Cleve and I have heard from multiple parents (mostly dads) that going on vacation with small kids isn’t “worth it”. I get their point. They’re saying that you pick up and go to a different place to do the same things you do at home: discipline the kids, cook, clean, laundry, etc. I just disagree with it.
One of the first mornings of our vacation this week, I started to wonder if they were right? Could it be that all this money we spent, time we invested, and miles we traveled to come on a wonderful beach vacation weren’t worth it?
This was a fleeting thought after nearly an hour prep to get everyone beach-ready with bathing suits and lots of SPF 50 and shovels and buckets and other sand toys gathered. Have you been there? It’s no easy task to tackle three little kids and make sure all exposed skin is covered in lotion.
As the day went on, my thoughts and attitude changed. I wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t take away watching them build a sand fort or jump in the waves for anything. (And by day two, we had the process down to a science.)
It’s about priorities.
What are your priorities for family vacations?
If your priorities are to sit back and relax with newly transformed perfect angels for children, then you probably shouldn’t spend the resources to go on a big family vacation.
Our priorities are to re-engergize and spend extra quality time together with a change of scenery. Some secondary priorities for me were to catch up on some much-needed sleep, not work (or at least a lot less), and read a book or two that I’ve been waiting a year to read… all while getting a nice tan enjoying God’s creation.
If your goal is to not do laundry for a week, take enough clothes with you. If your goal is to not cook, save up to eat out. If your goal is to not clean, make sure you have good maid service. Whatever is important to you, make it happen.
This week, I have cooked a little, I have cleaned a little, I have done a little laundry. I have even dealt with throw-up and diarrhea. But I’ve had an amazing, restful vacation. I will be going home on Saturday refueled and refreshed from a full week of investing in our family in a cozy beach condo.
It was worth every gallon of gas, every dime spent to have this week away from home with my family.
Only regret: paying for Cy to fish with his little Spiderman fishing pole instead of a real one. It broke before the first cast. :-)