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LAmom

Would you leave your kids for a week and head out of the country?

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Unless I knew the in-laws would be perfect with the kids, I wouldn't go. How often do they see your kids? Do they know them well? Would they invite the 2 yr. old to sleep with them? If not, can you get one of the older kids to sleep with her? Can they set up a tent in the bedroom for it to be fun and different? I left my 8 month old son with my cousin to go on a week long cruise. Of course I had some fun, but I was really worried the whole time I was gone and when I got home, I swore I'd never do that again. I couldn't enjoy myself fully.

 

Perfect?  That is a pretty high bar.  My mother loves my kids to the moon and back and I trust her completely, but she hands out fruit snacks like they are going out of style and my kids always come home with magic marker stains on their clothes from all the art projects they do with Nana.  :glare:  I would never turn down a trip to Japan over benign caregiver "imperfections" that are actually more differences than imperfections.  If they are keeping the kids safe, I would not be worried about a steady diet of Nickelodeon and hot dogs for a week.

 

Wendy

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I would go. How often do you get the chance for a free trip to Japan? Go for it. Call the kids often, and work on sleep skills with your 2 year old as much as possible before you go. They'll be fine. You'll miss them like crazy, but not so much that it's worth giving up a once in a lifetime experience.

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I would go too.  Now I probably wouldn't have said that when my dc were little, but I have learned a lot about myself after 24 years of being a mom.  Self-care is so important (not saying you are not doing this) that I would jump at that kind of opportunity.

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I would absolutely go!

 

With 5 children it would really ease my concerns because while my little one wouldn't have me, they'd still have their siblings.  I would have a harder time leaving behind just a 2 year old. And I assume that the grandparents will be good enough choice since you're considering it -- my mother isn't a perfect babysitter but for this opportunity, I know everyone would survive a week.

 

I would probably line up with some friends activities that they can come and take the some, if not all, of the kids to in order to give grandparents a break during the week.

 

Sounds like a wonderful opportunity that I would not pass up.

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You should totally go.  Both you and your kids will grow from the experience.

 

I understand the feeling of "But what if we both die?" but if you let that stop you you are not correctly evaluating the risks of travel.  There have been terrible air accidents in the news lately, it's true, but statistically, you are putting yourself in much more danger just by getting into a car than by flying.  

 

According to the National Safety Council, normalized to a lifetime of driving and/or flying, driving is two orders of magnitude more dangerous; your odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident are 1 in 98 (that's "dying in a motor vehicle accident sometime in your life," not on any one particular trip), whereas the risk of dying in an air accident is 1 in 7,178 (and that includes accidents in small vehicle/private planes, which is generally MUCH more dangerous than commercial air travel).

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Bah! I'd send the kids out of the country without me for a week if I got the opportunity to give them that opportunity!

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I wouldn't. The stress would ruin the trip for me. I'm not sure what "not the greatest babysitters" means to you, but...nope. Although, to be honest, it wouldn't be an option on the table for me because I wouldn't get as far as considering leaving my children for a week to go anywhere, much less out of the country. But that's just me and my comfort level; YMMV!

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I have done this several times, and my kids did great at home. We had absolutely no issues.

 

I think you should go for it.

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I would go, particularly, if I had a month to prepare. 

 

Get a second clock to put near a regular clock and set it to "Japan-time."  At various times during the day you might say something like, "Oh look!  It is dinner time in Japan.  When Mommy & Daddy go to Japan, we will be eating dinner right now." 

 

Do the calendar thing.  Print out a calendar and draw something for each day, like an airplane for travel days and other little pictures of things you might do, see and even eat.  This gives them a concrete idea of when you will be home.  Let them cross off a day each night.

 

Figure out something they can open every day.  We have used tiny mail boxes with a note for each day, or baskets with treats like little toys.  One year when Dh was going to be gone for 10 days in Asia I bought a Dover book of temporary tattoos.  Each day the littles got a new star or heart tattoo.  That was their daily kiss from Daddy.

