For Moms with school-aged children, Spring Break is a dreaded annual punishment. Sure, Summer Break is longer, but at least there’s camp and activities available for kids on break.  During Spring Break, the only thing for kids to do is spend time with their families.  This usually means Mom.

Don’t get me wrong. I like my kids. What I don’t like is pretending to be a Lego Crocodile for 8 hours a day because my 5-year-old is currently obsessed with “Chima.” Or, lugging all his sand crap to the park only to get there and have him melt down because I didn’t bring the scrap of dust he really wanted.  Or, organizing a 5-kid playdate at my house, lunch included, only to have him ask, “Can’t I just watch TV?”  If God didn’t want kids to go to pre-school, she wouldn’t have invented it.

But this Spring Break, a little life circumstance added insult to Spring Break. My husband had to go on a business trip.  At the last minute. To France.

Yes, France.

The thing about spouses and business trips is that no matter where the trip takes them, they always act like it’s so much worse than being at home.  And if the trip takes you to Akron or Bakersfield, I might see your point.  But when the trip takes you to say…Fucking France, I don’t feel all that bad.  And by the way, even in Dayton or Bakersfield there’s a thing called “room service” and someone else to pick up the shit you leave all over the floor.  There are  no children who think 2 am is party time and the only reason to wake up at 7 am, is to hit the gym before that first meeting.

At home there’s just me.

So you can imagine my delight when the hubs told me, on a Friday night, that the following morning he had to “hop on a plane for Cannes.”  Ever the supportive wife, I said I’d be fine with the two kids for the 7 days he’d be gone. And fine I was, until the first phone call.

Me: How’s the trip?

Him: Ugh. Exhausting.  I’ve had meetings all day and now there’s a dinner and then a party and then a boat and then…. 

I interrupt.   Is that a cork popping? I ask.

Him: Yeah, maybe. Not sure.  Maybe someone ordered a magnum.

He yells at someone offline that yes, he would like a glass of whatever is being poured and then returns to the line, yawning. He continues the yawn-symphony for ten or so minutes. This can only be described as the worst acting job since Gwyneth Paltrow sang on “Glee.”  Try as he might, my husband still can’t convince me that a kid-free week in France is anything but great.

While my husband is doing deals in the South of France, my children decide to tag team me by being awake each night, at different times.  Normally flawless sleepers, the kids both choose this week to give me a first-hand account of what it’s like to be as sleep deprived as a prisoner of war.

But its my husband whose wiped out. You see his friend who lives in Paris flew down to “hang” which is husband-speak for “get wasted while you spend time with my children.”  We’ve both been up until 4 am, but his night involves a bottle of champagne and mine involves my worried 5 year-old, curious as to when I’m going to die.  “I’m not sure,” I tell him. “But I’m fairly certain I know when your Dad will.”

Day 3, aka the day both my children get ear infections, the hubs posts a “selfie” on Facebook-a photo of himself, bathrobe clad, cigar in hand, from his South of France balcony which overlooks the beach.  I contemplate divorce. Or, better yet, murder. His.

Day 4, aka the day the day a Palm tree fell down on our house, the Hubs calls to tell me how much he misses us, but falls asleep in the middle of his sentence.  I’d hang up on him, but I’d hate to wake him up.

The rest of the trip is marked by similar such phone calls, his voice getting scratchier and scratchier with each call. I recognize the scratchy phone voice. It’s the voice of someone whose had fun.  Mine is the voice of someone who hates him for it.

But I keep a lid on my resentment knowing he’s only a day away from home. Regardless of his state of exhaustion, he’ll have had 17 hours of quiet time on the plane.  He’ll undoubtedly come home rested.  Except, he doesn’t  He comes home exhausted. He barely has the energy to say hello.  I’d tell him how pissed I am, but I can’t. He’s gone to take a nap.  Business trips are exhausting. Or, at least that’s what he keeps telling me.




The Howard Stern Of Housewives.


  1. I hate your husband. Selfie with a cigar and bathroom? Pack your bags girl and get to the nearest spa for the weekend!!

  2. Argh, men. This would have been the day I would have handed over the poopy baby and snotty 2 yr old and walked out the door to get drunk with my girlfriends. Except probably not, since I’d fall asleep before I pulled the car out of the driveway. It would have been a good sleep.

  3. Story of my life, sister. After sicknesses, asthma, mid-night awakenings on my own while the hubs is off interviewing celebrities and what-not all the time, you can understand why I don’t feel the need to double the fun with two kids. 😉

  4. Cohiba Robusto Reply

    Excellent piece, Ms. Gordon. Or should I say after reading this… Miss Gordon?

  5. Must love Mushell Reply

    That you’ve got the good sense to keep your resentment under wraps is a testament to your character and most assuredly one of the secrets of your staying blissfully wedded. I was too selfish to keep those thoughts to myself – why I am not any longer blissfully married. Happier though- much happier! One woman’s solution….

  6. I think I have finally got mine trained. At least my husband has the good sense not to post pics of his decadent hotel suites, ridiculously amazing dinners, and such, online. And the one time he was tagged in a series of office party photos I nearly lost my shizzle, so, yeah, your rage is completely justified.

  7. This article was difficult to read. In a few weeks my husband will be going on a “business trip” to my dream city. Of course no kids in the mix here but he has insisted that I do not come. He is going for work not for a vacation… his words. I understand 100% but want to enjoy myself for a couple hundred dollars. We can spend time after hours. Well needless to say it’s a no go and my mind vacation is being tore down and Im really upset. Wine, yes! but we live overseas so friends family, no! Any advice how I can control my new fantasy, jealousy and regret of ever reaching my dream vacation location 🙁 ?

    • My husband is away at the moment – has always traveled for work, even before we had kids. I am a firm believer in the “turnabout is fair game” rule. It’s part of the reason why I started a blog. If he can go away for his work, then I can go away for a blogging conference, or workshop, etc. Book yourself a trip of your own or treat yourself to something really, really nice. Or, perhaps as a last resort, club him over the head and go along anyway…..

  8. My husband travels three weeks a month and it never fails that I get a picture of his view, or the dilemma over what restaurant he’s going to eat at, or how busy he is.. While I’m in the real world with two kids, three dogs, a house to maintain, and a full time job! i love him for working so hard but the other side of me just wishes for five minutes of a role reversal! Lol

  9. I travel the world for my job for situations much like the one described here. It is exhausting. And it isn’t great. Grass isn’t always greener…

  10. Believe it or not I’m a women who goes on buisness trips and they are exhausting. You have no time to relax and have to be on constantly socializing and feel pressured to go out/drink..basically to fit in in order to keep the job. If you haven’t experienced it you have no room to talk. You don’t even get to enjoy the beauty of whatever city you are in. I’m sure your husband would have loved to be with you rather than a hotel. My husband just yelled at me after a trip due to insecurities and got upset with me. All I wanted to do was to come home,but I chose the job in order to contribute and I’m not going to sit there and throw it away because someone else has not had the experience and thinks it’s glamourous when it’s not. And commenting on the Instagram post. Let him enjoy that 5 min and make his life seem amazing,because it’s really not.

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