If you know me, you know we haven’t been on a vacation since our 2012 Honeymoon. We took the kids to Indianapolis this last summer, which barely qualifies but it was more than enough. So, all of the following is based solely on my friends experiences, and you know…common sense.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret. Moms HATE big, elaborate family vacations. There I said it. You’re not doing us any favors, especially if your kids are under 5. While we appreciate the sentiment, taking our kids on a road trip, plane trip, to the beach, and especially to a strange place to sleep is so much more work than it is worth to us. Simply providing entertainment and your presence does not automatically make our lives easier. No one looks at the daddy to shut up the crying baby. Imagine if your wife planned a trip to tour the corporate location of your company for a week. But in the week leading up to the trip you had to prepare a 5 day presentation for all the VP’s of the company. That’s what a family vacation is like for a mom. It’s everything awful about our everyday lives, extrapolated.
Going on a family vacation with little kids is a lot like every other day of our lives, except its ten times more work with 100 times more exhaustion. We go to the beach. It’s hot. There is sand EVERYWHERE! We can only go for 45 mins at a time because of naps. She’s constantly worried about someone getting sun burned and/or drowning in the ocean. “Did the baby shit his pants? Did the girl just eat sand? Did I look like that skinny bitch when I was 22?” But she’s super happy for you that you got to throw the kids into the water and be a hero for ten minutes before you pounded 7 Miami Vices and passed out on a lawn chair. yay……
And spare me the whole, “I want to create childhood memories for my kids” thing. I am all about that, but you do realize kids remember next to nothing before the age of 5, right? The only person who is going to remember it is your wife, and those memories will not be fond ones. I know you feel like you’re providing some kind of memorable experience for your kids, but honestly it doesn’t fucking matter. Do you think a 3 year old knows the different between the pool at a beach resort and the pool at the local Radisson? Cause they don’t.
We love you for trying. We love you for working so hard to provide such trips, and we know that is how you show us you love us. But the next time you’re thinking of getting the whole family a trip to Disney, an all-inclusive Caribbean Resort, or anywhere more than a few hours away (and any of your kids are under 5) stop and heed my warning. Save your money, marriage, and sanity by booking a hotel on the other side of town that has a pool. Take the kids swimming every day. Let them eat junk food. Go to the local arcade/amusement park. Then take the kids home and let her have the hotel room to herself. A sitter a few nights that week so you could spend some alone time together wouldn’t be a bad idea either. But not every night….not every night.
Now, if she’s telling you that she actually enjoys listening to the kids cry for hours in the back of the car, you yelling at them, trying to anticipate every situation and need, pretending like she’s not miserable, and isn’t day dreaming about being at a Mexican swim-up bar with someone who strikingly resembles Jason Mamoa then she’s either lying to you or the Xanax has kicked in.