I recently went with my family for a few days to Silver Dollar City. It was definitely not a vacation! My kids seemed to get on each others' nerves excessively and my patience was thin. When I was back at home, I called my sister to vent and she said “You don’t really get a vacation with kids.” Then a few hours later I saw this article show up in my Facebook feed: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/m-blazoned/vacation-or-trip-a-helpful-guide-for-parents_b_7789310.html
Man, it hit the nail on the head and made me feel a lot better. I felt like the article stated everything I needed to hear in order to feel validated in my frustrations.
I’ve decided that my husband and I need a short vacation-a real vacation! It is hard with three kids to make this happen. When we had only one, we easily took a vacation or two by ourselves. I think we could have managed to get away when we had only two (but we didn’t). Now that we have three, though, it is a challenge. It seems others do not want to watch three kids for an extended period of time. Plus my kids are anything but docile so there is that fun challenge. I’m going to work to make it happen though. My husband and I need it for our sanity and our marriage. Even it if it just for a weekend.
We did this when we celebrated our ten year anniversary (shout out to my sister and brother in law who watched the kids along with all their little ones) and it was AMAZING! I’m going to start planning now.
I recently added some new tattoos. One is a semi-colon on my wrist. The semi-colon represents self-harm/suicide awareness. It is to remind myself and others that we chose to go on. Check out this site: http://www.projectsemicolon.org/
I also added the words "Dream, Believe, Inspire" in a Disney font on my shoulder. I feel it is important to have dreams, believe you can achieve them, and then inspire others to follow their dreams. And I love Disney!
Do you have any meaningful tattoos?
Decorations are going up in the stores and Christmas shopping is happening! I wrote a blog last year about a different way I did some Christmas gifts in 2015. I thought I would bring some of those ideas back up, as well as some additional ideas.
First, I suggest gift certificates for specific family activities. I’m not talking about clothing gift cards, iTunes, or Visa gift cards (although if that works for you, go for it). I’m talking about ones to places like Six Flags, City Museum, Botanical Gardens, Sky Zone, Rockin’ Jump, Bounce U, mini golf, and bowling. Something that would be fun for the family to do together.
Second, I suggest taking the kids somewhere for your gift. Places like Sweet and Sassy, a play, a movie, or any of the activities listed above instead of giving them the gift certificate. Your time with them is worth more than any gift!
Third, do a craft or project with them. As mentioned in the previous blog, my best friend and I had the kids make sugar cookies and decorate them. They had a blast. If you are not really great at crafts, find somewhere to go to do the craft like the Painted Pot or even Home Depot, which has days they do activities (and usually for free).
In addition, I think paying for a fun class or activity would be great. Things such as a cooking class, sewing class, a six week sports team, or a club that the kid would not otherwise be able to do.
Lastly, help the family go on a trip. I’m asking for Disney gift cards for my kids this year. We are going to Disney World next summer and it would be nice for the kids to have gift cards they could spend on whatever they want. My kids are totally excited about it. Last year, they loved going to Silver Dollar City and Dixie Stampede and were not upset that those were Christmas gifts.
Talk to your kids about ideas too. Remember that Christmas is about a lot more than presents.
Stefanie F. Pisarkiewicz, LPC
Experience and information from a counselor and mother- sharing her two cents on children and teens.