 

Can you Skype?

 

Get the world roaming plan for your cell phones and figure out a time to call everyday.  Pray together on the phone.  Be prepared for tears somewhere around day 4. 

 

Make scripture cards for the older ones to read daily and you read the same scriptures daily.  My kids love knowing daddy is reading the same scriptures on the same day. 

 

Buddy up the kids, Duggar-style and encourage them to look after each other.  They will rise to the occasion and concerning themselves with how someone else is feeling will take their minds off their own worries.  Encourage them to do a kind deed for their buddy daily.  Even the 2yo can dispense hugs and "I love yous" to make others feel better.

 

Line up some play-dates.

 

Give Grandma & Grandpa an arsenal of distractors for the little ones.  It is amazing what a new can of playdough can do.

 

Go and enjoy.  Take a million pictures and post them on Facebook so the grandparents can show the kids. 

 

Know in your mind that there will be little mishaps.  The grandparents will let them eat things you won't, let them stay up later than you do and let them walk in mud puddles and make messes.  Know that this is going to happen and let it go.  Don't spend one minute worrying about little things.

 

Go an have a once in a lifetime trip.  Miss your kids and hug them tight when you get home.

 

Amber in SJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My youngest was 3 when the opportunity to travel with DH to Mexico for 8 days came up. Like you, I had always been with the kids & dh & I didn't really go out. In our case the trip was to celebrate our 10 year Wedding Anniversay. It was a little hard emotionally at first. I had two kids that are attached at the hip to me but do love grandma. My kids did great, yes they missed me but in a healthy way. No, I don't believe you would be harming your kids in any way. I'd take the opportunity, especially if it's likely not to be offered at a later point in life. If you have confidence in the grandparents then things should be just fine.

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I've done it, but my kids were a bit older than yours. Dh and I went to Rome for a week when our youngest was just turning 10. He stayed with his older siblings. The oldest two at home were 18 and 20, and very responsible, so everything was fine.

 

Many years ago dh and I flew to Texas for about four days when our two oldest were 3.5 and 1.5. My mom came to our house to care for them. She was wonderful with kids and they were very close to her, so I was not worried.

 

If I were in your shoes, I would probably go if I had someone wonderful like my mom to take care of the kids. That would be my deciding factor.

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Sorry, but I wouldn't go. I don't leave my kids overnight until they show they are ready. That has been around age 5-6 for my kids. And that is just for one night.

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I would bring the 2yo and leave the rest if possible.  There should be almost no extra cost and it's pretty easy to cart one kid around.

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I would go.  You are important too.  

 

I'd consider myself blessed to have inlaws willing to watch the kids.  They are offering you a gift, take it.

 

Your kids will be excited for you.  You can bring them back strange flavored Kit Kats. ;)

 

Agree about making a will, though.  

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If you have never left them overnight, I wouldn't start with a week-long trip abroad. I would start with one or two nights and see how that goes before making a decision. If they were all over 8 with no attachment issues, or a weekend trial had gone well, I would go. If not, I wouldn't do it right now.

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I would and I have. When my youngest was four my husband and I went on a week-long mission trip to Honduras. My son was the type to cry when I left him with my husband to go to the grocery store by myself, so it was not a decision I made lightly. But he did fine; he missed his dad and I, but it had no lasting effects. He was not traumatized, and he has no horrible memories of the time he stayed at his best friend's house (along with his sisters) for a week. He loves seeing pictures and hearing stories about our trip. When he was only two, I left him and his sisters with my mom for three days while my husband and I attended a conference about three hours from her. He did fine then; actually, he did better than he did being separated from me when he was four.

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I would go but I'd probably find a babysitter to give the grandparents a break for a couple of hours a day.

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Yes, I would go for many reasons all ready mentioned.  I remember when I was 5 and my brother was 3, my OWN parents went to Japan for 10 days.  My dad won a trip through his office somehow.  We stayed with my aunt, uncle, and cousins and it was like a huge fun sleepover.  We were not remotely scarred and had a great time. 

