This year I took the kids on a vacation to Florida for spring break.This year it would just be me and the kids for 8 days. I was so excited, was also a little nervous and apprehensive about going into it. I kept thinking, would they be bored, would we all want to do the same things, would they drive me nuts, would I drive them crazy, would they bicker the entire time. All the things that go through your mom brain.
This was going to be 8 days with just us…8 days. In the past, we have always met family down there for the week. I do not think we have spent that much time together with just us. I see them almost everyday, but it’s different,they have school, work, activities and we are just busy with life going on.
So, off we went to Florida.. I was still nervous about being thousands of miles away from home and responsible for these 3 littles who are not so little now at 16, almost 14, and 10.
I think it was more about being the one to make all the decisions. Once we got there, I realized that I depended on them also to help in making the decisions. I let them give an input on what we would do during the week. I had not planned much ahead of time and thought we would decide when we got there.
I also counted on them to help with navigating directions, what time we left, and what we would eat. All of those things that I did not want to be responsible for making on my own.
When I was growing up, I do not remember my parents ever asking for my sister and my opinion when we went on vacations. My parents just made all the decisions and we followed along.
I think that is the one of differences when you are a single mom with kids, you depend on them to help make decisions. They have to step it up a little bit more and help you with whatever comes up.They can see how independent I am at times, but they also see when I need help and have frustrations.
I learned that we are not the family that can go..go..go… We are the family that moves at a slow pace. There were also times when I would just sit by the pool by myself because they were off doing their own things.
At first, I thought my kids were bored or were not having a fun time if we were not always together, but then I realized they also needed their downtime. They needed to escape and go watch their favorite TV show, read, or play a video game. They needed their alone time as much as I did. At times, it was probably one of the most relaxing trips that I have taken. And I actually got to lay by the pool by myself-seems like a mom’s dream.
I also realized that even though they are older, they are still never ready at the time we say we are going to leave the house. They might be able to get dressed and eat by themselves, but they are still pokey.
I learned that my youngest talks continuously. By the end of the week, we would call it “Fun Facts by Nolan”. I just never saw this side of him at home and his little mind never stops thinking.
I learned that my oldest daughter is so responsible, it was like I had another adult along to help me when I needed it. I realized that her and I are more alike in many ways, that I do not see at home. I do not see how grown up she actually is and that I need to give her more credit at home for everything that she does to help us.
Even on vacation, we still all fight and bicker, but 20 minutes later it is like nothing ever happened. I did have some epic breakdowns at times, mostly over the GPS and it not giving me the correct directions. Or when I could not figure out how to work the lights in our rental car.I have always been the mom that can not always hide my frustration.
So through the 8 days, It was just great to see no crazy busy life, just more relaxed,more fun,more laughs. It was just different for us to get out of our normal routine and to see each of them differently one on one and as a family.
We had some definite ups and downs, but all my worrying was pretty much overrated.