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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, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 69
So Mebe, with all these replies, obviously you are not the only one dreaming of getting away from our darling children!

As much as you want romance now, maybe it'd be nice just to take a 2-3 day trip by yourself and have DH stay behind with the kids? That could "refresh" you enough for a few months until you can get away with your husband.

I think it's good for couples to have time alone. We have done one trip a year without kids (since the first one came along in 2002).

clz is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 276
I think you should go ahead and ask your mom if she will watch the kids while you and your husband go away. I bet she will do it. As long as you give her the right to freely say no and not hold any grudges--I say go for it. I watch my daughter's two kids when she goes away, and I am happy to do it (23 months and 3 months). I would hate to think that she would not take a trip because she was reluctant to ask me to watch the kids for her. (But then, I have the travel bug, as does she, so I definitely understand her yearning to travel.) I bet your mother feels the same way I do.

Where should you go? I think Paris would be grand, but all the places you mentioned do, too. How about somewhere you haven't been before? Pick up something on your trip that your mother collects, like a pitcher for coffee cream, tea cup and saucer, something really special.

Actually, one time when we were in France, we decided on the spur of the moment to take the car ferry over to the island of Jersey and stayed there for three nights and four days. We found an incredible B&B through the tourism office there, and spent the next few days just touring the island. We loved it, and that island provided us with some of our best travel memories.

Asking your mom to watch your kids is offering her a chance to build some great memories. I am not of the school that believes parents should not involve their parents in taking care of the children/grandchildren. I believe that grandparents should step in whenever they can and help out--and that is how close-knit families are built. You have contributed mightily to the family by producing and caring for these grandchildren. Give your mom the opportunity to get as involved as possible with them.

I hope this trip materializes for you. If it does, I hope you have the time of your life!

dancintomusic is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 05:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 500
Thanks everyone for all your advice. After talking last night we decided that if we need a break, we will take a short trip close to home.

When we go to Europe we will take Grandma, as a part-time "nanny" but also as a "thank you" since she has been my biggest support throughout a difficult pregnancy and the last six months.

I felt trapped and angry yesterday morning but after posting here and "venting" those negative feelings, I had a wonderful day and enjoyed all my blessings of being a Mom to three healthy kids. I look forward to showing them the world and yes, I will write a trip report about our adventures.
mebe is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 05:21 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 656
mebe: Of course you have days where you feel overwhelmed, we all do when we are parenting children. I don't think it is unrealistic of you to want to get away for a week or so and refresh yourself with a nice trip either. Have you considered other options such as siblings and close friends to help watch the kids? Perhaps a weekend with Grandma and two days at the other grandparents and two days with an aunt or uncle and then you are home again? Do you have friends who have children who would also like a week away? Perhaps you could help with their children while they vacation and they could do the same for you? Explore other options and try to fit in that trip and don't let anyone make you feel bad about it.

It's a good idea to take your mom with you for a trip but I don't think you should feel guilty about wanting to go off for a romantic trip for the two of you either. Just because you wanted to have children doesn't mean that you have to give up all of the other things in life you love as well. Good luck. I am feeling so sorry for you, remembering years ago when I had little ones and was in the same boat, that I am almost (do note that I said almost) ready to say bring them on over and have a great trip.
jdraper is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 05:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,175
I have a beautiful 19 month old grandson, who has stayed overnight with us since he was a few months old. We find it easier for us to babysit in our own home that at theirs. My plan for this year had been for myself and my husband to have a family holiday in Greece with my daughter and her partner. My idea was to have 2 separate apartments so that we could share his care, giving them time to themselves and us a chance to spend time with our grandchild but near enough so that he need not miss them.

Events took another turn when my daughter and her partner decided they would get married this summer - and now we will have our grandchild for their honeymoon. I am happy to have him, though a little nervous about how he will be for the 10 days they plan to be away. He will be nearly 2 by then. Fortunately his other grandparents and auntie will be at hand to help out but we will take the bulk of his care. To build up to this, he has stayed for 2 nights and we plan a 3 night break in May.

Don't feel guilty about wanting to get away sometimes but discuss with your mother as to what she can cope with. I love every moment I spend with my grandson and feel happy that we are trusted to look after him and that he feels secure staying with us. We have great fun taking him out, sharing new experiences and watching him grow up.
Maria_H is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 08:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
We love staying with the three grandsons while the parents are away - but for a long weekend, tops. We stay at their home, as everything is there and the kids can sleep in their own beds and know the "rules".

But, small childen the ages of your would be a huge challenge for an entire week, and I can surely understand why Mom is not offering to do this (no bribe of any sort would work for me).

