With a push for “Perfect Attendance” and “Best Employee” awards, many of us have forgotten to prioritize our health and personal lives while attending school or work.
This was a glaring truth recently on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Cute-Cow-6367 wasn’t sure what to do when an important trip overlapped with her work and her children’s school.
When her husband had a different view of the situation than she did, the Original Poster (OP) felt more torn than ever.
She asked the sub:
“WIBTA (Would I be the a**hole) for refusing to let my kids go on a trip that my brother planned?”
The OP’s brother recently made plans for a family trip.
“My 3 daughters are 15, 12, and 10.”
“My brother has kids who are around the same age. My brother makes good money and likes to take my family and his on a trip every summer.”
“This year, he wanted to go to Cedar Point (theme park) for a few days.”
“I thought that sounded fun, and I told my husband and our daughters. They were ecstatic about it, and they were talking about it nonstop.”
But the OP’s brother didn’t plan far enough ahead.
“My brother called me yesterday and told me he was able to make reservations, but there was a glaring problem.”
“He said due to late planning (which he admitted to), the best he could do was the end of September for the trip. He said he got the rooms from Wednesday to Sunday.”
The OP’s husband didn’t agree with the plan.
“I brought it up to my husband and he said nope nope nope nope. Girls aren’t going. He said they will not be missing school for 3 days in September for this trip.”
“I agree with him, I don’t really want to pull the girls out of school for this.”
“I know they will be devastated, and I don’t know how to tell them.”
“Part of me is on the fence about it just because I know how hurt they will be. Especially when their cousins come over and talk about how much fun they had.”
“But my husband is standing firm and saying no. He said they will be hurt and upset but they will get over it.”
The OP remained torn over the situation.
“Background: My husband grew up with parents who never let him miss school, he claims he was sent to school with a fever multiple times.”
“He’s not that tough on our daughters, if they are sick he understands. But he will not let them miss school for a vacation.”
“He said maybe we can take the girls to the nearest Six Flags this summer to ‘make it up to them’.”
“I don’t know what to do.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some strongly recommended going on the trip.
“Do you often hesitate because you know your husband will throw a fit? I’m hoping this is hyperbole, but if it’s not, that … isn’t a good look for your husband.”
“Either way, as a mother of three kids myself, I will say that I feel that we live our lives subject to arbitrary rules and schedules far too much as it is, and suppressing joy far too much.”
“This isn’t a ‘skipping class to go to the movies’ situation, it’s a rare event and chance to spend time with family at a time when the world has been in a prolonged state of isolation and unrest.”
“If I had a similar offer for my kids, I would jump at the chance to give it to them. And if your husband values this adherence to artificial structure to that degree, he needs to reconsider his priorities.” – soayherder
“Honestly? I am not a fan of my kids missing school.”
“BUT they tend to miss a few days a year for vacation (we usually do at least one big international trip a year-before covid, and sometimes flights don’t align with holiday dates). They have luckily never missed out on tests, and I make sure to ask for all the work they missed on those days so they go back to school up to date.”
“3 days is nothing! Especially for such a cool trip!” – Eelpan2
“Are your children good students generally, or do any of them need extra help and work to understand what’s going on in their classes? If it’s the former, there’s really no reason to prevent them from going on the trip other than ‘just because’.”
“I also remember how much it meant to me when my parents (who were also all about school attendance) took me and my sister out of school for a week to take us on a vacation to Disney World.”
“It was during the off-season and my low-income parents couldn’t afford to go any other time but weighed the importance of a memorable family vacation (that they usually couldn’t afford) as being more important than attending school.”
“The memories of that trip have stuck with me for over 30 years much better than anything I learned in school that year.” – Intrepid-Plankton426
Some teachers chimed in, urging the OP to prioritize life experiences.
“I teach middle school, so right around the ages your kids are. If you emailed me as their teacher to ask if you should, I would write back ‘GO!'”
“Life experience is super valuable, and I guarantee whatever is happening for three days in September is not at all going to set them back.”
“If it’s about the principle of it, find a way to make it educational. They could bring notebooks and record every animal they see in the wild, they could keep a weather log and make a graph of temperature and rainfall, they could write journal entries each night… I could keep going with a list of 20 ways to treat this like a field trip vs missed school.”
“Edit: I was still thinking about this so I did some digging, and Cedar Point actually has workbooks and math/science activities to do at the park. Not all pages will work for all grades, but even cherry picking a couple would be a great way to work the experiential learning angle.” – BbBonko
“I’m a high school teacher. It’s not a ‘probably isn’t going to impact their grades.’ If they’re otherwise good students, it’s not going to harm their grade one bit.”
“You can ask for work ahead of time. If it’s not available, they can make it up when they return. This isn’t a big deal. It’s 3 days.”
“This is not the hill you and your husband want to die on. Your kids will resent you for not letting them go. I’m not saying they’re going to hate you or anything, just that they will always remember it.”
“Also, do you guys ever take a personal day or time off work for a vacation? If so, then you’re in no position to say they shouldn’t miss school for a vacation. It’s the same thing.”
“YTA.” – OK-Mode-2038
“Hi! School counselor here (and I’m the attendance person as well). I personally do think it will be ok for them to go and miss a couple of days.”
“Kids need to be in school to learn, no doubt. HOWEVER, mental health days, family memories, and understanding that YOU ARE ALLOWED to miss days is a good thing.”
“Our ridiculous drive for perfect attendance as kids (especially while sick) has perpetuated the perfect attendance at work while sick, not using PTO, and working more and longer than other developed countries.”
“Our kiddos need to be kiddos. S**t’s hard enough as it is.”
“ALSO, now that we have delved into the virtual world, and teachers and schools are adapting, simply email the teachers around the time of the trip. Check on important things that need to be done. Make sure that anything missed that is imperative for their education, gets caught up.”
“There are ways to keep them on track. Not allowing them to miss a day simply for ‘principle’ is only teaching them that missing out in life is more important than living their lives.” – drucella0620
Though the kids being in school is obviously important for their education, the subReddit made some excellent points about the family’s mental health and life experiences together. They firmly agreed the parents should make an exception, so they can make memories with their children that are something other than sticking to a rigid schedule of tests and assignments.