If you head to Disneyland you end up riding it’s a small world over and over, then you spend the remaining 5 hours of your time in line to take pictures with the characters.
If you head to a tropical location the ocean is just too scary and the sand is just too hot for their feet so you end up in the kiddie pool all day. You’d like to scuba dive, parasail, deep sea fish, surf, paddle board, etc but the only excursions you get to do is to Chuck E Cheese.
If you head to Eastern Washington (like my family did) your daughters almost step on a rattle snake and are to afraid to let their feet touch the ground the remainder of the trip.
Vacationing with kids can be more work than play for the parents, but the preparation, money or travel pales in comparison to the real cost of vacationing with kids, which is…
Their Sleep Schedule Upon Returning Home.
Kids thrive on a routine, parents thrive on sleep. Both of which are totally shattered when you return home from vacation. If you are among the lucky few who’s kid can sleep through anything at anytime no matter the routine you are blessed… and I feel a great deal of disdain for you in my heart right now.
For parents with normal 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 year olds the week after a vacation is hell.
Here is how vacation parenting works… especially when camping or relaxing in the sun.
“Can I have candy?”
“Can I stay up late?”
“Can I smack my sister in the face?”
“Yes, sweety whatever you want.”
“Can you put me up for adoption so I can have parents that listen to me?”
“Uh huh, now run along.”
Hey I’m on your side mom and dad. We cannot be bothered… it’s vacation.
There is no sense of routine on vacation. Bed times are different, you probably forgot their favorite book or blanky, their beds are different and your kids are most likely sleeping in the same room or tent as you.
When you’re on vacation your on vacation, right? Shirking your parental duties to put your kids to sleep at a reasonable time is completely justified. It’s hard work to make a kid go to sleep. Just let them stay up until they zonk out next to the fire. (You won’t find a parenting book with these parenting tips in them, but let’s be honest… It happens, it’s vacation.)
The problem is when you return home that adorable little tyke that fell asleep in your lap next to the camp fire doesn’t want it any other way.
Our Current Reality:
For the last week at least two of our 3 children have been up in the middle of the night for 1 to 2 hours EVERY NIGHT. It feels like I’m take crazy pills here. I hate seeing 3:30am on the clock (unless I have also seen 11:30am, 12:30am, 1:30am and 2:30am in the same night/morning… and I’m at a club… a parenting club… a parenting book club… I love those!)
Our vacation time was a blast, but we are paying the real price right now. In fact last night was the first time in about 10 nights one of our children didn’t wake up at 3 in the morning. And you know what my stupid body did because it is so used to it.
Yeah… I woke up at 3:40am and laid in bed awake for about 30 minutes.
And not only do they sleep terribly, but since they have gotten away with pretty much anything they want all vacation, their attitudes during the day stink like a Bearcat’s Butt. (which may not actually be the best analogy as a Bearcat’s butt apparently smells like buttery popcorn. No joke… Google it.)
Stinkin Kids. Not only do they make vacationing difficult, but the week after vacation could be the worst week of the year.
Do you have crazy kid vacation stories? Let me hear it in the comments!