Air Travel Puts Mom on Duty While Dad Relaxes, And She’s Defending The Bum

It’s a common trope to see a family flying together while the husband ignores the kids and the wife takes care of them. Maybe he’s even in first class, while they’re in coach. The argument usually is that he needs to work, or his company is paying for his ticket, or there was only one upgrade and you’re not going to give up an upgrade. Outrage follows!

This story seemed intriguing because it flips the usual script in a way.

  • Maria Roberts is with her two kids – taking care of both the 3-year old and 5-year old – while her husband is seated nearby watching inflight entertainment.

  • He gives himself a pass, of course he’d help, but the kids prefer to sit with mom. It’s really their decision.

  • And she support it!

The video here is a re-enactment. She offers that this is the kids’ choice, and it’s less stressful that way. Besides, she and her husband each contribute in different ways, “what viewers don’t see is the work her husband puts in before the family even boards the plane.”

He is the one that has booked our flights, booked the car. He does all of the managing of getting to the airport, managing us through the airport. I feel like you do what makes things as easy as possible when you travel and I don’t think every single task has to be split 50-50. You just kind of do what works for your family.

It’s something, I suppose, to leave it to a 3-year old and 5-year old to determine what’s best for the family, although I think that children should have a say in matters. But telling them what they prefer is also somewhat self-fulfilling.

Ultimately I think every family ought to figure these things out for themselves, and whatever works well, keeps the peace and reduces stress for all of them is fine! It’s also nice to see a paean to specialization by comparative advantage.

Still, I sure hope this guy shows immense appreciation and have to think that he feels maybe just a little guilty?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. So which is it Gary?

    “…she’s defending the bum” or “Ultimately I think every family ought to figure these things out for themselves, and whatever works well… Is fine!”

  2. Gary, you’ve been watching too much TikToxic and are just becoming more and more hateful. I’ve quit reading your content as much because of stuff like THIS!

    As a previous person already pointed out, you are very two-faced because you agree that family should do what works for them, and then you call somebody a bum just because you don’t see them doing work in the moment. You say that the kids should have their own say, and then you accuse the parents of telling the kids what they want? You have no clue what those kids want! Just because you don’t see them asking for the mom, doesn’t mean they’re being pawned off to her.

    As a dad with autism, and being legally blind, as well as having other physical problems, my family is one of those where where a lot of the playing is done between the mom and kid, wow! I play in a different way within what I’m capable of doing. Our kid still enjoys it.

    Our household duties are split too, not with us each doing half of both, but us each doing whatever we’re best at. It works perfectly too with neither of us feeling too overworked or like the other isn’t doing their part.

    So stop all this hate and quick judgement of people without truly seeing the situation.

  3. Every family has slightly different rules. If these are the ones that works in their situation, so be it. The kids seem happy. She seems happy. He seems happy. Why stir up trouble? I see no indication that he is a bum.

  4. Kids tend to have different comfort levels over different things with each parent or other adult in a position of responsibility with them, and typically the parents/caretakers know better than the average observer/stranger on what works better for the family and why.

    While there are most certainly some parents who are as good as useless (or even worse than useless) with kids and there tend to be too many fathers who don’t do a fair share of taking care of kids on trips or otherwise — just saw some such drama with a father who refused to help get his kids buckled in during flight descent when his wife was slow going it or trying to avoid buckling in the sleeping children — sometimes the family dynamic is not what some, many or most observers may think it to be and thus make unfair judgments.

  5. You have no idea what the situation is with this family and are making irresponsible assumptions. There are a lot of reasons why dad is being allowed to relax while mom deals with the kids. Maybe he did it on the outbound; maybe he worked during the trip; maybe he’s sick. Or maybe this is simply how they decided to do things. If she’s ok with it, you should be too.

  6. The husband could be earning the points and spend the time to redeem for trips as well as make money and pay for everything. The wife should be doing something right? Taking care of kids on a flight is not a big deal. I’ve flown with my boys by myself. A 2 year old and a 5 year old at the time. Not a big deal don’t know why you’re even blogging about this.

  7. Is this a joke? Their family dynamic is their business and nobody else’s. Maybe you all should mind your own. What an absolutely ridiculous notion, that you should tell the wife she’s wrong for now being angry about an aspect of their marriage that doesn’t mirror your own. I guess you know better than her.

    What’s next, insisting to watch them in bed to make sure he’s not a selfish lover? What’s the difference?

  8. People like to judge others but they should mind their own business. In fact, judging others is what social media is all about. In fact, there are many reasons why people do things. Maybe she is a high-powered attorney who never gets to see her kids, maybe he’s a loser who hates kids or maybe they aren’t even his. Maybe he worked all night in the ER and just got off work before the flight, maybe she enjoys being submissive to him or just enjoys being with her kids. But it’s not about all that. It’s a fake social media post to get clicks and attention.

  9. Gary – If you want to pick at something in that GMA article, focus on this false gem from her. “If your child cries the entire time, it’s OK. Most people on the plane feel bad for you,”

  10. “If your child cries the entire time, it’s OK. Most people on the plane feel bad for you,”?

    No, it really doesn’t work that way. It does seem to work less that way when a crying child’s mother is on the flight than when a crying child appears to be flying with just the father, but either way people nowadays seem to get more annoyed by crying kids on flights than when I was a flying kid. And passengers tend to be more confrontational and more easily annoyed on flights than used to be the case. “If your child cries the entire time, it’s OK. Most people on the plane feel bad for you,”?

    No, it really doesn’t work that way. It does seem to work less that way when a crying child’s mother is on the flight than when a crying child appears to be flying with just the father, but either way people nowadays seem to get more annoyed by crying kids on flights than when I was a flying kid. And passengers tend to be more confrontational and more easily annoyed on flights than used to be the case.

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