You know, I would love to be one of those spontaneous people who just pack a quick bag and go. Do something new, travel the world: all the freedom and amazing experiences. I never was all that spontaneous before kids, and I’m certainly not now.
I have to admit that some of that lack of spontaneity is rooted in anxiety. If I can’t plan it out and be prepared, I worry. Stress. It’s not fun, for sure. But most of it? Most of it has to do with my kids.
We’ve been planning a family vacation for quite some time, and I’m already tired. Just making sure that everything the kids need will be there is hard. Making sure we have everything planned out and no surprises is even harder. Fringy kids (to borrow The Fringy Bit’s term) make everything a lot more complicated.
I can’t just throw some clothes in a bag for the kids. Nope, we have to sort through and make sure I don’t accidentally pick the PJs that are too short, or the shirt with the scratchy tag, or the other shirt with the chewed on collar. I can’t forget something important like Bunny (music player) because then the kids can’t get to sleep. And god forbid I forget the melatonin – they’ll be up until 2am chatting about their day.
If the basics (food, clothing, transportation) are so difficult, the destination is even more so. The kids need to be prepared in advance and know exactly where they’re going. On day X we’re doing this, on day Y we’re doing that. And if the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll do Z. Please please please don’t fuss if Z happens – I can’t control the weather!
They still fuss. They still ask 50 times what’s going to happen that day. They still need a routine, a semblance of order to link this terrifying newness to the safety of home. If we can’t follow the schedule or the routine drops in the hat – we’re ruined. Meltdown city.
Family vacations are supposed to be fun, right? They never seem that way for me. The kids have fun – because I plan everything out with precision and order. Low stress vacation just isn’t happening around here. Like everything else gifted, we do “more” stress!
Oh, well. The kids will enjoy it. Maybe they’ll sleep past 6am if I’m lucky. That would be an amazing vacation!