I was talking to a friend yesterday, she was on vacation, somewhere warm and beautiful with her family and she mentioned how much she despised it because “it’s my job to keep everyone happy.”
At the time I laughed it off, anyone who has traveled with 2 small kids knows it’s hard, but when I woke up this morning, it was still in my head, and I couldn’t help but think “no it’s not.” It’s not our job to keep everyone happy, at least it shouldn’t be. I’ve planned the most magical Disney trips only to have a child break down and have to leave early, we’ve been on ski vacations where a teenager refused to leave the condo, and more times then I can count I’ve had a child, who after 5 minutes has looked at me and said “I’m bored.”
As parents are jobs are to love, nurture and support, to listen and guide, to offer advice and encouragement, but free entertainment? Not always kid. I’m not saying don’t play with your kids, of course it’s great to play a board game or build a sand castle, but also remember it’s good for them to figure out how to be content on their own, and being a little bored or unhappy when you travel is a part of that.
We live in a world where everything is instant, so at times maybe it’s best to let your kids just “figure it out,” given enough time I’ve noticed mine will eventually go off and build a snowman, go on a quest for treasure at the beach or break out all the pens and paper in the hotel drawer and create a game only the can understand.
Give your kids a chance, step back, read a book, and focus on yourself, if your kids see you happy and relaxed I promise it’ll trickle down and everyone will have a better time for it.