My husband is going on a business trip soon, and he wants me to join him to attend some workshops where children aren't allowed. It will require that I leave my three-year-old daughter, who I'm not sure is ready for that type of separation. Thoughts?

There is no easy answer to whether or not a child is ready for that sort of separation. It truly depends on the child, and especially the security of the child's attachment to the substitute caregiver. Your maternal instincts seem to be telling you that your daughter isn't ready. Is it possible to find a middle ground? Could a trusted caregiver accompany you on the trip to attend to your daughter when you need to be away?

You and your husband might consider reading The Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland. In particular, Chapter Two (”Crying & Separations”) contains a section entitled “Separations and Time Apart.”

This is one of those times when it is most important to listen to your heart. If your daughter is not prepared for this type of separation and you attend the business trip, it will likely not be an enjoyable time, but rather a time of worry. Rest assured that as time goes on your daughter will be able to separate for longer periods of time. The business trips will likely still be available when that time comes.

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