In praise of child-free holidays: Em Rusciano comes to Nadia Bartel’s defence

Em Rusciano and Nadia Bartel

Model Nadia Bartel and her husband, football player Jimmy, went on holidays without their son. People talked. Media outlets gasped. Then Em Rusciano stepped in to sensibly remind people that child-free holidays are NOT a crime.

👫🌴 @jrb03 #sonevajani

A post shared by CHRONICLES OF NADIA (@nadiabartel) on

“I could not leave my kid behind”

It seems to have started with this comment on an Instagram happy snap Nadia posted of herself and Jimmy. (They are on holidays in the Maldives – and have left their son Aston – who turns two this month – at home with family.)

“Wow how do you guys do it. I could not leave my kid behind and go on holiday,” a follower wrote. Gulp.

For some, it was an innocent query. For most, it was a thinly-veiled guilt trip wrapped up in a passive-aggressive and badly punctuated pair of sentences.

Needless to say, it was very speedily on like Donkey Kong in the comments under Nadia’s post as followers processed their own thoughts and weighed in on holidays sans kids. Most defended Nadia, but some were regrettably judgemental.

“No jealousy” ?

The original commenter clarified her position multiple times, as she braced for the fury that was about to rain down. She stood firmly against child-free holidays.

“No jealousy here as we going to the Maldives in February with our 20 month old. And as for all you other women commenting I am entitled to my opinion & there was nothing wrong with what I said.”

“Totally agree with you…” another follower chimed in.

But they were in the minority. Very many other people thought the naysayers should sod off and leave the Bartels alone.

“Sorry I missed the part where they said they left their little boy under a bridge to fend for himself? Perhaps I am wrong, but in the world I live in, a two year old child is far happier with a paddle pop and a ride on one of those coin operated merry go rounds at the mall than a trip to the Maldives,” one wise soul wrote.

“I miss him like crazy”

Then Nadia took her own right of reply, clapping back at the original commenter.

“So you would never go on a trip without your baby? I miss him like crazy but I think it’s important to have time with just us too, this is the first time we have left him in 2 years, but I don’t need to explain myself to you as I normally don’t reply to fake accounts like yours” 

Then she dropped the mic.

And went back to being her rad self and sipping fancy drinks in the Maldives. 

“Eat a bag”

What happened next was that comedian and radio presenter Em Rusciano picked the mic up, and said her piece. In an Instagram post yesterday, Em told people who were critiquing the Bartel’s parenting to “eat several bags of dicks” and said that time away from kids makes us much better parents. *CHEERS!*

“Here are some photos of my husband and I enjoying CHILD FREE HOLIDAYS, we’ve had 3 this year in fact,” Em posted.

“[Taking kid-free holidays] actually makes her a better Mother, when you look after yourself first – everyone else who loves and depends on you benefits. They get the best version of you. Also, he’s TWO for christ sake, he won’t even remember it. Seriously, stop it. 👜🍆 x 7”

Too true. (Maybe not the bag of dicks bit, though.)

Covert trolling

We love it that Em had Nadia’s back and here’s a few takeaways from this exchange that we think are well worth pointing out.

1. Time away from children is important for parents. Leave it to the parents to decide what makes sense for their family.

2. “Concern trolling” other mums and dads in sanctimommy, covert style like this is horrible. It’s just a backhanded way of shaming them. Do not do it.

3. Why is this kind of “concern” always aimed at mums – and rarely at dads? It’s malicious and sexist and it has to stop.

4. Despite media reports, the majority of Nadia’s followers were super happy that the Bartels were having some much needed time off, kid-free.

5. This is not just Instagram drama – it’s Nadia’s real life and you can bet this kind of mean scrutiny impacts her and is hurtful. #StopIt

6. Why aren’t we in the Maldives?


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