I know many of you have probably heard the terms vacation, holidays, stay-cation, etc. but how many of you have heard about a RELAX-ation?
I find this to be my favorite kind of trip. Being married to an active duty Marine who works crazy hours and leaves frequently; plus throwing in 4 kids and 2 huskies I’m never bored nor missing out on any excitement in my life. In fact, I think it’s why I love RELAX-ations so much more. You see, I have mental health stuff that I combat daily and it is heightened when my husband is away, kids are gone, etc. No big deal cause I’m a fighter, but I can honestly tell you you won’t see me solo with all 4 of my kids at an amusement park anytime soon.
Is this a bad thing? Meh, not really. At least I don’t think it is. We do vacations where my husband comes with and we do all the fun things like amusement parks, pools, museums and more! We’ve done stay-cations where we get caught up on life that seemed to get hidden in the now 7 junk drawers of the kitchen or the husbands closet that became a catch-all on deployment for the “I don’t know where it goes but it doesn’t go there” speeches.
Vacations are fun. These are the ‘highlight’ reels you see most people post when going on a trip. Heck, scroll through my social media and you’ll see that we did a vacation down to Orange Lake Resort and spent 3 days at Walt Disney World. We had a blast, but with it came it’s own stresses. I was checking on reservations, coordinating times to eat compared to times of expected rides, running around trying to make it all ‘magical’ for the kids. The kids loved it and I enjoyed myself but it was one of those “I need a vacation from my vacation” vacations, ya know what I mean?
I mean heck going to the grocery store with all 4 kids makes me need a vacation, so planning for Disney theme parks certainly did (no matter how simple and easy I’ve gotten the process.)
Stay-cations are nice because I feel like I can hurry and catch up on EVERYTHING that’s been on the ‘honey-do list,’ which in reality is a ‘hey someone needs to do this’ cause we don’t even know if ‘honey’ will be home! Think: Purging rooms, painting rooms, fixing doors, organizing the garage, sorting through clothes, etc. While this usually leaves me feeling very happy at the amount of productivity I’ve been able to accomplish, it seemingly stresses me WAY MORE in the beginning and I get fearful that I’m overwhelmed. If I’m being honest, a ‘stay-cation’ usually happens when I’ve lost complete control and am certain I’ll end up on the show hoarders, so by the time the ‘stay-cation’ happens I’ve already hit my meltdown. It’s like my stay-cation becomes it’s own level of survival mode
Now, a RELAX-ation, that’s the sweet spot for me. If anything I said above resonated with you, if you are stressed in work, life, home, finances, school, etc. then you’re probably someone like me. You see, I want a RELAX-ation because I can go to a resort that is ALREADY deep cleaned for me! That means my mom radar isn’t flipping out knowing there’s a load of clothes in the dryer. In fact, I even enjoy the luxuries of having groceries delivered because why do I want to stress out driving around a town I don’t know and then combing through the aisles with 4 kids after how many hours in a car?!
What do you do on a RELAX-ation?! That’s just it! WHATEVER YOU WANT! My goal is to not OVERPLAN all the activities for my family. I take a very calm and go with the flow thought process. I will obviously coordinate the travel and ensure I’ve got the groceries sent over, but outside of that, the expectations are to just relax and enjoy our time. Sleep in. Take an hour long bubble bath. Go lay by the pool and read a good book. Have that cup of coffee on the balcony in the fresh air. These are all things you will see on my highlight reels for a RELAX-ation.
My goal is truly and genuinely relax, recharge and rejuvenate. I know that times are stressful with COVID, schooling for kids, finances with stimulus, etc. I don’t need to take a ‘vacation’ to add onto that stress as I try and do every single activity within 30 miles of our resort. I NEED, and my family needs (including my kids,) to take a minute to recharge and rejuvenate. Our kids have endured so much stress this past year even if their only trial for 2020 was COVID. However, I’m not sure of any child that ONLY had to deal with COVID, so keep that in mind. Just like we need a moment to relax and recharge so do our kids.
Do you think my kids regret going to Disney over Thanksgiving? Nope! Do you think they regret having a stay-cation with their grandparents at our house for Christmas? Absolutely not! These both were amazing, memory-filled and needed occurrences in our household. However, now my family is starting to get back into the classroom, wrestling season is in full force and I think everyone in our house is holding their breath for when the husband has to leave again. So what does a mother do? She works her magic and schedules a “RELAX-ation” for her family.
Don’t fall into everyone’s highlight reels! You don’t have to do a million things on vacation. Heck you don’t even HAVE to relax like I’m suggesting. I’m merely saying it’s okay if you want to relax. It’s okay if you want to do a million things. It’s okay to not be okay! You are doing a great job and will continue to do so. Give yourself some grace. Give your spouse some grace. Give your kids some grace. And my gosh honey take the hour long bubble bath!
I want to see your kids in mismatched pajamas at 2pm on a Thursday laughing with popcorn all around them as you introduce them to the classic ‘Sandlot.’
Send me the grub hub takeout pics where you and your husband are laughing in your ‘private room (with a door)’ for a chill date night in.
Don’t forget to send videos of the true beauty of a soaking tub, ya know, one without kid’s toys, empty conditioner bottles and endless razors everywhere!
Show me the drawers of clothes you packed that are still neatly folded because you shut the world out for a few days and did a massive recharge for your whole family where pajamas and more pajamas were the only requirement.
Heck, get wild and send me pictures of the kids having ice cream for breakfast!
Take the time for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. There is beauty in the seemingly mundane.
Stay tuned for some of my tips and tricks for packing with a large family and how I can manage a ‘relax-ation’ on a budget!!