Friday, August 26, 2011

Mom Takes A Vacation...No, Really.

Ladies, today I’m delivering a special Mom Public Service Announcement. After 46 months of continuous
pregnancy or nursing (or both) I took a vacation from my kids! I ditched them with my husband for a whole weekend and my mom-friend, Lisa, and I hit the road! My husband asked me which of us was Thelma and which was Louise. *Obviously* I’m Louise. Wait, which one got to sleep with Brad Pitt? I wanna be that one. Anyway, I’m here to tell you that a Mom’s Vacation DOES EXIST. I still can’t believe I actually got away with it. I feel like I just saw a Pegasus or a Unicorn or some other fangled thing that you think couldn’t possibly exist. But I did it does! WOOT!

I should back up and clarify that this weekend away was well overdue. I’m a stay-at-home mom whose
husband works insane hours six days/week…so for the last three years I have been on-duty with my two kids from sun-up to the last bedtime story with no relief pitcher. When my husband is around on the weekends he pretty much just follows my lead and relies on me to take the initiative with the kids because I’m the boss, applesauce.

I can’t tell you exactly what set me over the edge. Maybe it was that spring didn’t reach Massachusetts until June and then it was suddenly 95 degrees. Or maybe it was that my adorable, plump baby stood up and ran away from me a week after his birthday in March and I haven’t stopped chasing since. In any case, I realized I was pissy, exhausted, and totally losing my schmidt. There were a couple warning signs that I was becoming unhinged: 1) I poured myself a 10oz glass of white grape juice at 4pm and my mother-in-law just assumed it was white wine and 2) I caught myself regularly pulling into our driveway and just…sitting there with my head on the steering wheel. I couldn’t help it--turning off the engine would mean unbuckling the kids and releasing two honey badgers back into the wild. I honestly didn’t even realize I was doing this until one day my three year-old’s voice reached me from the back seat: “Mommy? Can we go in the house now? I have to pee. Are you OK?”

I was losing it. My husband could see the wild look in my eye. My kids were always all up in my grill. I never had a chance to miss them, which I know is a blessing, but it also means I was taking their awesomeness for granted. My daughter’s hilarious questions became annoying and my son’s needy cries for me sounded like nails on a chalkboard. I started to resent them instead of cherish them. I emailed Lisa and told her to pick a weekend in June and make sure her mom or husband could take her kids for one night…I had to get away.

My friends, you can do this, too! Here are the key components to a successful Mom’s Vacation:

1. You don’t have to pick a fancy location or an expensive hotel. The point is to spend one night outside of your house where you don’t have to share a bed with a sweating toddler or a snoring, flatulent husband. You get to go to sleep when you want and wake up when you want. It is bliss.
2. Do choose a hotel that has a restaurant within walking distance because you must…
3. Go out for a nice dinner and order a bottle of wine. Maaaaaybe one bottle for each mom. Revel
in that fact that you did not shop for the groceries, prepare the meal, beg anyone to finish their
food, and you don’t have to do the freakin’ dishes.
4. Do at least one fun, silly, or frivolous thing that you never get to do with your kids or husband around.

You’ve earned it. Go get a manicure, buy a trashy magazine and sit at Starbucks for three hours, or go see a movie. Lisa and I decided to visit a psychic and have a Tarot Card reading—something I’ve always wanted to do but my husband regularly told me was a waste of time and money. Suck it, hubby! I make the rules on Mom’s Vacation! [Editor's Note: The psychic could see in the cards that I have two kids and then told me, without hesitation, I’m going to have a third in three years. I almost passed out.]

Now that I’m back I can tell you that it may be one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. My daughter came down with the stomach flu about four hours after I left (puke pyrotechnics) and my husband got a true glimpse of how my toughest days can feel. When I walked in the door on Sunday the smiles on those
three faces made me feel like a goddess. My little guy didn’t let go of me for 15 minutes. My daughter detailed the travails of her vomiting with pride before declaring, “Mommy is home now and she always takes care of me!” And my husband, that wonderful, tired man, pulled me aside and told me he was so
glad I was home. I know he has a new appreciation for my job. He actually said, “My God! Taking care of
them with no break is like Chinese water torture! It just.never.stops.”

Ah, but it does. Mom’s Vacation, anyone?

