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.

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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.

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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,

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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!

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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!

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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

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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!

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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.

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No way would I let her go with out me. NO WAY! He can go to visit them alone or they can come to the States. That would be the end of that discussion as far as I'm concerned.

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I would break this down to your husband as to what it is that is bothering you about him taking her to visit.
He hasn't spent more than 3 hours at a time with her - how is he going to entertain her on the long flight, does he know what she eats, does he follow her around diligently in non-babyproofed areas, which is most likely what your in-laws live in? How is he with diaper duty and sickness?
Is it the fact that the trip can't be scheduled around when you can go? And why not, what is the rush?
Is it that the in-laws don't work, have the finances to visit, just don't WANT to and expect you guys, with an 18 month old to accommodate them?
Is it that you don't like your in-laws?

If it is the last one (would you allow your husband to go abroad alone with her for any other reason?), if yes, then you need to get over it and let them go. Sorry that is harsh, but I don't think that is the reason.

I think that all of the other reasons are valid and need to be addressed. Grandparents that expect all the compromising to come from those with little kids frustrate the heck out of me. If they want to visit her, then they can make the effort. I say that to my husband and his parents just live across town! I say it to my father that lives out of state - they have to work with us, we aren't going to make ALL the effort. If it is only his lack of experience that is holding you back (and you don't mind them going, and would rather not go), then I would say to give him the opportunities to prove he can do it. Otherwise, no, I wouldn't do it, and you are not being unreasonable. The best way to handle it would be to talk to your husband, and don't let him make you the scapegoat when he talks to his parents (except for the work commitment part).

I also disagree with you having to put your "husband above all". You should be a team, and not do something that you aren't comfortable with, just because he says so. Jobs are important too, and this situation should not cause a break up of a marriage, if it is a strong marriage that communicates. If we all had to live by the "is the job worth it" mantra, and if this was one of those times that we had to ask this question...no one would have a job. Hang in there, stick to your guns, and talk.

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Why is it so important for your husband to go now when you can't be there??? Why can't he wait? It makes no sense --especially since you are the primary caregive and he is inexperienced at managing your daughter for an extended period of time. I hate to bring it up, but I have heard lots of cases where spouses take a "trip" alone with their young child to visit family in their home country and then never return to the US. Especially if his family is very influential and has expressed a dislike for you, I would not let your child travel without you under any circumstances.

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You are being unreasonable - moreover, you are being very mistrustful and disrespectful of your husband to think that a trip with him would actually traumatize your daughter. He is her father, after all, not a stranger. And they are going to visit her grandparents, whom I assume are capable of caring for her as well. You may consider yourself the primary care giver, but you are certainly not the only one capable for providing care for her. Letting your child think that only you can take care of her is , in my opinion, much more detrimental and "scarring" to her well-being than a trip with her dad.

You have great momma senses. Don't you let your baby leave this country without you. Stand firm be loving but strong. Your husband hasn't cared for your daughter for long periods of time for the past 18 months so I would just keep the status quo the status quo.

I understand about culture and different cultures but you and your daughter are in this culture and just as understanding as he expects you to be he should be also. It would be in your daughter's best interest to wait until she is older and you can accompany.

The mother-in-law not liking you is a separate issue. Keep the main thing the main thing and that is the emotional and psychological well being of your daughter. Why tramatize the baby by separating her from her Momma? Hubby can go and visit his momma, he can take pictures and video with him of the baby but the baby shouldn't go.

Stick to your decision. This would be a very tramatizing event for an 18 month old. She will miss her mother and primary care giver and I do think this could cause serious trust problems even after the trip is over.

You are not being unreasonable. You are absolutely right! Your inlaws and your husband do not have any consideration for your daughter and how you feel. It is not easy travelling with children. Fathers do not have the patience that mother's have. Not only that..if he could only spend a limited time with her then he won't be able to understand her if she's uncomfortable for a long trip like that. He would have to entertain her, feed her and make her feel secure. I don't think it would be a good idea for you to allow him to take her on a long trip. Why can't they meet half way at least? Maybe a three hour trip would be ok, but I couldn't let my daughter go without me. I would have to go along. I wouldn't care what my in-laws thought. Baby girl comes first!

