Spring Break. Many families associate Spring Break with traveling, beaches, sand, relaxation, and family fun. In other words: VACATION.
My family of five has been on the Spring Break vacation bandwagon every year. It’s been a tradition of ours to make the nearly 24 hour drive to Florida in our well-stocked minivan. Snacks, drinks, dvds, tablets, new books, the promise of a fun night in a Georgia hotel, capped off with a week of fun with the grandparents are all part of our formula for road-trip-success. People think my husband and I are crazy, but with three little ones we’d rather drive than fly. Which means that we’re more than well-versed in the art of road tripping, and our kiddos look forward to it every spring.
But this year? We decided to stay home for Spring Break. The stars just didn’t align for our annual trip. Much to our kiddos’ chagrin, we decided to stay home. I tried to drum up some support: “We’ll have a Staycation” I told my kids, “It’ll be so fun!”. And in my head, I came up with all of these amazing plans of grandeur. My goal was to be the Pinterest-y mom with activities, crafts, playdate plans and more! I’m typically not that mom, so I was feeling pretty fun and cool in my new role. My outlook was cheery, optimistic and crafty! And then…….Strep Throat decided to pay us a visit.
My 7-year-old was the 7th kid in his class to fall victim to Strep. Without warning the nastiness hit, unexpectedly kicking off our Spring Break a week early. Instead of planning our Staycation, I was taking care of my son and failing miserably in my attempts to quarantine him from his two younger siblings. And just like that – like a deflated balloon – my Pinterest mom persona took a downward spiral. Amazing plans gave way to doses of Amoxicillin, and crafting was replaced with crabbiness.
Thankfully, after a few days of convalescing, my son was back in action. He was bouncing off the walls actually, eager for something to do. But we didn’t have any plans, and my Staycation ideas were still just that: ideas. By then, the Spring Break pictures on social media started rolling in. Blue skies, white sandy beaches, and pictures of kids frolicking in the warm and sunny weather were starting to make me green with envy. Even the Staycationers were posting their fun and activity-filled days. UGH! I cursed myself, and experienced all the things that I feel when I’m tired, frustrated, defeated and when my former Type-A Personality rears its ugly head:
- We should have planned a trip!
- We should have planned something, anything!
- These kids can’t watch movies all day!
- We can’t play Minecraft all the time, their brains are going to rot!
- I’m the worst mom ever!
- How many packs of fruit snacks did they eat? They’re going to have a million cavities!
- It’s 4pm and we’re all still in our PJs, we’re so lazy!
- Again…..I’m the worst mom ever!
But then it hit me: everyone but me was having fun. FUN! My kids were having a blast just hanging out at home in their pajamas, playing and eating and being silly together.
Sure, we watched way more television than usual, and my boys probably spent too much time playing Minecraft, but they were having a blast with one another. There was no plan, no agenda, and no place to be but home. There was no rushing to school, or racing out the door to sports and other extra-curricular activities. There was just us, in our PJs, hanging out. And let me tell you, it’s been GLORIOUS.
I definitely failed at our Spring Break Staycation, but it’s honestly been the best possible thing that could have happened! Once I stopped comparing our week to what other’s were doing, I realized how amazing our week of nothing actually has been. We’re so busy, all of the time, that I think I’ve forgotten how to relax. I needed a break. My kids needed a break. We all just needed a week to chill. Thankfully, we’ve been able to enjoy it together!
Where did your Spring Break plans take you? Share your travel or staycation adventures with us. Even if you just hung out in your PJs all day, you’re in good company!