Monday, August 25, 2014

The Real Hell: Vacationing With Kids

As much as I love vacations and getaways with the minis, there's soooo much work in preparing, the drive to places takes double the time, and making sure where you're staying has the appropriate accommodations is hell. Really, the entire process is hell. I love road trips, as does my husband, even with screaming kids in the car, there's something about hitting road and seeing the land up close, with the ability to get out and explore. This is something we have passed along to our children, however vacations are no longer the carefree, joyous trips I remember as a kid.

I recall vacations going something like this: mom and dad announcing to my sister and I we were going somewhere, this was met with excited and sleepless nights from the excitement, pack bags with clean clothes, leave for vacation and enjoy special vacation treats, stay in a hotel (where we endured our parent's snoring--the worst part of any vacation as a kid), eat out, and have fun.

Now that I'm a mom, vacations sure have changed. We do endless hours of research on hotels. Is there an indoor pool or an outdoor pool or both? What does the suite have? Is there at least a mini fridge in the room to store bottles/milk/fruits/veggies? How close is the nearest Target or convenience store? What kid friendly restaurants are nearby or better yet, in the hotel? How close is the hotel to our activities (aka-how much extra driving are we going to have to do?)? We deal with kids who are already tired from pre-vacation excitement. Do loads upon loads of laundry to ensure everyone has enough clean clothing for the vacation. Look over packed bags.....and repack them accordingly. Always pack extra of everything--going away for two days? Pack five days worth of clothes, underwear, socks, and pajamas. Go grocery shopping for car and hotel snacks. Make sure the car is up to date on oil changes, cleaned out, and ready to go. Leave for vacation....two hours behind schedule.

Our destination is four hours away, which really means six hours with the countless potty breaks, breaking up fights about what DVD should be watched, someone touched someone else's car seat, another one is hungry.....and none of the snacks I packed are good enough, or someone needs to "see what's in that cornfield at the rest area." When we finally arrive to our hotel, we immediately child proof the room(s). At night, we endure our children's countless grunts, snores, middle of the night "I have to pee" that wakes up everyone, and of course the "I miss my bed!" Eating out for every meal is exhausting, which inevitably leaves us with fast food, which means tummy issues for days. Oh, and the have fun part of the vacation....I can't believe how much that costs!!???!!? Seriously, the cost!

To put it mildly, vacationing with kids isn't a vacation at all. It's work. Work from the moment it's planned to the time we come home....which leaves me with even more work because we have days of dirty clothes in our suitcases. But it's work away from home, away from the usual work. Despite my bitching, we'll continue to go on "vacations." I'll continue to go through the hell of vacationing with my'll just have to listen to me bitch about it.