PSA, over and out. Brad's waiting...


xoxo, Guru Louise

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

48 comments:

  1. We went to the Keys for a week. Oops. I didn't have to worry about diapers, fevers, feeding time every 2 hours, oncology visits and a 2 year old in full blown "2's". All I had to worry about was me, if I had finished off that case of beer yet and what time that dang snorkling trip started. When we got home, I immediately wanted to go back. It was like walking into a city 5 min after an earthquake... utter chaos!!! yes, I missed them... for about 5 minutes! Vacation... well worth the time and money.

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  2. That is amazing! I'm so glad you had some you time! Mom vacations are SO necessary.

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  3. I took one of these earlier this year over my husband's spring break while pregnant with out 2nd. We were supposed to go to Monterey Bay Aquarium but due to rain we canceled out trip. My husband then proceeded to say "so I can go work on my stuff then instead, right?" and I thought my head might explode. When I suggested that he stay home with the little one so I could get a break, his response "parents don't get a break" really made me lose my schmidt. I couldn't believe he thought that since he gets a break about once a month when I go to visit relatives, sometimes for 5 days at a time. I simply said, I'll be leaving on this day and returning 3 days later, you figure out the rest. Once he got over the shock, he decided to also start potty training while I was gone! I slept for about 12 hours each night and enjoyed eating my food when it was actually hot. I've now decided this will have to be at least an annual tradition - hopefully minus the potty training.

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  4. I just did the exact same thing!!! I went away for a weekend in Germany :)

    http://blogunta.blogspot.com/2011/08/another-one-of-those-after-fact-posts.html

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  5. Love this! "How I love to see my children's sweet faces....in the rear view mirror" lol. Made me laugh so hard I woke the baby.

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  6. Wow! I had never dreamed it was possible. Now I have hope!

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  7. I love this. I love this blog.

    Love love.

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  8. I need to do this! The whole sitting in the van in the driveway with the kids buckled in...yup, that's me! I get 2 minutes of bliss to check my email with the most minimal interruption. I also purposely drive to the furthest beach, because it means my kids will be seated for 15-20 minutes longer and I don't have to directly entertain them...it's bliss! :)

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  9. Mom's vacations are The Best! Warn your hubby that now that it has started, it will never end. : )
    You deserve it, you need it and believe it or not, the hubby and kids need it too. A break for everyone.
    My daughter said to me the other day, out of the blue, that she didn't like my angry face. I asked her to show me, which she did, complete with the talking-through-the-teeth bit. I was stunned. I said Do I really do that?!, and she says, Uh yeah.
    MY Mom used to do that. Sigh.
    Time for a Mom's vacation!!
    Thanks for the daily belly laughs and smiles ladies!!

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  10. i could definitely use one of these. soon!
    because staying up late after everyone has gone to sleep to get some peace and quiet is NOT the same thing.

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  11. I had planned, once upon a time, to take a Mom Vacation once my youngest was weaned. She's now almost 4 1/2, and I still haven't done it. And I am seriously close to losing my Schmidt entirely. And it doesn't look like I'll get a chance any time soon. Fudge. Guess I'll just have to live vicariously!

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  12. Wow! Chinese water torture is exactly how I describe life when it gets too much. This is my first summer home with my girls. I was on the brink of completely losing it with only one week to go. There has been lots of fun. But, also, lots of grueling too much togetherness! It will be nice to have some time to myself when school starts up again. Then I can appreciate my little devils when they come home!

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  13. why didn't you call me? I wanted to come!

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  14. I got a sort of vacation this summer. I stayed at the cottage with my in-laws for a week with my daughter. I hardly saw her all week. When I did see her she was smiley and happy and at her most fun. The only downside was that I still had to do bedtime and wake up in the middle of the night and kiss booboos and scold when she was naughty. BUT I did get several hours a day to just sit and read and get my nails done and I didn't have to cook ever and if I didn't want to help with the dishes I didn't have to.

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  15. I did that a few years ago. Drove 2.5 hours to Lake Michigan, where I stayed in a bed and breakfast. The B&B was FILLED with books. And brownies.
    I ended up getting a pile of books, a 2-liter of Diet Pepsi and a platter of shrimp cocktail and stayed on the bed. Then I walked on the lakeshore for a while, then went to a restaurant and had a burger and a beer.
    It was the best burger and beer EVER.

