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Help me bribe the grandparents -- I NEED a week away from my kids!

Help me bribe the grandparents -- I NEED a week away from my kids!

Apr 4th, 2007, 10:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 500
Help me bribe the grandparents -- I NEED a week away from my kids!

This is why:

I have three kids under the age of three -- a 2.5 year old and 6 month old twin boys and I am going nuts.

If I had a trip to plan and daydream about, I might just make it another six months or so. My Mom has offered to come if we take the kids, but how romantic is that? And believe me, DH and I need romance! The last time we were "intimate" was last night before bed and it was a hug...

My family already doesn't understand my passion for travel so I really don't think they'll understand why I need to travel and leave my kids with them for a week.

Any suggestions?

And if the bribe works, where should we go -- Paris, back to Rome, a beach in Greece?

mebe is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,607
I think you have to take responsibiliity for your own fertility. It isn't your mother's role to take all your kids, which you had, because you want a vacation. Lots of people have passions for things, which just means things you want but can't pay for. I know someone who has a "passion" for expensive sports cars and Rolexes, so what. It's not his mother's job to buy them for him.

So you don't need to do this, you just want to. You can always daydream and plan a trip, though, but doesn't look likely for a long time. What bribe were you going to make to your mother? You don't mention any way you have of bribing her.
Christina is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
I think that your mother has an excellent idea - of course she would want to come along rather than be stuck at home caring for three children under 3. If she came along, would she be willing to stay in a room with them?

If you really want your mother to watch the kids at home, how about the "bribe" of hiring a full-time nanny so she only has the night time hours to manage?

I do sympathize, although it's been ages since I had a baby, and I can only imagine the physical workload involved with three young children.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 529
Man-o-Man, I loved to be with my Grandparents when my parents went away.

If they couldn't do it, my parents did a rent-a-nanny. One, Mrs. Kleinfelter (I STILL remember her name - and its been over 40 years) was the best plain foods cook I had and ever had had the pleasure to enjoy.
SuzieCII is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 500
You are both right. I'm having a difficult morning and in a rash, emotional and selfish moment posted this message. I instantly regretted it.

I have a wonderful Mom who helps me because she loves spending time with her grandchildrn. I wouldn't need or want to "bribe" her to do anything. Bribe was the wrong word and a stupid thing to say.

Thankfully, my twins are now awake which will keep me away from the computer

mebe is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,946
You need a nanny to go along w/ you if you want to travel.

It is pretty unreasonable to expect a person - grandmother or not - to care for 3 kids - 2 of which are infants.

It is either a nanny - or wait until all the kids are walking, talking, and potty trained . . . . . . .
janisj is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Oh - sorry. You must have been editing when I posted.

Sounds like you've calmed down a bit
janisj is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
mebe, no need to apologize. Just get some rest, a babysitter, and you'll be as good as new!
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 500
Yes, Janisj -- Note to self: never post when you overwhelmed or exhausted or burned out.....but I guess I needed strangers to set me straight.

Okay, back to my kids.
mebe is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,499
mebe, weren't you the author of that wonderful trip report about your vacation in Italy? The one where you took your first child with you? I can still remember parts of that report!! And didn't you post at the end that you had just discovered you were going to have twins?

I hope you do get a chance to take another vacation, with or without the kids ... and then post another fabulous report for us all to read.


PS. Here we go, mebe's trip report. A jewel, I thought:

AnselmAdorne is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 454
Have your mom come for a weekend, go somewhere close, not overseas. A few years ago, my parents took my kids (then ages 7 and 9) to Florida and my husband and I went to Italy. While we all had a great vaction, it was heartwrenching when we had multiple plane problems in Frankfurt, missing our connections and having to spend an extra night away from our kids. Our kids were counting on us to be home and we weren't. I would stick close to home with kids their age, but a week-end away can do wonders for you.
happytotravel is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Here's what you need to do (maybe for the next few years): Plan a trip to a beautiful place (resort, cabin in the woods, or whatever appeals to you) where there are a few things to do, but not too much to do. You can tour/play in the morning, but when you put the kids down for a nap, you must nap, too. Becsue you aren't at home (with laundry, housework, paperwork), you can nap peacefully. That type of vacation will get you through the next few years.
missypie is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Every mother needs rest now and then. Especially with twins - I can't even imagine taking care of 3 kids under the age of 3. You are a hero.

