This last weekend I had my first opportunity of the year to throw the kids in the minivan, pack a cooler and head out to the great big outdoors for some well needed rest and relaxation.
Before the kids arrived, I would head out for a week at a time with family or friends, sit back have a few drinks into the wee hours of the night and maybe act a little less responsible than I want to admit at the moment and come back rejuvenated. Now I come back even more exhausted than when I left. Like many things, once you have kids, they change.
Now on a trip you can forget about putting your feet up, you are now the official concierge. The time you spent recuperating from your everyday life has been traded in for chasing the kids even more. Only now instead of wrangling them inside the confines of a child-proofed house, you get the chance to do it about the wilderness.
It took me a couple rough vacation attempts to come figure it out. Camping with kids is supposed to be about the kids, not about you.
Once you stop fighting the constant interruptions to your R & R I promise you it will all become easier. Go with the expectation that you won’t get much rest, and will be busy with the kids. Then work like crazy to explore the outdoors and have fun with them. It really is a great opportunity for some awesome life experiences and to build a great bond at the same time.
It’s these memories you build with them that they will remember forever and in turn will help shape the people they grow into.
Oh, and also don’t forget to pack everything you can …