44 answers

Toddler Traveling Abroad Without Mother

My in-laws live abroad and they don't want to come to the US to visit our daugther. The have the means but don't like to come to the US and my mother-in-law doesn't get along with me. My daughter is 18 monthd and they expect me to let her travel alone with my husband to come at visit. I think she is too small to travel with my husband for 10 days. I am the primary care giver. My husband is furious because I don't let him go with her. I don't think he can handle a 7 hour trip. He has never stay with our daughther more than 3 hour by himself. I thinks the trip will scar my daugther as she would not understand what is going on.I have told my husband that we can travel toghther later on but he wants to go now and I can't leave my work. I have also explained to him that when she is bigger he can take her to vist them? Am I being unreasonable? Any suggestions of how to handle the situation?

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i don't think you're being selfish, and i don't think it's about YOU at all. it's about your 18 month old daughter. who would expect an 18 month old to be taken away from everything she knows (except her dad) and be okay with it? ten days might as well be a lifetime as far as she's concerned, she has no concept of time. yes, dad has always been there and she "knows" him, but who does she go to for comfort? who does she spend most of her time with? i think it's ridiculous to say she'd be fine. let's get real. maybe one in a hundred 18 month olds would be fine with this. and i'd be skeptical at that. this isn't an opinion issue, this is child developmental fact. there is no argument for allowing this. none. i think the fact that your inlaws can't even "tolerate" you long enough to come visit their granddaughter says volumes. they must not care about her TOO much or they'd make an effort. and i'm sorry to sound harsh but your hubby sounds like mine, with not a lot of experience and hence not a lot of knowhow of dealing with an 18 month old. it sounds like you are the only one really looking out for your daughter's best interests. GOOD LUCK....it sounds like a sticky situation. but hold your ground. your instincts are right.

3 moms found this helpful

No way, I would never let my daughter go. I would be afraid that they wouldn't come back. It is my opinion that a husband should put his wifes feelings ahead of his parents wishes. Why is it so urgent that he take the trip now? It is strange that they can't wait until you are able to go with them.

1 mom found this helpful

My in-laws are just like that. We have been married for 12 years, and not once did they come to visit us in the U.S., and they didn't even come here for our wedding. My kids are now 7 and 3, and they have never come to visit us to see them either.
My in-laws live abroad as well.
Needless to say, I think they are selfish. They do have the means to come and visit us, but won't.

At some point though... either they will need to come here to visit you, or you all need to take a trip there.

When my daughter was 6... my husband took her on the trip to see her family abroad. Just the 2 of them. She was old enough then to go on the long plane ride. For us, it takes about 23 hours, one way, to Europe. Meanwhile, me and my son, then 2, stayed home. We simply could not afford for all of us to go on the trip.
My husband and daughter stayed there 2 weeks. It was my daughter's 1st trip there. She got to see her cousins and Grandma and that side of the family. She, at that age, could understand and appreciate seeing her Daddy's family and enjoy the trip...and be able to handle the LONG plane trip. It was more appropriate, for her, at that age. She understood that only Daddy was going with her, that Mommy had to stay home with my son. It was okay, for her, at that age then.

I think, 18 months old, is too young. AND your Husband has NEVER been with your baby, for longer than 3 hours at home. How the heck does he think he can manage, on a long plane ride, by himself, and then handle the crying or feedings or anything, that your baby may need. He has not, at home, proven that he can be the primary caretaker for your baby, at home. Much less for 24 hours a day. Continuously.

Plus, you cannot take off of work. Anyone should be able to understand that. You can't help that. It is your employment. Jobs now are hard to come by with the economy. You can't risk losing your job.

Plus, can you all afford the trip? That is a big factor too.

The trip will not scar your daughter... but you will not be there. And she may or may not adjust well. She is young.
When she is older.... it will be better. When you ALL can go on the trip together. A Mom, deserves to be included in the trip. Not left out.

Your Husband... should be able to support your feelings on it. It is your AND his baby... not your MIL's. YOU are her Mother. If your in-laws really want to see your baby, they can come here. It is your Husband's responsibility, to talk with your in-laws, and see if they will come here, instead.

You are not being unreasonable. I know how you feel. I had the same situation. My MIL also said that MY kids should go there to visit her, and she thinks they can travel by themselves. NO. That is not an option. I am the Mom, and I have the last say. Period. And, it is just too expensive for us.