Now, as a grandma I would be afraid to take care of all 3, most of all, to be left alone with them without the parents close by.

So, you have choices: take your mom with you and rent an apartment with 2-3 bedrooms, one of them has a lock.

Or reserve 2 hotel rooms somewhere in the place where your mom can easily take care of them while you're sightseeing or taking your time in your hotel room.

I think your mom wants to help you with your vacation, just scared to be left alone to make decisions for kids in case something's wrong.

So, in planning your trip, try to work out a vacation for all of you.
FainaAgain is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:27 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 191

I SO sympathize with you! I have two young boys, and a passion for travel. My husband and I travel with the kids everywhere, but nothing beats traveling alone with the hubby. It is amazing how a few nights alone without kids can rekindle the romance and let you rediscover how much you enjoyed each other's company before diapers, midnight feedings, and playgrounds entered your life.

Here's how I do it.

1. A week is out. It is just too much for my in-laws to handle the kids for that length of time. My in-laws have babysat for me for five days max when my children were infants and toddlers. Now, that they are older, 4 days max, with the kids going to pre-school during the day to give them a break.

2. My mother-in-law is awesome - she has the travel bug, too. My father-in-law was a pilot, so she flies for free. When her kids were younger, my father-in-law ( who does not have the travel bug, even though he is a pilot) watched the kids, so she could travel with her friends. She encourages me and my husband to get away alone - she understands that it is healthy for a marriage.

3. We plan our trips for four days max. That means, if we go to Paris, we fly for two entire days and are there for 2 days. Yes, it seems silly to fly so far, for such a short period of time, but when you have small children you do what you have to do. You run around, see the sights, stay up late, then collapse on the plane on the way home.

We once went to China for 3 days ( 2 days flying) to visit friends. It was one of the best times of my life. Even in such a short time span, it is amazing what you can see and do if you budget your time carefully.

4. We don't go away too often. Maybe, once every 1-2 years without the kids. When we do a vacation with the children, we invite our mother-in-law to join us for a few days. Not to babysit. But, to spend time in an exotic place with her grandchildren, and to hang out with me. My mother-in-law and I have a great relationship, but unfortunately she lives across the country from me. On these trips, we-reconnect. We go out to eat at upscale restaurants that my husband thinks are a waste of money, and go window shopping at boutiques, etc. while my husband babysits the boys. Since it is hard for her to find friends to travel with now that she is older, this is how we pay her back for watching our kids for us to get away.

I agree with you that bringing Mom and the kids along will not be romantic. You'll still be in Mom-mode and it will be hard to relax, and my husband's libido seems to go out the window when he's sharing a small apartment/suite with his Mom close by. Also, the expense of traveling with five instead of two really adds up.

I'd try explaining to your mother how much you need some only time away from it all with your husband, then I'd cut down the time that you'll be away to a long weekend. I'd arrange for a babysitter to come over at least every other day for a few hours to give your mother a break. Then, I'd plan a special weekend with your mother ( a small trip, or event in your hometown that she would enjoy) to show her how much you appreciate her watching the kids for a few days.

Good luck! - C

ParisEscapes is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 645
I remember reading your trip report about taking your first little one to Europe with you. It was great!

I know I am probably going to get an earfull for the following...but....

I totally understand what your going through - and (eek..do I admit it?), I HAVE left my kids with the grandparents to tromp off to Italy for 2 weeks with my DH just last September. Our kids were 6 and 3 at the time.

We also did leave our son (then only 7 months) with the grandparents for a week when we went to Mexico.

We have also travelled, and left behind, our son when we travelled to Arizona for a week (twice - he was 18 months and 2 1/2 years those times).

