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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vacation...or more work?

I am getting ready to go on a family vacation.  A short trip to a coveted destination in my home state.  Can't wait.  Fun, yes....Relaxing,

This job (yes, job) of organizing/packing/arranging the kids, myself, my car, my husband for our "vacation" is more work than staying home.  I begin thinking stressing about the trip 2 weeks before we go.  But it's worth all the work, right?

I will get to go and relax, in amazing surroundings, read a book, schedule a spa appointment...oh, no, wait, I'm confused...that was my life BK (before kids).  Let me try to describe a vacation AK (after kids)...

1.  Do laundry so that clothes that need to go are clean.
2.  Pack each kid and myself.  Be sure not to forget sunscreen, bathing suits, diapers, proper clothes, pajamas, toothbrush, shampoo, sippy cups, wipes, snack cups and all other ridiculous kid products.  Oh, and be sure I throw in appropriate clothes for me.
3.  Clean out my (disaster of a...) car so that the drive is bearable only for it to be messed up again.
4.  Anticipate any/all needs of kids for travel.
5.  Pack plenty of snacks, drinks, toys, suckers, videos, and princesses so that boredom is kept at bay and expenses at gas station are minimized.
6.  Prepare camera for photo ops (see prior post about pictures).
7.  Prepare the stroller, and decide which one of 5 to bring...this is very difficult.  (Am I the only crazy person out there with 5 strollers, I would guess not...)

And that is just before the trip.  During the ride there will be singing, smiles and laughter amidst the fighting, whining and crying.  There will be plenty of "are we there yet?" questions beginning 30 minutes into the ride.  And then, during the trip I will question why we call this "vacation" as it may be more difficult than my actual day job of saving lives.  And I have not even outlined what happens when I get home...just thinking about it makes me stressed.

But why do we do it?  For the smiles.   For the small snippets of laughter that fall in between the tortured moments of temper tantrums and tears.  For the memories. For the indelible impression that family trips make on a child's developing brain.  So that when they are adults they can have a momentary flash, a vision, of a memory and say "I did that as a kid with my parents".  And they will want to do this with their children and pass on this tradition.

A tradition of fun.  And family.
So here we go!

Do you have great memories from childhood family vacations?
Do you find family vacations stressful?
How many strollers crowd your garage?


SmartBear said...

I couldn't agree more about the to-do list. And the list of things to do when you get home? I think it's almost as bad!
But, you are right. It is definitely worth it!
Bon Voyage!

kimchi said...

I actually declared this whole year a "no travel" year, for just those reasons...packing up 3 kids felt more stressful than joy. Though I miss the adventure, I DO feel less stressed and have had more days to do fun things around our home base. For this year, at least!

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