The Truth About Family Vacations1
You’re scrolling through your social media feed and see a picture of someone you follow. Their toes are in the sand and their kids are frolicking in the water and the caption reads ‘Best day ever!’. It’s easy to feel jealous or even have considerable ‘Vacation Envy’. I know I’ve had my own moments of feeling envious over someone else’s holiday, especially when the weather at home is questionable and the day to day stress is mounting up.
The truth about vacationing with kids, especially young kids, is that it is not a vacation. Instead, I’m going to call it a holiday. It’s a break from routine and a chance to do things together without the usual hustle of the days at home but it is not a vacation. Sure, there’s no after school practice to rush to or the daily struggle of packing lunches and getting out of the door but it’s not a kick your feet up and really relax kind of vacation.
Kids will be kids even away from home and their will still be sibling fights and the aftermath of irregular bedtimes and the change of time zones. There will be meals out where someone cries, hopefully not you, and there will be the usual work of making sure all of your kids are safe in the water or in a new to you area .
You will break a sweat carrying every single item back from the beach because one of your offspring is ‘too sandy’ to help.
I find that changing my focus on what a family holiday actually encompasses helps make it a total success for me. I don’t expect my kids to be completely well behaved every second of our time away and I expect that there will still be the same kind of melt downs that happen back home. Going away as a family is a great chance to build your family connection and make memories but regular life still happens, even when in Hawaii.
The other day we went for lunch at Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop and the kids were hungry and acting up. We had just done a few hours at the Maui Ocean Centre and we were ready to eat. The space is small and it’s a ‘grab your own table’ kind of place. I had 5 of us sitting at a 4 top and it was squishy to say the least. One kid was saying rude things to an other and the toddler was all grabby with the cutlery and napkins. I did the parenting move of firm words under hushed tones as we waited for my hubby to place our order.
Who would of thought that a local would come up to our table to tell us how well behaved our children were and how impressed she was with our family. Seriously, who would have thought?
One day when my kids are too cool to holiday with us, I’m sure I will vacation with my husband and we will rest and relax and read books at the beach and talk about the good old days when our kids were small. I know that this phase of life is ‘all in’ and it is exhausting and lovely all at the same time.
I’m raising a glass of pineapple wine to making memories on family holidays and celebrating the little things.