When Is It OK for a Parent to Leave a Newborn?
(NEW YORK) — Parents with young children always face the dilemma of when they can leave them with others to have a little “me time.”
For Rebecca Eckler, a Canadian journalist, it was after 10 weeks when she took a vacation and left her newborn son with her fiancé’s mother and the nanny. Eckler never thought taking a vacation would generate the backlash from readers of her recently published article.
“My fiancé runs a charity golf tournament every summer in Mexico,” she wrote in an article for Mommyish.com. “I will be tagging along, not to golf, but to lie around, read, visit the spa, and eat a lot of guacamole.”
Eckler told ABC News, “I think a happy mom makes a happy child and you know your child better than anyone else. Everybody’s going to have an opinion about something including this.”
Eckler admitted that her six-day trip was “… a vacation for me … since I can’t read the mind of a 2-month-old baby, I’m not sure he’s really going to miss me.”
She added: “Yes, I’m ditching my baby… I think that, even from his early age, I’m teaching him a sense of independence.”
Fellow Mommyish.com blogger Lindsay Cross had a different opinion.
“When my daughter was young, spending a night away would have been more stressful than relaxing,” she said.
One reader said Eckler is “self-indulgent,” adding that “if you need a weekend away after only 10 weeks, you weren’t ready to become parents.”
This is Eckler’s second child and she admits in her story that she didn’t leave her daughter for a night until she was 3 months old.
“I spent my night looking at photographs of her, calling my parents every 30 minutes to see if she was all right,” she wrote. “But I was a first-time mother then.”
“Nine months of pregnancy is a very long time and is very hard on a woman’s body,” Eckler said. “Pretty much by two weeks in I think most women actually do need a vacation.”
Eckler has authored three books on parenting and her work has been published in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, according to her website.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio