Staycations with Young Kids Is No Vacation
Staycations are all the rage. With less money, it makes even more sense to stay home and enjoy the holiday break with your family from the comfort of your own home. Right? Wrong!
As Thanksgiving was coming 'round the corner, I was looking forward to hanging out with my boys, getting Christmas underway and not cooking because my brother-in-law was hosting the big feast. I sit here feeling like a stuffed turkey as the Christmas lights lay wrapped around our front entrance waiting to be turned on. However, the reality of having the boys home for a full week is settling in and it ain't pretty.
In the beginning, my husband and I enjoyed cuddles on the couch, bike rides with helmets and mittens, and coloring pages filled with Batman, turkeys and hot rods. Today, we built yet another train track for our little conductors, designed Lego vehicles until our fingers couldn't take the minuscule pieces anymore and passed out on the couch as the kiddos smashed cars around us.
Our house looks like a full on attack by the Lost Boys occurred. Half-finished glasses dot the landscape. Miscellaneous socks, shoes and the occasional pants (really?) litter the floor. I could just take those coloring pages and throw them into the fireplace. At least they would be picked up!
We've gone shopping, had multiple play dates, visited relatives, went to an indoor jumpy facility and attended our town's tree lighting festival. And still two more days remain. Would it be inappropriate to take them to school on Saturday?
Taking a vacation may seem like it takes an incredible amount of work -- make the reservations, plan outings for the kids, pack the bags, fight the airport mania and manage kids who are off schedule and off kilter. But staying home is even more work in some ways.
The newness and excitement that keeps kids busy and engaged in a different setting doesn't happen at home. How many different railways can be person build? (Turns out it's a lot.) Day trips sound fun but we do those all the time. The Shedd Aquarium? Been there. The Museum of Science and Industry? Have a season pass. The Jelly Belly Factory? Did that already. Only the misshapen jellybeans were interesting on that jaunt.
My husband and I took a staycation last year for just the two of us while the boys went to school. It was pure heaven. Until the kids are old enough to entertain themselves, even for a little while, the concept of a staycation is a lot more work than the average work week. Next time, I'm shipping the kids off to their grandparents while my husband and I remain to enjoy the comforts and peace of home.