I know, click bait title, but hear me out. We are freshly off our first vacation as a family of four, and let’s just say mom and dad are a little tired. While I do love to vacation and explore new (and even familiar) places, I am admittedly a terrible traveler. Add the two little kids, and it is really easy for me to make excuses as to why we should push it off. “So much prep!”…“The baby hates the car seat!”…“We will never have enough room in the car!”…“It’s such a long drive” The list could on for days. And while these things are all true, vacation is still worth it.
This trip was a good one to ease ourselves into traveling as a new family of four—a familiar place, extended family in tow (i.e. higher ratio of adults to kids), and a lot of kid-friendly activities. Day one turned out to be more eventful than planned—surely expected (does any travel go off without a hitch?!), yet still surprising. Most of the four-hour drive included big feelings for one or both children and me crammed between two carseats in the back of a small SUV pulling all the tricks out of my bag to in an attempt to keep said feelings at bay. We were relieved to finally make it to town. We grabbed a beer (because, priorities) and some groceries, and headed to our rental only to discover it had not been cleaned. I spent the next couple of hours in a tizzy trying to connect with the owner and get the issue resolved while also managing children that were rapidly falling apart. By the end of that first day, I was EXHAUSTED and wondered what we were thinking. If I am being honest, I went to bed with a sense of dread for the week ahead.
But then both kids slept relatively well (and continued to for the rest of the week) despite sharing a room for the four of us. And there were the other wins. The big kid tried out her first roller coaster and loved it. The baby happily (for the most part) toted around in our wagon or strapped to my chest. We spent oodles of time with family we don’t see enough. There was a lot of good food and coffee. Neither my husband or I thought about work. All in all, it was a good week.
Another thing happened during the week. My family and I spent a lot of time reminiscing about past vacations. We felt nostalgia for the good times and laughed at all the hiccups along the way. I realized that during those years, when I just had to show up for the vacation, I was blissfully ignorant of the work my parents and other relatives were putting into to our travels. And all these years later, there is no doubt they would do it all again, hiccups and all.
So, yes, vacation is definitely worth it.