All the best,

1 mom found this helpful

I can totally empathize with you and would never let my husband travel with my daughter alone. I like my in laws just fine, but the thought of them taking care of her without me present just doesn't sit well with me (I also disagree with a lot of what they "advise"). I choose to make an effort to be present for those trips.
On the other hand I have taken my daughter overseas by myself several times to visit my family, so it would seem really unfair to be opposed to it the other way around.
I have two suggestions - give your hubby a trial run of caring for your child 24/7 for a few days and see if he can handle it - you can be there, but he has to do all the work.
And explore when you could accompany them on a trip. If it is just a matter of a few weeks or months I am sure you can find a compromise.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Without knowing your family, especially your child, it would be presumtious of me to assume how she will react. I have known friends who have agrued about the traveling alone with the children thing, and everyone reacts differently and everyone has a different perspective.
At the risk of dissenting from the group, I don't think you are being unreasonable, however he is her father and should have equal rights as you. I understand that you are the primary caregiver, but if he is willing to assume that role while he is with your daughter and there are no major issues in their relationship or yours that would impede, I believe he should be given the chance.
I have traveled without my husband with my children and I have also traveled while leaving him alone with them (and I am currently looking into a taking a trip abroad with the kids to visit some friends, potentially without him), and it has ended up being an enriching experience for all. We both relish our alone time with the kids because it helps us each to build a solid one on one relationship. The first few days might be rocky, but it might be something that he remembers for a lifetime.
In all seriousness, without any judgment whatsoever, I think you should really examine why this is burning you up. Do you really feel that 10 days of playing with her grandparents without you will scar her? Or are you angry that your husband doesn't help enough when he is in this country so who is he to say that he could handle her for 10 days alone? Is there something about your inlaws that you are concerned for their ability to appropriately support your husband and care for your child? Are you angry because you do not want to be away from your daughter for 10 days? Do you not want to reward your in laws who don't care for you with special time with your daughter?
I think once you find the REASON why this is so concerning to you then you should try to address that specific reason. I think you make good consessions though about waiting until you can both go or traveling alone when she is older. Perhaps this is the route to take with DH.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

reading all the details of your post, i would say absolutely not. 18 months is actually a very fragile age where children are more aware of separation and time. thats for any child, let alone one to be without the primary caregiver. most parents end up with one being more of the caregiver. this could be because of work schedules, confidence, experience, ect. there is nothing wrong with this, its natural. it could be the father as well(make sure your husband understands that). you are the primary caregiver, therefore the child should be with you. when she is around 3, she will be able to clearly express her needs, she will be able to comprehend more complex situations(such as what vacations are and who grandparents are), she will require less specific care, and not be as attached to her home and possessions as younger toddlers are.

im sure your husband assumes his mother, a stranger to your child, will take her the minute he gets there and make everything ok. it sounds like none of them have even considered the child might miss you and have no immediate feelings towards the grandparents. he is not realizing how difficult it is to travel alone with small children. even simple things like changing diapers and checking in the airport are so much harder.

i would also ask if you have talked to him about your feelings toward your daughter. you are the primary caregiver, therefore you are extremely attached to your daughter. has he not realized you will miss her? it seems his thoughts are related to his parents desire to see her, but why is that done at your expense? why are you left out of the equation? i would really focus on you missing your daughter as a major, and valid, concern.

and if it is true that your MIL doesnt like you, i would be even more concerned with her going. yes, someone mentioned Goldman, and that does happen, but eve the basics are she might undermine your parenting or give your husband doubt on decisions you both have made. what language will they speak to her? there are just alot of concerns when you bring other cultures in who dont get along with their daughter in law.

if i were you, i would make a pact of when you will be able to go visit as a family. you might consider agreeing to always travel with your daughter as a family, otherwise, your daughter stays home with the non-traveling parent. it sound like this situation will continue unless you have an agreement in place.

i would also let your husband know that the majority of people would expect the grandparents to come to them. if you really want to see your grandchild, you would push your feelings aside for a dislike of traveling to a country in order to see her. NOTHING(except finance related) would stop most grandparents from seeing their grandkids. make sure your husband is aware that most grandparents wouldnt expect them to bring the grandchild to them. you would want your grandchild happy, comfortable, and nonstress, all of which would occur by not having the child visit abroad. good luck

1 mom found this helpful

With all the things that are happening in the world with other countries not sending children back for years if ever, I wouldn't do this. Your husband should relaize either you go too or no one goes. If they want to see their grandchild that bad then they can come to the states. I'm sure they are retired and they have plenty of free time unlike you who is working to give your child a good life. It seems very odd to me that your husband is pushing so hard for you to let her go with him. I would keep an eye on that. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Your baby is still way too little to be away from you for that long. She needs you. My daughter is the same age as yours and the most she has ever been away from me is an overnight at her grandparents'. Other than that, she's been with me since she was born. Your husband needs to see that his daughter needs her mother, and that his parents shouldn't be so selfish and just come to the US. Or, they can't see your daughter unless you're with her. You're far from being unreasonable. I'm totally on your side.

1 mom found this helpful

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