My recommendation would be to try for long weekends, closer to home.
djkbooks is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,190
My suggestion would be to look at your Mom with an unbiased eye.

Do you think SHE will really want to babysit 3 kids at those ages for longer than 4 days?

Moms have a tendency to not want to say no to their children. However, Moms also don't always feel comfortable, prepared, or healthy enough to become a full-time parent for a week or more. Since you mention that she has offered to come along if you take the kids, it sounds like she's not ready for that full-time responsibility (especially with 2 6-month olds) and would prefer to "help you out."

A week of babysitting can also wear a person down. I know that when I babysit my nieces (one or both), I don't sleep well. During the day, I'm in a "go go go" mode making sure they aren't wanting for anything. By the fourth day, I'm pretty much done for.

As another small trip option, ask her to babysit for one night. Then you and your husband spend the night at the most romantic hotel close by. Instead of packing a bunch of clothes, etc., pack the candles, lotion, etc. and order room service.
toedtoes is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 7,741
Now, I've never tried these, but have friends who swear by Club Med vacations (particularly those catering to families.) I know they are not cheap but I think they would be a good combination of family time with some alone time. Your mom could even come too and help out some of the time (but not feel the pressure of full-time care.)

When our kids were young, even one night away really gave us the break we so needed.

Hang in there. I'm sure you're exhausted and going nuts but it will get easier. Do you have a sitter coming in once in a while just so you and you husband can get out for a date night? Or someone during the day occasionally so you can have a few minutes to yourself? Just suggestions, but they may help...

Good luck!
KTtravel is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 500

The first post was during an difficult morning dealing with teething twins and a whinny toddler. I don't agree with anything I said in the first post, except for part about missing my husband.

With that said, I would never expect anyone to take my kids for a week at this age. I wouldn't do alone without help and I would never put that responcibilty on someone else, not even DH.

And I should add, that my Mom does understand my travel-bug and has a bit of one herself. When I wrote that first post, I was thinking of my in-laws, totally confusing things, but I wasn't really thinking straight was I?

We have enough CC miles for four tickets to Hawaii or Mexico so perhaps that will be our next trip with the kids and the Grandma.

Thanks again for all the suggestions -- I hope this thread helps other frazzled parents that need a break.

mebe is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 07:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,132
The Club Med suggestion is a very good one. Find the ones with a Baby Club - you can drop off the little ones for any part or all day and they will be well cared for. They go on little outings in strollers are given naps, meals etc. You can pick them up whenever you like. There are clubs for older kids too, all with activities planned and lots of help. We did this when our sons were 11 months and 4 years and things went great. I don't know what kind of sleeping arrengements there are for families with this number of young kids, but if you like beach vacations, this would be a good compromise for this stage of your life. (I can't see grandma going for this type of vacation though!)
kwren is online now  
Apr 6th, 2007, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
Mebe - you have my deepest sympathy.
I sense a person who needs a good 8 h-10hrs sleep more than any holiday.
Sleep deprivation will definitely cause you 'not to think straight' and worse.
tod is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 246
Mebe, I'm with Tod! Of course you were feeling overwhelmed--only a mommy at her breaking point would suggest leaving children that young for a week!

Please do go ahead and ask your mom to watch them for at least one day...while you and DH check into a nice little B&B or hotel in town. Get a massage, then go to dinner and enjoy rediscovering your adult selves. After noon the next day you're back to the chaos, but at least you're both recharged.

You'll be close enough if your mom should need you, but see if you can't have someone help out your mom for at least a few hours of the time you're gone and if not, be sure to pick up a certificate for a massage after your own session to gift her with!

The Hawaii plan sounds great in a few more years...keep that dream alive.
cupid1 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
I'm sure you've had some first class advise, But I would have said this....

I would ask a parent to take teh kids for a week, and I'd subsidise them with babysitter/ nanny money so it doesn't get to be too much of a chore.

And that would be the payment. I'd then invite said parent(s) on the next trip, with the kids, where THEY wanted to go.

And you should go to the House Over By on Skye.
sheila is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 40
I hope mebe won't kill me, but I'm one of the lucky ones whose in-laws are watching my 3 children while we take a vacation. We leave 2 weeks from today for a week in Rome and Venice!

This is mangageable because my kids are 8, 6, and 3, and the older ones will be in school all week and the youngest will be at preschool three mornings. My wonderful in-laws are only in their early 60s, so they have the energy to keep up with the kids. To make it easier on them, I'm putting together a binder with the schedule for each day, lining up play dates for the afternoons, making sure the house is fully stocked with all their favorite foods, and taking the dog to a kennel.

This probably doesn't help now, but two years is going to make a huge difference in how willing the grandparents will be to watch the kids. My mother in law never would've been up for this before my youngest was 3.