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I think your two year old will be fine, as will your other kids. It's important for kids to learn to be adaptable, IMO. 

 

This sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

 

As far as danger of flying together, statistics show that it would be more dangerous for your and your dh to be driving in a car together than flying in a plane together. 

 

This does bring up another point, you do need to find guardianship for your kids that you're comfortable with. While it's an entirely separate issue from your trip, maybe this trip will spur you to make the hard decision about who to chose. 

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My 2yo isn't nursing and my husband is going to see if she will fall asleep in her room with him (upon waking at night). We would not be able to bring the kids as we would have to pay for their flights. My husband is a pastor doing lectures for our denominations seminary/conference. We will have many hosts (families in the churches there) and many know English. I would be able to be with him at all times, lectures, meals, etc. My biggest stress is just leaving the kids. Will they survive? Most likely. Do I have some kind of guilt about leaving them? Yes. Should I? I don't know. It won't be a pattern of running off. They will generally enjoy time with grandparents.

 

I just don't know!

 

In this case, I would go. No need to feel guilty. You will have pictures, stories and perhaps a few souvenirs to share when you get home. The kids will be fine and nobody will require counseling in ten years strictly because Mom accompanied Dad on a short trip to Japan. :)

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Perfect?  That is a pretty high bar.  My mother loves my kids to the moon and back and I trust her completely, but she hands out fruit snacks like they are going out of style and my kids always come home with magic marker stains on their clothes from all the art projects they do with Nana.  :glare:  I would never turn down a trip to Japan over benign caregiver "imperfections" that are actually more differences than imperfections.  If they are keeping the kids safe, I would not be worried about a steady diet of Nickelodeon and hot dogs for a week.

 

Wendy

 

Markers stains on clothing testify to a great and creative time with grandma! I'd get some goodwill clothing and let them all have at it.

I think it's simply wonderful that you have a mom that is so involved and willing to do fun art projects with your kiddos. :thumbup1:

Agree with the rest of this post.

 

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At my kids' ages, I would (and did) go. At your kids' ages, I wouldn't. I'd want to wait at least a couple of years. I'd have no judgement for anyone who would go on a trip like that, but I'm too attached to my babies to want to share them at such a young age. 

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Have a great time on your trip! (I'm going to assume that you have decided to go)

 

Japan is an amazing country with wonderfully polite and gracious people. They take such care with presentation and ceremony and it is fascinating to be a visitor there.

 

Please don't panic about all the posts suggesting you make a will. Statistically, you are far more likely to die in the US from acts of violence and car accidents (assuming you drive regularly) than you are from a few airplane rides. Violent crimes are almost unheard of in Japan. Children as young as 7 and 8 are allowed to walk unaccompanied in Tokyo because kidnapping is so rare. I'm always puzzled when people are so nervous about flying without the kids. You should be more nervous to drive! You have a 1 in 7000 lifetime risk of dying in a plane crash. Your lifetime risk of a fatal car accident is 1 in 100.

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I would go.

Or more accurately, in similar situations I have chosen to go.

My mommy guilt manifests itself in other areas LOL.

 

Maybe because my parents were big travelers themselves, so it's just not a thing for me/us.

Or maybe it's because my in-laws are overly indulgent and try too hard to win the kids' affection.

(Which is unnecessary since my kids adore their grandparents and see through it anyway).

 

And if that's the case for you, too, this could be a win for all sides -

the kids and grandparents get the kind of visit that sometimes do that relationship more good than bad,

and you are spared the stress and annoyances that would come seeing it all firsthand! :D

 

If you can, ... go.

But if you can't ... Japan isn't going anywhere. 

Time alone to re-charge your marriage is important and can't wait forever ... nor must it be this trip, this time.

 

If it's just nerves, give it a shot*. With today's technology there are plenty of opportunities to settle nerves.

If it's more of an anxiety, don't unintentionally tease DH/ILs with the hopes you'll be fine once you get to Japan.

