Let’s call this family vacation what it really is…a mistake.
Okay fine, not a mistake, but not really a vacation either. The word vacation implies relaxation, sleeping in without thinking about an itinerary, lounging by the pool with a daiquiri in one hand and a book in the other, not the hectic, unpredictable madness that is traveling with small children. Yet, spring break is almost upon us and so is our first official family trip. Despite my complaining, I’m looking forward to sharing and making memories with my girls and their cousins, I’m just not looking forward to the amount of work it’s gonna be.
The thing I’m most nervous about is the actual traveling part, flying to be exact. We’ve never flown with our children and just the thought of it fills me with anxiety. I’m worried about entertaining them for five hours while we’re stuck in a huge flying contraption in the middle of the open sky over the wide Pacific ocean especially when I can’t hide in the bathroom like I do at home. It’s not like I can threaten to turn the plane around if they refuse to stop fighting and yelling.
On a recent trip without our kids (the only kind my husband and I usually take) there was a couple flying with a little boy. As they took their seats directly behind us (just my luck) the dad passed out bags of M&Ms to all the surrounding passengers. They knew their son would most likely have a meltdown at some point and wanted to make everyone smile with an unexpected treat. I’m a sucker for candy, so naturally their little plan worked on me. Plus, there was that whole “I’m a parent, you’re a parent” understanding going on. Plus, there was free wine. Again, another thing I’m a sucker for.
I hope that we have a few understanding parents seated next to us, ones who will be on our side if things start to go awry. But maybe I should stock up on some M&Ms (and also a few mini bottles of wine) just in case. Who am I kidding, I’ll have chugged all the wine before we even board the plane.
I know everything will work out fine and we’ll have an incredible, memorable trip with many laughs and uncountable smiles, and who knows, maybe it’ll become a tradition. But something tells me I’ll need a vacation from my “vacation” when it’s over.
1. Sleep: Well duh, that’s a no-brainer. Gone are the lazy Sunday afternoons, falling asleep on the couch to HGTV in the background. And gone are the uninterrupted nights of peaceful slumber. I wish someone would figure out how we could recharge ourselves each night without having to sleep for 8 hours. Like a cellphone or an electric car, we could plug in and feel as if we had slept all night. That would do wonders for my life as a new mom and aspiring writer. Think of all the extra time I’d have to procrastinate even more!
2. Vacations: The hubby and I are fortunate to have had awesome vacations in the past. Kauai, Mexico, Santa Barbara to name the most recent ones. But I guess I was a vacation snob — enjoying my time, but my life was already one long vacation. Only working a part-time job while pursuing my passion for writing, and taking care of a household that consisted of the hubby, me, and our animals…piece of cake! So while I looked forward to “going on vacation,” it wasn’t something that I needed because my life was too stressful or chaotic. Now, I’d just about sell my soul to be lounging on a white-sand beach under a blazing sun, sipping a drink with an umbrella in it. I wouldn’t even care that this body isn’t swimsuit ready — I’d go get the best spray-tan money could afford (since we all know tan fat looks better than pale fat) and I’d relax the hell out of that vacation!
3. Business Time: It’s no surprise that your love life (and by love life I mean sex life — sorry Mom) takes a drastic hit after the addition of your precious bundle. I take that back, maybe it was a surprise to the hubby. Gone are the spontaneous rolls in the hay…at least for a little while. “Business Time” before a baby is anything but business, and after a baby is exactly that…scheduled maitenance. Sorry dads, no new mummy is looking to jump back in the saddle, so to speak, soon after having their baby. And once you do feel ready, her mere presence in the next room while you’re gearing up for the hippity-dippity is enough to thwart it before it even starts.
In closing, to all my friends who plan on having kids but haven’t started a family yet. Go on vacation, sleep like there’s no tomorrow, and have lots of sex in between. Then you’ll be ready.