    I must do this again soon.

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  16. Yes, I understand about not having a relief pitcher!! I have two small boys 11 months apart and it's me all day long while my husband works 12-16 hour days at our business. Yes, his job is really hard, but doesn't have to hear crying and screaming there... Even just going grocery shopping alone sounds nice...

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  17. I just did the same and it was wonderful. After two days away, I came back thinking my daughter was a genius and my husband Brad Pitt. And I couldn't even get loaded on my vacation.

    Julie
    ilikebeerandbabies.com

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  18. I did this when my kids were 4 1/2 and 16 months; called my husband halfway through to check in and he said, "Man, this is hard! You spend all day feeding them and cleaning up and wiping poop -- it's a pain in the ass!" To which I replied: "And the kicker is, no matter how good a job you did today, you have to get up tomorrow and do the WHOLE THING OVER AGAIN." It's the repetition that kills me...

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  19. Mom vacation? I had thought those were like the mythical unicorn.... I often tell my hubby that my perfect birthday/anniversary/christmas/just because I love you gift would be a night in a hotel all by myself. It sounds like heaven, thanks for proving that unicorns do exist... Now to make it happen!

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  20. I love this post. It would have made me cry except I just came back from my first mommy vacation in five years. It turns out that they are a long-standing tradition in our family, my grandmother took one every year. She did have thirteen children.

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  21. I wonder what my SIL would say about this post. She has 3 kids now 15, 12 and 10. And she has NEVER LEFT THEM. anniversary dinner? Whole family. Date night? Whole family. Vacation? WHOLE FAMILY IN ONE ROOM. We all vacationed this year together and my other SIL (her sister) and I masterminded a adults only dinner. Guess who wouldn't come? It's amazing to see a woman that dedicated to her kids. I just bet she has mental break downs of an earthquake. Makes me feel guilty as hell sometimes because I relish my free time away from my babies. I would give my life and yours for them but you NEED that private time. So, suck it, perfect mommy!

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  22. This sounds a-MAZ-ing. I'm at just shy (as in, by two weeks) of 4 years straight without a break from pregnancy and/or nursing, and can I tell you that sometimes I just feel DONE?! I'm totally doing this mom vacation thing the second the baby weans. Better call Thelma so we can start saving our pennies.

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  23. I've got one coming up with all the college girls... I'm nervous I might not come home.

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  24. Mom's vacation is still important when they get older. I have a husband who works crazy hours too & I've stayed home with my kids since they were small. My youngest is 15, but he & his 19 year old brother spat constantly. (I'm told they are NOT arguing, it's a discussion) A discussion which makes them get loud & obnoxious and makes Mom want to knock them silly.

    Their older brother (26) is "on his own" but here fairly often with his girlfriend. (By the way, I'll keep HER!) In fact, I might take her on a girls day out sometime. I think we need it living with 4 men, don't you?

    I get a break once a year when I go up & visit my mom. It's bliss. I'm still fixing meals & doing laundry, but for the woman who raised me. I don't mind! At least no one is squabbling, I can go to bed & wake up when I want & no one asks me "What's for supper?"

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  25. October....sweet,sweet October. 72 hours of bliss....away from my children.

    Oh probably should mention that I AM a single mommy. The very best part of this trip is that I am fulfilling a dream/wish/want that I have had for over 20 years.

    I am counting the days and my blessings that Grandma believes she can wrangle my kids for me.

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  26. I so need this. Was planning to do one this fall, but the reality of #1 child starting school and everything else in my hurricane of a life put a stop to it. But I fully plan to do this someday.

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  27. My parents are keeping our kids for three nights next week. My husband is working two of the three week days they'll be gone, so I'll get one full day all to myself (the other one will be spent retrieving the kids). So it's a partial Mom Vacation, but I'll take what I can get.

    I love my kids, but yesterday when my husband called on the way home from work and asked if he could pick up anything at StuffMart for me, I asked him to bring home valium and duct tape - valium for me, and duct tape to restrain the kids so I could put them outside for the woodland creatures to abduct later. After that statement there was dead silence on the other end of the phone, then, "I don't think I can get the valium here, but I can probably find the duct tape." Then I asked him if I could get out by myself tonight before I lose my mind completely. Smart guy, he agreed right away. Now I'm holding on for 6PM, and I may be out VERY LATE. Oh, how I'd love a real Mom Vacation at a B&B for a weekend, by myself. . . .

