Jonathan and I thought for many months about how we would manage our family and this tour. We both play in the orchestra, AND we have a two-year-old daughter named Hannah and 10-month-old boy/girl twins named Ian and Eva.
We considered bringing them all, plus four grandparents and a babysitter (three kids under the age of three require a LOT of help!!!), but the expense and expected wear and tear on us seemed to outweigh the benefits of having them with us. We knew that leaving them all home wouldn't be a great idea since Hannah is a handful, and we couldn't quite imagine having both sets of grandparents stay at our house the whole time to care for them (these kids require at least three grandparents to manage them!). We also considered the option of Jonathan staying home with the twins and I bringing Hannah and my mom with me, but the thought of trying to stay well rested while sharing a hotel room with my daughter and mother for two weeks, plus not seeing my husband and babies, didn't seem so great.
Finally we agreed that the best decision would be to take up my in-laws on their very generous offer to stay at our house and care for our babies (with the nanny and various babysitters to help); we would both go on tour and bring Hannah and my mother along (they will stay in an adjoining room). This way we won't be stuck with three jet-lagged kids (including two crawling babies) trapped in a hotel room for two weeks! Now we'll just worry about the grandparents at home, the babies, my mother, and ourselves as we deal with one soon-to-be-very-cranky over-tired two-year-old. Hopefully the sight of Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower will diffuse all that, and we will ultimately come home to two happy, healthy babies and some very tired grandparents!