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To want to do these research trips alone?

(51 Posts)
AVY1 Mon 20-Mar-17 14:22:37

I'm at a 'get my shit together' point in my life and want to go on two research trips (abroad but Europe) for my next novel.

DH has been fine about that and we agreed that I would do them this year. DH now seems put out that I don't want him or DD to come with me. This was discussed before and I thought all was ok with these as business trips.

On further questioning, it isn't because he's worried about me being safe. It's because they are places he's now decided he'd quite like to go to as well but we could easily also go together in the near future as well.

I really don't want the trips hijacked and turned in to family holidays. I know myself well enough to know that I won't be able to relax in to the things I'm planning and not spending time with them. I just want to be able to focus on what I'm doing. I also want to prove to myself that my domestic life hasn't actually destroyed all sense of self that I have and that I'm strong enough to be out in the world solo.

I've put a lot on hold in the 6 years since DD was born and know that this year I HAVE to take charge of my identity outside of what DD and he need. I want DD to see this version of me too. The new book and these trips are a big part of that.

The first trip will be 5 days (May) and the second a week (early July).

There are no issues with childcare.

Am I being really unreasonable to put my foot down and say that I want to stick to the original plan?

So as to not dripfeed there is a third research trip that we had already planned to do together. It's not like I'm shutting him out entirely, is it?

brasty Mon 20-Mar-17 14:24:14

YANBU. This is work and your time. It is NU not to want it to become a family holiday.

someonestolemynick Mon 20-Mar-17 14:28:05

Yanbu but how about they join you at the start/ end of one or both trips. If that's financially possible, of course.

TeenAndTween Mon 20-Mar-17 14:28:28

YANBU. And anyway, won't DD be in school?

QueenofallIsee Mon 20-Mar-17 14:29:09

Of course you are not being unreasonable. DP went to Texas for a work conference last year - I would love to go there but you know, IT IS HIS WORK. Just because you are self-employed doesn't invalidate the need to focus on it rather than your family obligations for a few days!

xStefx Mon 20-Mar-17 14:30:19

There are a few questions here OP for you to get reasonable responses from us all I think:

1: Your planning on going on two trips, have your Dh and DD had a family holiday with you this year yet ? or are you planning to go on your own and them not have a holiday at all?
2: Are you going away to these places to do research on these places specifically because they are linked to your novel? or is it just that you want to go away to be able to write say "a love story" , when you could do that from home?

Im just trying to get a better picture

ImperialBlether Mon 20-Mar-17 14:31:30

It's your job, not his holiday. If he and your daughter went with you, it would be completely different. You'd have to explain yourself every time you did anything.

AVY1 Mon 20-Mar-17 14:32:01

Yes DD will be in school. It will actually be easier to do that then during the holidays as then there would be no childcare.

I hadn't thought about them being there for part of it. Like I said, these are places I could afford to take them to later on in the next year or so for a few days.

I think it's because they're my first trips overseas for a LONG time so he's struggling not to see them as holidays.

AVY1 Mon 20-Mar-17 14:33:05

1. We have three family holidays / get aways booked this year.

2. It is specifically for research, not a retreat.

xStefx Mon 20-Mar-17 14:35:48

Aw fair enough then (not that you need my opinion) I just wondered whether he was having a moan cos they don't get to go away :-)

If you need to concentrate I can see why you don't want anyone else there

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Mon 20-Mar-17 15:07:23

YANBU. Sounds like he's seen his arse because you're going somewhere 'nice'.

Also I'd imagined research trips to be months rather than less than two weeks - HIBU. Has he ever had any work related trips away? Even if not abroad?

Renaissance2017 Mon 20-Mar-17 15:14:48

Is it your actual job or just a hobby? Do you earn money from the books?

BackforGood Mon 20-Mar-17 15:21:31

Does sound indulgent to me, but then, the fact you have 3 further holidays booked this year, puts you in a different circumstance from many people on a family budget.