i take my kids overseas to visit my family. my husband comes for the first few days but then has to return to the US due to his work. so i stay behind with my kids for weeks. i am the primary caregiver and even as such they miss dad, then they make me miss my husband, then we're all sad counting days until it's over. sad thing is we have plenty of family but nothing can replace a parent. my husband loves it when i travel overseas with my girls because that was our intention all along: to have them see and visit different places, not just the US. now if tables were turned, and he had family overseas, i would never let him take them. not without me.
i understand the inlaw situation completely. so make a compromise. you must get a week off sometime, right? then schedule that visit for when you can take off work. they need to see and know family but kids can't go without mom. go once and see how it goes. while you're there, enjoy your stay. don't let anyone bring you down.
by the way, i didn't take my kids overseas until they were 4. different things played into my decision, like in case we needed medical care, also the long long long flight, then change of scenery (and i mean a total cultural shock). when they turned 4 i was ok with doing it.
good luck

HI! I read most of the responses, and here is my 2 cents. With the world getting so much smaller now adays, it's very common for grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins to be in foreign countries. First is there a reason (even if you don't get along with your MIL) that you are not going? Can the vacation be moved to go together? I would try to do that if possible.

Would you and your husband be OK if you were to travel alone overseas with your daughter? If the answer is yes to this, then I think it's only fair to let him travel alone with her. As for the posts about Brazil and Goldman. Let's be honest, those are really EXTREME cases, and it's ridiculous to assume that this will happen. Not only does it show you don't trust your husband, but you question his love for your and your daughter.

As her father, even if he has not spend more than 3 hours with her, you have to cut the chord sort of speak. He is her father, and should definitely know how to take care of his child. It will be a bit of shock for him, and yes, he won't do everything exactly how you want them, or how she is used to, but he will figure it out. You are in a partnership, and should be treated equally.

I don't think your daughter will be traumatized. If you don't overreact in front of her, she won't freak out. If you become more frazzled, she will feel it and react to it. Think how fortunate she is to have to opportunity to experience something different. And I assume she won't just be meeting her grandparents, but probably cousins, aunts, uncles and other family that she would never have the opportunity to meet. When I was little my parents sent my sister and I to my aunt's farm for months at a time (without them), and I still remember it fondly and I would never have this opportunity again (living in the city).

Maybe make ground rules of what can and can't be done on the trip. Do a test run. Have your husband take care of her for one weekend as you go stay with at a girlfriend's house and see how he does, and how it goes.

Sorry I feel like I am all over the place. So I hope all the posts help.
PS you are not overacting you are responding to your feelings, but try to see your husband's perspective, and it's possible your daughter will look upon this as a great adventure.
PSS Try this website for advice on flying with kids: http://www.flyingwithkids.com/travel_tips.htm That would freak me out more than anything.

The best solution would be to put off the trip until you can go, but if that's not an option maybe the trip should be canceled. Mother in law.... nip that in the bud asap. don't let her dislike of you(and it's not you , it's just any woman who married her son) dictate what you do. if they want to see your daughter now they can come see her at your house and plan a trip for later when you can go. Your husband needs your permission to take your daughter out of the country so you do have some control over the situation. good luck.

No Way! I didn't read your other answers, but that is too long and too far. They can wait until she is 4 or 5 years old and can communicate clearly.
You and your daughter are your husband's family and immediate concern now, not his parents who are grown up and selfish.

why dont you go also, get a hotel (get the inlaws to help with the cost) and let them visit during the day while you go shopping or sightseeing

i would not le my 22 month old go anywhere for 10 days without me

My husbands wants to take our kids 7 and 2 to PR and I said NO WAY. If I am not going, they are not going. Sorry thats my take on it.

Hi E.,
I would not send a toddler away from home and mama, she is too little to understand that in 10 days, she will see you again and that she is on vacation. She will think that you have abandoned her. She will likely not be glad to see you upon her return but more likely be angry with you. She wont' realize that she went away on vacation, she will think that you left her. She may be extremely clingy after that.
If your husband doesn't normally care for her, is he expecting to do all of that care for 10 days? Or is the expectation that grandma, who your baby does not know, will take over the feeding, diapering, bathing and bedtime? It may be your husband's mother, but if your daugther doesn't know her, it's still a stranger, even if the stranger's name is grandma. Your husband will be dealing with not only all the normal daily care, but a baby who doesn't understand why mama isn't there, a baby who is jetlagged, etc. I
I would postpone this trip until you are able to take the time from work, and even if you don't get along with MIL, make it work and visit together for a week.
Good luck

I think it is unfair to not let your in laws see your daughter- I realize they can come here. My concern with the man taking the child out of country is, what if they don't come back- it happens all too frequently. I think your husband should be priority over your job- That is the way GOD intended it.

