Is it just me, or is a family vacation more work than …say.. actual work? The planning, tantrums, the sleeping arrangements, the driving, the flying, the sleep deprived kids, the stress, expectations… did I say the tantrums?
We just got back from California. Three days at the beach & Disneyland. Sounds relaxing and cheerful, right? Well, much of it was pretty awesome…. BUT… I have a 1 year old who flips out when things aren’t exactly as she wants (she now insists on holding both of my hands at all times… yes, BOTH hands. Imagine how I have to walk. Ouchie ouch, my back) and a three year old who has more energy than 5 Red Bulls can provide and a personality more stubborn than anyone I’ve met… besides my daughter lol. Let’s just say, they are strong willed little ones.
Oh, but the pictures… They make the trip look so sweet, loving, relaxing & perfect.
Is that why they say picture perfect? Pictures can make it all look perfect… but it’s so not… so so not perfect. Truth is, we only take pictures of the happy moments. No one is thinking “hey, let’s capture that meltdown on camera” or “I look like a wreck, I should post a selfie.” No.. it’s more like… “who is that kid rolling on the floor, screaming? Someone should find their parents, while I run to the bathroom and clean this salsa off my shirt.” But I did snap a few pictures of the not-so-fab moments…
These don’t look bad, but the first one is the BEGINNING of our day at Disney. My son was already whinning and saying he’s tired, sick of lines & hot. He wouldn’t take a picture and was mad cause he couldn’t have a second piece of gum. He’s three! What three year old even chews gum, let alone needs two pieces at once. The next pic is baby girl throwing a massive fit IN THE SAND… which meant sand in every crevasse and piled an inch thick on her scalp. The last, is the typical “smile and act happy and lovey” picture… which proceeded to take 10 minutes to get an “ok” take.
So, I need a vacation from that vacation, lol.
In all seriousness though… it was fun and we made some amazing memories. The kids had a blast and it was nice to have a change of routine and run free. It’s such a joy to see my babies experience new things, laugh and play… I just try to erase the stressful junk from my memory tank.
To help with maintaining some sanity on vacation, I’ve developed a few tips that work for me: Squeeze in a workout when I can & pack food on-the-go!
This trip, I managed to get in a 20 minute workout 2 of the 3 days we were there and it was bliss! It was heavenly to get in a little break from it all and focus on me. I did both workouts in the hotel bathroom while the kids napped – haha. There was a gym, but the dang hotel door was so loud it would wake them up… NOT risking that! I just kept moving and grooving for 20 minutes and I worked up a major sweat. Air squats, cross-legged lunges, tuck jumps, push ups & burpees (we had a good sized bathroom) – haha.
Now for food, I always always travel with PB packets & powder PB (great mixed in oatmeal), protein powder (quick shake snacks and/or in oatmeal), bars and oatmeal portioned out, dried fruit… oh and suckers! They are lifesavers when it comes to occupying the littles. Hey, I do get organic – winky wink.
Every trip, I feel like I’m over-doing the snack pack… but it always comes in handy! I never really trust hotel breakfast and not knowing what they offer, stresses me out so I take matters into my own hands. You can make oatmeal with the coffee maker. Just heat water as if you’re making coffee but don’t put any in the basket. Then pour oats and water in a cup & cover. Snacks are important when traveling so you don’t get over hungry and pig out. So pack ahead!
All said & done… our trip was perfectly imperfect. Life isn’t perfect, our family isn’t perfect & we can’t expect perfection in daily life or on trips. That would be so boring and predictable any way. We learn and grow from the challenges, not the smooth days. I’m trying to learn to not expect so much from myself or my kids… we all get grouchy, stressed and tired. Roll with it, adapt and have fun. FUN FUN… now that’s what life & vacations are all about!