I have two conferences coming up this Fall, and have to decide what to do with Baby during them. Here are the options:
Conference 1: New Orleans, Baby 4 months old, 4 days of conference, I must be there for 2
Option 1: Take Baby and Papa with me
Pros: Papa takes care of Baby, I get to hang out with Baby and not worry about pumping, New Orleans sounds fun for a family vacation
Cons: Plane tickets are expensive, and we already have family visits/weddings to do this year. Papa has to take off work, and he's just started a job.
Option 2: Baby stays home with Papa, I fly out the morning of Day 1 and come back the evening of Day 2
Pros: No baby travel/childcare issues
Cons: Pumping, Papa still has to take off work one day (weekday), Baby has been known to refuse bottle, I may be too stressed out/worried to enjoy the conference
Option 3: Papa stays home, Baby come with me and I hire someone to watch her during the two sessions I'm participating in, and maybe at other times. The conference will reimburse me $200 for childcare, but I know no one in New Orleans, so I would have to use the service recommended by the hotel.
Pros: Papa doesn't miss work, I can hang out with Baby, less expensive
Cons: Do I trust a random service with a 4 month old? Also traveling alone with Baby
Option 4: See if my mother wants to come visit New Orleans and watch Baby. She doesn't live any closer than we do, but possible.
Pros: Childcare, I can hang out with Baby, Papa doesn't miss work
Cons: Is it weird to have your mother at an academic conference?
Probably I'm leaning towards Options 1 or 4, with 3 as a backup? 2 may be too stressful.
Conference 2: Provo, UT, Baby 5 months old, 3 days of conference, I must be there for 1, but have to fly in the evening before and out the following day due to plane/conference schedules.
Option 1: Same as above
Option 2: Same as above, but less of an option since it will be two nights away.
Option 3: Same as above. No reimbursement from this conference, but I know someone there who can find me a vouched-for babysitter.
Option 4: Same as above, but not an exciting location, and this is far for my mother.
For this one, I'm leaning towards Option 3, since it's two nights, I don't want my husband to miss more work, and I can get a good babysitter. But ah, the decisions--what would you do?