Wow, I can't believe he would be so unwilling to give on this. Do you have a good relationship with your husband? It seems like he needs to remember that as husband and wife, you are BOTH the world to your daughter, and together you need to take a stand against pushy parents or in-laws.
It doesn't seem like he's on your team, and that is a dangerous place to be.
I'm not sure what the best thing to do would be, but if I were in this situation I would say no and stand my ground firmly but lovingly.
Going together would be much better for your daughter!
Good luck, it sounds like you need it against those in-laws :)

I think you have a few issues to address here, first start having your husband take on more of the childcare responsibilities so that you can be confident he could handle your daughter for several days without you (you need to do this whether you will ever let him travel with her, because parenting needs to be a shared responsibility, and we mamas all need to let go of our control a little bit). What if you needed to go to the hospital, or to go somewhere without your daughter in an emergency, you need to be able to count on him to watch her no matter what the circumstances.

Children will have separation issues, they also will get over them, so long as your husband and his family are loving and caring toward your daughter, she will not be forever scarred from being without you (that doesn't mean I think you are being unreasonable in not letting them go, it's just my 2 cents as a mom who has to travel for work a lot without my husband and 6 yo daughter).

Unless there is a special event where your in-laws are, I see nothing wrong with wanting to delay the trip until you can all go together or in trying to persuade your in-laws into coming to the US to visit you. That being said, if you can not make the trip within the next year, you and your husband really do need to work on a way to get your daughter and her grandparents together, no matter how you and your MIL feel about each other. Grandparents normally dote on their grandchildren, and mothers seldom like their approach toward spoiling the child regardless of whether Grandma is our mother or MIL.

And again, while I said your daughter won't be scarred by separation from you, 10 days is a long trip for that first separation, 5 would be more reasonable. I think you, your husband, and your in-laws all need to work on some compromises. The very best situation would be for them to come to the US, make it clear that you will visit them within a year of them coming here. If that will not happen, see if you can convince your husband to cut the trip in half AND work on him spending a few nights and weekends where he provides total care for your child - leave the house if you have to (but while most dad's don't automatically provide this role, most can completely rise to the occasion when the situation requires, so don't worry too much). Finally, if no one else will compromise, put your foot down and tell them, I gave you each a compromise I was willing to go along with, but you wouldn't meet me half-way, so I am not comfortable letting my daughter travel that far without me for that long a period of time.

Best wishes

My boys who are 9 and 6 have NEVER spent night without me. It is unthinkable. We would go visit the in-laws who did not treat me right and I just put up with it. Now when my husband wants to see his mother he has to do it alone. I refuse to go and so do the kds. He never supported me around his mother and so now he has to go alone. He never forsaw that one day I would grow a backbone and refuse to be around people who don't treat me with respect even if it were his own family. He also did not pay any attention to me while I was there. It was all about them being together as a "family" again. Stand your ground and refuse to let her go. That trial thing is also ridiculous. You are the main caregiver and thats that. Things are already how they are. Why should you have to do a trial run to see if he can handle it. He has had 18 months to try and hasn't done it yet.

it is very unforutante that your husband has never spent more than 3 hours alone with his daughter, and there is no time better than the present for him to start being a parent. Having a relationship with grandparents is incredibly important, and it seems that without htis trip a relationship won't exist. maybe this is hte opprortunity for both your husband and inlaws to create a bond with your daughter. My suggestion is that you leave your daughter with your husband more often between now and the trip so that both you and he can become more comfortable with the arrangment. Go away for the day, for the night, see friends! i know htat if my chidlren were away from me for 10 days it would be incredbly hard for me, and have nothing ot do with my husband not being capable. If that is truly the issue with your situation than you either have to deal with that reality, and that means either get over letting your daughter go, or go with them and do the best oyu can to get along with your mother-in-law.

I agree with everyone! Give him some time with her to realize that she will be very upset without you for 10 days. It is way too long for her to be without you. Would your husband be okay with you taking her somewhere for that long without him? I know if I brought it up that way to my husband he would understand. He would never want me to take his son away for that long. But really, the point isn't that you would miss her. Its that I think it would be traumatizing for her to be gone from you for that long. She is too young to understand why you're not there. If they're not willing to travel then they should wait to see her until you all go together as a family.