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  28. Momcations are KEY! Thanks for the reminder!

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  29. Gott'a say this one made my eyes water, and not because I was laughing. I really think I need a mom vacation, OMG do I ever. This one totally spoke to my heart.

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  30. Alas, not going to happen. We just had our 10 year anniversary and had hoped to go for a night somewhere. But my ILs outright refuse to keep our kids overnight - they aren't stupid. And when I've mentioned even going to a conference of some sort, DH starts talking family vacation. Man, I meant ALONE! Gah!

    It's too late though. I lost my schmidt *in* Trader Joe's today.

    Oh, and I dread getting them out of the car. Those carseats are about the only way it's legal for me to tie them down.

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  31. Jea. Lous.

    I got pregnant in early May, 2007. I've been pregnant, breastfeeding or both since then. (And did I mention that pregnancy involves 9 months of daily vomitting?) I now have 3 kids and the oldest is three and a half! I sooo need a vacation, like, YESTERDAY. I found myself begging the baby to decide she would like to self-wean at her earliest possible convenience.

    *sigh* Is it beer o'clock yet?

    (I don't do wine. Sipping is for patient people. Most days I. need. to. chug.)

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  32. Oh yes...I took a beach weekend with my three best girlfriends at the start of the summer. Two of us have kids, two are singletons. The single gals had fun, but you would have thought me and the other mommy were out on parole, LoL.

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  33. The last time we had Girl's Night out, I did exactly that - Took the entire night out and booked a room at a local Bed & Breakfast. It was bliss being able to stay up late chatting and not worry about what time the children were going to invade our bedroom...

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  34. I work nearly full time hours, but at a flexible job, where I get to determine what tasks I need to accomplish, almost every day -- There is much more "me" time at work then there is when I do stay home with my 13-month-old. I LOVE coming home every evening and seeing my smiling baby run up to me.

    I have a total appreciation for all the work that stay at home moms do, as well as moms who don't get the "me" time at work (like school teachers!! If there are any working teacher moms reading this - thanks for all you do!)

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  35. I totally chuckled at this when I first read it. My kids are ALWAYS all up in my grill! But then when I went to read it out loud to my husband (sweet man humors me and listens) I started getting choked up when I read the part about missing how awesome my kids are because I am so there. My three year old is driving me crazy. And some days I just pray to be able to pee by myself, and maybe , just maybe make it through the day without having to wipe someone else's butt. You have inspired me. I'm working on a momcation right now. Thank you for this post!

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  36. I can completely relate to the driveway thing. I work all day, lug the kids home from school in the car, and if I get out then there's an entire other job sitting in the house waiting for me to get started on it.

    I think it's helpful when taking a Mom Vacation to get far enough away that you have time to decompress while getting there and gear up while coming back. And, it's really calming to know that no matter what is going on at home I'm too far away to be of any help.

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  37. Good for you!! I have a recurring dream about trying to drive to the beach for a vacation, but the highways keep curving and merging and won't let me get there. I have 5 little ones -- the oldest two just started school, the middle one is insane and clingy, and the youngest two are hitting the terrible twos extra early -- and my husband is out of town 4 days a week, every week.

    I desperately need a break, but none is in sight. I am so happy for other mommies who do get the chance to get away once in a while!

    BTW, appreciate your husband... mine would have called me after the first puke & I would have been pressured to come back right away.

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  38. Is it bad that when I took my mom-cation, I booked a flight back with a two hour layover so I could have time to read in peace at the airport? No? Didn't think so ;)

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  39. i can count on 3 fingers how many days i've had to myself since i had my 2 kids. 3 days in the last 4 years ladies. good thing i like them, most of the time;) and say a little prayer for us. about to take a hit from hurricane irene. we're all stocked up (box o'wine, check!) but if we lose cable, momma's going to lose her schmidt!

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  40. Single moms rarely get the luxury of mom-cations :( Those of us who have uninvolved ex's don't even get the basic every-other-weekend break. Sigh.