I bet if you approach your mom with the idea of taking a solo trip for a long weekend after your twins are 1 she might go for it. Especially if you line up a babysitter to help during the days.
clareita is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 350
My husband and I already had three kids before we got married. The only trip we got to go on alone was our honeymoon - and my mother watched the kids, but we were only about an hour away...

We are going to bribe my mother again - we're buying her a plane ticket to come visit us for two weeks (we live in Germany, she lives in the US), and we are taking a four day weekend to go to Italy.

I don't think you are being selfish for wanting to take a vacation away from the kids, but instead of going so far away for a long trip and leaving her home alone, maybe she'll agree to take them for a weekend while you and your DH go to a close by spot for some R&R...
HeatherH is offline  
Apr 10th, 2007, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 558
I used to take our baby sitter with us when my children were little. We paid all her expenses and gave her some free time and we had some free time. We all ate together in the evenings, although my husband and I also had a couple of evenings alone. On the days when we ate together, the baby sitter put the children to bed while we went out for a drink. We had a lie in whenever we wanted to. We did a couple of day trips on our own, but when the sitter was left with the children all day, we gave her the next day off so she could do a trip or relax herself. This worked very well because we all knew what to expect and stuck to it. I have travelled with baby sitters six times, 3 sitters in all. The first one was fantastic - we took her to North Carolina the first time, England and Greece the second time and England, Scotland and Greece the third. If you take your mother, or a sitter, discuss expectations beforehand and try to make sure everyone has plenty of free time.

Carolina is offline  
Apr 10th, 2007, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 518
Just want to say that I absolutely empathize with your need for time away. Three kids under three - you deserve it! After reading your trip report to Italy, it seems like you're a terrific mom - I really admire your parenting skills and for being honest about your own limitations!
petitepois is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 07:49 AM
Posts: n/a
Mebe, you have every right to feel overwhelmed. Anyone would! Don't feel guilty about needing a break.

Did you see the bit in an early Desperate Housewives show, where Lynnette (Felicity Huffman) fell apart in the park, crying to Susan and Bree because she wasn't a perfect mom?? It was very realistic. Lynnette said something like, "Every other Mom makes it look so easy. But it's NOT. Why don't we Moms tell each other what we're going through?" I think it is a really good message.

So, as one Mom to another: take time for yourself during the child-rearing years. Yes, these years fly by quickly, but you can do a better job of it if you get away to refresh yourself now and then. And to stay in touch with your husband.

I personally think that taking such little ones on a trip, even to a Club Med, is more trouble for you than staying home! And they are too young to care about Club Med anyway. Find a good sitter to help you-- even Grandma would need support caring for three young ones.

Best wishes! You'll do fine.
Apr 11th, 2007, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,474
Okay Mebe, I'm in your shoes with you. Well, almost. I only have two kids, one 2.5 and one 11 months. I also had a difficult pregnancy with the second one.

We are very lucky to have grandparents that beg to take our children. It is a very nice thing to have.

We just went to Spain for 10 days without the kids and had my husband's mom watch them for half the time and my parents watch them for the other half. They met in the middle of the 2.5 hour drive to swap. My mil even took them to Florida with her during her time.

I think if you ask them WAY ahead of time they will be more open. We had this trip planned for a year. And we did the same thing when we only had one kid and went to France.

Personally, it is a win-win for everyone when we go away. My husband and I reconnect, our kids get to know and enjoy their grandparents, and we miss the kids and are better parents when we get home.

Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about wanting to get away for a bit. Are you a stay-at-home mom? If so then you doubly need a vacation away.

Please read my trip report about Spain. Click my name to see it. It was grand.

Don't take the kids with you. No fun would be had by anyone. There were definitly some times when I said, hey the kids would love this! But then I remembered that they wouldn't because they would be jetlagged, sick from the plane, and hungry.

For me, our trip was another honeymoon. The best gift you can give your children is parents that are in love with each other. To maintain and nurish that love, you have to get away from the kids sometimes.

If you are really going stir crazy, then find a b&b by your house and just get dressed up and go for the night. Maybe you don't need the full out Europe experience.

Don't regret what you wrote. We all go nuts sometimes!
kelliebellie is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 443
Eek! I read the OP and scanned some of the replies...some harsh! With my four kids and a husband who used to travel..a lot...and living in a new city with no grandparents, family, friends nearby, I have had exactly the same feelings about wanting to check out for a few days.

We've done it all...traveled with a nanny, left the kids with relatives, left the kids with a hired sitter (only when older) and taken them with us alone (sort of defeats the purpose).

I'll never forget a much needed trip
dgg is offline  

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