It's more kind to be realistic about where you are with this decision, and to own it now.

 

If you aren't up to this trip - so be it. Make no apologies, feel no guilt.

But determine a plan to address and work through whatever the issue is.

Is it anxiety? Concerns about the grandparents' caregiving habits or styles? Kids losing both parents at once?

It'll come up again at some point, it always does.

 

This is more than a chance to visit Japan; it's a launching pad to some difficult but necessary conversations ...

With yourself, your spouse, your family.

So even if you decide not to go, you will have made something of this opportunity to travel to Japan.

And that's a good thing!

 

 

* or you can do like I do, and literally give it a SHOT. I prefer whiskey but any kind that'll do you will do. :D

 

 

 

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Free tickets, family willing to help, of course!!  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Take it and have a blast!

 

:iagree:

 

We did when ds was about 6 or 7, can't remember. He had a blast hanging at the grandparents house. 

 

I say yes for several reasons. 

 

1. It's a lifetime opportunity

2. Your kids deserve to have a relationship with grandparents outside of your relationship with them  All this with the caveat that they are loving grandparents - if they're willing to fly out, I'd assume so. One of the best things I've ever done is allowed ds to his own relationship with my parents. We've only had a few parenting disagreements.

3. Your kids see you doing something difficult. Example is important. They see you being a companion to your spouse. You mentioned this is for pastoral purposes - great, your kids see you stepping out and living your faith as in "go into all the world". 

4. Bonding time with your spouse

5. Agree with the unit study idea. Ds is very interested in living in Japan. We've been fortunate to have other share Japanese items with us. It adds an element you can't get with looking at a travel guide. 

6. Your kids really see that the world is bigger than them. It can be humbling and exciting to them to realize they aren't the center of the universe - even if they are the center of yours. Not saying your kids think they are, but I feel it's important to make our needs and interests a priority once in a great while. 

7. It's a week. It's not a 3 day rush in business meetings all the time where you'll be trapped in a hotel. It's not a month. 

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I have the opportunity to go with my husband to Japan (free tickets--work related). I'm having a little bit of anxiety thinking about leaving my 5 kids, ages 2-10. The in-laws are flying in to watch them ... If I go. Should I do it? Would you? My 2 year old is very attached to me and still wakes up at night crying for me (in which I then pull her in bed with us). Anyways, tell me it will be ok. Lol. Will I have a panic attack while I'm in Japan. Ok, we rarely leave our kids. I mean, date night is once a year, and we don't mind. We get plenty of time together/have good relationship.

 

In-laws are not the greatest babysitters but kids would be fine with them. I think.

 

If we die, the kids have no one. Just saying.

 

Ok, God's in control. Would anyone else struggle with leaving or am I crazy?!

 

At this point in my life... How Fast Can I Pack?!?!  Heck, yeah I'd go!

 

When my kids were around 2, 3, 5, and 7? I probably wouldn't have taken the opportunity.  But Today Me would want to whack Baby-Mama me upside the head for making that choice! ;)

 

The kids will be fine. Bad stuff can happen anywhere, any time. You & your dh or you and all your kids are often in vehicles all together at the same time - chances are higher in those situations than while traveling.

 

Make sure you have established who you want the kids to be with in the unlikely event something happens to you and dh (which should likely be done anyway) so that isn't weighing on your mind, and go and have a great time!!!!

 

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I would go in a heartbeat! However, I doubt any of my children would miss me because they love hanging out with their relatives so much

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I haven't read all of the replies but just wanted to say that yes, I would go, especially if this is something that will not be a reoccurring opportunity. 

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I would go and have fun!  You may come back and find your 2 year old is now sleeping through the night.

 

When my 2 older kids were 2.5 years and 9 months my husband and I went to a job interview in Alaska, not across the world, but still more than 12 hours of flight time from home.  It was a last minute trip and at that point I had only been away from my son overnight when his sister was born.  My in-laws took care of the kids and 2 families from church were lined up for back-up just in case.  I was a nervous wreck as I only had about a week to prepare myself mentally.

