The Truth About Vacations (with Children)

I’m not sure what planet I’ve lived on for the last 12+ years, but, for whatever reason, the stark reality about vacationing with children suddenly smacked me upside the head this past week.

The bottom-line is that vacation with children is almost no vacation at all – and I’m not that upset about it, to be honest…

… at least when it comes to our situation.

You see, we’ve built some very complex systems for our family because of our many health issues that every single person has and trying to (re)create these in foreign environments is nothing short of impossible.

As a consequence, a vacation ends up being infinitely more work for us as opposed to being in our time and battle-tested home environment. Add young children to the mix and you have a clusterfuck of frustration and anxiety.

But that doesn’t mean that a “vacation” is terrible, it just means that one’s expectations must change dramatically and once that happens then you can, more easily, get over the many irritations that inevitably arise.

And, you can even eek out a bit of fun here and there, and with a little bit of luck, you can have a pleasant, fun, and memorable time. In fact, I appreciate capturing things (e.g. photos & videos) because I’ll be able to look back at them without remembering most of the annoyances that we had to work through.

I’m not bitter (at least now… but, I was in the beginning for a day or two) and I’m actually, finally, relaxing a bit more.

Needless to say, it’s been a huge wakeup call for me to reassess how I feel about vacations in general and the amount of work it really takes to “pull it off” for us and our family specifically.

I know that most families do not have the special needs that my family has and, for instance, they do not have to pack an entire trip’s worth of food and enjoy eating wherever and whatever they want – more power to them and I’m glad for it.

But, they also don’t get to experience life with the three most interesting people in the world: Roenne, Arden, and Oliver.

I love them so much and so dearly and I wouldn’t trade what we have for any other family. It’s my special family and that’s that.