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To think dh should book some leave?

(16 Posts)

Dh is notoriously bad at booking leave - he will take the odd day off, here and there (but if work emails come through, he will still work at home, even if he is technically on leave).

Apart from Christmases, I can't remember the last time he had a substantial amount of time off (ie. a week or more) - he probably hasn't had more than the odd day off since we stopped having family holidays 4 years ago!

His attitude is that work comes first - he doesn't book leave because he doesn't know what his workload is going to be or what the timescale will be on projects he's going to be asked to work on/lead - and by the time he does know, it's too late to book any leave.

I just want him to look ahead in the diary, pick a week (or even - gasp - a fortnight) sometime after Easter, and book it as leave - then tell work he is not available at that time. Obviously, if there's something business-critical going on, that he has to be there for, then he wouldn't ask for leave at that point, but if there isn't anything that critical going on, I don't think it is unreasonable to want him to prioritise some time off.

He is a workaholic, and very dedicated to his work, and most of the time I accept that - the boys are all over 18, and away from home a lot (two at university, one has graduated and moved out to start a job), and I can manage on my own (though I do struggle with this, due to poor mental health), but it would be nice if family life occasionally got priority.

cailindana Thu 04-Feb-16 13:27:18

YANBU. I know a few men in their 60s/70s who bitterly regret being like this in their younger years. Once your DH retires he will find that he has entirely neglected his life and that no one can be bothered with him.

In your shoes I'd tell him his work can have him if it's so important and then just ignore him - if he can't be bothered to make time for you then don't lower yourself to begging.

mouldycheesefan Thu 04-Feb-16 13:29:08

Legally he has to take 28 days per annum, including bank holidays.
Sounds like he regards himself as indispensable. Ask him what dates are best for him and book a holiday abroad

5Foot5 Thu 04-Feb-16 13:30:29

YANBU. I bet not everyone where he works does this. I would make sue he knew in no uncertain terms what I thought of him prioritizing work over me and his family.

What if, heaven forbid, there was some family crisis such as the death of a close relative or a serious illness? Would work still come first

Gottagetmoving Thu 04-Feb-16 13:32:42

He is not being fair to you or to himself. He will end up with mental health problems if he doesn't take a break.
Ok, so he is dedicated to his work - but DON'T accept that unless he is also dedicated to his family by giving you his time!
However much he thinks his work needs him, he has to realise you need him too.
Have a good talk with him and tell him what YOU need from him.

snowgirl1 Thu 04-Feb-16 13:33:04

YANBU. Could you not make the point that he managed it before when you did go on family holidays? Or that if he does book leave it will enable him to plan his workload around the time he has booked off?

Legally, under the Working Time Directive, his company is required to ensure that he takes at least 28 days (inc. bank holidays off) of annual leave each year.

I cannot get my head round people who don't want to take their annual leave entitlement.

RaspberryOverload Thu 04-Feb-16 13:33:40

No one is indispensable. No one.

His work will always be able to find a replacement.

And he will best serve his job if he has proper downtime.

Mookbark Thu 04-Feb-16 13:39:20

My DH was a bit like this, but not quite as bad. Then, last year he had an accident and had a substantial amount of enforced time off work. And do you know what? His work survived. He discovered that he isn't indispensable. Now, he's not going to suddenly become work shy, but it has shifted his perspective somewhat. He took a weeks leave at Easter without me having to nag remind him.
I'm not suggesting you break your DH's leg, but, yes, I think sitting him down and getting your point of view across may be beneficial. Good luck

When his mum was dying of cancer, he fitted in seeing her around his work - he was actually going to work from her home, the day she died (she died at her home), and he did take time off to deal with the aftermath.

If I was seriously ill, and needed him at home, I think he would do a lot more work from home, via email and phone conferences.

In fairness to him, it would have been nigh-on impossible for us to go on holiday last year - there were only four months in the year when ddog2 wasn't on cage rest, recuperating from yet another knee operation, and even during those months, she still needed extra care, so it would have been very difficult to go away and leave her with friends or in a kennel.

A lot of the previous year was a bit of a write-off too, due to his mum's deteriorating health - but during that time, we kept on saying that we should plan some time away after she had passed on, because it had been such a stressful time for us both - but then ddog2 bust the cruciate ligaments in both knees, precipitating us into the Year of Orthopaedic Hell, when we couldn't book any time away.

We stopped actually going away on holiday when we needed to save money to pay the boys' maintenance at university, and I think this, plus the other factors mentioned above, mean he has got out of the habit of booking a decent length of holiday - but he needs to get back into the habit!

AlwaysHopeful1 Thu 04-Feb-16 13:43:56

Yanbu, but is it a case of he doesn't want to or he can't?My Dh is in a position where he can't book leave in advance, it has to be a week before. That leaves us always booking last minute holidays but that's just the industry he is in. However if he could he would love to book days off just spending time with me.

"I'm not suggesting you break your DH's leg..."

I hope it won't come to that!

catsinthecraddle Thu 04-Feb-16 13:58:21


He needs a break, you need a break, and it's fine to spend 1 hour a day checking your emails when you are away.

What about asking him what kind of holiday he would like? Driving holiday, a cruise, water sport, ski, exploring a city, museums? There must be something he would look forward to do, and that you can integrate in your own holiday preferences.

Yseulte Thu 04-Feb-16 14:03:27

Why not book your own holiday with a friend. Seeing the photos might make him feel envious and more inclined to take one. Also he may not like being left home alone.

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 04-Feb-16 14:07:06

Do his work not query why he isn't taking holiday.

It isn't good for him at all and I am surprised his employer isn't making him take leave.

NewYearSameMe Thu 04-Feb-16 14:10:22

Did he take a proper break back when you used to go on holiday? My H was always rubbish at not working at all, I still remember the internet cafe tour of New Zealand in the days before 3g and wifi. So much to see and do there, and about half of what I saw was the inside of internet cafes, which was dull. He would do at least 2 to 3 hours per day, on a good day the hotel had a computer with internet connection for customer use and I wouldn't see him for a whole evening but at least I would have more daytime hours with him.

Now that he has internet/email/phone always at hand, when we go anywhere he keeps wandering away from the family to do work stuff. It's a pain, so I have stopped holidaying with him. As a poster above said, he's going to have a shock to the system when he retires, but tbh I don't think he will retire.

BarbaraofSeville Thu 04-Feb-16 14:33:04

A holiday somewhere remote where there is no internet access sounds ideal, or something like scuba diving, where he spends a lot of time underwater.

Is he very senior? Does he have problems delegating? I too don't understand people who don't even take the minimum of 28 days leave.

You're not tied to school holidays, so why not look for something last minute in May/June. I'm sure you'll find something in the Canaries, or further afield even with only a few days notice.

Or second the suggestion about going with a friend, or even alone.

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