 

My kids had a lot of fun.  My in-laws enjoyed getting to know and spoil their grandkids.  No, they didn't do everything the way I would have, but my kids had all their needs met and more.  It was also really nice for my husband me to just be couple, I wasn't expecting to enjoy being away so much.  We also learned that our son knew his way around town.  He asked for donuts for breakfast but grandma didn't know where she could buy them.  He told her where to find Krispy Kreme, my in-laws have never forgotten that.

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I wouldn't... not with the 2 year old attached to me.  I tried working part-time when my daughter was 2.  I left her with my mother whom she absolutely adored, but she cried every single day when I left.  I ended up quitting the job.  It wasn't worth putting her through that.  I definitely wouldn't have left her for more than a day.

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My concern is your comment that if something happens to you, the kids have no one. The vast majority of parents will nt die while on vacation and most certainly not overseas for a business trip. In terms of accidental death, they'll die in a car accident not very far from home, a stroke, heart attack, etc. in their home, fall of the roof doing repairs etc. You need a plan now. Forget "something might happen to us in Japan", it's more likely something will happen to the two of you when you head to Home Depot or paint, or to Applebee's for date night. If it concerns you that much, you shouldn't travel together in the same car! Since that's not feasible, and it is unhealthy to live in heightened fear, please just make anplan for the kids.

 

Grandparents, if they are not bad people or neglectful, would be better than landing in foster care. A good friend, a family from work or church...something. If you don't have a plan in writing some place, your kids are at the mercy of the courts.

 

So get anplan in place first. Then revisit the travel issue.

 

For what it is worth, we would have absolutely done an international trip like that when the kids were little if it had fallen in our laps! We went to NYC for a week when the youngest was two and left four kids 11 and under wih them. Everyone was fine.

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I remember taking our kids everywhere but there was that trip to Paris...We were visiting friends in Germany and dh had a meeting in Paris. After much craziness on my part we left ds just 3 and dd 5 with our friends. He was very attached to me and rarely left with a sitter. He was just fine! And we didn't have cell phones to check in. Maybe it was better that way. 

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I would definitely go. DH and I have traveled internationally without our children a few times and have absolutely no regrets. I think it's very healthy, both for our children and for he and I as husband and wife, for us to travel together and have experiences on our own. Our kids love the pictures and stories we've shared with them about our time away. It has also been good for them to go outside of their comfort zones a bit. It may be hard for your littlest, especially with the sleep issues and not understanding why you are gone. But as long as you know your caregivers won't be harsh or uncaring regarding those issues, it will be okay. I can't believe any irreparable harm could come from a week away.

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I would go.  I wouldn't even hesitate, assuming I knew my children would be ok with my parents while I was gone.

 

It's not an opportunity that comes along very often.  I would encourage any of my children, in the same circumstance, to do the same.  Life is meant to be lived!  The kids will have some great bonding time with their grandparents, you'll have a wonderful experience that you'll get to share with your children (maybe even work into the curriculum somehow), and it's always a positive, in my opinion, to experience any part of the world outside of what you already know.

 

When mine were 2 and 8 (or so) I went to Hawaii for 10 days with my then husband.  I realize it's the same country, but it's nearly as far!  Anyway, my parents came to stay with the kids, and all of them had a fabulous time, although my parents were pretty worn out when we got back.

 

Your baby will be just fine, and so will you.

 

 

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Depends on what "not the greatest babysitters" means. Do they have experience with a large number of small children? 5 kids from 2-10 is quite a handful. Do they follow your rules re: discipline? I wouldn't care if they fed the kids Cheetos and Kool-Aid for a week, but spanking would be a deal-breaker for me. The 2 year old will still be needing mama when you get back. Does s/he have a special bond with one of your oldest kids where they can snuggle together at night? Does she know the grandparents well enough to be comforted by them? Would they get her at night or let her CIO?

