Finally, the sun is out!! School is out! It’s Summer! Glorious Summer!! Do you remember endless summers when you were a kid? I can still taste that feeling of freedom; no schedule, swimming, backyard barbecues, sleeping in a tent in the yard, sandy beach days, and staying up late for movie nights. It was the best.
I could talk about summer for hours, but what I really want to talk about are these fabulous summer vacation pictures that we’re all seeing plastered across Facebook and Instagram. You know which ones I’m talking about: magical rainbows, perfect beach, adorable happy smiling kids. I know we all know this, but let’s not forget: it’s all LIES. I think sometimes as moms, we need to convince ourselves of the lie and believe that the 12 second snapshot is the actual reality. We want so badly for this picture to be the whole trip, not the 1% out of the 99% of the chaos. I think unless you have the money to fly first class with global entry and without kids, traveling is hard and exhausting. Maybe I’m wrong, because I’ve clearly never traveled this way, but get me a private jet with no lines and champagne, and I’m in. Standing in line with thousands of cranky stinky people waiting to go through security or customs, and it’s just the worst. Okay, maybe not the WORST, but pretty darn miserable.
Then add kids to that and… HILARIOUS. I had a good friend just get back from Hawaii. (Is it just me, or did it seem like half of the people I know were in Hawaii last week??) I saw these pictures, and instantly started wishing I was sitting on that white sand beach watching a rainbow with a cocktail in my hand and a lei around my neck. But the other part of me stopped to remember the truth about vacationing with young kids. I had to remind myself of all the work that went into that picture. I’m so grateful that this friend came back and told me the real side and not the Instagram side of her trip. She is my hero. Her kids had the the time of their lives and it was a vacation they will always remember. BUT…
It rained most of the time, and when it wasn’t pouring, it was super hot with 100% humidity. Her older kids (5 and 7 – so please don’t think self sufficient by any means) wanted to be at the beach surfing and playing in the sand, so her husband was down at the beach with them the entire time while she was stuck up by the pool with the baby. They never got to see each other.
Don’t forget, the time change had all three kids up at 4am, cranky, and everyone was exhausted. Then to add insult to injury, the baby got sick during the last half of the trip and had a diaper rash that was so severe that her poor bottom was bleeding from the never ending stream of diarrhea. She was super fussy and wanted to nurse constantly. The only way to get the baby a little relief was to let her crawl around without a diaper which meant that her poor exhausted mama was following her around with bleach cleaning up the trail of poop. Hawaii. Vacation. Glamorous. Yeah, not so much.
So the next time you look longingly at any of your friends pictures who are “vacationing” with little ones, just remember the truth looks more like crawling around with a bottle of bleach cleaning poop. And if you are planning a vacation with your littles, good luck. Make some memories, enjoy it for what it is, have fun with it, and I hope in a few years, you only remember the 1%.
Ang + Dr. Cap