Remember those days when vacation actually meant vacation? You might even come back feeling refreshed, reborn even! Ready to tackle that next bit of life before the next big trip?
Yeah, that was nice, wasn't it?
With kids, I no longer feel this euphoria coming home from vacation. Instead, it's more like I find myself in need of another vacation (alone) so that I can recover from what just transpired.
Don't get me wrong, now! I LOVE going on vacation with my kids, but I think we need to find a new word for it, as it's not necessarily a vacation, or at least not in the traditional sense. It's definitely away from home and it's full of all the recreational activities, but it is not, at least in my experience, relaxing. My definition of a relaxing vacation is waking up when I want (without anyone needing breakfast right away), cocktail-ing on my time, eating at weird hours (because you can) at restaurants with new and local fare that you can't get at home (without wondering if there are options for "discerning palates"), and let's not forget the ultimate: sitting by any body of water - man or God-made - with a good book, more cocktails, and no interruption (plus, no worry about the dangers of said body of water).
Yeah, vacation with kids doesn't yield this definition of relaxation.
Which means it needs a new term.
So, maybe it should be called the Kid-cation or the Fam-cation or perhaps the Exhaust-a-cation? Yes? No?
Vacation with kids is more go than stop, more do than rest, more about them than about mom or dad. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with the kids who are out of routine, sugared up (due to all the Shirley Temples they get to partake in during cocktail time), full of curiosity, just as exhausted as mom and dad, and excited as all get out. So much energy to create those memories that will last a lifetime.
Sure, you'll be exhausted and need a vacation from your vacation (or perhaps a couple naps here and there), our kids will only remember the fun, with you.
And that makes it all worth it.
This version of Parent Ponderings is by Nichole Healy who is currently in recovery from her most recent "Exhaust-a-cation." Nichole is the founder of Memory My Way where the modern family gets the help they need to rescue their memories from the cloud. Memory My Way pairs members with a Designer who custom creates their family photo books for them - saving tons of precious time. To learn more, go here.