The author writes that as a SAHM, she is entitled to downtime away from her children and thus schedules a vacation for herself, and only herself, once a year. She refuses to feel guilty about it and sets out to explain why she needs such a vacation.
First I need to say I agree with the premise of the article that everyone needs to get away sometimes. That everyone needs to have the ability to recharge in a way that works for them. If taking a yearly solo vacation works for her and her family, I say more power to her. It probably isn't what I would do, but whatever.
She has four children and her oldest is nine. Why, I have four children and my oldest is nine! I think I have a pretty good perspective on what life is like with this type of household.
That being said, this article makes my head explode. How myopic can one person be?
The first half of the article she discusses why taking time away is important and the cultural landmines around vacationing without your children. This all well and good. Then she just runs right off the rails.
(T)he current climate of parenting tells us that enjoying extended time away from our offspring is indulgence at best, neglect at worst.
Is this more or less true for a stay-at-home mom? On the one hand, because I am with my kids for so much of the year, I probably feel less guilty than a working mother about taking the occasional break from them.Ya think? This has to be the understatement of the year.
On the other hand, young children tend to be very dependent on their primary caregivers, usually in a way that is unbalanced vis-a-vis the other parent.No. There is no on the other hand here. Young children are very dependent on their mothers. Period. The End. Not their "primary caregivers." Babies don't cry for Miss Lulu from daycare when their mothers are available. Not their fathers. Sorry. As much as fathers can love and care for their children, babies prefer their mothers. Life is not fair that way. And do you know what makes young children cross? Not seeing their mothers at night after not seeing them all day.
The average worker’s holiday lasts just over four days. Don’t stay-at-home parents need a comparably unbroken period of annual leave?Well, well. I guess that's probably true unless you have had four kids in under ten years. Like she has or like I have. And then the greatest likelihood is that you have spent every last vacation day you have on maternity leave. I wonder if she thinks recovery from childbirth is a vacation? I wonder if she has ever spoken to one of her employed peers to know how little time she would have had off if she had had a job all these years? Does it even occur to her?
The point of a vacation generally is to offer a sustained respite from the stress of the activity that takes up the majority of your time—so that you can return to it with the potential to do better. Such respite is even more crucial to one’s overall well-being when the work is of an intense, round-the-clock caliber, as parenting undoubtedly is.Isn't that worded carefully? You need a respite from the activity that takes up the majority of your time. Is this her way of explaining why she needs a vacation away from the children, but her employed husband does not? Maybe his business trips are his vacation in her mind. Obviously since she parents around the clock, she is even more deserving of a vacation. As if parents with jobs do not parent at night. I wonder if she would like my schedule for a few weeks.
Myopic. That's the only word I can use to describe it. I agree with her general idea about time off, but, man, her reasoning could use some perspective.
As an aside, I mentioned that line about parenting around the clock to Dave. He objected saying that you were not actively parenting at night when the children were asleep, you were only on call. I laughed. I have taken the vast majority of the night duty over the years. I think most mothers do. It wasn't because Dave wouldn't do it, but because I thought I should. I justified it by saying he needed more rest because he had to spend his days with the children and I was just going to work. I'll bet SAHMs use the exact opposite reasoning: they have time to rest during the day and it is more important for their husband to be rested for work. My point is that mothers are very reluctant to give up the night duty. We might actually value it.