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  41. I went away for five fabulous days last month. It was heaven! This was the longest time I have been away from my kids since becoming pregnant nine years ago. The best part was probably peeing by myself for five whole days. The luxury! :)

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  42. Oh dear lord... this is my life. I have been a SAHM for 26 months, 11 of which I was a single parent during the week because my husband worked out of state. Around month 8 of single-parent-hood, I lost my shmidt and booked tickets to go on a cruise to the Bahamas... just me and my friend. No kids, no husband... alone to finish a cup of coffee before it goes cold... over looking the ocean... toes in the sand...

    We set sail in 9 days. Oh.even.yesser.

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  43. My best girl friend and I take a girl's only vacation once a year...and sometimes it's only a night or two, and we never go far, but man is it nice to be able to stay up late giggling knowing a tiny voice demanding "Mommy! Wake up!" won't start around 5:30 am, or eating a whole meal at my own pace! The things we take for granted before kids...

    And to the anonymous poster who thanked teachers - you're welcome! Parents like you are my favorite kind :)

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  44. I took two nights away for a girl's weekend, and when my plane touched down, I called my husband to come pick me up. He said, "great, we'll load in the car and come get you," but in the background I could hear "NOOOOOOOOOO... I DON'T WANT TO GET IN THE CAR... I DON'T WANT TO GET MOMMY..."
    *sigh*
    I guess I wasn't gone long enough.

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  45. I've already lost my mind. I have three girls.... My daughters are 12yrs 13yrs and 20 months old. I also have my 2 year old nefew 2 entire weeks a month and every day off from my full time job. I love them all dearly. I had been a single parent up until the last five years. I almost liked it better their was never anyone to help but also never anyone to blame. my husband tries to help...men are truly clueless...But no matter what he does there are still ten thousand things that still need to be done. Because of all the drama and stress of raising two female teenagers I am constantly crabby angry and overwhelmed . I quit my job managing a bakery for a less stressful job in the same company. It helped a lot. I need to work to live not live to work. Now I have to somehow put this family back together. They need to recover from the years and months of mom being mad cause mom has to much to do every second. I think ill jet out for my mommy vacation ASAP. It seems much more realistic then my secret dream of abandoning them all and moving to Alaska...LOL

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  46. A bunch of my friends from college get together every year in September for a weekend at the beach, and have since before husbands and babies. Used to be that people would drop out at the last minute or just decide not to go on a particular year. Let me tell you, there is nothing short of death that makes anyone drop it now! We have had people come pregnant (me, one year, 7 month pregnant. Actually one of my favorite trips!), people pump at all hours (so much alcohol it was GREEN and she dumped it all), and people come from 6 hours away. JUST TO GET SOME TIME OFF! Girlfriends are the best.

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  47. I am glad the MomCation option is real (not just something I dream about ungrateful Mom B**ch that I am!) Some of these posts made me laugh so hard I ended up with a good crying jag... Uhm... Guess that's a sign huh? Vent: what's been getting to me is the relentlessness of motherhood, it never ever lets up, even when you children are asleep or at Daycare... It's constant 24/7. I love my children, but sometimes I do wonder if maybe I made a huge mistake by having children? I sometimes am really not sure if I can do this, and I have. 2 year old and a 7 month old... So I am a newbie (fairly so) and.. Damn. Ok end of the pity party, thanks for attemding and I will be planning a MomCation sooner rather than later, as soon as the baby weans (hopefully for Dad, cause that would be very akward for him) thanks Rants from Mommyland, when losing my schimdt, here's where I come knocking, getting some perspective. Big hugs.

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  48. My girlfriends are leaving in 2 days to go away for 5 days and they have invited me to go too. I brought it up to my husband 3 weeks ago. Since then he has time to think how guilty he can make me feel. We have three boys from 14 years to 9 years old. He told me he would never vacation without me, that couples should not vacation apart and even though he doesn't want me to go it's my decision. By the way he actually said I will try not to make you feel too guilty when you get back. He's not kidding. My dilemma is do I go and face the ramifications when I get back, or stay home and continue in my sad, depressed, staring at everything lately state? We've been married for 22 years and the only time I've been away is for "necessary business" not for just a vacation with the girls. What do I say to him so he understands?

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