Questions for partnered…

Questions for partnered women with kids (coming out of a startling discussion with a friend):

a) Since having kids, have you taken a vacation without them, where a vacation is defined as at least three days away (i.e., a long weekend counts)?

b) Have you done so for any reason other than work?

c) Did you feel like you had to have a reason -- i.e., a bachelorette party, bridal shower, baby shower, etc? Or could you just go off on your own, or with friends?

d) If you've only done it as a work trip, did you deliberately schedule it so you'd have at least one day / night free as well?

e) Have you ever left your kids to vacation without taking your spouse / partner with you?

This is all coming out of my utter bewilderment to find that my friend has essentially not left town without her husband and three children for the past twelve years. (Barring one two-day work conference where she worked straight through and had no fun at all.) I think I would go nuts if I did that, and I'm wondering if I'm just a weirdo, or if her situation is uncommon. She's curious too. :-)

4 thoughts on “Questions for partnered…”

  1. Nit very often but definitely a night here and there. I think money to vacate is more of a problem than going. I went on a writers retreat but everyone knew that was to go to the woods and camp and drink. I’d say fir true recreation, probably 6 nights this past year.

  2. 1. Yes, two weeks in Europe when child 1was18 months old. We missed the SF earthquake of 89 and had baby 2 nine months later. Plus many other trips.

    2. Both business and pleasure.

    3. No, both for events and also getaways.

    4. Business trips on my own pretty much always included an extra day or two, especially fun places (conference in New Orleans, any trips to Europe). I used to travel a whole lot on business.

    5. My partner used to travel a lot. I got the frequent flyer miles. He encouraged me to take mini vacations on my own, mostly to Ireland and England to see family or friends. He had family and later nanny support for helping with the kids.

    My kids didn’t suffer. They have turned out quite independent.
    My relationship was stronger for not needing to be attached at the hip.

  3. Thanks for these responses. We had a really intense conversation about this over on Facebook (40 responses and counting), and the reasons not to do it are interestingly varied.

    – lack of interest / inclination (honestly prefers to spend all free time with family)
    – practical difficulties (childcare, finances, etc.)
    – limited vacation time
    – uncooperative partner/spouse (who doesn’t want to do that much parenting, or doesn’t want to be left behind)
    – gendered female guilt (with a dose of societal expectations thrown in)

  4. Has her partner been going on such vacations? I’d find that to be a critical point in evaluating the answers to the other questions. If nobody is going anywhere independent of family, that’s unfortunate but at least balanced and understandable. If one person is getting to frolic and the other one never gets to, that, for me, would be a real problem.

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