Mommy Guilt: Needing Your Advice

Please help: I’ve come down with a bad case of mommy guilt.

A little background info: I’m due with my third baby in 2 days (yay!) I know that the next few weeks (months) of my life will be crazy and hectic. And, I also know that I will probably not be able to give my older children the attention they need and deserve when I’m dealing with a newborn.

Enter my parents: They’ve offered to take my five-year-old son on an amazing 11-day vacation to Oregon in three weeks. They’ve planned for him to spend time with my husband’s family as well as aquarium outings and sand castle construction and dinners out and it sounds like a wonderful trip for my son—especially in light of the fact that he knows my parents and his other grandparents well and they are amazing spiritual mentors to him in his life. And, life at home will probably be less than exciting.

Enter mommy guilt.

I know he’ll have a wonderful time on the trip—and I know all of his grandparents love him dearly and will give him loads of love, care, attention and prayer.  Yet, I don’t want him to go. I don’t want him to be gone for eleven whole days. I’ll miss him. And, I feel like by sending him, I’m sending the message that I’m sending him away.

So, please help me. Is it crazy to send my baby (okay, my five-year-old baby) away for eleven whole days? Is it too long for him? Or, am I doing the right thing by allowing him to enjoy special heritage-building time with his beloved grandparents?


  1. Girl, You are not sending him away. You are giving him an. Opportunity to spend time with his grandparents and have a bit of a summer vacation. I know he will Love every minute of it and have tons of stories to tell. If he misses u too much, I am positive that grandma and grandpa will bring him home to U… :)

  2. What an incredible opportunity for your son! Like you, though, I wouldn’t want my four-year-old son to go because I’d miss his (selfish, I know). So I would explain the trip to him and ask him if he wanted to go or not. My son wants to be around me no matter what, so he would certainly choose to stay home and help me with the new baby and chores around the house. But it’s only fair to explain both sides and let him decide: what will be included on the trip and what will be going on at home. He really is old enough to decide.

    Let us know what happens!

  3. that would be tough. I would have a hard time being away from my child for that long. You’d never want him to feel that he’s being “sent away”, but just because you think of it that way, that does not mean HE thinks of it that way.

    As I said, it would be hard for me, but think about it from the other perspective. Eleven whole days around adoring grandparents, having one-on-one time and doing neat things. yes, he’ll miss the first days with the baby– but much of that is probably okay with him (anxiety about nursing, crying, hospital, etc.– these do not compare with aquariums and sand castles).

    Then when he returns you will have had a breather, and will have that much more capacity to show him the love and attention he deserves. When he feels that love and attention from you, he will know he was not “sent away.”

  4. I think this sounds like an amazing opportunity for your son, Eren–and could it be God’s provision for you, too, while you’re bonding with a new little?

    If he wants to go and you trust who he’ll be with, then it could be a really wonderful experience.



  5. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for you and your husband to have some time with the newest member to come gettting things more settled and in order and making it much less stressful for you to only have the new baby plus one to take care of. What a fantastic idea and I don’t think in any way your son will feel you are shipping him off, he probably feels very special that he gets to go. anywas best of luck with the soon delivery and blessing to you and your family

  6. I’m with Lauren. Ask him and see what he thinks about it. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity fo rmemories and bonding! I say let him go if he wants to!


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  8. Hey Erin,

    Let him go!! Sure you’ll miss him oodles, but look at the flip side. If he stays home with you, what will the experience be like for him? Your job as a mama is to nurture your children and raise them in Faith. Right? What better way to accomplish both! I commit to pray for wisdom for you in this decision.
    As for my personal experience, I had major orthopedic surgeries for several years every six months after my son was born, and subsequent surgeries randomly after that in his life. He is almost 14 now. During my recovery times, my parents (who are also amazing spiritual mentors, as well as being loads of fun) offered to take him on vacations or keep him at their home, so I could focus on PT or healing or whatever the business at hand was. Although this was heart-wrenching for me, I realized my decision must be that which was best for him. I am so blessed, as you are, with loving, nurturing, safe parents , who are willing to love on my son. Allowing myself the freedom to “let go” a bit, has given my son a beautiful, strong relationship with his grandparents. So many other benefits ensue: my marriage is stronger because I know my son will willingly spend time with grandparents when hubby and I need time alone, and now my parents take him on vacations yearly, something to which he looks forward and anticipates eagerly…although this year he asked to go to New Zealand. Yikes! At one point, when he was about four, he said, “Grandma, I think I am part yours.” Made my heart smile! Our children are such a gift. How can we not share that gift with those we love, and who love our children. Bless you, Erin!! You are an amazing Mama!

  9. I would miss JDaniel tons, but he would have blast.

  10. I may be in the minority, but I think one of the greatest gift you can give your kids is a great relationship with their grandparents. Since Joey sees them almost every day of his life, his comfort level would be high. (And since I’ve met your folks, if he doesn’t want to go, can I?)

    Either choice is a great choice and there should be no guilt involved – it’s a win win either way.

  11. My husband is AD military and we currently live in Europe. We had planned to fly home to visit family with the new baby when she was about 8 weeks old. Little did we know that she would not enter the world on her due date but almost two weeks later. The passport did not arrive in time and we had to make a decision. My husband already had his leave approved so this was one chance for him to go visit family during our 3 year tour overseas. He and I talked about it and decided for him to go and take our oldest daughter who had just turned 2 while I stayed with the baby. He had all kinds of plans for her to visit both families and do lots of fun things as well as a stop in the town she was born in to visit the aquarium and friends there. My mom was probably the most concerned – and for me – but I held strong so as not to make her worry. I did have a few moments where I would go lay in her little toddler bed and cry my heart out, but looking back I am so glad we did this. That trip is the only time she has seen family in the 3 years we have been here! She remembers the fun things she did there, even if part of those memories have stemmed from stories and pictures. I will be praying for you on your decision and strength. :o)