calling every single day and I'm available if she needs me. Dropping off the map sounds like a good idea when you're stressed out mama, but rarely does it ever end well. Make sure you have your bases covered!!

nonmember avatar Emily

This article is a little ironic. Right now, my mom is watching my kids so I can help my friend with her baby for two and a half weeks. My husband is still there, and my neighbor is on call if anything should happen. But I still plan on calling every single day and I'm available if she needs me. Dropping off the map sounds like a good idea when you're stressed out mama, but rarely does it ever end well. Make sure you have your bases covered!!

nonmember avatar Jessi

I often fantasize about taking a vacation from the kids; however, the guilt would overcome me as I worried if they were safe, comfortable, lonely, feeling abandoned etc etc A day or two I can understand but beyond that if my mind is still set on my motherly duties I wouldn't be able to fully enjoy myself thus completely rendering a "vacation" useless.

doodledo doodledo

I have only been apart from my 3 1/5 year old son for several hours at most and that is rare. I can not imagine being separated for much longer than that right now. For me being a mom is 24/7. And if it came down to being forced to be separated for a longer period of time my husband would be the only person i would entrust to care for my son. We dont havefamily or friends we can rely on, but fortunately we can rely on each other. I would never leave my child for weeks at a time. Or even days, for our family that is not acceptable.

MomLi... MomLily67

2 weeks with Dad and with help of my  mom, sister and daycare staff. But I was dying not being able to see her for so long...

wamom223 wamom223

I haven't even made it 24 hours.  I trust my parents he's done sleepovers with both but I miss him.  I can't imagine leaving for two weeks and not even calling.  My son gets mad if I don't remember to call him to say good night when he has a sleep over.  Really I think its irresponsible.  How can you not know what is going on with your toddler for two weeks.

early... earlybird11

Wow thank God noone in your family has ever done anyhing like serve the army.... Bc then thy might not see one of the parents for a year ....

Torra... TorranceMom

My son just turned 4 and I've only been away from him twice. The first time was for my best friend's wedding and I was gone less than 24 hours. The second time was when my daughter was born but because he was still nursing he spent the day with me at the hospital and we were only separated in the evening. My daughter is 17 months and we've never been apart.

Angela Menard

We even took our son on our honeymoon with us! He was 17 months old at the time. He is now 3 and still has never spent a night without his mommy and daddy. The only exception was the 3 nights that I spent in the hospital when our daughter was born...but my husband picked him up from my parents house every night and he stayed at home with him! I just can't bear to leave my children for that long! They are my life now...part of my life and everything that I do <3

Megan Brown

I just love how this website only reports half stories. Maybe mom had depression, maybe there was another stresser in her life. I would have called, but I sometimes you need a real break. I don't know grandma but would have to assume mom felt she was trust worthy.

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