I Require An Annual Family Vacation So My Kids Can Experience Dysfunctional Bonding

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shutterstock_80662699I really relish my vacation time since my husband and I both work at home together with two kids under one roof. Most of the time, we survive this setup pretty well, but every few months or so, I think to myself, I have to get out of the GD house! RIGHT NOW.

My mom is an awesome grandma babysitter type, so she willingly takes the kids for a few weekends a year. God bless her for that. Even though I’m tempted to stick with this arrangement and leave our kids behind for as long as we possibly can, we’ve already set the precedent for forced family vacations, ever since my kids were a few months old.

My sister and my niece come down from Colorado every summer to vacation at the not-so-glamorous Texas beaches of our childhood. Since Colorado doesn’t have beaches, we win on that one.

We have been doing this family beach vacation for at least six years, and we will never stop. For one, I love spending time with my sister and my niece, and I look forward to it all year long. This is also the only opportunity my kids have to get to know their cousin.

When my younger son was born last year, he was about three months old on our beach trip. We could have bailed out because BABY, but we decided to forge ahead. Even though I knew it would be a complicated hassle, I really, really wanted to go out in public—never mind the screaming baby and irritable toddler.

I’m kind of proud of my husband and me because we took one for the team and sacrificed our fun for forced family bonding that year. We went out to dinner several times with both of our kids and all of our friends and family on the trip. Everyone made remarks like, “Your kids are doing so well! How fun for you!”

To that, I replied in my head, HAHAHAHHAHA. It may look like we’re all having a great time at dinner, but really, my husband and I were like ducks on a pond with our legs furiously paddling under the surface. Our friends didn’t realize that we spent the entire meal pulling my toddler away from all of the condiments and jiggling the baby stroller so that my infant son wouldn’t scream his head off. We probably didn’t finish a meal between us.

I know that family vacations will get less and less stressful with each passing year, and I’m never going to stop. I have memories of terrible throw-down fights on a family trip to Disney World when I was a kid. As tense as it was, I’m still glad I have that dysfunctional memory of my family vacationing together.

(Image: Aaron Amat/Shutterstock)