Originally Posted by AnnabelMore
On the other hand... how old are they? Have they never been to sleep-away camp? Would it really be such a big deal for them to be away from you both for a couple of days, or would it simply be part of the inevitable march towards greater independence that all children are on?
Sleep-away camps are one thing. Being away from your parents for a week is the point of the camp and all the kids are in the same boat. Also, they typically aren't on the other side of the ocean.
At any age, going back to school is a big deal. For a lot of kids, it's full of anxiety: new teacher, new classmates, sometimes an entirely new school. If they have a terrible first day, they'll want at least one parent to support them through it. If they have a great day, they'll want to share that too.
Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray
Is this part set in stone? As a teacher, I can tell you that students miss school for a week or more due to family travels all the time.
That was my first thought, too. It's only March, you can let the school know even right now what the situation is, and get copies of their first week of school work before you leave for the UK.
But that really only addresses this one specific situation. The real issue as I see it is your wife prioritizing her wants over her children's needs.
This isn't the first time she's done something like this, as I recall from a previous thread. She's not someone I would nominate for Mother of the Year, but there's not much you can do that at this point. You can't change her behaviour, all you can really do is let her know that you're disappointed with her choices and change your expectations going forwards. She's made it clear that she'll respect no boundaries but her own.