 

When I had a c/section for my 4th recently, my dad and stepmother stayed with the 3 older kids (not yet 2, 8, 10 at the time). 10yo DD is very close to the little one, and I thought they would be ok. Plus the hospital is 15-20 minutes away. I wound up having to send my DH home for the 3rd night because it was 10pm and the kids hadn't had dinner. (Long, stupid story) I nearly did the night before but 8yo DS got up and made chicken salad for everyone. My dad got absorbed in a book, my stepmother in a movie... They love the kids and mean well, but caretaking small children is totally out of their league. My oldest DD did nearly all the work with the very intense little one. She was totally exhausted, poor thing. I wanted to hire babysitters for at least 8 hr days, but the grandparents were offended. I also had meals prepped with labeled instructions in the freezer. I asked if they wanted me to leave some prepped in the fridge but nooo they would be fine. Anyway, *I* will not be going out of the country or 10 mile radius anytime soon. I have friends whose parents are amazing caretakers. Mine are good and coming over and visiting. If your ILs are great caretakers, go for it! I would hire a trusted babysitter to come over for a significant chunk of the day as a pair of extra hands though.

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I can't believe you even had to ask. GO. Jump on this opportunity. JUMP. Get up from the computer and call DH right now and say, "GET ME MY TICKET TO RIDE!!!"

 

Picture yourself saying goodbye to DH as he goes off to Japan. Picture him calling and telling you how amazing it is to see another culture. Picture him coming back brimming with stories of all the fun/crazy/harrowing experiences he had. With other people. Not with you.

 

And the whole time? You were home alone with the kids. Washing dishes. Changing diapers or potty training. Telling your picky eater to eat her food, wrangling the kids into bed at night. Doing that mind-numbing daily grind of being a SAHM alone with 5 kids for 8 days.

 

Really? You don't think you'd feel Regret with a capital R the moment your husband disappears from sight on his way to Japan? I surely would.

 

Do not stay at home when you can go on an amazing once-in-a-lifetime adventure with your lifelong mate. Your kids will be fine. They will see that people get to live exciting lives, even moms. They'll miss you and you'll miss them, but it's just 8 days out of their entire 18 year childhood.

 

Have some other friends come in and help out with the in-laws to give them a break for a few nights or afternoons if you think the in-laws need help.

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Wow, I'm surprised to see so many nay sayers. Go. Enjoy yourself. Immerse yourself in a new culture. Meet new people. You will miss your kids like crazy, but you will also likely come home rested, with a new perspective on life, and some cool things to add to your home school.

 

I did this when my oldest three were younger. Dh and I had never gone on a vacation alone. I missed my dc like crazy, but it was still fantastic. I came home with inspiration for my cooking, a new energy for home schooling, and a whole new zest for life In general.

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I'm a mixed bag. I have declined to join my husband on trips to India and Israel in recent years, but did go to Calgary and other places that required flight but no real risk. Dh always says that I need to obey my conscience on these decisions.

 

If the opportunity was mine, I would probably decline. We have a special needs kid and I just can't see myself being that far from him.

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Go and enjoy yourself.  An opportunity like this may never come your way again and if you trust your in-laws with them everyone should be fine.

 

I have and they have been fine when we got back.  We've left them with my mom while going to Hawaii, Cancun, the Bahamas, California and quite a few places that were far away from the kids.  We've left them with her from 3-10 days.  It was great for our marriage as it gave us time to just be together and be a couple. 

 

 

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I'm the kind of person who would not have gone (wouldn't have wanted to leave the 2 year old), but in hind-sight NOW I would tell the person who I was to GO AND DO IT.

 

As long as you trust the in-laws, go and have a wonderful time that you will be able to remember forever. The kids will be fine and will likely have a wonderful time too. It won't hurt anyone. Go and have a great time.

 

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I'm the kind of person who would not have gone (wouldn't have wanted to leave the 2 year old), but in hind-sight NOW I would tell the person who I was to GO AND DO IT.

