We're currently on vacation with the kids, though "vacation" seems like a silly word to describe our current state of affairs. "Forced family bonding away from home." That's more like it! Though we are having a lovely time (in between the tantrums and bickering), the last thing I will take home with me is a lingering feeling of relaxation. Here's why ...
1. We're at the beach, which in theory should be relaxing. But unless you're pawning them off on unsuspecting parents, you won't have a single second to appreciate the ocean air.
2. You know how kids are ALWAYS HUNGRY? It's a hell of a lot easier to deal with that hunger when you're at home with a whole pantry at your disposal.
3. Speaking of food, at home we eat out occasionally. Here, it's been at least once a day and we all know restaurants with kids are no bargain. Pretty sure I've gained five pounds in an effort not to waste their overpriced uneaten grilled cheese and chicken fingers.
4. Close quarters. We drove nine hours to the beach, luggage forcing the kids to sit THISCLOSE to one another. My ear drums are still burning from the ride.
5. Unfamiliar surroundings. Hotels and rental homes are a wonderful change of scenery, but the kids can never, ever find what they're looking for. Which isn't all that different from home, except they aren't to blame.
6. None of their babysitters are here. And by babysitters I mean TV with their recorded channels and Wii.
7. Packing regrets. "You brought this?!" my daughter gasped when she spotted the dress I'd hoped she'd wear for a dinner out. To retaliate for my packing clothes she didn't love, she's worn the same gray shirt every single day of the trip. I plan on burning it before we leave.
8. They miss their friends. Sure they have their siblings to play with, but they get sick of each other pretty quickly. Which I can't blame them for.
9. The pressure to have fun. My patience for their constant fighting and moodiness is much, much lower when we're trying to make happy fucking memories for them.
10. The trip home. The drive down to the beach was filled with excitement and anticipation. The ride home? I can't even think about it.
The good news is that we're sure to leave this trip with great memories and a renewed appreciation for the comforts of home. Which will last exactly three seconds.
Image via Scary Mommy