It was obviously a huge deal to leave two kids for two weeks..but we managed to split up care b/w several family members...grandparents for the weekends, aunty during the week, and regular nanny during the day. It worked out great, the kids had a WONDERFUL time hanging out and generally being able to do whatever they wanted...though I did miss them terribly.

I know the time will come (and it's coming soon I know), that I won't be able to leave the kids at home anymore and we will be taking them with us...but we are hoping for 1 more trip without them (this time to Paris), and yes, the grandparents will happily watch them for us again.

I don't feel bad about leaving them - the kids, and my DH and I, get a break for eachother. The grandparents love having them, and everything works out.

Though....I think that you MAY have to wait a bit for the twins to be a little older...

AND if you mention you want a trip in say 6 months it gives everyone time to prepare. We gave everyone LOTS of notice...and let people have a choice of when it was a good time to take the children.

With only a week...head to somewhere "close" in Europe...Paris being the obvious, and very romantic, first choice.

I hope your not pulling your hair out TOO much, and do hope you get a wonderful holiday.

camelbak is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
I suggest leaving your mom with the kids for just a weekend, and perhaps hiring a sitter to help.

Or take your mom with you and rent a house. When my boys were 2.5 and 8 months, hubby had a business trip to Hawaii so we took my parents and the kids. Hubby and I had some time alone, grands got a free trip to Hawaii, and kids had lots of attention.
padams421 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673

As a grandmother of 5, I dread one of my kids asking me to babysit for a week. (They come in sets of 1, 2 and 3.) I honestly don't think I could do it now that the youngest 2 are walking.

On the other hand, the guilt of saying no would kill me too. I just pray they don't ask. I would probably bribe them to NOT ask me.

And before anyone flames me as a mean old biddy, the main issue with me is their safety. Not being around them every day, I tend to "hover" when I do keep them because I don't know how close they can get to the street before you panic and run & snatch them up. Or how long it's ok to not hear any noise from their room, or how long it's ok for them to cry. I end up worrying myself into a frenzy.

I did it all fine when my kids were little but since none of them even started having babies until their 30's (one waited until she was 40), it's been a long, long time.
Linda431 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
One thing you might think about is where you can go in, say, a 4 hour flight. For example, you can get to Costa Rica from Dallas in three hours...If your flight was under 4 hours, you might feel better about taking a shorter trip (e.g. 3-4 days).
missypie is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,641
hi, mebe ,

Have you thought about the sorts of hols where you take the kids, but there are kids' clubs to look after them?

Club Med, Mark Warner, and a no. of others do this in europe, and here in cornwall there are a few independent hotels that offer nanny services.

hope this helps - don't despair - it will get better, I promise!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 373
Everyone needs a vacation, and parenting three kids takes alot out of you...I know, I have three too - 4, 2, 6 mos. It has nothing to do with not taking responsibility for our actions. Everyone needs physical and mental breaks once in a while.

The best suggestion you have been given is small trips. Every couple of years, upon weaning the baby, my husband and I go to Key West for 2 nights. I dream about it almost from the time I have the kid. We come back happy, refreshed, and it makes us nicer parents, for sure. And absolutely, my husband and I need the time by ourselves. (it's not only about "intimate", it's about sleeping 8 blissful, uninterrupted hours.)

If your mom is willing to help out full-time for a couple of days, go for it. Grandparents, as long as there has been grandparents, have stayed with their grandkids, and, if she feels she is up to it, do it. Maybe you do need to hire someone to help her out each day for a couple of hours, make sure that if she stays, she is comfortable with the arrangements. Perhaps she will be more comfortable staying at your house so your kids have familiar surroundings, maybe she will be more comfortable at her house where she will have more familiar surroundings.

To control my exotic travel itch, I plan trips for others - my brother in law's honeymoon a couple of years ago, my dad's trip to lithuania this year and I travel vicariously through them. Plan trips in your mind for the day you do take them. And, if you live anywhere flying distance to Key West, it is the perfect place for a romantic getaway.
amcc is offline  

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