Summer “Vacation”

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Whoever came up with the term summer “vacation/break” clearly did not have kids.

In the past, I could never understand why so many parents would gripe about their children being off for the summer. Since school was out, parents could now enjoy a full summer of extra time with their little ones! Now that I have a child who has just completed his very first year of school, I get it…I finally get it.

I was completely unprepared for how busy my life would get once I had a child in the school system. I really didn’t think much would change, but it did. Now that my Son was in Kindergarten, my perfect family schedule had to change to suit his new life. Not only was there school, the Fall brought activities such as swimming lessons, Beavers and more. Our family life was run by schedules that weren’t really our own!

As the school year was coming to an end, I was really looking forward to a break during the summer. Suddenly, “they” started to appear in my Son’s book bag – soccer schedules, baseball flyers, summer camp brochures, youth programs through church, etc. Are you kidding me?! My nice summer break was being bombarded by more schedules! How is the summer supposed to be a vacation when all you’re doing is bring your children to new activities?

Well I’ve decided to put the break back in summer! My little man dearly loves baseball and it’s only offered during the summer, so that’s fine. We will pass on all other programs. There’s more than enough things to enrol in during the Fall/Winter months.

I’m sure that this summer will be filled with lemonade stands, water balloon wars, camping and trips to the playground. However, we can also spend a day doing absolutely nothing and relax in the backyard. It’s our choice to make now that we’re not being ruled by schedules! Happy Summer everyone!!

Home from Vacation, Time to Relax!

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Please forgive my week-long hiatus friends!  During Easter break, my Husband and I decided to take the kids to the East coast to visit family and have some fun.  Speaking of which, have you ever gone on a family vacation and came back feeling more worn out than before you left?

Typically, when someone says the word “vacation”, thoughts of lush palm trees, beautiful sandy beaches and tasty cocktails come to mind.   In reality, when you go on vacation with young children, more often than not the whole thing ends up being a whole lot of work!  Kids don’t relax, they want to be active and on the go go go!  Movies, the arcade, Signal Hill, the Geo Center and more.  Toss in visits to family and a bit of shopping and you have a very full trip!  Before going on our little vacation I was feeling pretty worn out.  It had been approximately two months since my Hubby had been home and I was ready for a well deserved break.  Skip forward one week of crazy fun and last night I found myself lying in bed and thinking to myself “Phew!  I’m back in my own bed.  Time to relax!”  This afternoon I actually enjoyed washing dishes while my children napped.

I know what some of you are thinking – heading to the East coast to visit family doesn’t count as a vacation.  Sure it does!  For argument’s sake let’s use Disney World as another example.  I’ve had several friends with young children go to Disney World in the last few months.  Did they have a blast?  No doubt about it!  Was it tons of work?  Ohhhhhh yeah.  When you’re in one of the kingdoms it’s all walking and standing around waiting for the rides.  As fun as it is, a day of such activity is very draining on young ones.  Each friend had their kids melt down after 2-3 days at the different kingdoms so they were forced to take a day off from adventuring and stay around their resorts.  Resorts!  Perfect time for relaxing right?  WRONG!!  Keeping kids entertained while trying to get them to rest and rejuvenate is very difficult, especially when you’re in Disney World.  In the end, good times were had by all but each one of my friends were more than ready to get back into their routines and catch up on their rest from their vacation.

While it is a lot of work to take the kids on fun trips, it’s always worth it of course.  A lifetime of memories is far more important than few melt downs and missed naps.