Millennium Mom

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The "pre-vacation" planning - a flashback to my mom

While growing up, from the age of 9 my families annual vacation was to Florida each April around Easter. This was our one vacation for the year and we very much looked forward to it. We would go for three weeks, including the drive down and back (and yes we did it while the speed limit was 55 and there were no videos in the car and no mini-vans yet, so three kids in the back of a sedan).

I loved this vacation, from going to the beach and Disney, to getting a tan (which in High School was a big deal), to practicing softball on the beach with my dad and even driving back into Newburgh to see the spring buds on the trees, it was as if it had transformed while we were gone. The one exception to things I love was the stress my mom would be under before we left. Back then, and frankly up to today, my mom is not a very good planner. I think I am totally Type A and plan well in advance because I saw the stress my mom would be under the night before we left. In many cases she would pull an all-nighter getting ready.

It wasn't just packing that caused it, because to be honest we packed for ourselves. It was ensuring the bills were paid (before auto-pay), the animals taken care of, the payroll at work was done for the weeks we would be done and so forth. I think she needed the two days of driving down to unwind.

Because of this I have swung the pendulum far to the other side. I start thinking about our trips days or weeks ahead. Today is one of those times. Next Saturday we will leave for vacation. So I have six days to prepare, which is no big deal right? But then I started thinking today and realized "oh shoot" I had better get started now. Why you may ask. First there is a large chance I may need to fly up to Boston on Wed night or Thursday morning and not come back until Friday pm. That may erase 2-3 nights right there. Second, Tuesday night the kids have Cheerleading and Hockey practice, so Arnie and I can't divide and conquer, so another night out of the house. Saturday I have some time before we leave that night, but Ben may have a Football game, and we already have two hockey games that afternoon/early evening.

So, the stress began to set in. We are renting a condo so today I started packing some food to take. We like to eat breakfast and some dinners in the condo to make life a bit simpler. It can be stressful to eat every meal out with three young children, this way we can enjoy our vacation :)

When the kids go to bed tonight I will begin packing for Arnie and I. We don't use our "casual" clothes daily like the kids so I know I can pack because they are all clean. With the weather turning I need to think a bit more about what I want to bring for the kids. So my "pre-vacation" planning has started. I already got the neighbor to take care of the cats and guinea pig (yes a new addition to our family). My next email is to all the teachers to ask for homework.

The good news is they are so worth it in the end, if only we could just "pick up and go" without the stress.


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