 

As long as you trust the in-laws, go and have a wonderful time that you will be able to remember forever. The kids will be fine and will likely have a wonderful time too. It won't hurt anyone. Go and have a great time.

I wonder if it's an age thing? No. Probably not as some of the naysayers are posters who are my age or older.

 

For me, at 41, I'm remembering so many opportunities I missed because I thought they would come back around.

 

They don't always come back around. I've learned to jump on things when I have the chance.

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I left my 5 year old son with my mom, who isn't perfect, to go to Europe for two weeks with my husband. We were offered a free week in a beautiful location, which motivated the trip. We then decided to tack on another week to see some dream spots while we were there.

It was hard. At first. I missed DS tremendously. I ached!

But after a few days, I took comfort in the fact that Wifi and Skype made it easy to call home whenever I wanted to. We brought a fave batman figure with us, and Batman had his pic taken in many famous places. Those pics were emailed to our home printer and our DS collected daily pics of batman with mommy/Daddy at _______.

Was it worth pushing through the worry? Was it worth being financially strapped for the next year while we recouped? 1000 times yes. That trip is still feeding me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. My marriage, too. We are currently in a stale spot, but remembering what a little free time together can do for a couple helps me maintain perspective and communicate that need for *time* to my DH.

I think Japan would be a most interesting country to visit... The art, ceramics, and poetry of the Tokugawa period is an area I want to explore. The cuisine would be a challenge for me, I think... But as Chesterton said, "The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.â€

If this is an opportunity that won't come for many moons if passed up, I would encourage you to take it. If you see the opportunity to go easily in the next two - three years, I would consider waiting for the two year old's sake -- consider -- and then I'd probably go anyway. Seriously... This is an awesome opportunity.

 

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Definitely GO!  A free international trip does not just fall into your lap every day and to have family who will care for your children - priceless!  The ILs may not do things exactly the way you do but I'm sure your children will be fine.  If you are worried about it being a lot of work for them then arrange a babysitter for some of the time and perhaps leave some gift cards to a local restaurant for your ILs.

 

I understand the hesitation, we have only had our boys spend the night without us for one night at a time.  I know they would not prefer to spend a week with someone else but they would survive it.  

 

I spent too much of my young adult hood making some decisions based out of fear and the only thing that will get you is Regret.  Are you doing this?  Will you regret staying home?

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I think international travel is important and we're always bouncing around to new places, but I wouldn't be thrilled about leaving a 2yo and 4yo for that long.  I prefer that my children are 5 or 6 when we leave them for several nights, but that's more for the people taking care of them than my kids. Taking care of 5 little kids for an entire week would be exhausting when you're not used to it and I'd be very uncomfortable asking anyone to do that.

 

But if this is an opportunity that won't ever come up again, I'd figure out how to make it work. If something else will come up again in a few years, I'd probably wait.

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I would not go with kids that young. YMMV, of course.

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I wonder if it's an age thing? No. Probably not as some of the naysayers are posters who are my age or older.

 

For me, at 41, I'm remembering so many opportunities I missed because I thought they would come back around.

 

They don't always come back around. I've learned to jump on things when I have the chance.

 

It is an age thing for me. Like you, I can look back and see what should have or could have been done. I'm also at a point where I realize that kids aren't around forever, but your spouse is.

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I'm not a nay-sayer or a aye-sayer.  We don't have enough information because we don't know what "not the greatest babysitters" means.  For my ILs that meant that they gave my kids allergens ("What?  Ice cream isn't milk, is it?") and made unsafe decisions like wanting to take a toddler swimming with no life vest and while just 'watching them' from across the pool.  So saying no to them had nothing to do with not being adventurous or wanting time with my husband etc.  If "not the best babysitters" means giving them more junk food than normal but otherwise keeping them safe and healthy and responding appropriately to needs then I'm an aye-sayer.  If "not the best babysitters" means doing the sorts of things my ILs did, then I'm a nay-sayer.  

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