The real bummer of summer getaways for parents
Have you seen the one where the mom is washing dishes while on vacation?
When I read the satirical news story Mom Spends Beach Vacation Assuming All Household Duties In Closer Proximity To Ocean, I couldn't help but LOL.
"'Isn't it nice to just get away for a while and relax by the water?' Yardley said as she wiped down the kitchen counter and then took out the garbage, tasks she would normally perform at a distance of 200 miles from the beach instead of 50 feet," the article mocked.
The story is old, but it has always stuck with me, because isn't there so much truth to this one? I distinctly remember thinking of this post when we rented a cabin last year and I found myself washing the dishes the cabin came stocked with while my kids whooped and hollered on the beach outside of the window I was standing in front of.
As a mom, I dream of summer getaways with my family. The lure of sandy beaches, lazy afternoons and sticky watermelon fingers beckons me with the promise of summer. And yet, as a mom, I also know that the carefree days of summer I enjoyed as a kid were only carefree because of one person working behind the scenes — my own mom.
Those popsicles always stocked in our freezer? Someone had to shop for them.
The never-ending stream of pool playdates? Definitely arranged by someone.
And those summer road trips that were guaranteed to include our favorite snacks (red licorice, I'm looking at you)? I'm guessing someone had to do a lot of prep work to make those happen.
It has been a rude awakening in my journey as a mother to realize how much work actually goes into the carefree days of summer for my kids. In my head, I'm the hands-off, free-spirited mother whose children run barefoot in the backyard while picking wild raspberries and enjoying drinks from the hose, but in reality, we live on a busy corner, I don't have any raspberry bushes and I'm too lazy to hook up the hose. Summer ain't what it used to be, I guess. And as for getting away? Well, "vacations" definitely don't happen unless this mama is planning them and if I could be honest for a minute, part of me looks forward to getting away as much as part of me dreads the work involved in getting away.
First, there's the planning in where we're going to go, then there's the budgeting and the prep work of meals, shopping for snacks and hauling all the stuff. And then, the packing. OMG, the packing. Packing for our kids is no joke, you guys. Even if it's as simple as spending a few nights in a cabin that we rent on the beach, I am packing and repacking and I will still forget something. Last year, I tried to get all gender-equal and told my husband he was in charge of packing the big kids' stuff, so guess what essential item he forgot for our beach vacation?
If you guessed swimsuits and if you further guessed that the little beach town we were in would be completely out of swimsuits in my children's sizes, you would be correct.
Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to summer and creating those memories for my children. But a little part of me wishes that I could still have my mom, instead of being the mom.