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New Parents Berated For Planning To Take A Week-Long Vacation During Newborn’s First Year

Muhammadh Saamy/Unsplash

It’s well-known that having a child brings along major changes to the parents’ relationship together.

One couple on Reddit, in their attempt to keep the spark alive, ran into some trouble pushback from the other parents in their lives.

One of those parents posted about the experience on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP), who has since deleted their account, led with a simple title:   

“AITA for saying my spouse and I intend to take a vacation in our child’s first year?”

OP kicked off with some backstory. 

“Me (36-year-old male) and my spouse (35-year-old female) just had our first child.”

“Among our friend group, we are the last to have a kid. That is partly due to us waiting, and partly due to fertility issues.”

Then he shared some private thoughts. 

“The couple in our friend group who had children the earliest now have 3 kids, the oldest of which recently turned 10.”

“We love them, and respect their right to make their own parenting decisions, however between me and my spouse we use them as a model of what we don’t want to be as parents.”

“Namely: for the last 10 years their lives have been 110% defined by their children, so much so that they said they had never spent more than 12 hours away from their children.”

OP have reflected on that pretty closely.

“My wife and I promised each other that we would try to take one week to ourselves every year, in order to focus on our relationship and have some time alone together.”

“If we can manage it, our child’s grandparents would watch them for that week.”

But word got out. 

“This was intended just to be between us but recently when convening with our friends, it came up and we told our friends our intention.”

“The wife of the couple referenced above was outraged.”

“She started crying, and began attacking us as bad parents for even potentially leaving our child before they were a year old, going as far to say ‘if you didn’t want children you shouldn’t have had a child.’ “

“Her and her husband then left and now refuse to speak to us.”

To OP, the blowback was surprising. 

“What is most shocking to us about all this is that our other friends appear to side with this friend.”

“Instead of (at the least) saying how we decide to parent is our own business, or (at the most) agreeing that their response was out of line and offensive, we have been asked to acknowledge HER concerns and consider seeing a parental counselor.

“We have been ostracized from this friend group in the meantime.”

“We think this is all quite outrageous for simply saying we would like a week to ourselves. Are we the a**holes?”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Most Redditors took OP’s side. They saw little issue with the trip. 

“NTA. There are no parenting medals for sacrificing yourself or your relationship. I have four children and I can’t imagine the toll it would take on my mental health if I didn’t get my yearly adult vacation time.”

“Suggesting you need parental counseling because you want to leave your child with trusted adults is absolutely beyond the pale.” — Prncssme

“NTA I actually applaud you for recognising that parents need a break sometimes. It’s not as if you’re abandoning your child with strangers for months, they’re going to their grandparents for one week. They’ll have a blast and be absolutely spoilt, it’s a win all round!”

“Those people are not your friends and they’ve shown their true colours. I’ll never understand why people want to get so very involved in other peoples parenting.” — TactlessWraith

“You got some friends there, eh? NTA.”

“Prioritizing your marriage and providing a solid partnership for your child doesn’t mean you don’t love your kid or that you don’t want your kid.”

“Maybe your friends are jealous that you have the time and ability to vacation without children. Maybe they’re immature as hell and think only their parenting experience is valid. Maybe they’re toxic.”

“Maybe it’s some of all of it.” — geranium27

Many Redditors, however, felt there was more going on here.

“Either you’re leaving something out of this story or your friends all need immediate psychiatric intervention.” — Temporary_Badger

“NTA… but, like everyone else asking, is there more to this story? Did you say something else?”

“NTA because it is incredibly important couples get time away, even with little cuties at home, to help maintain a healthy relationship as a couple. Do not let anyone ever make you feel guilty for that.”

“However, if you did add some extra zingers in your initial statements that is why people are t siding with you and you’re an AH for those zingers.”

“So, did you say more?” — MoeActionPlus

“Something has to be missing here. You say you plan to take a vacation and your friend starts crying and attacking you? No escalation, no back and forth? Cos this sounds like your friends are slightly insane.”

“And refusing to speak to you based on just that decision alone is odd. There had to have been some sort of argument or escalation. If not, you’re nta based solely on the information given.”

“Every parent needs and deserves time to be adults and be with their spouse. Otherwise, when the kids are grown, you and your spouse will realize that you no longer know each other. I’ve seen it so often with people like your friends who are defined by their children.” — KahlanEAmnelle

“No one goes straight to crying and accusing over a week long vacation sans baby, with everyone else agreeing with them… Because once a year for a week isn’t a big deal.”

“I just really feel like something is missing. This doesn’t make sense. I can see 1 weirdo, but the whole friend group?” — Kindly_Candle9809

Whether Redditors were right about the full truth behind OP’s story, one takeaway is certain—new parents are allowed to take time for themselves once in awhile.

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.