How You Know the Vacation is Over

I am sitting at a Holiday Inn, chasing cold peanut butter toast with thin coffee. Behind me, I hear my five-year-old grunting and growling. There are intermittent high-pitched squeals and smacks against a pillow or maybe the mattress. I can’t be bothered to turn around. Then the crying begins, building in intensity with deep, dramatic inhales to catch his breath and long snuffs of snot being sucked back into his head. He is expressing frustration over his breakfast.

10 Reasons I’m a Better Parent on Vacation

Parenting is a never-ending series of peaks and valleys. On an almost daily basis, I waffle between, “Wow! I am so great at this!” to “Holy shit. Who let me have children?” I have noticed, though, that as our little family adds miles to our travel log, days on the road tend to stay at the positive end of the parenting spectrum. Originally, I thought this was because Vacation Me is so much cooler than Everyday Me, but after careful consideration, I realized there are additional factors at play:

My Dreaded Day of Fun

There are times when I make motherhood a lot harder than it needs to be. This usually presents itself in the way I overload our calendar with obligations and commitments that I end up regretting when the time arrives. I wake up dazed and drained from a night of bed-hopping and bad dreams, and Mama just wants to stay home; my calendar says otherwise.

Business or Pleasure?

If it’s so much work, you might wonder, “Why bother?” Why not just wait until the kids are a little older and better able to control their bodily functions and emotions? For starters, I’m 34 and still struggle with both of these things, so we might be waiting awhile. Secondly, because we are guaranteed nothing.

4 Bags You Never Have to Unpack Again

Any traveler worth their salt needs to be ready to roll at a moment’s notice, but that can be tricky for those of us rolling with strollers. What is a meandering mom or pop to do? Upon returning from a super fun and totally exhausting vacation, it takes me at least a week to tackle the unpacking process. So, forget it. Just keep a few of those bags packed and waiting for your next adventure. They might just be the push you need to get yourself out the door and into the world.

How to Drive from Michigan to Arizona and Make Great Time

It’s simple, really. You spend weeks planning and packing and unpacking and repacking, checking and double-checking reservations and bags and items to entertain, and asking and re-asking which movies to bring and snacks to pack and must-have cozy animals to cuddle. And then you load it all up like a jigsaw puzzle, and amazingly, everything... Continue Reading →

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