Vacationing takes on a new meaning when you’re a parent.  Yes, it’s fun to get out into the world and experience new places, but it’s also a lot more work than it used to be.

By definition a vacation is a leave of absence from a regular occupation.

Well, turns out the occupation of mom doesn’t take a break while on vacation with the kids.  There is no “leave of absence” from the kids when you’re traveling WITH your kids.  It actually becomes more of a full time job when you’re somewhere new, surrounded by new things.  I can’t just let my kids loose in an airport or in a new city like I can in our home.

It’s exhausting; this whole traveling with kids.

Packing for a trip is a lot of work, but there is the excitement of going somewhere that always gets me through.  Returning home is also okay, since by the time the family vacation is over, I am usually ready to return to some sort of normalcy.

Imagine sleeping every night in a room with both children mere feet away.  It was like a scary dorm room.  I didn’t want to make a sound that might wake the sleeping children.  I found myself trying not to roll over in the middle of the night for fear of waking the toddler; and I accidentally looked in his direction one morning before 6am which turned out to be a costly mistake.

The main problem I am dealing with now is the aftermath of the vacation.

First we have to fight this whole time zone issue.  We spent five days in Washington, which means my kids finally just got adjusted to eating dinner when they are usually getting ready for bed.  It also means they had five days of non-stop playing and non-stop fun.  Did I mention the amount of junk food and eating out that they got to partake in?  That’s like the icing on this cake.  You can probably see where I’m going with this already.

We are in full detox mode over here.

The kids are nuts and all thrown off.  I am exhausted, and I have a feeling this is going to be a long week ahead.  It’s usually a good sign when my kids sleep in until 9am, but not today.  Sadly, this means I have two overly tired kids who don’t know how to control themselves.  No joke, the daughter was sobbing uncontrollably because she “didn’t want to be mean but couldn’t stop her body from saying mean things.”  That was fun.

Along with over tired and over-sugared kids, I also get to deal with two little ones who think they now run the show.  I was still parenting while on vacation, just not to my usual “momming” level that I operate at in the privacy of our own home.  In an attempt to not scar my nieces, I tried to dial it down a bit on vacation and let the kids “be kids.”  Let’s just say the kids got away with a lot more than they usually do over the duration of this trip.

Well, I’m here to report that might not have been the best choice.  These monsters think they can run circles around me now, which obviously I need to put a stop to.  I can’t tell you how many time-outs and “naughty corners” we have had over the last 24 hours.

Basically, I need a vacation from my vacation.

I might just need to book a hotel room down the street so I can have a moment of peace.  Maybe a nice neighbor will see me looking all frazzled this week, and will take the kids slowly out of my view for a few moments of sanity.

I’m looking forward to our next family vacation, but I will be doing a few things differently come July… like bringing grandparents along to help!!

Stay strong parents… people say someday we will look back and miss the crazy kid stage; I’m just thinking it won’t be during flights or hotel stays.