Vacationing before you become a parent is a very delicious experience. You lounge, you sip, you dip, you indulge, you stay up late, you sleep in. But after your children arrive (some of whom may have been conceived on those fabulous getaways), you start to wonder why you even bother with vacations.
Everyone complains, fights, and moans just as much as (if not more than) they do when we are home. If I have to put up with that shit regardless, I would rather just stay home where I can lock my kids in their rooms if they misbehave, and go to sleep in my own damn bed. They lack the understanding that vacation means to vacate your normal life, Mama included.
They don’t sleep well.
Trying to get kids to settle down in a new place is harder than teaching them how to wipe their own ass. It is exciting. There is too much to explore and too many new things to jump on. Once they are about to pass out, they decide the bed is too lumpy, bumpy, or the wrong color. Your whole family is about to see you go to the bad place. #familybonding
They can’t find any kind of food they like.
If a restaurant doesn’t serve some sort of nugget, they cry into the menu. If the complimentary breakfast doesn’t have their special kind of cereal, they pout until you let them have half a donut and call it good. At this point, you are feeling pretty amazing about them not getting any sleep and eating garbage for breakfast. You will pay for it later, but hey, let your over-scheduled day of fun begin!
They forget the prized lovey.
Shit, you might as well go back home right now. You are going to be reminded of all they can not do because the precious lovey, stuffy, or whatever it is your kid won’t let go of is not in their little paw at every waking moment.
Everyone gets overstimulated.
It seems like kids and adults alike suffer from “What’s Next?” syndrome while on vacation. Your days are packed full. You are seeing new sights. You buy them a sweet little token to commemorate their trip, which leads to them wanting all the things, doing all the things, and touching all the things.
They always have to go to the bathroom.
When you are out and about for the day with the kiddos, you spend most of the time looking for a restroom. Someone always needs a change or has to pee. You might as well just vacation in a restroom. During many a family vacation, my husband and I have fought over who was going to take our kids to the bathroom.
They are exhausted.
And so are you. I am sure it was a mother who coined the phrase, “I need a vacation from my vacation.” The kids are delirious and completely off their schedule. They have eaten more grilled cheese and French fries than anyone has ever. And their poop schedule is surely off. And bonus: Their behavior is still crap for about a week after you return home, but let’s snap a picture of these wonderful memories.
Despite all of this, we keep doing the family vacation thing, because in a few months you will look back on those trips and the beautiful, life-changing moments will come shining through. So you start planning your next one through rose-colored glasses and hope for the best.