If you have ever spent a week with your kids on vacation or if you are planning to then this is the post you need to read!
The sun was shining, there was a breeze off the ocean and the temperature was a sublime 78 degrees. Laying in the filtered sunlight just feet of the beach with a fresh drink in hand. Perfection, right?
“Mom, I have a question: can I go back to the hotel room and watch a Mario Cart video?”
“I don’t want to get my feet sandy so I can’t play on the beach anymore.”
“I didn’t sign up for this.”
“I’m hungry.” (we just finished a meal)
“I’m bored.” (we are on an ocean kayaking trip)
As a friend phrased it, the week in Mexican jungle-beach paradise was a trip more than a vacation.
Don’t get me wrong: it was amazing and both my husband and I had an incredible time with our 3 kids. But traveling with kids when you are the ‘home’ parent is not quite a vacation. Outside of their school day, my kids and I spend A LOT of time together. Plus hockey season is long and every weekend is packed with kid activities. I was feeling plenty of parenting burn out. With all this anxiety would I ever be able to relax enough, with 3 active, young boys, to even enjoy 7 days in paradise?
And then I had an idea!
I decided to take care of myself first by getting up and out early every morning for a run. Nobody even knew I was gone because they were all still sleeping. And it was heavenly.
It sounds so simple but it is surprising how easy it is to focus on everyone else and not even notice yourself until you’ve become so crabby that everyone is miserable.
This time I wanted to do things differently. Since I knew it was pretty maniacal to plan swim, bike & run workouts during our week off I figured that running every morning would keep me stable.
So my advice to you is to remember yourself when you are with your family. Be sure to follow the instructions and “Secure Your Own Mask First” – everyone will be happier if you do!