Going Away

My husband’s birthday is right around the corner. I asked him what he would like to do for his birthday and his response was, “Go to New Orleans.”

So, I’m planning an extended weekend trip to celebrate the big day with him and my two year old daughter. I’m looking for a luxurious hotel that has a pool and a balcony (so that we can hang out and people watch after she goes to bed). I’m working with the little one’s schedule in mind, trying to plan to eat at restaurants that are child-friendly and searching for activities that can easily entertain both of us adults and a child. The city is relatively child-friendly; we’ve been a couple of times with my son and have never had any problems. Yet, it’s also a very adult oriented city with much to do that isn’t exactly reasonable to bring a kid along to. There will be no Bourbon Street bar hopping for us, no haunted cemetery tours or late night walks to explore the city this time around.

Throughout this planning phase, the thought of leaving my daughter at home with someone else while we travel has been in the back of my mind. My son will be staying with his dad, so all we would need is someone to take care of the little one. A weekend away, just the two of us. Imagine the freedom of being able to stay out as late as you want to, go to dinner after 7:00p.m. without anyone having a meltdown, sleep in until whenever you feel like it and browse through all of the antique stores without chasing a toddler who wants to touch everything in sight. Doesn’t that sound delightful? It’s been years, at least three, since we had our last trip together without kids. I think it’s high time for another!
AdvertisementWhile  mulling this kid-free fantasy trip over in my head, I then began to think about what precautions to take if we left her here. All of the “what ifs” popped into my head. What if she was in an accident and needed some type of medical care. Do we just leave her insurance card and information on which doctor/ hospital to go to?  Would there be a problem since her parents aren’t there to sign for anything? Do we write up a temporary power of attorney for the duration of our absence? I remember my parents doing that when I was a kid, but don’t know if they still legally hold up or if they ever really did.

And another nightmare scenario: what if something happened to us while we were away? Why do I torture myself in thinking these horrendous thoughts and creating the worst possible scenarios? I really just want to be prepared. I want my kids to be taken care of and so I feel like I have to go there, to that dreadful “what if” land of make believe.  I’m told this is a common mom trait, this worrying over things that will most likely never happen. I happened to talk with a friend last night who is heading out to Italy without her daughter and they are preparing wills– just in case. While my fantasy trip with my husband, minus the kids, is probably still a while away, I’d like to be prepared for when it eventually happens.

What precautions have you taken while leaving your children in someone else’s care while you travel? Does it have to be a legal will or does a note transferring over power to another adult for a short duration work just as well?  Do you travel separately?

Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2157 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded LiveMom.com out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

3 Comments on Going Away

  1. When I took kiddo to San Francisco and brought his grandma too, I even typed up a letter for her just so that if she had to call the ambulance while I was in a meeting, she could at least wave it at the paramedics. It also had all my contact information and dad’s too, but basically said “Until you can reach one of us, listen to this woman, she’s the grandma!” I don’t know if it would make a difference legally, but all it has to do is hold until they can get a parent on the phone – and I imagine that in an emergency, they’re going to be focused on providing care first and foremost.

  2. Leaving the country and leaving a young child behind HAS indeed made me frazzled as of late. The good news is, this nervousness and anxiety has led my husband and I to do something we should have finalized a long time ago… the dreaded wills. We had a brief will in place, but to calm my nerves, I wanted a detailed plan in the event of anything happening to both of us. We downloaded a program called Quicken WillMaker Plus, and it has been a very simple, yet thorough process. This program has been great for us to use in the past, as it includes easy medical/guardian release forms to be filled out for anyone caring for your children while you are away. You can simply update and print each time you need it. I did contemplate having us take seperate flights, but I am trying to be more relaxed about the situation so I can enjoy the trip. I feel better knowing things are in place here. My family will probably laugh when they see an envelope left on my pillow reading “Just in Case”, but I will sleep better knowing things are prepared!

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