I Need a Vacation from My Vacation


Our family just returned from an amazing three days at Disney World. Once I gather my thoughts and pictures I hope to share some tips and tricks for making the most of a trip to visit the mouse. Until then, I’m just wishing for a vacation from my vacation.

Doesn’t it work like that? Vacationing with children along for the ride really puts a limitation on how relaxing a vacation can be. Fun times? Noisy times? Crazy times? Through the roof. Time spent lounging and recharging? Nope. The only thing recharging was my cell phone!

So what does a vacation with three kids look like? See if this sounds familiar to you.

Pre-vacation: Pack suitcase with clothes for all five family members. Receive constant input and criticism from five-year-old daughter who believes that mismatched socks, flip flops, and pajamas are always in fashion. Pack second suitcase with snacks for drive and hotel time. Repeatedly ask five-year-old-son not to eat said snacks before we even leave the house. Check list of things to do. Mark off two things, add another 15 that just occurred to you. Make arrangements for work. Realize you still have to make arrangements for dogs (thank goodness for amazing neighbor/friends!) Check to be sure you have the tickets. Check again. Pack 72 band-aids. Seriously – you'll need them.

During trip: Cram as much fun as possible into three days, even when that means staying up WAY past bedtime. Make everything an adventure. Deal with tears and tantrums as needed. Walk so much your feet go numb, but still manage to carry small people as necessary. Smile until your cheeks hurt.

On the way home: Pile exhausted family into car. Stop for sustenance and bathroom break. Get back on interstate and drive for five minutes. Have child who just went at the last stop inform you they must use the restroom RIGHT NOW. Stop again. Realize said child has removed shoes and socks. Cart shoeless child into rest area bathroom silently. Sing song composed of foul language in your head. Return to car. Listen to three children giggle and argue and sing and talk non-stop despite the fact it is almost midnight. Arrive home and manage to get everyone undressed and off to bed before collapsing into sleep.

The day after: Sleep late. (Unless you’re my husband, who had to be at work as usual – sorry, honey!) Continue theme of *late* throughout day – arriving 15-30 minutes later than you intended because kids are still tired, coming down off vacation high, and everyone is cranky. Feel ready for bedtime around 6. Finally get kids to bed around 9. Ponder sore muscles, complete exhaustion, and pile of work in front of you.

Look at picture of seven-year-old daughter and Mickey Mouse together and remember that all this was so, so worth it. Start thinking about next vacation.

How about you? What do your family vacations look like?   

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I Need a Vacation from My Vacation

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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