When is a vacation not always a vacation? When you bring your three children!

Vacationing with young children can be a difficult and daunting task. This weekend my family embarked on our first mini-vaca of the season. This was our first official summer vacation with all three girls. We took a long weekend to Cape Cod to celebrate my Father-in-law’s birthday. We shared a house with my in-laws (including: my Brother-in-law, his wife and their one-year old little girl, my Sister-in-law and her boyfriend, and my husband’s parents.) I had no actual part in organizing the trip, all I had to do was show up, which was nice for a change, and took away the stress associated with planning a trip.

The most challenging aspect of the trip was that the five of us (me, my husband, and three girls) had to share one room. I was very concerned that no one would be able to sleep and that the baby would keep everyone awake, or the big girls would wake up the baby. Luckily, everyone slept beautifully, and it was attributed to the fact that everyone was exhausted at the end of each night .

Vacationing with young children is HARD WORK! Sometimes I think of it as the un-vacation. After five summers of beaches, parks, lakes and hotels, the two most important things for parents to remember while on vacation: (1) make time each day for yourself, and (2) each day do something outside of your normal schedule.

For my family, we normally have to be up and out the door by 8AM. So while on vacation we play it lazy in the mornings. I wish I could report that my daughters actually slept in, but nope, everyone was up before 6:00AM. However, we spent more time playing in the morning and hanging around in our pajamas. It was relaxing to do something outside of our normal schedule and it allowed us some quality play time together.

Each day I took time for myself. It would have been easy to get caught up in picking up after people, organizing, playing, or doing some parenting related task. However, I carved out a bit time of each morning to take a run by myself. I ran on the beach, enjoyed the views, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and most importantly I enjoyed the fact that I did not have to rush back home to get the kids to school, or to get to a meeting. I could take more time than normal…I was on VACATION!

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