We’ve spent almost two weeks traveling and while I can emphatically say we enjoyed our time with our family, I can more confidently say it was not relaxing. Not because there was family drama… but because traveling with a toddler is effing hard. He’s in the middle of a huge sleep regression and he is biting...
As mamas, we take the brunt of the vacation stress or, as I like to call it the travel anxiety; we do the packing, the planning, we search for restaurants and healthy meals, and we worry most about naps and schedules and the kids being happy and having fun.
...THE KIDS BEING HAPPY...
Just like at home we set ourselves aside on vacation- even though we work hard for months anticipating and planning, we forgo our own happiness and relaxation to see them smile and create memories for them.
But we need to remember something mamas.
These memories are ours too. This vacation is ours… too.
Vacation is supposed to be fun right? How happy are those memories going to be if you are stressed and frustrated the entire time? How are you going to feel when you look back at the pictures and remember a week of tantrums or taking care of everyone else’s needs while throwing yours aside?
As I look back through the pictures of the past weeks and I package the memories of Ethan screaming and biting his cousin into the books, I’m making a pact with myself for future trips.
Here is my advice to my future self and maybe a little nugget for those of you preparing for your summer vacations with the kiddos:
1. Move as often as possible. This past week I did yoga and worked out at the hotel gym. We took family walks and played football with my cousins and brother-in-laws. Moving helped balance out the stress fro some of the tantrums. And, it made me feel human. I will remember this for our next trip.
2. Choose one activity for YOU and make it a priority. Yes, the kid(s) having fun is still high ranking but I don’t want to look back at photos and remember being exhausted and frustrated, and I assume you don't either. I want to remember fun activities that I actually enjoyed. It can be fun for both the parents and the kids if we… and they… learn to compromise
3. When you're irritated, frustrated, or overwhelmed- take a few deep breaths and tell yourself that you're a good mom and that you are indeed having fun. And then drink a glass (or bottle) of wine. Seriously, fake it until you feel it- tell yourself that you’re having fun… remember that you’re doing a great job no matter what activities you do or how stressful it is.
Remember that you only get one chance to be in this very moment. Try not to waste it by being frustrated or losing yourself. Sit back and relax.
Enjoy that vacation mama… you’ve earned it.
Need a little help relaxing on vacation? Here are a couple of short yoga videos I filmed specially for travel.
Yoga for travel anxiety:
Yoga for jet lag:
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