Single Mom Refusing Another Vacation As 3 Kids Are ‘On Their Phones’ Backed

A single mother who’s tired of “managing” her three daughters (aged 21, 16, and 13) who are constantly “on their phones” during their family vacation has received a wave of support from users on Mumsnet.

In a post shared on Mumsnet under the username mycatisannoying, the woman said: “I adore my children but they’re really f***ing me off.”

She said she “probably wouldn’t choose to spend this much time with them…,” adding “I am fed up of managing their moods, their spats, trying to get them out of the room at a reasonable time.”

Despite the stresses that may come with family vacations, the demand for family travel in the US was reported to be strong in 2021 following a sharp dip in 2020.

According to the 2021 edition of the annual US Family Travel Survey conducted by the Family Travel Association (FTA) and the NYU School of Professional Studies (SPS) Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, 88 percent of parents are “likely or very likely” to travel with their kids in the next 12 months.

“This means that travel demand from US families in 2021 is at the same level as it was in 2017,” explained a report on the survey’s findings by Dr. Lynn Minnaert, a clinical associate professor at the NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality.

A mother seen with hands to her chin and looking upwards, while sitting between two young girls who are arguing.
iStock/Getty Images Plus

“Travel intent in 2021 is higher than in 2019, when it was at 70 percent, and in 2018, when it was at 79 percent,” the report said.

The mom in the latest Mumsnet post later explained that her 21-year-old daughter has “high functioning autism and doesn’t really have any friends,” adding “it’s mostly the 16-year-old who can be a pain in the ass .”

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Those with ASD “may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people,” explains the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The mother claimed: “I’m naturally a fairly positive and cheerful person, so believe me I am trying.” While admitting that “it hasn’t been ALL bad,” she said: “I’m doing my best and it’s going to s***.”

The single mom said she “calmly” told her kids that they “won’t be doing this again and that future holidays can be taken with their father,” adding that “if they wanted to stay in on their phones, we could have stayed home.”

Several users on Mumsnet shared messages of support for the single mom, suggesting she should “leave them.” [the kids] to it” and just enjoy herself.

One user said: “They’re old enough for you to just leave them to it. If they’re not up then just go down the pool yourself or to the beach, tell them you’re going out by x time, and then go.”

Another agreed, stating: “I’d forget the ‘together’ bit. Leave them to it, carry on doing what YOU want…. they are more likely to join you when the pressure is off. And if they don’t , we’ll, so be it.”

A third chimed in, saying: “Let them get on with it and go and enjoy yourself. Stuff em, if they want to stare at their phones then they can carry on, don’t let it spoil your holiday. Ungrateful teenagers can ruin anything.”

Another advised the mother should also “relax” her “expectations.” The user added: “Sit down and ask them what would make the day fun for them. What would make it fun for you? Can you do something each day for each of you? Organize some time each day they can just sit on devices. “

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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