We went on our first family vacation for the first time in three and a half years of marriage. Our lives have been so busy with making babies, life in the NICU, more moves than I can count on one hand and ministry. All of that said, we finally took the plunge and went on a little family getaway. Something both Jaime and I feel strongly about is being intentional and setting aside family time for ourselves and for our girls. I heard it said once, that the best way to show a small person you love them is by giving them your time – so we packed up enough of our lives to get us through our vacation and made a cozy, one-bedroom apartment our home for a few days as we dove into quality time mode. Here are a few tips/things I’ve learned and I wanted to share with you all!
- A family vacation with small children isn’t really a vacation. And the sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner you’ll be able to embrace that it isn’t going to be restful or relaxing. One that you’ll remember for years to come.
- Children are adaptable. Super adaptable. In our apartment, our girls sleep in separate rooms with two noise makers in each room to ensure they get uninterrupted sleep. On our vacation, however, the Air BnB we found that fit our style and our budget, in the location that we wanted was a spacious one bedroom. Yes, you better believe we all crammed into that one bedroom and made it work. I was so nervous that the girls wouldn’t sleep. You guys, they slept! They surpassed my hopes for how smoothly it would all go! I learned that a skipped nap isn’t the end of the world. In my regular day to day it sort of is, truth be told. I need that halfway nap time to decompress and have my quiet time. My girls do too. Without it, we all get a little crazy. But on vacation we managed to skip the and still sail through the day like champs.
- If you are going sight seeing, especially inside of a beautiful building with lots of history, be prepared to walk in, and walk out. We did the Newport mansion tours but didn’t actually get the history part of it because we were too busy chasing down our kids and keeping them from touching all of the things with signs that said “Do Not Touch.” Somethings don’t quite go according to plan when vacationing with a 1 and 3 year old, but it’s great to try to do some sort of activity anyway. It makes you feel human. It teaches you what to do better next time, and most importantly, it shows you that you can totally do it – even with little ones.
- Bring snacks. So many snacks. It works wonders.
It will be a little hectic. There will be whining. The kids will wear you down before lunch. But it is worth the time and effort and money and exhaustion to get out and spend time with the most important people in your life. It’s important to get away sometimes and recharge your batteries to go and face life again. You wont regret it. I promise! Here are a few of my favorite captures from our trip. I realize that I’m not in any of them – I’m working on it!