Mom Confused About Whether She’s Going on Vacation or Just Another Trip


A Utah mother of three said yes when her husband suggested they take a vacation with the kids. All she heard was the word “vacation,” so she didn’t think things all the way through until it was time to start packing.

As she hauled the suitcases up from the basement while her husband took a nap on the couch, she started to wonder if this “vacation” was actually just a trip and not a vacation at all.

Her kids would still be with her, and she would still be required to feed them and get them to sleep every single day, so was it really a vacation or just a trip to a less comfortable sleeping arrangement with overly cranky kids?

As she packed their suitcases and tried to remember what they might need for at least 38 scenarios that could possibly happen while they were gone, her youngest said, “My throat feels scratchy.”

She wanted to immediately back out on her “vacation” at this point, but her husband reminded her of all the money they had paid already so they could parent kids in a foreign city and said it would be “fiiiine.”

She remembered the last time he said that on their last trip while having whisper-arguments in the hotel room when the kids were sleeping right next to them in the same bed.

While carefully figuring out how to fit her crockpot into her suitcase so she could cook in the hotel room and “save a little bit of money,” as her husband put it, she started to wonder if this was just the same thing she does at home, except way less comfortable and with fewer sharp knives for chopping her onion.

As more hours passed in the days (because that’s how long it takes to pack for a family of five, dammit) leading up to the “vacation,” she realized that her husband had not planned a vacation for her at all.

He had just planned a trip closer to a national park, involving more whining about how they never get to do anything fun like sit in the hotel room on their iPads, and she would still have all the same responsibilities she has at home.

After she had packed all their things and anticipated every detail, her husband offered to pack the car.

While he was packing, she called a local hotel and booked a room and informed her husband that she wasn’t feeling all that well. She told him that she thought she was running a fever and he should just go without her.

She spent the next three days ordering room service and giving herself the vacation she’d always deserved, not the trip her husband had planned for the five of them at the national park.

And she didn’t have to use that crockpot in the hotel room after all.


About the Author

Meredith Ethington is a writer and mom to three trying to help her kids understand sarcasm, and her need for personal space. She loves writing to commiserate with other moms and to remind herself that she doesn’t want to be a perfect mother. She wants to be a real one. She is a staff writer at Scary Mommy, and also writes for sites such as Babble, Huffington Post, and her own blog. She has been featured many times by Today Parents as one of the funniest parents to follow on Facebook. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where she loves to laugh at herself and admit that while parenting is the best thing ever, it’s also the hardest job on earth.