Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vacation with Littles

Recently, we had a week-long family vacation with my mom's side of the family. Every other year, my Grandma and Grandpa pay for a big house for us all to stay in for a week. We are spread out across the country, and don't really get to see each other, especially since my sister moved to Colorado and we moved to Oklahoma. It is a great time of bonding, catching up with each other, seeing each others kids, doing stuff together as a family, and relaxing. Relaxing. That's a relative term when you have 3 small children. In the past, these vacations had been pretty relaxing. We got sleep. So that's what I expected this time. And although there were moments of relaxation and sleep, it was not what I had expected.
Towards the end of the trip, I got on the computer to look at one of my favorite blogs, Passionate Homemaking, and ironically, the post that was up was Summer Vacationing with Kids. I wish I had read this post before we had left. The last trip we went on, we had an enormous house because we were expecting my uncle and aunt and their 10 kids and then they couldn't come. So we had extra rooms and only 2 kids. This time, we had a house that fit the amount of people who came, and that included fold out couches out in the open. Not too ideal for kids who need to go to bed early. We actually got a room with a couch that had a fold out bed in the room, so we thought that would be perfect. But Judah had never slept in a real bed before, and now he was going to sleep with Maddy as well. Mistake #1. We were going to bring the pack and play, but we ended up running out of room. It took Judah about an hour or more to fall asleep each time he needed to nap or go to sleep for the night! It was exhausting. He kept getting up and coming out, talking to Maddy, and taking forever to fall asleep. One night he got to sleep as late as 11! And then the next day, he was exhausted and a mess. He did manage to take some 3 hour naps though, to catch up on lost sleep. One morning he woke up because he fell out of bed, poor guy!
So, we ended up shuffling Maddy around between her cousins fold out beds, put Judah's mattress on the floor and he slept there in our room, and Ruth slept in her bed in our bathroom. Gotta do what you gotta do!
So, all in all, it was a fun trip. I just wasn't expecting the ordeal it was to get the kids to sleep. And the frustration of them getting woken up. And melting the next day. It is exhausting as a parent when your kids or you don't get enough sleep. I guess I just wish I had different expectations going in to the trip. Which is why you need to read the aforementioned blog post before you go on vacation with your small kids!! It makes things so much smoother when we know what we're in for!!
Also, think through the sleeping situation before you leave and make up different scenarios that could work. That way you are not locked into one situation that has to work. Even if you are all in one hotel room, there are different options. We are doing this at the end of the month, and I'm already trying to figure out the best possible solution!!
When you go on vacation as a mom, you don't get away from mom responsibilities. Unless you are in a high class resort and literally have people waiting on you. But we were in a house, so laundry, dishes, cleanup, taking care of kids, and cooking still had to be done. One of my favorite things that was said in that blog post is that it's called a family trip, not a vacation. That is so true.

I hope this didn't sound super negative!! We really did have fun, but I guess it did shine through that the sleeping arrangements were pretty stressful! But you just have to roll with the punches I guess and not let things you can't control get you too down!! Try to enjoy those little sweet moments when you are on vacation and not let lack of sleep get you down! Needless to say, I'm so glad to be home with my kids sleeping in their own beds!!

Head on over to Alicia's Homemaking, one of my favorite blogs, to read more about people's fun new adventures!! 


  1. Oh, I totally understand this!!! When we went on our last family "trip," we had a lot of sleep interruptions, along with our toddler falling out of the bed, like you mentioned. I'm going to go read that post by Lindsay!

    We are going on a cruise next week (our first! it was a gift) and leaving our 2 1/2 yr old with his grandparents (only taking the 7 month old). I'm so excited! I know it will still be some work to have the baby, but we won't have to cook or clean...just make sure he sleeps and gets fed. And he's a very amiable, go-with-the-flow baby, so that's a blessing.

    It is so sweet to reconnect with family, isn't it? Mine is getting spread around, and I miss them.

    1. Yes, it is so good to reconnect with family. We are close to my husband's family now, but very far from any of my family. So it was so good to see everyone!! Like the saying goes, I now need a vacation from my vacation!