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June 28, 2004

Comments

Salik Games

An excellent entry. I can't tell you whether you are right or wrong, but I am impressed by your honesty in bringing up this subject. For your readers' sake, keep on doing this. It is so much more important and interesting than all the political crap that you see anywhere else or the attempts to lure customers AND, thank God, no reference to celebrities. Take care.
Joshua Salik
Salik Games
http://salikgames.home.att.ne
"The empty half of the glass is always at the top"

Amanda

Not wrong at all! You need to have things in your life that are just for you. This makes you a better parent. If our lives constantly revolve around children with no outside interests then I think resentment builds which is not healthy for anyone. Plus so many men travel for work and spend months out of the year away from their families, no one criticizes them!

Roni

Heck, I'm going to Vegas for 4 nights in a few weeks. I don't have to go, but it's pseudo-business and damnit, I'm going. Don't let others guilt you into thinking you're a bad mom.

Susan

I live in Maryland and work for a company in California. One of the requirements of this arrangement is that I travel to California for a week once every three months (or thereabouts). Every time I leave it breaks my heart. Every time I come my heart sings. I don't like leaving them but I also like being able to work at home. Although I work I still get to see them throughout the day. My husband watches them but we will be hiring a Nanny (she starts next week!) to watch them so he can starthis own business.

My children are ages 5 and 7 so they are old enough to be outspoken in their dislike at my leaving for a week. I shed many tears on the way to the airport. Once in California I enjoy the interaction with my peers. I miss the children (and husband) terribly but I also appreciate a week of quiet evenings.

I always bring home presents and now they come to expect it. They would still rather I didn't go but there are fewer tears when I mention the gifts (ahem, bribes).

Courtney

Growing up, my mom was always going on business trips, and my dad was left to take care of us. Of course we missed her, but she always brought us home cool presents from all around the world & told us stories about the places she visited and people she met. I was always jealous that I couldn't travel with her. Your daughter will know that you love her, even if you are away for a few days every now & then. She'll understand that it's something you need to do for work, and leaving her for a few days every once in a while does not make you a bad mother! If anything, it'll make you seem even cooler because of all the neat stories you'll come home with.

Elise

Not wrong! Not selfish! Not unreasonable! Moms are also working professionals with their own goals and interests. You will miss her but you will also have a great experience. All those people with their opinions can go jump in the lake. You know what is best for your family. Go to the conference, have a great time, and imagine how thrilled you'll be to see Isabelle once you get home.

Lori

You should not feel guilty. I find it amazing that it's completely acceptable for a father to take business trips but a mother -- well, that's something different entirely. I took a 5 day business trip when my daughter was 6 months old. I missed her terribly. I felt bad that I could not help my husband in caring for her. BUT I can't tell you how relaxing (!) it was. I got to sleep, eat, work late, all without taking care of my daughter. To be a happy and complete person I need to have my professional job and my family, a good balance in my life .... I suspect that you feel the same.

AGK

So totally not a bad thing! And I'd argue that a father going away on a 10-day trip wouldn't even be blinked at. Don't let what society thinks stress you out. You love your daughter, you take care of her, but you also have to still be you. Think of how much healthier your relationship will be because you take care of YOU.

Smar

Society's unrealistic and hypocritical attitudes towards working mothers have created a bunch of hyperactive child addicts - mothers whose every godforsaken breath is a tenuous venture onto a tightrope whereupon they fear being judged as a 'bad mother,' and react by being overprotective, obsessive parent-freaks. Go to the damn conference and enjoy it. And realize that if you are a fuller, more satisfied individual, you will be in a better position to raise your child in an intellectual and fulfilling atmosphere where EVERYONE is still growing and pursuing dreams.

Rachel Ann

It is 10 days,we are talking about here, not 10 years.

I have a penpal friend from another country who left her children in her country of origin and moved to another country in order to find work. She loves her children, he children love her, and everyone deals with it.

A friend's husband just went away for 10 days and his daughter isn't even 6mns yet.

You do what you have to. What you think is best at the time.

