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