A Mom Is Called ‘Selfish’ For Asking For Weeklong Solo Vacation
She has three kids, is a self-employed SAHM, and does 95% of the household chores.
When you have a traditional job outside of the home, it hopefully comes with benefits like vacation days and sick leave. But when you’re a stay-at-home parent, your time away from your “job” is only determined by what you can negotiate with your partner and other caregivers. And if your partner doesn’t appreciate you — or if he’s an a**hole, you might find yourself without any time away.
That’s what seems to be the case over on Reddit, where a self-employed SAHM visited the ever-popular “Am I The Asshole?” forum to see if she deserved a vacation or not. She began by giving some background information. She and her husband have been together for 12 years and have three kids, ages 7, 4, and 2. He works in IT and is gone from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and goes to sleep at around 8 p.m. She stays home with the kids and works for a few hours on her computer after they fall asleep. They live in the U.K.
While her partner brings home most of the bacon and walks the dogs, that’s about it for household responsibilities.
“My partner hasn't done a load of laundry in the ten years,” she wrote. “He cooks dinner 'occasionally' (2 x a month). He doesn't hoover, mop, or mow lawns. I get it, he's tired and he works full time, but I work too, and I don't feel appreciated. I just want a week where I don't have to placate a crying child, or stop the toddler from running into traffic, or worry about everyone else's good time while sacrificing my own.”
So, after seven straight years of juggling an absurd number of balls for her family, she asked for a break. Her first break.
“My birthday is coming up. I asked my partner what he would think if I booked myself a vacation, for a week, on my birthday and went on my own,” she said. “If he could use his PTO to take time off to look after and spend the week with our three children — taking them to school and taking care of the house.”
She also explained that he has 28 days of PTO and lost 12 days of PTO last year because he didn’t use it — and that she, herself, would pay for the vacation in its entirety.
The response was not what she wished for.
“He told me I was selfish,” she said. “‘It's selfish to want to go on holiday for a week for my birthday?’ He said yes.”
This is a woman who considers getting a pap smear a valid break from the kids.
“The last time I spent time away from the children/house was when we went out for dinner for his birthday in March (After they were asleep. I organised the babysitter),” she said. “Oh, and my pap smear, which he tried to make me take the children too even though he was home.”
Down in the comments, readers solidly sided with mom — while dressing down her husband for being a total jerk.
“Of course your husband refuses to let you take a holiday, he’d have to actually lift a finger to parent his own children if you did,” one reader wrote. “Please for your own sake book that holiday and inform him you will be going. Perhaps if he had to do a fraction of everything you’d done for years he’d finally see how unfair he’s been to you.”
“NTA. Just the childcare you're doing is a full-time job with children those ages,” another wrote. “Added to that you're doing all the housework, all of the cooking (two times a month is not frequent), AND 2+ hours of self-employment working from home. It sounds like you have multiple full-time jobs, while he has one. Consider pricing out what it would cost to have someone do your work full-time as an experiment. How much would it cost to hire a nanny for three children of those ages full-time? How much would it cost to hire a maid to complete the house chores you do? How much would hiring a lawn service cost? How much would having a home cook, or having meals delivered every day cost?”
A few other Redditors were a little more harsh.
“So she’s a single mom with a roommate, basically.”
“Sounds like OP should just hire a dog walker and ditch the husband.”
“He is just another load of laundry in her life.”
“She should have a holiday, permanently with her kids.”
“She’s being TA [the a**hole] to herself.”
Everyone needs a break. All partners raising children need to help out each other. And finally, if your partner asks for something reasonable that they want or even need, work with them to get it for them!