Posted October 20, 2008
I would like to vent about something. I hope that's OK?
Here we are at the end of the summer, and I don't feel like I've had a holiday! We've certainly gone lots of places, on trips, camping, and such, but everywhere we've been it seems like I still have to plan the meals, decide when the washing needs to be done, oversee the discipline and get up with one child or another during the night. It's not that my husband refuses, but I think the problem is that we both agree that he needs a break from his stressful job, but we never have sat down to realize that I need a break, too. Not only do I not feel I've had a break, but it's harder to keep to the normal routines during a holiday, which ends up making my job even more difficult than it is at home.
I wonder if I'm the only one who feels this way; could you or some other parents advise me on how to solve this problem? -tired mom
Isn't it amazing how reality can fall short of one's expectations? I don't think you are alone with this problem, and it's easy to see how it happens, particularly if we remember that any holiday, no matter how well planned, will interrupt your's and your children's daily routines. Children depend on predictability and regularity. They sleep best in their own beds and benefit from regular bedtimes, naptimes and mealtimes. While getting away from the 'daily grind' of family life can sound exhilarating to parents, it may mean your children become more whiney, demanding and never seem satisfied no matter how many fun activities you plan.
Before you make your plans for next summer, I propose you arrange to have a chat together and negotiate around the following important points:
- Which rituals, routines and rules are the most important for our children and how can we duplicate them in the holiday setting?
- Would we like to trade off who gets to sleep in each morning? (the other parents is responsible for breakfast, activities and discipline until the arranged wake-up time)
- Shall we trade off who shops for and prepares the supper meal every other night?
- Can we arrange for each of us to have 'alone' time every other day for 2-3 hours while the other parent arranges for naps and activities?
Of course, I've written this answer with the things in mind that would allow me to look forward to a holiday; your needs and desires and therefore your negotiations may be different. The important thing is to plan ahead, make notes from this summer, and work together next time for a jointly satisfactory holiday.
Filed under: Interesting Parenting Matters
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