So, the definition of a vacation is a “period of time that a person spends away from home for the purpose of relaxation”. This does look relaxing doesn’t it….
We just got back today from a 3 night vacation at the Carolina coast. And um….it definitely was not relaxing. Why? Because we have 6 small children.
So here’s the top 5 reasons why a vacation with small children is anything but a vacation:
- Packing for 6 children is a nightmare. Practically a logistical impossibility. Clothes, pajamas, toothbrushes, swim suits, shoes, diapers, pull ups, baby monitor, swaddle blanket, baby swing and on and on…. And not only did I have to pack clothes and shoes, but also all the food we would need for 3 meals a day plus snacks. We have allergy issues in our family, so dining out is not much of an option. Our van was loaded down with food – I don’t think I realized we ate quite that much until I saw it boxed up and then all of it eaten in 3 days.
- Babies do not sleep well in new places. At least mine never do. I was up…. Wait for it….. 8 TIMES one night with the 3 month old. 8 times in about 8 hours. And on that note, toddlers don’t sleep well in new places either. The little flower fell out of her bed once in the middle of her nap, she woke up in the middle of the night scared and screaming one night, and she took FOREVER to calm down and go to sleep each night.
- 6 children + ocean = drowning risk = stressed parents. I felt like a hawk trying to keep my eyes on them. And since one of them is a little baby, there were times that I had to go back in the house with the baby and my dear husband had to watch the remaining 5 himself. Stressful! And 2 days before we left, I had read about a friend of a friend whose 3 year old daughter had just drowned. So we were doubly cautious on this trip.
- Sand is the reason I would never want to live at the beach. There was sand encrusted on their scalps, sand up their noses, sand in every nook and cranny. Baths were time intensive searches for remaining sand particles.
- Car ride. With little ones. Little ones who cry. When one would finally give up and go to sleep, another started it up and woke everyone up. We’ve considered taking earplugs from now on. Not to mention that potty breaks are all too common. We’re not amateurs though – we carry the little green potty in the van at all times for quick pit stops.So why do we do it? Because although it is SO much work for us as the parents, seeing the joy on their faces and knowing we’re building memories that last a lifetime makes it all worth it.
All in all, we had a great time. And we will look forward to doing it again next year.
But now I need a vacation. A relaxing vacation.