If you think this is the best, don't let someone else's fears and emotions get into your brain and annoy you.

And don't let guilt reign supreme. Go, enjoy, learn, grow. Come back happy to hug her. She MAY emphasis on the may, be shy with you at first, but that is okay.

You love her and she knows it. Don't worry.
It is only 10 days.

Melissa S

Firm believer here in the Abscence Creating A Fonder Heart thing. My time away makes me remember what it is I truly love about my life as a mother. It makes me miss certain things that are easily taken for granted when they happen every. single. day. all. day. never. ending.

Yes, I could use a little away time (and yes, 10 days would be quite nice) currently actually.

darby

My mother had the dream job offer of a lifetime when I was 11 months. Because I was her first baby, she just couldn't imagine accepting it. It would take her away from me too much.

Fast forward some thirty-two years, and I've had two kids of my own. My mother and I were discussing it, and you know what? I wish, for her sake, that she HAD taken that job. I think she would have been happier. I know for sure that she would have been more successful. We wouldn't have struggled financially as much as we did. Putting me into daycare at 11 months wouldn't have been that big a deal after all, when you compare it to the bigger picture.

But, I also know that if I'd been offered that job when my first born was 11 months old, I wouldn't have been able to take it either. On the other hand, if I'd been offered it when my SECOND child was 11 months... well, that would have been another issue altogether. I would have taken the job, no question about it.

Follow your dreams. Your daughter is in good hands, and you'll be better off for it.

Good luck!

angela marie

You'll miss her. Terribly. YOU will be the one having a hard time with it. She'll be enjoying the extra time with Daddy, with Grandma, with whoever is there to spoil her rotten.

When our first son was 8 months, my husband and I took a trip to Florida. A co-worker said to me, "You're going to leave that baby? What a bad mom you are." Now, she said that with a smile, but it has stayed with me to this day. Not because I am a "bad mom", but because I feel sorry for the kind of person she is. She never took any time away from her children and seems very proud of that fact. Of course, now she is withering away with empty nest syndrome and a husband with whom she doesn't have anything in common anymore. Hmm.

VJ

When Tony was three, I was gone for two weeks taking a class in another state. I had my laptop and a webcam with me. Before I left, I set up another webcam to my main computer. During the course of the two weeks, we were able to see each other via the Yahoo messenger service, which supported video, each morning and evening. We would talk on the phone in front of the webcam and/or sign to each other. It made the distance between us much less, and the time apart much more bearable.

Don't even ask yourself the question of feeling badly. Of course she'll be OK. She'll enjoy speaking on the phone with you, I'm sure (I'm assuming you'll be calling home a couple times) And before you know it, the time will be up. Enjoy your trip, and remember your daughter will be fine.

Robin

You are right. If your husband were going away on business for 10, 14 or 365 days, everyone would say, "Well, isn't that a shame.... Poor man! He will miss his family. But that's his job so it must be very important. What a great guy!" If the wife goes away she is usually considered shallow, self-centered and accused of not loving her family.
My thought is this: Isabelle can only benefit from having a mom who is following her dreams and feeling fulfilled as a mother, wife and as a human being! No one wants a resentful parent who is unhappy all the time because she doesn't know who she is other than someone's mom!! I applaud you! Go and do what you want and need to do for yourself. You're not leaving Isabelle in the woods to be cared for by wolves, are you? No? OK, then you have nothing to worry about!!
If one of your "friends" or family members has something negative to say to you please make sure you invite them to kiss your butt!

Emily

She'll miss you,and you'll miss her...but there will be no lasting scars!Go,enjoy,and come home relaxed and ready to mom again.

Goldberry

You said she is 11 months, right? Okay, here's what I think. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you wanting to do something for yourself. In fact, I hear its recommended. 10 days? No biggie. Will Isabelle notice that you are gone? Of course, but that's because she's at that age. Isabelle will grow up knowing you love her. Taking time for yourself won't upset anything. I think that you are a great mother to keep yourself happy. If you aren't happy, then what kind of mother could you be?? Hope you enjoy the trip!!

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