An exhausted mum wants to gift herself a week’s holiday away from her family for her birthday, but her partner won’t have a bar of it.

The 32-year-old mum-of-three says she and her 37-year-old partner have been together for 12 years, and have children aged two, four and seven. Her partner works full time, and has one household responsibility – to walk the dogs. She says he works from 8am to 6pm in IT, and often falls asleep at 8pm.

“I am fully responsible for the kids’ care, as well as every household duty, laundry, cooking, cleaning,” she explained. “I am a stay at home mum, but I am also self employed, so after I look after the children all day, I then work for a couple of hours on my laptop.

“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. If he could use his personal time off 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.

“He told me I was selfish. ‘It’s selfish to want to go on holiday for a week for my birthday?’ He said yes.”

“My partner hasn’t done a load of laundry in the ten years. 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.

“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). Oh, and my pap smear, which he tried to make me take the children too even though he was home.

“The holiday would be paid for entirely by me.”

The mum wants to know if she is actually being selfish, or if she’s entitled to a break without the kids.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

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  • t’s a valid request for some well-deserved rest and rejuvenation. Your partner’s perspective seems to overlook the sacrifices and efforts you consistently make. Open communication about your feelings and the need for support might help in finding a solution that considers both your needs and his. Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s necessary for maintaining a healthy and balanced family life.


  • Well deserve holiday… dont know why is selfish, mindfulness is selfish, but it makes us feel better.


  • A holiday by myself, even a night away, sounds absolutely amazing!!! Maybe rather than a whole week off, you try for just a night or two away first, ease him into it??


  • Be careful, my partner used the same excuses to not help with the kids, not help with the housework, not help with anything really. Kids left home, his hours reduced, he didn’t change. We both retired, he didn’t change. I still do it ALL! It’s draining, mentally, emotionally, physically. I have so much resentment for how he behaves, I can’t see a future for us


  • It’s like my dream to go on a holiday by myself. Even for a weekend. Being at home when the kids are out for a weekend camping isn’t the same as actually leaving the house for a holiday.


  • Not selfish.
    I’m a stay at home mum too and our kids are now 19, 18, 13 and 9 yrs old. The youngest 2 have complex needs and my tasks are just the same as this mum but then more (therapies, specialist appointments, advocating, navigating the NDIS, etc etc).
    The first time I left my family was for the funeral of my father in the Netherlands, shortly followed by a funeral of by nephew in the UK. I kept my leave as short as possible and was back with 5 days, whilst arranging as much as possible support workers. I found it stressful to go but good too.


  • I hear her, sometimes you just need some me time.


  • only mothers will understand her. happy wife – happy life!


  • I can totally understand this- her mental health is important too.


  • I think if she wants a break from the kids she should also get a job to give her adult interactions and time away from her kids. I think a whole week away on her own away from her family is selfish. A weekend or couple of days sure. But the husband would also be tired. Does he get to go away for a whole week alone? Probably not.


  • My husband – who is very good about sharing the kids work and housework – sent me off for two weeks alone. There was an event I wanted to go to, and we couldn’t make it work as a family holiday. So he said go, and take an extra week to make it worthwhile. It was the first time I’d had a night with no kids for 13 years. And it made a HUGE difference.


  • I’m having a girls trip for my 40th birthday in August, bubs will be 20 months old, I am going for a week. I have saved extra for this trip and used my qantas points for the flights. Its not selfish to want to have some time with friends or simply to just be alone. I miss being alone. My hubby regularly goes on army weekends with the reserves because its something he wants to do and I accommodate that and he in turn can allow me time to do things I would like to do as well. I never realised how much I valued my alone time until a child came along and I never get to be alone ever.


  • I’m not sure I could ever go on a holiday without my family.


  • I don’t think its selfish at all and I can totally understand the need for it. Unfortunately my youngest is completely attached to me so it wouldn’t be an option for me at this stage and to be really honest I think I would personally struggle leaving her yet anyway but if you and your kids are all ok with it I say go for it and enjoy it.


  • The kids are absolutely old enough that you should be able to take a holiday without them, especially as they’ll be with their father. I think it would be good for you, and a wake up call for him.


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