I must agree with Mario O. I see it from 2 perspectives and bear with me. As a mother, the idea of NOT being with your baby and worrying 24/7 is the trauma here, and your daughter's age, not necessarily the baby traveling and being with grandma overseas. I had to leave my 3 mos old with my M. and go overseas for a week for a funeral and was nursing at the time, but left bottles, instructions etc. I was worried just the same not being there but when I came back, he was fine and only grew closer to his grandma. I believe the same will happen in this case. The fact that daddy wants to take her means he is well capable of taking care of his own daughter and if he is not, he will learn real quickly what it takes. I know when we think in-laws we think they could never take care of our child better than our own moms would, but in light of that, she is STILL a mother who happens to raise your husband just fine and is the grandma of your daughter. I have my inlaws overseas as well and it can be frightening, but have some faith in your husband and make sure your daughter going has nothing to do with your resentment to your mother in law. Your husband will do fine, and his side of the family is JUST as anxious to be with their grandchild as your side is. To be proactive as someone else said, just lay down the rules of what you want and do not want when he travels, food she should eat, who she can/or cannot stay with, etc. Set up a means to communicate with them daily if you wish to ease your worries. See if your husband can limit the time to 1 week versus 2 weeks until you all can go as a family longer. PS: The trip will not scar your daughter.

I appears you have two choices.

Go with your husband and child to visit the inlaws and bite the bullet.

Or stand in your truth and face a battle. Fathers do have rights to their children, unless you can find a good medical reason why your baby can't go --he will not get it. Men usually don't.

But my feeling are with you, I say forget the in-laws and stay home with your baby. The in-laws can get on a plane and visit you and your family.

If it were me, I wouldn't do it. Especially with all of the international kidnapping going on. I'm sorry but I always think of the worse that could happen. Again I wouldn't allow it. Let them make the trip if they want to see her. Or wait till she is older and you can make the trip too.
I asked my husband and he said No. The trip with a baby away from her mother would be detrimental and stressful.

I want to add that your husband is not priority over your job. I'm sure you work to help sustain the family.

My husband and I are in the same situation, so I've thought about it a lot. I know how much pressure there is from the in-laws and spouse about this, but personally, I would not let your husband take your daughter alone. He needs to spend more time with her to understand how to take care of her when he's spent and she's fussy. (Sometimes kids are fussy when they need reassurance, and if that doesn't occur to your husband at the end of a long day, he may be too gruff with her. Could he take care of her for a weekend, with you around, to give him a better idea?)

He might also find it difficult dividing his attention between his family and your daughter when he's there. I know it's nice to think that the in-laws will spend all of their time taking care of your daughter, but, first-of-all, she doesn't even know them, and may be afraid of them for the first week, and second, they may be busy preparing meals, etc. And unfortunately, not every grandparent/relative is great with babies.

I think little kids need to have their primary caregiver around -- your daughter might feel abandoned if you aren't there.

Can you get time off work (maybe later in the year) so that you can all go together?

Hmmm. I think I'd start with you leaving him at home with her by himself while you are out of the house! Give him 7 hours :) Don't be too far away that you can't come home when he realizes he can't handle it!

Then tell him to imagine those 7 hours having to sit on an airplane. He might change his mind!

Hi E.,
My suggestion would be to wait until you all can go together as a family. First your daughter is too small to go anywhere without you. Second, the fact that you don't get along with your mother in law, is another reason why you should be there with your daughter. Third, if your husband has not been alone with your daughter more than 3 hours, a 7 hours flight will be very hard on both, but more on her than him; because she'll be looking for you. He, on the other hand, can just hand her over to his mom once he gets there. Fourth, there are so many horror stories of one parent taking the child outside the US and then not wanting to come back that it's not even funny. Look at the Goldman's case. He didn't have an idea that his wife would stay in Brazil, and 5 years later he finally got his child back. Maybe if you all go together, your mother in law will see that you are a good wife and a good mother and things get better with her. If I was you, my child would not leave without me. But again, it is your decision. I hope all works well for you.

I totally agree with you. And even if she is fine during the day without you I would bet a million dollars that come bedtime she's gonna be calling for her Mommy. To me it just seems like a lot of stress to put on an 18 month old. Again I agree with you, wait until she is older or when you can all go together. Just try to explain to your hubby and MIL that it's a lot for a little one to handle and it's not that you don't think your husband can handle it but that you feel bad to put your daughter through such a big ordeal and take her so far out of her comfort zone for such a long time.

