Family Vacation, aka Business Trip for Mom

In a recent episode of Modern Family, character Claire Dunphy (mother of three), is told by her husband that their family trip to Hawaii is going to be like the honeymoon they never had. She responds, “Honey, I’m a mom traveling with my kids. This isn’t a vacation – it’s a business trip.” 

Isn’t it the truth! When you’re traveling with your kids, you are responsible for every facet of their travel. Consider:

Packing – If you arrive at your destination and the kids don’t have their toothbrushes packed, they are only too happy to skip brushing altogether. As always, this oversight will only be found after everyone is in pjs. You’ll drift off to sleep thinking about their tartar build up and late-life periodontal disease that begins tonight due to your lapse in packing.

Entertainment – Do they have appropriate materials to entertain them during the journey, either by plane or auto? A DVD player without headphones is useless.  Ditto anything with dead batteries. Yes, you can purchase headphones or batteries, but that will be after you realize you need them in the first place, either mid-flight or on a desolate stretch of highway miles from a convenience store.

Sunscreen protection – It’ not enough to bring sunscreen and lube the kids before you go out. You’ll have to reapply for them every hour or two, or else you’ll be kicking yourself later when they’re lobster pink and unable to move. And who will be stuck in the condo applying aloe vera and administering Tylenol? You will, sister. You will.

Roll Call – Forget relaxing. Your every other thought will be about whether the kids are in view and whether they’re queuing properly at the ride entrance and remembering to secure all loose articles. When you do find that you haven’t been summoned (Mo-ommm!) for 15 minutes, when you start to be lulled by the sound of the waves or focused on studying a guidebook, you’ll suddenly startle: ”Where are they?” Then, when you’re satisfied everyone is present and accounted for, you can go back to your task until your next breath. Dad isn’t so worried about the kids. Why should he be? You’re doing the worrying for the both of you.

No matter how carefully you prepare or how many lists you make and cross off, what’s the first thing you’ll do when you get where you’re going? Make a trip to CVS or WalMart to buy the things you forgot. Now you know how even a small resort town at the beach can support a gigantic super center – it’s for all those vacationing moms like you.

  • Kristine

    So, so true. Just got back from a marathon 16-day 4,000 road trip to see my family in Minnesota/Wisconsin. I loved seeing them, but the whole trip was exhausting, and I was Of course, we’ll embark on 3 more 6+hour road trips yet this summer… I’m a glutton for punishment!

  • Brooke

    Ditto — we had a great 4th of July weekend but the prep and cleanup were tiring. I loved this episode of Modern Family!