We just got back from a 3 day vacation and as we were driving back home, my husband asked me if I had fun. I just sighed. There is no easy answer to that question.
In our life before kids, we often would go on spontaneous romantic weekend trips, find a cute B&B, spend all day exploring the quaint little town, cuddle by the fireplace at night, drink lots of wine, talk until the wee hours of the night and sleep in late. But this past weekend, I found that vacation with two munchkins did not seem like vacation at all.
It’s my own fault but all weekend I couldn’t help stressing about countless issues including: Is the iPad fully charged so that the kids can watch videos during the car-ride? Will the 3-year-old stay asleep in separate bedroom by herself in a strange environment? Will the 1-year-old scream like a banshee all night long and wake up the neighborhood? If there are no good Chinese restaurants in town, what will the kids eat? Can I feed my kids french fries at every meal? Did I bring enough diapers and clothes for the drooly-monster? What kinds of outdoor entertaining activities are appropriate in the middle of January without inducing frostbite? Why did I not bring some extra sippy cups? Are we going to get charged a cleaning fee for the little chocolate-y handprints on the couch?
The reality is that when it comes to rest and relaxation, the nights spent at home when I can get the kids to bed early and have a couple of hours to watch The Bachelor in my pj’s while I paint my toenails are much more relaxing than packing up the entire family for an unknown adventure. But what’s the fun in that?
So yes, I DID have fun. I love my dear husband for putting so much detail into researching and planning this mini-vacation. Everything turned out fine, of course. We were all exhausted by the time we returned to our home sweet home and the kids actually looked relieved to be going to bed in their own bedrooms last night. I know that one day I will think back on this past weekend and laugh at all the silly things that I worried about (like how many people were giving us dirty looks when they realized that we brought our very thirsty 16-month old on a brewery tour or the fact that the 3-yr-old ate nothing but a gigantic chocolate chip cookie for lunch and an ice cream cone for dinner on the same day or the one-hour snowy detour to get the children’s museum).
This is really only the second time that our little family of four has gone on vacation together so we’re still learning the do’s and don’ts of vacationing with young children but I truly hope there will be many more adventures planned for the future. I also hope that one day, my kids will have many sweet memories of all the crazy fun they had on these family vacations.