I haven't read the other 21 answers (yet), but my 2 cents is this: Your daughter WILL BE TRAUMATIZED by this trip with just her dad. It is inconsiderate of your in-laws to expect you to let your daughter travel so far with just her dad to visit people she's never met! She will be SO CLINGY, your husband will want to turn right around and come back home to you!
Why not get SKYPE for your computers and "visit" your in-laws via computer (it's FREE!) until you ALL are able to make the trip, OR your in-laws come to their senses and REVERSE their decision not to come to the States. It seems very selfish to me that these people refuse to come visit you, when it will be so much more difficult for you all to visit them. Don't put up with this. Your daughter will be the one to suffer the most damage from this plan. You're the mom: take control of this situation to YOUR satisfaction!

I agree that it is totally unreasonable at this age. However, I do think that you need to compromise with your husband. This is a very difficult situation for him being stuck in the middle and maybe you can admit to yourself that the not being able to get time off work is in part to force a me vs MIL situation. The best thing to do would be to find time off from work within the next 3 months and all go together. If that means changing jobs, which is more important to you - your marriage and child or your job? I would also shorten the trip to 5-7 days which is more than long enough for a child of that age. If you can compromise like this your husband will feel more empowered, and you come across to your in-laws better. It sounds like you don't want to give them any more ammunition in their dislike for you. Maybe if you travel with your daughter you can all learn to get along for your child and your husband's sake.

I had my daughter travel once without me when she was one years old but she went with her nanny. We lived in Greece at the time the flight was from LA. At the risk of losing your marriage I would not let her travel without you right now that she is so young. Especially you know your husband is going to hand her over to his parents that dont like you! If they want to see her they should come here if not wait until she is at least 5 or 6 before you even consider her going without you!

I dont think you are being unreasonable to ask your husband to wait until you can accompany him on this trip.

I have to admit, I disagree with most of the posts here.

You may be pleasantly surprised at how well your husband will handle being the primary caregiver for his daughter. (And how more appreciative and helpful he may be when he returns.)

I really don't think this will scar the child. I have a 2 year old and we've travelled 3 times overseas with him - so the travel itself will be fine (allowing for the usual craziness of travelling with a toddler.)

Children are very resilient and how your daughter reacts will depend on how you and the entire family behave. If she senses your distress, that will only scare her.

Maybe consider it a blessing that her grandparents are so excited to see her that they don't want to wait until she's 5 or 6. I know there's resentment about why they're not coming here instead, but sometimes you just have to put that stuff aside.

Please remember - your husband is the father, and his parents are your daughter's family. I know my son lights up whenever we go to Ireland because all of a sudden it's this new treasure trove of people who adore him and coddle him. Honestly, it would be a shame to keep her away from that kind of love.

If it's doable, I think she and her father could have a wonderful trip together to bond with extended family. I know it won't be easy to be separated - but do think about what your daughter stands to gain.

Good luck,

I think you are totally right. If your husband thinks he can handle it then I suggest you do an overnight with friends and stay away for 24-48 hours. If he handles it well and is ok then maybe it would work, but if he can't handle it then he'll know and it won't be about you and what you think

My husband is Russian and I am American. We lived in Russia for 11 years and this is very common there. I don't know what nationality your husband is, but this sort of thing is the "norm" over there for the summer. Parents just give their kids (and babies I might add) over to the grandparents for the summer. All my friends did it but I could NEVER do this. My husband (THANK GOD) could never even imagine doing this either! I don't blame you a bit, but I do understand that this way of thinking is probably cultural and a mind set and not just an argument or whatever. I would never allow this, but I can completely understand your dilema!!!! I would stand my ground if I were you. Poor little baby would not get it if you were just not there. (just wanted to say I understand tho...your husband is not necessarily being jerky, it's probably just how he grew up and it's what he knows)

Keep us posted!!

I'm probably going to have the unpopular answer but yes I think you are being unreasonable. Your husband is just as much of a parent with the same rights as you have. At 18 months old it's a little dramatic to say that your daughter will be scarred by the experience of visiting her grandparents without you. I would start off by stepping back and having your hubby parent more. Have him be in charge of her when he's home and let him do things his way. He'll either a) do a great job and you'll see that he's an able parent or b) run into problems and figure out that he would be unable to do this for 10 days by himself.

Hi there! First, YOU are the mom,right? You know what is best for your child,not letting her travel with your husband doesn't mean u don't trust him, explain that to him. The child is just too small to go on a trip far away from home without you! She's going to feel out of place and uncomfortable because she won't see you. Even though your husband will take care good care of her and everything, in my opinion it's not the same without mom! :) If I'm not going my children don't go. While they are young they need momma!!

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