My family and I recently journeyed over to Maui for a much needed vacation. Much needed. So much, that I needed to write that twice and put it in bold.
Months of suffering winter viruses in our household, chauffeuring the kids to more extracurricular activities than I should have probably signed up for, and surviving a few emotional roller-coasters warranted a vacation, both mentally and physically.
My toes needed the warm sand, my face needed the ocean breeze, and well, I just needed a break.
The number of hours my husband and I have spent packing, unpacking, repacking and then unpacking again seems absurd. Lugging around bags, strollers, car seats, and then entertaining two kids on a 6.5 hour plane ride (both ways) despite having angel children is still exhausting.
I still got a “break”.
Although the definition of “taking a vacation” has slightly changed over the years, here are the top 5 reasons it is still a highly desired refuge even when traveling with young kiddos:
- Change in scenery. I love my house and I’ve made quite an effort making it into a home. But being somewhere completely different is refreshing. Waking up to the ocean, being in an unfamiliar city waiting to be explored, and stepping outside of my normal routine is revitalizing. There is of course joy to be found in the mundane, but doing those things under a beach umbrella by the ocean makes it quite easy to discover.
- Extra set of hands. Being a SAHM means, I’m on my own with changing diapers, making bottles, and chauffeuring (oh the chauffeuring. It warrants its own blog post) most days of the week. Having my husband with me on a weekday, during day-time hours, is a huge help. It gives me a chance to slow my pace and although I’m still making breakfast or changing diapers, we’re doing things together which makes the day more fun.
- Uninterrupted quality time. Not having a routine schedule opens up a lot more hours in the day to simply spend time with my kids. We’re not committed to the clock. If we want to play UNO in our pajamas for an extra 3 rounds, no big deal. If we sleep in (off chance!), wake up early, or take a nap, no big deal. We’re on vacation people. We can do whatever floats our boat.
- Broken Rules. Okay, so this sounds silly but I secretly enjoy breaking the rules. As a parent, I have learned to make rules and follow through to maintain order (and my sanity) but truthfully, I’m sort of okay with my booger jumping on the bed sometimes or having an extra piece of candy. Well, if my dude wants to eat macaroni and cheese 3 days in a row, I say okay. The kids want to stay up late? Sure, why not. The husband and I want to indulge in late night snacks? Bring. It. On.
- No major decisions. One of the most exhausting things about parenting is all the choices we have to make. Schools, diet, religion, health, education and the list goes on and on. We are making hundreds of decisions every single day and frankly, it’s tiring. Well, going on vacation means I get to enjoy making some lighter decisions like what excursions we’ll reserve or at what restaurant my son will down his third plate of macaroni and cheese. Sure, I can handle that.
I didn’t “clock out”, but I love that I had the break with my two little boogers right there with me. It just wouldn’t have been the same without them and I will cherish all the sweet memories of this vacation for a lifetime.
I unplugged and found myself recharged.
Goodbye lazy afternoons. Goodbye late night chocolate (well, sort of). Goodbye ocean breeze. Until we meet again…