Booking a family vacation is the easy part. Browsing the internet and looking at perfect pictures of hotel rooms, pools that show perfect people drinking pina colada's with umbrellas, and not one picture illustrates the truth behind a family vacation.
But you still book the vacation. You are excited and eager to getaway and relax. Right?
But here's the ugly truth.
Where are the hotel rooms that show cereal combing the floor, towels were thrown in the bathroom that have just wiped my kid's asses, dirty diapers that are piled high in the trash can, and Cheeto hands that were smeared across the white sheets?
Do they show parents up all hours of the night in a tiny ass room and have nowhere to go. In some ways, it's a prison cell.
You can hear your roommate's next door having fun, people chatting and laughing through the little crack from the door. You are sitting with tired eyes rocking your child from one side of the room to the other while your husband has one eye open and is tossing and turning in bed. You are having thoughts of why did you even come? Maybe you should just get back in the car and go home? Is this even a vacation?
Before I had kids, I thought vacations wouldn't change. Ok, yeah we would have to pack more. Diapers, wipes, a few extra clothes, and a stroller. No big deal.
Nobody warned me that packing was hell. You have to think of EVERY situation. I bring the damn medicine cabinet, diapers for days, wipes to clean every butt in the hotel, clothes and more clothes for spills and pee mishaps, bathing suits, and milk. Yes, I bring milk because my kid is addicted. Like it's crack for her, and if we don't have it handy, then she and I may go to a mental institute.
Then if we drive I have to pack for the road trip. If we fly, I have to pack for the plane ride. I mean this shit is not for anyone who is weak. If you used to fly by the seat of your pants. Well, let me tell you all of a sudden you become an instant planner.
Then you get there. You're excited, you're looking to relax, have a few drinks, sleep in, and party like you are on vacation.
Then the first night you go to bed in the hotel room is when the first bomb drops. You wake up in the morning, and you wonder what just hit you.
Oh let me tell you, it was a toddler who decided that they wanted to let you know that vacations will and won't be the same for a VERY long time.
Here are some bombs that will be dropped if you are a new parent trying to vacation. Or a seasoned parent who keeps on thinking that vacations will get better. Keep thinking.
Airports- You will be overwhelmed whether you have a baby or a toddler. Security checks suck. Waiting for your flights sucks. And any amounts of alcohol will not help you push the stroller and hold the car seat. You will have so much stuff to carry you will feel like you are in the middle of a Crossfit competition.
Airplane ride- Babies cry, toddlers get antsy, and red-eye flights are the worst idea. You will get the looks from someone, but some people goo eye your kids, and you will feel like you want to give them a hug. Drinking on a plane is impossible, and plan on having activities and food for every 15 minutes. Boredom is on a high once you step foot on a plane.
Carseats- Putting a car seat in a car or whatever transportation you have to get to your hotel is one pain in the ass. Let me break it to you. You just flew on a plane with kids, you have not one sip of alcohol to relax you, you just want to get there, and now you have to click and rattle a car seat. Hell is what you are about to embark.
Eating out- Plain and simple it is still shitty when you are on vacation. Home or out it's never easy.
Hotel rooms- Look prettier online. You are always a mile away. You will destroy them. Unless you get a suite, it's the smallest room you will ever be in. You will feel like you don't have an out, and it's worse than being in an apartment building.
Pool- Barely get to sip your drink because your chasing or breastfeeding a baby. Your eyes are never able to view anything but a little person in a swimsuit. You stuff your face of overpriced pool food and getting chairs for a family of 4 you better be there at the crack of dawn. A chair becomes a gold mine when they are right next to the kiddie pools. You will be swimming in a pool of pee rather than floating down the lazy river.
Naps- Again good luck. It's hard to calm a kid down after they have been swimming and eating ice cream all afternoon.
Nightlife- Doesn't exist and you will be dreaming of the good ole days!
Relaxed- I have never been on a vacation that I feel relaxed and calm. Dead tired when I'm there and when I come home.
Laundry- You will have more laundry then you know what to do when you get home. Loads upon loads.
I swear I'm not a bitch, and I'm not complaining.
But this is pure honesty, and you all know if you are a parent that vacations are just not the same as they were ten years ago. You find out this vacation does not include dancing until 1:00am, drinking margarita's by the pool, and wearing your sun dresses around while shopping will ever exist.
But let me end this post with a happy ending. Believe it or not, I wouldn't trade these vacations for the old ones. I'm making memories. Sharing the fun with my kids and seeing their smiles. I will forget how tired I was and how many diapers I had to change. Pictures will be plastered in picture books, and we will talk about these days for years.
Take the trips, and bring extra coffee. Laugh with your kids, and remember these days. They will be the good ole days before we know it!