Redefining “vacation” (when you have kids)

I’m on “vacation” right now. I put the word in quotes because, well, it doesn’t exactly feel like vacation.

Sure, we’re staying in a family friend’s lovely condo (for free!) in North Carolina,  steps from a gorgeous pool and a 30-minute drive to the beach.  How lucky are we?

But with a 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son along, this week has been a lot more work than relaxation. Starting with the two-day road trip to get here, during which my son cried and coughed most of the way. Oh, and hotels? Two-year-olds don’t seem to “get” the concept, period. I got maybe
two hours of sleep that night.

In between naps, stopping to pee, retrieving endless snacks and drinks (kids don’t seem to get the concept of “meals,” either), beach trauma, pool trauma, carseat discomfort – you name it – we’re happy to get even an hour a day of true R&R during our vacation.

But, the kids are having fun.  My daughter invented the sport of “wave jumping” in the ocean (with help from Mom or Dad) and is quite proud of herself. My son has decided swimming is the best thing ever, even if he has no fear of drowning or clue about how to actually stay afloat.

From packing and traveling to settling in and returning home, I can’t help but wonder: Is going on vacation really worth it? And when do I get a vacation to recover from this one?

Today’s author is Susan Wenner-Jackson of WMAG.

2 Comments »

  1. We just got back from vacation w/ our 2 year old and my husband’s exteneded family. It was not at all like a pre-kid vacation, but it wasn’t too bad either. It was relaxing to be at the beach and to not be on a schedule and away from work. I took 2 days off after we got home (and send my daughter to daycare), that was my vacation. I ran errands, got a pedicure, went to lunch ALONE, chilled w/ bad TV, read book, etc. and did all the housework/catch up from vacation. I try to take a vacation from Mommyhood every few months by sending my daughter to her grandparents overnight – that’s enough for me for now.