When are your kids old enough to leave overnight?

whitesandybeachesI’m dying over here. OK. That’s a bit melodramatic. But it’s been nearly SIX YEARS since my last vacation (which, as it so happens, was my wedding and honeymoon trip). Well, there was that one time when my husband and I left our then-20-month-old daughter with my parents for 19 (yes, I was counting!) hours and stayed in a hotel in the same city where we live. I know. WE LIVE DANGEROUSLY.

Our daughter is now four and our son is a year and a half. My parents are older now and can’t chase the kids around like they  used to. It would be impossible for them to keep the kids for any length of time so my husband and I could get away for a few days. We have no other nearby family or friends who’d be up to, or interested in, the job either. So I suggested to my husband that maybe one of our great, reliable babysitters could hold down the fort for a few days while we took a trip to have some time alone.

Let me preface this by saying that my husband is usually the laid-back half of our relationship. He doesn’t worry or fret and he works hard to keep me from freaking out about every little thing. But you would have thought I’d suggested that a roving band of gypsies move in and teach our kids to panhandle. His reaction was that strong against my idea. He thinks our children are too young and need too much care for us to leave them for any length of time.

I suppose he’s right but I still can’t help daydreaming, constantly, about white, sandy beaches, boat drinks and more time than I’ve had in four years to do nothing but read and sleep. Oh, and the romantic stuff with my husband would be cool too.

How old were your kids when you first left them to take an overnight trip? Did they survive? Did they thrive? And will I ever get to take a vacation again???

[Photo credit: White Island Resort]

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mandy S. said,

    Wow! Now I feel guilty for jetting off to NYC for 4 days when my son was a mere 9 months old! I left him with my (very young, very active) parents (where he has his own bedroom, I might add), and while that seemed a-ok in my book, I can’t imagine leaving him with anyone else (not even his other set of grandparents) so I can understand where hubs is coming from. Somewhat.

    However, I have two words for you. Beaches Resorts! You get the white, sandy beaches and drinks with umbrellas, and your kiddos get a great vacation, too, complete with child care. Cruises are the same way…these are background checked employees who are keeping your kids and showing them a fantastic time while you get to have a grown up time, AND see your kiddos a few hours later! Best of both worlds.

    • 2

      allisonhayne said,

      Ok, so I am losing my parent of the year award! I went to ITALY for two weeks with NONE of my children, including my 6 month old daughter. I went to Italy with my in-laws and my parents where in Europe as well. I had someone very dependable watching them and who had watched them before over an extended period of time. But there was hardly anyone here in town who I could really depend on if something had happen. Of course nothing did happen. We had a great trip and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!! Children need to understand that trips/date nights are important for the entire family, because if Mommy & Daddy aren’t happy, everyone suffers.

  2. 3

    Laura said,

    Why not take a sitter with you? Extra pair of hands to help out and watch the kiddos so part of the time you and hubby can do some things alone and don’t have to worry about nap times and bed times! Plus, if it’s your regular sitter, they are with someone they know and someone YOU know so everyone can relax and enjoy themselves!

    • 4

      allisonhayne said,

      What do you pay a sitter when you take them with you on vacation? I assume you pay for their airfare, food, accomodations – so what do you pay them for their time??


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