Family Vacations Are Exhausting But So Kick Ass!

As our vacation approaches…..we leave TOMORROW!!!!!!……I have to tell you how excited I am for it!

Summer break is a time for staying up late, sleeping in, Barbeques and vacations. Family vacations!

You may be thinking “This lady is crazy. Family vacations are stressful as all hell.” They are frustrating, exhausting, overpriced and sometimes don’t feel like vacation at all. As a stay at home mom, I get it. Believe me, I do. But despite the insanity and aggravation, I live for family vacations! I love them!

Why?

Because life is short. Life is busy. My kids are growing up too quickly — we are all growing up too quickly — but family vacations give us an opportunity to slow down, sit back and be with each other. They give us a chance to be present and to appreciate one another and they give me a chance to indulge the thrill-seeking, theme-park-loving, running/hiking/climbing/camping hyperactive kid who still lives in my heart, with my kids by my side.

Make no mistake, there are things about family vacations that totally suck:

I loving staying up late — and then sleeping in. I enjoy sunning and sipping on cocktails and I love both rest and relaxation. But these things don’t go well with kids, as you surely know.

Multi-hour massages and day drinking aren’t really “child-friendly.” Oh, and don’t even get me started on the hotel situation, where beds, closets and bathrooms are shared and everyone is crammed into a shoebox for days on end. It’s the true meaning of “too close for comfort.”

But you know what? While I would love to sleep in a separate room and pee alone, have alone time with my husband, get a mani-pedi and a hot stone treatment and I would love to roll out of bed with a mimosa in one hand and a margarita in the other, I would rather get up at the ass crack of dawn and go down to the hotel lobby for lukewarm eggs and a handful of shitty cereal. Or wake up at the camp site for pop-tarts, eggs or granola bars. Whatever we happen to have not forgotten.

I would rather walk up mountain paths and through theme parks until my feet are sore and blistered while the kids are complaining of being tired and hungry.

I would rather go swimming in an overly chlorinated hotel pool (and get my hair wet) if it means I get one laugh from my kids, one hug from my kids, or one smile from my kids.

I would do anything for a special memory with my family.

I value family time and I appreciate the simple things, like impromptu dance parties at 10 p.m or ice cream for dinner. I value the big things like time off, time together, time home, and time away. And I am thankful for the sweet moments. The innocent moments. The fact that I get to sit back and take in the “Where are these moments going?” moments.

As I mentioned earlier, this only happens when my family unplugs and disconnects. Which is rare when you have a 12 year old boy sucked into YouTube and video games.

Vacations are the only time we walk away from work, school, and life and toward each other. We spend hours talking and laughing and listening to each other.

Of course, I would love to tell you that my family does this every day. I would love to tell you that we paint and dance every day and that we savor the “little things” (and one another) every day, but the truth is we don’t.

Not really because shit happens, but mostly because life happens. And sometimes the weight of the world, bills and adult responsibilities, get in the way.

It blinds me and all of us, to the little joys of life.

But on vacation, things are different because we have no work, no chores, and no responsibilities. We have no duties or liabilities, and our only job is to sit back and be together.

We throw schedules away and instead choose to live in the moment, be in the moment, and enjoy the moment. Whatever that moment may bring (or be).

And so we travel together. We party together. We snuggle, fight, laugh, and vacation together.

But here’s the thing: While the tone and tenor of our vacations may have changed — while our destinations have changed — for me, this is what vacationing (with and without kids) has always been about. To refresh my relationship with my husband, and now to refresh my relationship with him and our family.

So even though vacationing with kids may be more stressful — even though it can be a trying, tiring, and exhausting experience (for all) — it is worth it, because at the end of the day we have stories tell. We have memories and we have each other.

At the end of the vacation, I realize how lucky I am and how blessed we all are. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s the truth.

One more day and we are off and running on our family vacation!

Happy Tuesday My Friends

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