7 Reasons a Vacation with a Baby is No Vacation
The term “family vacation” may simply exist as a hilarious oxymoron; especially when you have a toddler. While planning a road trip across Florida recently, my expectations were exactly where they needed to be: low. And as I expected, I therefore wasn’t disappointed.
Though it was very tough flying all the way to Sacramento with our son when he was only 8 months old, at least we had plenty of family awaiting us to help out. (My wife is the 9th of 10 kids.) But when you don’t have family to help soften the blow, an attempt at a vacation is simply that- an attempt.
Taking a vacation with a baby is like winning a free iPhone with a cracked screen. Or getting off work early due to inclement weather and then getting stuck in bad traffic. It’s like eating a trendy $4 cupcake but it being your least favorite flavor: Butterscotch.
Perhaps the best word for a vacation with a baby is “adventure,” which promotes the idea of excitement of the unknown and as well as the great possibility of setbacks. Here are 7 reasons a vacation with a baby is no vacation:
1. You can’t sleep in. Man, the thought of waking up lazily at 8:30 AM on my own, without a baby alarm clock is simply, unimaginable. Nice thought, though.
2. The irregular schedule throws off your baby’s sleeping patterns. We’ve been back for over a week now and our son still hasn’t quite adjusted back to not only Central Time, but also actually being able to sleep when he’s ready to.
3. You can’t ever mentally relax; even while you sleep. It’s more likely that your kid is going to wake up in the middle of the night. And while you’re awake, there is no pause button with your child.
4. You become stressed out about finding meals. When you have to synchronize your own hunger cues along with your child’s, while finding an appropriate restaurant to stop at, it’s not too surprising having driven yourself all the way across the Florida Keys without lunch. A sleeping baby in a car overrides the growling of two adults’ stomachs.
5. You and your spouse barely have time to talk to each other about anything other than the stress of the trip. When you do, it’s smarter just to fall asleep. So much for quality time.
6. Planning activities wears you out. You want to see all the cool tourist spots, but you also want to be able to relax. But you can’t relax anyway (as mentioned in #3) so it becomes easier just to distract yourself with the vacation activities themselves.
7. You become aware of the fun you’re missing out on as adults. So much for a simple date night at the bar of the hotel. It’s easier to settle for a bottle of Boone’s Farm from the gas station down the street, enjoyed in the splendor of two glass cups from your hotel’s bathroom counter.
But hey, this is what we know as normal now. I’ll sleep in when I’m dead.