Mom Is Left Behind While Husband And Daughter Vacation Together— 'I'm So Sad About The Missed Time And Memory Making'

She wants time off from her demanding job so she can spend time with her daughter.

family on a beach Kampus Production / Pexels

A working mom wrote to Reddit wondering if she was wrong to feel left out from family vacations that her husband and daughter take without her. She asked the r/parenting subreddit for advice on how to navigate an inequitable vacation-time situation.

The mom has been repeatedly left behind while her husband and daughter vacation together, and wonders if it’s wrong to feel jealous.

The mom and her husband have been together for 25 years. They have one daughter, who is 14 years old. The mom is a nurse with a busy schedule, which she says is due to staffing shortages and her pay structure.


As she explained, “I am paid reasonably well but don’t get vacation benefits, in exchange for higher pay.” She stated that her husband has “a fairly cush work-from-home job with lots and lots of vacation days built up.”

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She said that for the past six years, her husband and daughter have vacationed without her, at least once every year. Her daughter usually brings a friend along, whose trip is paid for by the mom and her husband. She described their economic situation as “comfortable middle class, definitely not rich.”


She said that the vacations have “always upset me a little but it’s bothering me more and more every year. I work hard, and make just a little less than him, yet I pay for half of these vacations (our accounts are all joint).”

mom left behind while husband and daughter go on vacationPhoto: Julia Volk / Pexels

“No matter what I do or say, they go anyway,” the mom explained. She claimed that her husband “doesn’t consult with me or ask if it’s OK.”


Despite not having paid vacation time, the mom believes it’s unfair that she works 50 to 60 hours a week, “missing all the fun while they are on vacation.” She wants her daughter to be happy, but is "upset, sad, and a little jealous because they are doing some amazing, fun things that I really wanted to do, too."

According to her own analysis, “I think this is really more about problems between me and [my] husband.” Yet she claimed that “he implies this is a totally reasonable thing to do; that he and daughter shouldn’t be deprived of vacation just because I don’t have paid vacation benefits. And someone has to take care of the house and dog.”

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'I don’t want to deprive my daughter of fun vacations,' she said. 'But I’m so sad about all the missed time and memory making with her. She is my only child and I have missed so much already.'

The mom ended her post by asking, “Am I wrong to be upset and jealous or should I just be happy that my daughter gets to do and see a lot? Am I selfish to be upset?”


She edited her post to add clarifying details and to respond to “people... saying that I am prioritizing work over family and refusing to take time off to be with them.” She explained, “I take at least four weeks of vacation most years, but they still take a lot more without me.”

She also added that in order for her daughter to take vacation with her dad, she missed over two weeks of school; despite the mom not approving of that time off, her husband took their daughter anyway.

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Many people in the comments wondered if the mom should find a new job, one that provides her with paid vacation time. One person asked if the mom can take time off without pay, to which the mom responded, “I can take the time off unpaid, but my husband doesn’t want me to because he wants me making the money at work.”


mom left behind while husband and daughter go on vacationPhoto: Riccardo / Pexels

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One person noted that the fact that her daughter has the opportunity to see the world is wonderful, but it’s not fair or equitable that the mom isn’t involved. As they said, “it's great that they can go on these trips, but it sounds like he is using you to fund him being the fun, cool parent at the expense of your mental and physical energy, and this is preventing whole family bonding time.”


Someone else succinctly commented, “You have a marriage problem not a parenting problem.”

Another person validated the mom’s feelings and encouraged her to hold space for how she feels. They said, “He’s excluding you because he doesn’t want you there. Ouch!!! No wonder you’re jealous and hurt and resentful. It’s [an] awful feeling. I’d acknowledge that to yourself first and let that inform your next steps.”

Someone else echoed that sentiment, advising the mom to “take some time to think about what you need from your husband and family as a whole and make a plan for how to advocate for yourself.”

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The mom came to the comments to explain her plan-of-action, which focused mostly on regaining an element of economic independence. She said, “I am going to start taking at least my overtime pay and putting it in my own account. I think that’s the only way I can gain back some control, short of divorce, which I don’t want.”

The mixed emotions that the mom is experiencing stem from a place of feeling hurt by her husband, while also wanting the best for her daughter. Her ability to admit to feeling envious of the relationship between her daughter and her husband shows that she’s aware of inequitable dynamics at play in their family.

The mom seemed able to pinpoint her main issue with the vacations — she wants time to bond with her daughter, which is something that no amount of overtime can compensate for.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.