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Mr. FAF shouted out to me in excitement from his study room: “I got invited to a wedding!”
He didn’t even wait for me to come see him. He rushed to the master bedroom where I was with a bright smile on his face.
His Nepalese (male) friend who he went to grad school with is getting married in Dallas, Texas.
I think it is Mr. FAF’s first wedding invite in America.
I responded: “Is it a phone call, email, or Facebook invite?” Mr. FAF said timidly “FB.”
I think he was a bit shy about the seemingly unofficial nature of the invite: through social media.
And below is the conversation that ensued:
Me: Do you want to go?
Mr. FAF: I do.
Me: Do we have to take any days off or is it on the weekend?
Mr. FAF: It’s on a Saturday. You want to go too?
Me: [Silence with a dead stare]
Mr. FAF: Oh ok we can go together.
Me: You are saying you were planning to go alone?
I think Mr. FAF was planning a solo getaway from me, our son, work, and the minimal housework that he does at home.
A series of thoughts rushed through my mind:
– Is he tired of spending time with me? Am I not fun to travel with anymore?
– Is he planning to go see another woman?
– Do other couples travel separately sometimes as well?
– Should I let him go alone or should I force my way into this trip?
I must have looked visibly upset at that time. Mr. FAF assured me that he would look at the plane tickets for both of us. That made me feel better and less agitated.
The wedding is on Saturday, so we will need to take Friday off to start traveling. Mr. FAF also wanted to take Monday off as well to go sightseeing.
That would mean taking two days off work, something I wasn’t perfectly comfortable with. With a frugal mindset, I want to save not only money but also my vacation and sick leave for emergencies.
Pros & cons
In my head, I started analyzing the pros and cons of me joining the trip.
1. Attending a Nepalese wedding for the first time
Over the past 12 years of living in America, I’ve been to only one wedding. I want to get exposure to more cultural diversity and want to know what a Nepalese wedding is like.
I don’t think I’ve ever had Nepalese food either. I also want to meet Mr. FAF colleagues and make new friends.
2. Checking out the city/state where we might live in the future
Mr. FAF has been talking about moving our whole family to Texas for a while. The weather is nicer than in DC, and it’s much less expensive.
It would be a perfect opportunity for us to check out the city and get a feel for whether we want to live there long-term or at all.
3. A rare occasion to travel before giving birth
I probably won’t do any traveling before or months after I give birth to Baby FAF 2. This will be our babymoon. I will also be past my first trimester and hopefully won’t have bad morning sickness symptoms anymore.
1. Baby FAF
If we bring Baby FAF with us, we should be ready for all the tantrums he will throw based on our experience from the last trip.
Mr. FAF mentioned that we can leave Baby FAF at home. He will be in daycare on Friday and Monday, so my MIL will take care of him for the whole day only on the weekends.
I myself feel conflicted. On the one hand, I want to travel with our son. On the other hand, it sounds like such a nice idea to take a break from baby duties to travel alone with Mr. FAF. Plus, we haven’t raised that question with my MIL, so I’m not sure how she feels about it .
I am guilt ridden just thinking about the trip. If we leave Baby FAF at home with my MIL, I would feel like a bad mother who leaves her child to enjoy herself alone.
If we take him, I would still feel guilty about taking two days off work. What if I need more time off after having our second child? What if there’s an emergency, and my MIL doesn’t know what to do. After all, she doesn’t speak English. Those “what-if” questions drive me crazy sometimes.
Why is it that it’s so easy for Mr. FAF to take off without feeling guilty, but I just can’t do the same? It might be because I am a woman, and women always feel bad for not taking good enough care of their family. Maybe I should loosen up and enjoy life a little. Maybe I’m just my own worst critic.
If I join Mr. FAF on the trip, we will incur the following extra costs:
– An air plane ticket
– A hotel room for two people : He might be able to share a room with another friend who’s also going to the wedding.
– Food: We will probably eat out most of the time.
– Others: If we bring Baby FAF, we will need to think about logistical issues such as a toddler car seat for our rented car
– Two vacation days: It’s technically paid vacation, but if I end up using all of sick and personal leave after giving birth, I will need to take unpaid vacation.
What does it mean for our marriage?
I assessed those pros and cons for days. I also wondered what it all meant for our marriage.
I understand that Mr. FAF wants to take a break from family life every once in a while. If I go to FinCon, I’d definitely prefer to go by myself. Mr. FAF can join me, but I’d like to take the limited time to meet other bloggers instead of going sightseeing with him. We can do that on a different occasion.
But I have never thought about going somewhere without him except for when I’m on a business trip. We have always thought about traveling to different places when we retire. Why not just do it now?
I can go on the trip with him, but I don’t want to force my way into it. I want him to want me to go with him.
After much thinking and debating, I told Mr. FAF that he can go by himself for four reasons.
First, I want him to enjoy the freedom he’d like to have without feeling shacked by family life.
Second, I’m sure that if he wants to travel by himself, that thought will stick with him, and he might resent me for preventing that dream trip from happening.
Third, I want to know what it feels like for him to travel without me. If it’s good, then that’s great. If not, he will realize that traveling alone is not that fun and would appreciate me more when he comes home (or not).
Lastly, I have my own pride. If someone implies that I am not invited, I won’t bother to crash their party.
It is not easy to even think that your spouse doesn’t want or need your company sometimes, especially when they are going to have lots of fun with other people. That thought crossed my mind and stuck with me for days.
But I eventually came to my senses. We all need some alone time whether we are married or not. I might take a trip alone one day when the opportunity arises. It’s nice not to worry about diapers, baby tantrums, and other baby-related issues sometimes.
I will help Mr. FAF realize his dream this time. I hope that it will be my turn in the near future, and that Mr. FAF will step up to the challenge and take care of the family by himself for a few days while feeling happy for me and my break.
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