Take me away to Bora Bora

Would you accept a free trip to Bora Bora? What if your husband’s company was paying all your expenses for a ten-day trip to a luxury resort in the South Pacific? And what if you were nursing your six-month-old baby, but the resort didn’t allow children? What if your husband had to go, and should you decide you can’t leave the baby you will be stuck at home with all your small children?

Let’s say you are the only religious Jews scheduled to attend and the kosher food is coming from Israel, so you will be eating out of a box while the other guests are feasting. And say you don’t enjoy drinking yourself into oblivion, hanging out at the beach, or watching erotic dancing. Would you still want to go?

Your husband can’t really help with this decision. “Honey, I think that the baby needs you and it would be best for you to stay home.” Ha. He has to say that he very much wants you to come. Which is almost certainly true.

My husband said that were he faced with this situation, he would tell the company he can’t go. Smart man.

Update: Thanks for all the comments. For the record, no one offered my family such a vacation. My youngest is three years old (but she is still nursing). Apparently I was wrong about the food; there are Israeli caterers who package food that can compete with a resort.


  1. My husband faced something like this about six years ago. His company told him he was required to attend a week-long training in Washington, D.C. and we had then a three-month-old. I was home-bound, still recovering from complications from an emergency c-section, no family around, and all my friends were pre-baby and all worked full time, so I had no support.
    He told them he could not go. They told him if he didn’t, he could lose his job. I should mention that he was the only religious Jew in the company and his department regularly ordered pepperoni pizza and meat hoagies for lunch meetings and claimed forgetfulness that he couldn’t participate in lunch.
    He didn’t go, and they proceeded to make his life more miserable than it already was. His answer: he quit. It wasn’t the best thing, and we suffered through several years of unemployment, but I consider it a definite case of putting family first!

  2. I’d go in a heartbeat and take my baby! Of course you don’t need to watch objectionable entertainment. Bora-Bora’s breathtaking beauty is amazing! And you can always go to the market and buy fresh fruits and vegetables. In fact, French Polynesia is one of the few places I’ve been to where you can truly “live off the land.” The avocados, for example, are wonderful and much larger than the ones we grow here in California. The natives don’t eat them. They feed them to the pigs! I kid you not. Hang out at the beach. HaShem’s “swimming pool” is spectacular beyond belief!!! And of course, you can take your baby. When they’re that little, who is going to stop you????? If you’re still nursing, then you can just sleep with the baby in your bed. Now, I don’t know how old your other kids are or what their needs are, but if I just had the baby, I’d go. Since you’re a spouse, you’re not obligated to participate in any “activities” that you may find objectionable. But walking on the beach, wading in the water, watching the sun set over the ocean, seeing the tropical fish in their native habitat, eating fruit so fresh (because you’ve just picked it!), sailing around the lagoon in a small boat, sure sounds like heaven to me!!!!! BUt of course, YMMV,
    Helene in California

  3. I don’t believe in leaving young children alone while we vacation. The mess that you will come back to just isn’t worth it for them or for us. Many people encourage parents to vacation kid-free, but if my coming home from the hospital is any indication, I’d say that is disasterous.
    We might be leaving my baby with Savta and a bottle for a few hours while we go to a wedding with instructions not to use it unless absolutely necessary. But, I’ve found myself missing those nursing babies after short times out. Although my kids can drive me crazy, I’d miss them so much if we were to go on vacation without them.

  4. Baleboosteh says

    Your husband is a smart man!
    I don’t think I could stand to be away from my babies!

  5. a real dillema. I think I would go, if not just to not rock the boat at work. I am probably not strong enough to stand up like that and say no… I almost had to go to Mauritius and was dreading the trip, but I woul dhave gone. It got cancelled for other reasons.

  6. Sheyna–
    What a story!! Sometimes, when there is no support, hired help is the best solution.
    Helene, I wouldn’t advise such a mother to take her baby (my own youngest is three). At most her husband could get the company to pressure the resort to allow it. Even co-sleeping six-month-olds can cry and disturb others; it would be a shame to take the baby on a 30-hour plane trip (!) to find out that the resort’s insurance doesn’t cover children. You make it sound tempting, but I still think I would get bored after a couple of days, and I would be very uncomfortable with the atmosphere. I don’t think it is a working vacation, so you activities would have to be suitable for your husband too and the beach might not be, depending on your standards. Cool that you’ve been there!
    Nursing mothers have a physiological and psychological desire to nurse their babies. And if you leave her, make sure you are using good nursing pads.
    B–Yes he is! He has never pressured me to leave our children.
    Rafi–thanks for sharing your perspective from the other side.

  7. Wow. This is one of those things that’s tempting for a moment, but ultimately out of the question 🙁
    RaggedyDad’s job was going to be sending him to Glasgow for 2 weeks, and I’m relieved that they asked someone else after he let them know he’d be willing to do it. It was right between Purim and Pesach, and while we go to my parents on Pesach, I am cleaning the apartment for my neighbor’s family to use.
    Make sure your husband brings back some nice scenery photos!

  8. mominisrael says

    My husband isn’t invited to BB, and he hates travelling for work. Glad your husband is staying home this time.

  9. “And say you don’t enjoy drinking yourself into oblivion, hanging out at the beach, or watching erotic dancing. Would you still want to go?”
    I think you answered your own question right there. If there really isn’t anything for you to do while you’re there, the “vacation” aspect would disappear rather quickly- not worth leaving the other kids at home for (which would be rough for me in any case), IMHO.

  10. BTW, I saw your labels for this post and for a second it looked like it said “breastfeeding fathers”!!! Then I remembered reading that some men can actually breastfeed and figured you might be just the person to ask- is this true?

  11. mominisrael says

    RR1–See my update.
    RR2–Yes, there are stories of men who induced a milk supply. The gemara tells of a man who nursed his baby when his wife died, and I read a modern account of a father who was able to produce some milk. Men have the same equipment, but they don’t have the pregnancy and birth hormones to help them along.

  12. I read about men being able to nurse babies, my husband said no way.
    And, good advice about the nursing pads, but I always have to use them even if I’m at home. Just the nature of the beast. Let’s just say milk supply has never been an issue here.

  13. still nursing at three.
    good for you and her.