I’m not saying that moms are worriers, I’m just saying that we spend a large portion of our waking hours mulling over the infinite ways to prepare for everything we are ever considering doing, what could go wrong while we’re doing it, and how to correct issues within each variable of potential things-gone-wrongness. So, it’s no big deal, really. Not like a major focus of our lives, or anything. Unless you happen to be talking about planning a vacation.
Taking our families on the road means mobilizing all the plates we have precariously spinning to keep each individual happy and cared for at any given time since the moment we became mothers. Children and spouses have been known to go rogue, meaning that we need to always be prepared to snatch a flyaway plate when it zips off course without warning before disaster strikes. Finding a way to get our families from home to a destination we all can agree on and then back again without disturbing this precarious balancing act isn’t always the easiest thing. So we worry. About everything. Because worrying our way through helps us come up with a solid plan that gives us hope that our trip will be enjoyable for everyone involved, and that’s all we really want: for everyone to be happy in the end.
Wondering what, exactly, those worries are? Here’s a short sampling.
1. Is this trip fun enough for my kids to never not even once say, “I’m BORED, Mom” because after all this time and money I’m spending on making this happen I swear I will lose my ever-loving mind and go move into a tree house if they do?
2. Is it bad that I really want some kid-free time during this family vacation?
3. How can I make absolutely certain to get some kid-free time during this family vacation?
4. Is there anything to do if the weather is bad?
5. Is there Wi-fi access? Does the Wi-fi access work if the weather is bad?
6. Should I bring carseats or rent them or just not travel anywhere at all until the kids don’t need them anymore?
7. Are the rooms big enough to fit all of us, or will one of the kids have to sleep in a closet, like the last couple of times?
8. Is my kid over that whole, “Mommy I can’t believe you made me sleep in a closet” thing yet?
9. Will there be a coffee pot in the room? Because if there isn’t a coffee pot in the room or immediate coffee as soon as I open my eyes I don’t think this trip can happen.
10. Is there a pool? Is it clean? Is there a life guard? Does it have plenty of shade? What’s their poop-in-the-pool protocol?
11. Does the pool have snacks and fruity drinks that get delivered right to me while I try to watch multiple kids doing different things in different areas of the pool like some sort of eyeball-ambidextrous wizard?
12. Do any of the kids still fit into their bathing suits? Do I?
13. Do they have the right-shaped chicken nuggets there? How about the right-colored macaroni and cheese?
14. Should we fly to get there quickly but pay so much more for this vacation, or drive to save money and risk possibilty of everyone loathing one another’s presence by the time we arrive?
15. What should I pack for myself?
16. What should I pack for my kids?
17. What should I pack for my husband?
18. Why am I the only one doing all the packing?
19. Where the heck did I put the suitcases? No, not the ones with the broken wheels that I keep forgetting to throw out – where did I put the good suitcases?
20. Who will feed the cat? And the lizards? And the hermit crab? And my son’s imaginary friend?
21. How inappropriate is it to hug and kiss the travel agent who insisted we book a vacation on Disney Cruise Line, taking away approximately 92 percent of my worries?