Whew! I see you over there already a little exhausted, and the vacation hasn’t even started. But for you, planning this vacation started months ago. You contacted travel agents and scrolled through hundreds of rental listings, trying to picture your family in each one. You negotiated dates, prices, and insurance while there was still snow on the ground, just to secure a spot in a sunny location at the exact time you’d all need a little getaway.
Planning a vacation for a family is a monumental task with details that often go unnoticed.
You started making lists weeks ahead of time. You made sure swim suits still fit and bought new ones if needed. You packed an outfit for every occasion: for hot days, for cool days, for nice pictures, for laying around in wet sand. You really thought of everything. You planned meals, all three of them, for every day. You brought snacks upon snacks. You gathered household supplies that would make the trip easier — dish scrubbers, laundry detergent, hand soap — the things no one even notices on the counter anymore.
Honestly, a well-executed vacation should have details that go unnoticed. No one notices that you packed extra toilet paper, but they sure would have noticed if you didn’t. The kids don’t think, “Wow! Mom brought plenty of snacks. Go her!” They just happily grab another pack of crackers and skip away. If your work is unnoticed, it means you really did an excellent job.
Your days at the beach are still filled with the work of motherhood.
I see you standing on your balcony with kids lined up for the sunscreen application party. All the other condos are still sleeping, but your kids were too excited. I see you watching the water like a hawk. No beach reads for you; water safety is your top priority. I see you trying to reapply sunscreen on wet, sandy kids that really don’t want more sunscreen. I see you, moms. I’m noticing.
I also noticed your kids’ big smiles when you let them bury you in sand. I noticed the sand castle you protected while they jumped in the waves, confident Mom would keep it safe. I noticed their delight when you pulled popsicles out of the cooler. I noticed their relief when the sun was too bright, but you had a hat waiting for them.
Mom, you’ve done a great job.
Your kids will treasure this trip for a long time. They’ll remember some details forever. You are establishing a happiness anchor for them, a memory of a great week, in a great place, with their family. They’ll want to recreate it with their own families some day.