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Spring Break Sucks for Working Moms

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Next week is my kids' spring break. While the SAHMs gloat about going to Mexico, Hawaii, and the Caribbean, the only place I can say I'm going is WORK!

sad mom working during spring break

Momlogic's Julie: After Friday, my kids are off school for nine long days to celebrate spring break. Reason to celebrate, right? Not so much, if you're a working mom.

I was at a school science fair over the weekend, and found myself in the middle of a group of women swapping vacation plans left and right.

"We're going to Mexico. Where are you going?"




Finally, one said, "What about you, Julie?"

I shrugged. "Um ... I'm going to WORK."

At times like these, it sucks to be a working mom. Everyone else is jetting off here, there, everywhere and you're stuck behind your desk, doing the same old, same old.

I love my job and feel incredibly fortunate to have it, especially in this economy. I am also lucky my husband will be home with my kids next week instead of having to put them in daycare. But when my husband and kids calling me to say they're at the beach, the Science Center, or Disney, I can't help but feel a twinge of guilt ... and envy. I would love to be there, too, and I can't help but feel I'm missing out.

SAHMs, enjoy your spring break with your kiddos. I'd love to be in your shoes, if only for a week.

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20 comments so far | Post a comment now
Deana April 9, 2009, 7:17 AM

Wow. I don’t know anyone who goes to Mexico or Maui for spring break. I thought only college kids went somewhere. I guess you can console yourself that you live in an extremely wealthy area, for people to be taking expensive spring vacations in this economy.

Momsatwork April 9, 2009, 8:44 AM

You have been reading my mind, haven’t you?!!?!? Everyday I have to hear stories from my SAHM friends about their exotic vacay plans…meanwhile I’m at the office trying to afford my groceries each week.

Gigohead  April 9, 2009, 10:22 AM

I would have taken the working route myself but I chose to take a few days off and take my kids out of the city for a few days. I can’t do the carribean but I need a break and so do the kids. A few days away to see the aquarium and museums is a nice get away for me.

Anonymous April 9, 2009, 11:28 AM

Most SAHMs are on a tight budget and cannot afford a trip.

She could have taken some of her vacation time to be with them.

fizbobunny April 9, 2009, 2:01 PM

I’m a working mom. My vacation time (what little I get) is used up when my kid is sick, or for well doctor visits, or if I’m sick, or any of the hundreds of little things that I need to take care of and can’t do on a weekend.

15 paid personal days a year sounds like a lot, until you realize these are sick days, funeral days, etc etc etc.

Anonymous April 9, 2009, 2:20 PM

fizbobunny - my sentients exactly! As I was discussing my situation with my best friend, a SAHM, and how much my daughter was not looking forward to spending her week in daycare, she told me to just take a few days off. I did an internal eye roll…besides the fact that I hoard my vacation days for everything fizbobunny mention AND for the hope of having at least one real, leave the hometown, family vaca, I would also have had to put in the request about a year prior as everyone else in my office wants the time off too! Oh, well…there are always plusses and minusses to whatever lifestyle you are living…

Shelly April 9, 2009, 2:39 PM

HA! I have no idea where you live where people can just go off on vacations like that. My kid is 2, so no vacation for me. You are lucky to have a job.

Amy April 9, 2009, 2:54 PM

I think the spring break idea is totally out of control. Here in Mass, the kids get a week off in February, followed by another week in April! When I was growing up in PA, I think we got Good Friday and Easter Monday, that’s it!

Wouldn’t most parents rather have a longer summer than to have to arrange childcare for two weeks in the middle of the school year (this in addition to time off in November and December, plus all the random in-service days, etc). I realize that schools aren’t for babysitting, but come on.

messymom April 9, 2009, 3:13 PM

i think schools should have optional days you can pay for - to have kids there- for all non national holiday vacations!

suspicious April 9, 2009, 5:10 PM

Ha! I doubt anyone is going anywhere these day’s. Everyone is taking a “staycation” if they take a vacation, and I don’t know anyone who is even considering going to Mexico anymore. I am a SAHM and we have yet to go on any vacation. I think the person who wrote this article is exaggerating.

Kate April 9, 2009, 5:48 PM

You make being a SAHM sound like a 24/7 vacation. After the day in and day out struggles I have I deserve a vacation with the kids, just as you deserve a vacation from a job well done at work. If you don’t feel that you can afford to take a vacation, then that is your choice and yours alone. I hope making all the SAHMothers out there feel guilty made you feel better. Whiner!

whatever April 9, 2009, 9:04 PM

So you don’t get any vacation? Ever? Really?

Elle  April 9, 2009, 9:25 PM

I agree with Kate you choose which path you want to follow in life and its unfair to blame or resent SAHM who sacrifice extra $ and a career to be at home with their children. I’ve done both but being home with my children is way more important that having the biggest home or best cars, we make it work on one income. Imo you are lucky to have a husband to stay home with your children…what about single moms who have noone? But again its the path we each choose and have to live with, so dont blame other people for doing things differently than you have.

Anonymous April 9, 2009, 11:55 PM

For working moms information, it doesn’t really play out like the that. Sahms wish we could go on fancy vacations, but instead we are trying to fill the days of Spring break so that the kids are not constantly complaining that they are bored or hungry - oh yeah and also inviting the working moms kids over so they are not home by themselves. Basically we are still tired and not on vacation!

birdsfly April 10, 2009, 12:54 AM

I am a SAHM with a 4yo and a new baby. I haven’t have a vacation in 5 years, 1 month, 5 days (give or take Leap Year). That one was my honeymoon. The closest I’ve gotten since was going out of state for a funeral. This year our “Big Vacation” is driving three states away for my Aunt’s 50th Anniversary which we need to pay for while updating walls and carpeting in our house that haven’t been replaced since 1970-never and finding a vehicle for my husband because he is losing his current one at the end of the year. Plus his pay got slashed literally while I was in the hospital giving birth. If I don’t get a break soon my head is going to start spinning around like something out of the exorcist.

cindylou April 10, 2009, 12:20 PM

I’m a stay-at-home and work full-time from home, single mom. Glad I read this article this morning during my mini pity party, while thinking about son’s friend/family in Myrtle Beach…wishing I could take a fun vacation…anywhere. I don’t think it has anything to do with whether or not you’re a SAHM or not - it’s just disappointing to miss out on the fun and depressing to think about the $$. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid, and neither do the bills - no paid time off at all. I have to count the cost. The beach, camping, museum, etc., will have to wait until another day - hopefully soon. I AM very thankful I have a job and have what I need for my son. I’ll stop whining now - I don’t have it so bad after all.

Sara April 10, 2009, 2:22 PM

I’m a SAHM and while we would have the time to travel during Spring Break since I’m home, we sure as heck don’t have the money to because of my lack of income! There are drawbacks to everything. I’m home with the kids but we have to be far more frugal and creative in our entertainment. :)

Suzee April 11, 2009, 2:36 AM

I live in the Los Angeles area. At least 5 families we know are going on cruises to Mexico (2 different families, diff. ships) and skiing trips in California (3 different families, diff. ski places). The moms in the family are SAHM, working moms taking days off, and newly laid off/looking for work. All married. I’m a SAHM this year and money is tight, so we will stay in town for museums, new movies and playdates. When I worked, I couldn’t take the whole week off, I just took the Wed & Thur off before Good Friday and those 2 days combined w/ the 3 day weekend gave us a nice break. Even as a SAHM, I can sympathize! And I envy working moms the other weeks who draw an income.

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Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 10:22 AM

Nice article. Nice and fun reading. There is one thing to make about shirts.

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