Mom takes a surprise solo vacation to teach her husband what 'I need more help' really means
via Pixabay

A mother on Reddit who couldn't stand her husband's laziness took an unannounced four-day vacation without him to get some much-needed R and R and to teach him a lesson. When she asked the online forum if she did the right thing, they overwhelmingly agreed.

The mother and her husband have been together for eight years and were recently married 15 months ago. They share a four-year-old son. The parents have a hard time coordinating household chores because she works from home and he's on the night shift 'til 1 am every day and doesn't go to bed 'til 4 am.

"It's a struggle," she writes, adding that he "sleeps basically all day until he has to leave for work."


Recently she's noticed that he does whatever he can to get himself out of housework.

"Before this he would make dinner on his days off, take care of ALL of sons needs and do basic cleaning so that I could have a breather. Now he doesnt make dinner at all, falls asleep on the couch by 7 so I have son duty 24/7 and hasnt lifted a finger to clean in weeks. So on my 3 days off a week, I end up having to deep clean my entire house because I dont have time to do anything on my work days aside from the bare minimum."

Two weeks before leaving on her vacation she hit her limit.

"2 weeks ago I asked him for some help. He happily obliged for all of 30 minutes before taking off to go help a buddy with his car and didnt do jack squat after returning home because he 'was tired'. I needed a break. I told him this. His way of comforting me was by hugging me and saying 'You're doing such a good joby'. Didn't offer to help or anything."

His condescension would send anyone on a four-day holiday. So she did just that.

"So, I made a plan. Asked my mom to take my son for 4 days and planned a vacation for myself with work. I dropped my son off yesterday with my mom (i only did this because my husband obviously works) and took off to our cabin 58 miles away to relax."

Her husband couldn't understand why she went on a vacation without telling him. But she had let him know that she needed more support for months.

"My husband started texting me last night asking where I was. I told him the cabin. He asked where our son was so I told him. He then started going off about how this is selfish of me and that if he had realized I wasnt merely stressed out that he would have helped out more. Used the argument that he too is stressed out and tired. He claims my communication on the issue was terrible and that I could have been more open and laid it out."

Then, he had the nerve to say that he could use a vacation, too. This guy clearly doesn't get what's happening in his own home.

"[He] says that I'm an [a**hole] for taking a vacation without him because he "could have used it too". But the thing is, I straight out told him I needed a break. I asked him for help. He disregarded it all."

The responses to her sudden vacation were almost 100% positive.

"Does husband not have eyes? Can he not see what needs to be cleaned, tidied or cooked? Does he not know his child's needs? If he didn't before maybe his 'four day vacation' without a child to care for or a wife to clean up after him opened his eyes," ToTwoTooToo wrote.

"Same with my ex," Minkiemink wrote. "I quietly told him over and over again. Finally realized that if I had to do everything alone, I'd rather be doing it alone with less dishes, less laundry, less mess. Never looked back."

The post resonated with a lot of people because it's a very common problem. According to Gallup, in heterosexual relationships, women are working a lot harder than men.

"Although women comprise nearly half of the U.S. workforce, they still fulfill a larger share of household responsibilities," Gallup said. "Married or partnered heterosexual couples in the U.S. continue to divide household chores along largely traditional lines, with the woman in the relationship shouldering primary responsibility for doing the laundry (58%), cleaning the house (51%) and preparing meals (51%)."

The reason that many men just don't put forth the effort to do housework is that they assume that it's a woman's job and that when a man participates, he deserves a cookie.

"In many marriages, housework for women is assumed, whereas men believe that taking care of their home is optional. When they do something, they see it as helping out their wives and being a good husband, but don't regard it as their actual responsibility," Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera Ph.D. write in Psychology Today. "Instead, they often expect what they do to be noticed and praiseworthy, and sometimes a basis for negotiating other goods and services from their wives."

It's unclear what happened after the mother returned from her much-needed four-day vacation but one should hope that she got her point across. "I need more help," means exactly that.







Images courtesy of Letters of Love
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When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

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