Between the pre-trip arrangements and the post-trip slap of reality and the monster game of catch-up, I sometimes wonder if vacations are worth the time and energy.
I leave for my brother-in-law’s out-of-country wedding in one week. When I’m in trip preparation mode, my mind becomes a constant list machine. There always seems to be something else to add to the list (including the items that I’m sure I’ll remember on the drive to the airport!)
Making arrangements for the kids
- Find a babysitter who is willing to drop everything for a week and take on the roll of Mother of Five. Not an easy task. Luckily, our old babysitter, whom we’ve known since she was Necco’s age, will be moving in, along with her 2 year old daughter. Yay! Situation (mostly) under control.
- Write notes to all teachers letting them know about our absence and give babysitter, neighbors, etc permission to pick kids up and sign in our place. Yay for this week’s parent-teacher conferences.
- Find rides for all after-school activities. Doesn’t it figure that swim team practice starts on the same day that we leave??
- Moms tend to keep all schedule details tucked away in their brains, but schedules must be carefully written out for others to follow. Yikes.
- Medical wavers. We’ve never had to use them, but signing a medical release form for each of the kids is a must. Let’s just hope they stay tucked up above the phone all week….
- Fill the kids up with lots of hugs and kisses so that you AND the kids will have a nice store of affection during the time apart.
Taking care of the house
- While I know that there will be at least three people fully capable of preparing dinner every night, I know from experience that the hardest part of cooking is coming up with what to cook. Solution: make a specific menu plan for the week and assign children a day and a meal to cook. And then make sure that the fridge is stocked with all necessary ingredients. Because I also know that the second hardest part of making dinner is the trip to the store to buy all the food.
- Clean, clean, clean! I can live in a disorganized house if I must. I have gotten used to the bins of clothes stacked high in my room that need to be taken back up to the attic. But I refuse to leave the house like that for the babysitter. There are literally hours of cleaning time ahead of me this week.
Getting myself ready
- I must pack. Not only do I need to pack, but I need to think of every possible situation where a certain clothing item might be needed. Swimming suits, dresses for the wedding, rehearsal dinner, and parties, casual clothes for taking strolls on the beach, rougher clothes for hiking.
- I have a ton of loose ends to tie up for my blog. Next week, in honor of my brother-in-law’s wedding, will be Wedding Week here at Better in Bulk (if you would like to contribute a quick wedding/engagement story guest post, shoot me an email!). Yes, I know that my blog will survive a week without me, but I’m still not ready to completely abandon her for a week. Guest posts are being scheduled, scheduled posts are being written, and I’m even arranging for a friend to “babysit” my blog. Yes, that does make me slightly crazy.
- Because we’re traveling out of the country, I need to gather the necessary documents and cash. And reading material. And just pray that I haven’t forgotten anything. Ay-yi-yi!
- Finally, I’ve got to make sure that somehow my husband makes it out with me. THAT will be the hardest step of them all.
As stressful as it is to get ready for a trip and as tiring as it is to return home after being away for a week, I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to several days of relaxing by the pool, walking on the beach, and not having to put kids to bed at night. I’ll miss my kids, I’ll miss being online (though I’m sure I’ll get over that one fast enough), and I know that the next few days will be hectic…but I can’t wait to slip on my flip flops again and take a deep breath of tropical ocean air.
photo from Go Visit Costa Rica
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