Family Vacations are Changes of Scene - iBlankie - Parental Tips to Raising Happy Kids - Parents Instruction Manual

Realize that family vacations are not vacations, they are "changes of scene"

Every summer when my children were little we went to the beach for our family vacations. Soon after arriving at the beach, I would find myself getting angry. Somehow this vacation wasn't working for me. It took several years for me to realize that family vacations weren't vacations for me. It was even harder being the mom on vacations since my at-home structures-schedules, toys, friends, the grocery store, the washer/dryer-were all different or missing and the day-to-day of parenting was even harder at times. Vacations sometimes left me more frazzled than relaxed.

After several frustrating years of disappointing vacations, I decided that this was an internal issue for me. My expectations were that every day at the beach I would be lying in a chaise by the ocean for hours, with a pina colada in one hand and a crossword in the other, rather than monitoring swimming children and chasing kites and referee-ing sand castle battles; my vacation picture didn't jibe with reality. When I finally started calling vacations "changes of scene" I became much happier. When I expected some relaxation but some challenging times, too, that seemed to make my beach time smoother. I also tried scheduling some down time just for myself the day or two after we returned from vacation. Knowing that I had some "me time" after the beach helped me feel more satisfied during our family "changes of scene."

©Irene Shere, LLC