We are midway through our family vacation this year. Due to many circumstances, it looks a lot different than it has in other years. This has been an adjustment for all of us, and though we have had our moments of stress, we have also learned a lot about compromise, together and alone time, and working together. What I have enjoyed is the unpredictability of some of our activities and how that has shaped how we handle ourselves and the other family members. Sometimes I have been the one saying to chill and go with the flow. Sometimes Dad or Michael have been reminding me of the same things. Either way, things have somehow managed to work out for everybody in the end, even if getting there was not easy.
Michael has continued to amaze me with what he does and does not tolerate. As he tells me, this is not the old Michael. LOL. He is liking to do a lot more things away from crowds this summer, and his love of driving around has taken on new dimensions. We’ve pretty much had a family drive-a-thon to new areas, eating out lunch, and exploring that way. On the home front, Michael is also exploring more of our neighborhood by foot. This is both exciting and has taken Dad and I some getting used to.
As I mentioned before in the past, family stay or vacation must be a compromise that all the members can live with. Everyone must have preferred activities that other members respect. And family members must respect everyone’s personal and emotional space. There is also budget and other health issues to consider. In the end, as long as every member in the family is getting something positive out of the vacation and enjoying each other’s company for the most part, you are doing ok. Things to ask yourself and your family: what would be your favorite things to do on family vacation? where would you like to go? what are the family’s health restrictions? What are the family’s budget constraints? how will you be traveling or getting around?
Once everyone can answer the above questions, you can start playing a vacation or stay cation that works for everyone. And remember, just because it is a stay cation, you can still have fun. Order in more often or go out to avoid cooking and dishes. Have a family movie in. Check out local beaches or pools. If it’s a vacation, budget for the right hotel and location where everyone is comfortable, has fun activities to do, and can go to get space away from each other. There is no wrong or right way to take a vacation. As long as there is a decrease in your stress level and you have fun experiences alone and with family, you are on the right track.
Exceptional Parents, what does the ideal vacation look like for you? Remember, it has to accommodate your family and your unique situation. This will probably change yearly or every few years, so evaluate to see what is working and what is not. You’ll know you are on the right track if everyone has some positive memories to share and has learned more about one another spending time together. Until next time.