08 Mar 2010 Bringing Hannah to SYMC didn’t work for us
 |  Category: family, Hannah, ministry, youth

In previous years Tim and I always saw couples bringing their babies to conferences and we kind of day dreamed about getting to do that one day and how fun it would be. However, it didn’t end up being as ideal as we thought it would be. Hannah is a great baby and we had lots of help from our team of youth workers that came to the conference with us, but I still got stressed.

Before we had Hannah I would go to everything. With Hannah at the conference I took my time in the mornings, missing the general sessions so I wouldn’t have added stress of trying to hurry around in the morning. Of the 6 general sessions I made it to 3. Of the 5 seminar slots I had 2 by myself, which was my favorite part of the weekend. I met 2 wonderful yp wives in the girl’s ministry seminar and had a great time visiting with them. I made the mistake of not getting their contact info to keep in touch with though. Oops! Luckily Alisha found me on facebook, and Jackie, if you read this, please get in touch with me!

Getting around the conference with the stroller wasn’t a problem. The first day we stumbled across an elevator that went all the way to the international level, which I think was mainly a service/handicap elevator, but it was great, and we didn’t get in the big lines for the main elevator!  We also saved money on never taking a taxi anywhere around town because we didn’t bring Hannah’s carseat. Instead we got our exercise and walked to a couple different restaurants. The furthest one was a hair over a mile, which wasn’t bad coming from Minnesota, it was nice to get outside for a walk and enjoy the warmer weather. I didn’t enjoy having to sit in the back of seminars though, in case Hannah started really fussing and I needed to take her out. It was also harder for me to hear the speaker from the back, and Hannah loves to talk so it was hard to keep her quiet, especially since I don’t want to have to contain her all day long, she needs time to talk. I couldn’t explain to her that, yes there is someone else talking, so it would seem like it’s okay for you to talk, but you can’t.

I would love to hear how other people have handled bringing kids to youth conferences. Did it work for you? Did it not work for you? How did it go, and why? Next year we’ve already decided we’re going to try to find a baby sitter for our 2 babies. Anyone want to volunteer to baby sit an 18 month and a 5 month old on March 4-7 2011?

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3 Responses

  1. Dana, all my experiences have been pretty similar to yours. I still went anyway, and skipped out on most of the stuff. I just knew it would be that way so I didn’t get stressed about not being able to do stuff and enjoyed the down time by myself and with just one baby. It also really depends on the baby’s age, about at 4 months they get so alert and not as deep of sleepers and louder. 🙂 Sometimes I’ve gone to the youth thing and gotten sitter, sometimes I brought just one kid, or all of them, and sometimes I’ve stayed home. It really depends on what it is and how kid friend the environment is and how much stress it will or won’t cause to go or not go. As your kids get older they can go with daddy more. My 6 year old does this sometimes and its great!

    I haven’t been to youth events in quite a while, I’ve had to skip going to summer camp the past 3 years because the camp provided no family accommodations and I didn’t have family close that could watch my kids. This summer I’m SO SO excited that we all get to go to summer camp. They have a 2 bedroom apartment near the dorms our whole family can stay in. It’s even close enough that if I buy a better monitor, i can go to the sessions after the kids are asleep, this makes me happy to tears!

    My worst experience was last summer we went on a Pastor’s and family’s retreat with our church. Even though it was a great retreat, we all stayed in one cabin and our family of 5 got one room. Nobody was used to sleeping like that and the last night our then just over 1 year old only slept a few hours, I was up in the main part of the house, in the car, in my bed with him trying to get some sleep that never happened, I was SO tired!

    Just a heads up for the future, my kids have all been “sleep trained” and great sleepers, but there is this toddler window sometime when they’re one and early two’s that sleep away from home is so difficult, at least when we’re in the same room together. I’ve had this happen with each kid once or twice all around the same age. I’m not sure what it is, they are just so aware of life and thinking but not quite old enough yet to “just go back to sleep” when you tell them, lol. So around that age if you go somewhere overnight, having the young toddler in a separate room, or closet, or bathroom (we’ve used the bathroom in hotel rooms with great success in the past) can be such a lifesaver.

    Well that was a long post! Hopefully some of it was helpful! Blessings on you in this chapter as you learn how and where God has you in ministry and with your family.

  2. 2

    We have 3 girls, 16 months, 3, and 4. This year we had my husband’s aunt who conveniently lived 30 minutes from the conference watch the them. They had a blast! She rarely sees them and she was able to completely spoil them. We stayed with her as well so the girls would have that comfort at night. We also left Saturday after our tracks and didn’t bother to make the rush-hour drive back up Monday morning. So we made 4 general sessions, and missed doing affinity groups, but did get the max from tracks, and even attended a Q&A.

    Last year, we left the older 2 with my parents and took the baby, and it went surprisingly well. However, she was 4 months, slept like an angel, and rarely fussed. There’s a big difference between a 4 and 6 month old. It was also very hard on our middle baby who had just turned 2.

    Last year, I ran into a couple who brought a babysitter with them. Obviously, our situation was ideal, but had my hubby’s aunt not lived so close, that is probably what we would have done.

  3. 3
    GG-ma B 

    I took one to Ministers Conf. at McPherson, KS.. and stayed up in the nursery and could see thru the glass and hear the messages.. and didn’t have to keep the kid so quiet..