With these threads, I love to imagine what the responses would be if it were the other way round, and the op were posting about her dh wanting to go and to "be able to relax in to the things I'm planning" and "prove to myself that my domestic life hasn't actually destroyed all sense of self".

Surely there will be implications around childcare for the parent left behind, even if your dd is at school.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 20-Mar-17 15:26:06

Undecided whether YABU. Does your writing earn money? Can you afford the trips? Do you have to go for so long? Can you do any of the research using the internet/google maps/streetview? Where are you going <nosy> and how does the research/location feature in your writing?

brasty Mon 20-Mar-17 15:28:04

If her DH was in exactly the same circumstances, I would say the same to him.
But then many DPs of women here go abroad on work trips all the time. I have never ever seen anyone say this is unreasonable

BIWI Mon 20-Mar-17 15:28:55

You are not being unreasonable - but he's probably envious, especially if they're places he wants to visit as well. Why not compromise by inviting him to join you for a weekend at the end of your week, along with your DD?

Ethylred Mon 20-Mar-17 15:32:12

What Renaissance and BoS said. Do you have a track record of actually writing, being published and making money? If not, then it's not work, it's a hobby. This may sound harsh, but there are been people too close to me who have been entirely self-indulgent in this way ("I'm a writer...").

WhirlwindHugs Mon 20-Mar-17 15:32:31

"New book" suggests this is your job/career yes?

In which case he can jog on. It's work. It hasn't stopped being work because you took a few years off overseas travel for work. Stick to your guns and go alone!

BarbaraofSeville Mon 20-Mar-17 15:32:36

Travelling abroad for work when you are an employee is different - you don't usually get a choice about where/when/how long - you have to do it as part of the role.

Whereas it sounds like the OP is a self employed writer who has presumably chosen the location, duration etc. Without details whether she writes travel guides and has to visit the locations, or is writing a novel that is set in another European country of her choosing, it's impossible to judge how much of the OPs own choices and whims have influenced her doing the trips.

Abraiid2 Mon 20-Mar-17 15:32:41

I always take my husband with me on research trips for books. It is useful to have one person driving and one looking out for hard-to-find landmarks. Fun to have someone to talk to over dinner.

This is my living and he knows it is serious. We have never taken children with us, though. DH has been to Austria, Germany, Poland, Croatia and Slovenia with me. He is always helpful and flexible. Poor man has visited more atrocity sites than anyone would wish to. But he has also sampled unusual local wines and lots of pastries.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 20-Mar-17 15:33:44

I'm assuming you make some money from this since, "these are places I could afford to take them to later on in the next year or so for a few days" so they really are business/research trips.

I have been in the position, and have seen colleagues, of taking partners and children on business trips but only on the strict understanding that work is work. If you know that DH will expect you to hang out with him, rather than work, it's a non-starter.

Trills Mon 20-Mar-17 15:36:13

Reassure them that going there for work won't make you not want to go for a holiday with them later on.

Then go. Alone.

AVY1 Mon 20-Mar-17 15:39:57

Yes I earn money from my work and I wouldn't be taking any money out of the family purse for them. I'm not sure 12 days is that long really - I could easily do 3 weeks in both (but I wouldn't!)

We're in a different position this year - we've only had one family holiday since DD6 was born so have decided to take her abroad. The other two holidays are a camping holiday and a holiday with DH's family.

I've planned them to be as brief as I can. Google earth isn't quite the same, and one in particular is to actually talk / meet some primary sources.

DH regularly goes away - for his wellbeing - and I never ask him not too. I manage childcare with DD just fine while he's away and as our hours are identical it really won't affect childcare. Maybe housework, but not childcare. DH has no concerns about that part either.

It's Ireland and Denmark.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 20-Mar-17 15:42:36

DH regularly goes away - for his wellbeing - and I never ask him not too. Hmm. Tell us why he thinks this is OK but you going away isn't?

xStefx Mon 20-Mar-17 15:44:05

OH OP I imagined you on a greek island with a cocktail and a sunlounger writing an amazingly romantic novel.....

Ireland and Denmark...yeah go on your own lol :-)

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