There’s the National Lampoon’s version that is essentially the nightmare trip that only gets worse, or on a lesser scale, your parents only embarrass you half of the time in public, your whole family gets caught in some storm and has to sleep in an airport terminal overnight and/or the airline only loses your luggage versus the rest of the family’s. (Happened to you, too?) And you’d definitely need to recover from that kind of vacation you wish you never took.
Then there’s the other end of the spectrum when you have such an amazing time on your family vacation, so incredible, in fact, it’s like those commercials that feature that ridiculously happy family exploring amazing, faraway places — that you would usually totally dismiss as fiction and think, “yeah, right!” like it was an impossibility. I just came back from two weeks of the latter and I’m now a believer.
My teenage, ungrateful, rebellious self could not allow such a moment, rarely looking forward to or enjoying that thing called a “family vacation,” unless one of my friends were in tow. My husband can relate: “I didn’t want a vacation with my family when I was kid, I wanted a vacation from my family.
I’m admitting to this now and asking for my parents’ forgiveness for all the times my teenage (and preteen) self ruined ours with endless complaining, scowling faces in photographs, and overall poor behavior. All of you kids (and adults) who have this same tendency to ruin family vacations, please don’t do it!
Again, Mom and Dad, so sorry for all those times. I totally get how important that time is now that I’m a parent. I’m so thrilled at the prospect of spending 24/7 with my daughter and husband, eagerly counting the days to the family vacation, how sh*tty would it be for my kid to act like a jerk during it? I’d be crushed.
I’m not going to brag to you about all the details of our recent family trip overseas to see even more family (100 plus at a reunion), because this lovely beach you see is just a small glimpse into what was an especially dream vacation care of my generous parents (thanks to all of you friends and family who made those discounted rates and cool adventures possible!). And you’ll just hate me if I shared more photos of glorious tropical sunsets as you look out the window at snow, rain, etc.
But to be honest, even if you took away ziplining over the China Sea (no toddler in tow, then!), the fancy meals someone else paid for, the whirlpool bathtub, private Shetland horse ride, etc. Take that all away, and I’d still be saying I had an amazing time, because the best part of the whole trip was because of that one thing: family.
Underwater Auntie-Niece Bonding
Credit: Felix Perez
Because it’s not every day you get to spend two weeks straight with people you love — immediate family and extended family and family friends included! (I believe it had been almost 15 years since my sisters, parents and I had gone on a family vacation before this trip.)
Much of our weeks are usually filled with loads of dirty dishes and laundry, stressful hours at work or in traffic, paying bills or pretending they don’t exist, trying to get our kids to sleepor to wake up for something, and people who don’t give a damn about you, along with those random strangers who go out of their way to help you.
Am I geeking out on family and clinging to my family vacation nirvana because now I’m a mother? Maybe. Is it because I’m older and realize how these moments can’t be taken for granted? Most likely. Or is it because I was so touched seeing the joy my daughter and niece brought to my parents’ faces when they all played together on the beach/in the hotel room/at the airport/at meals/in the mall while my sisters and I were in the distance. Hell, yeah.
So, yes, I’m suffering from the worst family vacation hangover. And there’s only one cure for it: plan the next one.
For more travel-related posts, click on an image below.
Of course, we’re celebrating, too, with a giveaway!
Last year, Smith celebrated his birthday in Mexico City with a 4-hour, 50-plus song set. Can you imagine?!
It got us wondering . . .
What will he do this year?And even better: What if we got to be there?
So, we’re letting our imaginations get away with us this time! To enter our random drawing to win two copies of Lullaby Renditions of The Cure (one for you and one for a friend), tell us how you and Robert Smith would celebrate Robert Smith’s birthday. Enter by Sunday, April 27 at 8pm PST.
Need a little piece of heaven (also known as the baby’s naptime) right away?
Listen to Lullaby Renditions of The Cure on Spotify!
It’s flu season and everyone I know is trying hard to not get sick. But if you are around children for any length of time all the free vaccines, hand sanitizer and massive doses of vitamin C aren’t going to save you. Because kids can be pretty dirty and gross. Recently, my baby threw up pistachio shells she ate after someone left a pile of them discarded on the ground at the park. And you know what she tried to do immediately after? Eat the half-chewed, muddy shells that were stuck on her sweater.
With stunts like that, I’m lucky she hasn’t contracted pinworms, which is something so foul I can’t even tell you about it for fear you might be reading this over lunch. Instead, the baby just has a perpetual cold, which means her sweet face is often covered in snot. I used to judge those people who let their kids run around with runny noses. How hard is it to use a tissue? I’d wonder. Now I know: it’s Sisyphean.
She can’t shake her cold and it would be easy to blame my toddler’s preschool. Every day when I pick the toddler up there they’ve posted a new list of illnesses that are making the rounds: chickenpox, strep and the positively medieval one known as hand, foot and mouth disease.
With all the viruses and bacteria afoot, it should come as no surprise that the toddler got sent home recently with pink eye. My poor girl looked terrible; her eyes were puffy and almost swollen shut (I swear she looked good when she left our house). I felt so ashamed, like the worst kind of parent-the kind who sends her sick kid to school to infect everyone else. We went to the doctor and got a miracle cure (eye drops).
The following day was her first official sick day. And even though I’ve turned into such a cranky germaphobe, she reminded me that being sick can also be fun. We put on pajamas, made tea and watched Charlie Brown on TV. While I worked, she did some crafts and covered herself in glitter glue. She took a long nap with her dad, who also worked from home that day. Then we all put on silly costumes and had a dance party. She wore a cow suit 3 sizes too small, and after the grueling process of getting the drops in her eyes, she got to eat cookies (three, in fact!).
Her eyes looked great the next morning: clear, awake and anime-wide open. She went to school, happy and well, and now I’m feeling a different kind of sickness coming on: heartsickness because I miss her.
Whether you or your little one is “sick sick,” homesick or “heartsick,” there’s nothing quite like music to soothe the “owies” that life brings. Visit our store to find your miracle cure.
I’ve been a mother for eight months now, and people always ask me what I miss most about my life before baby… (That ellipsis was me thinking.) Um, less laundry? Less responsibility? Less trash? More sleep?
One thing I do miss about my pre-baby but not pre-pregnancy life is my dream world. I don’t know about you other mothers or mothers-to-be, but when I was pregnant, the places I went to and the things I did in my dreams were way, way, way beyond my imagination.
I lived like a rock star in one, had NC-17 adventures in another… (that ellipsis was for me blushing) and often, I even flew around like a superhero. So I travelled everywhere. That was my dream life when I was carrying little D.
Maybe it was hormones; maybe it was my subconscious getting all my wild tendencies out in my dream world before settling into motherhood. Or, maybe, it was my little girl who sent me out on all these crazy escapades, giving me the most fantastic slumber life saying, “Hey, mama, enjoy this time; I’ll be a great adventure, too.”
But these last months, you know how eventful my dreams were?
I woke up this past weekend a bit confused and told my husband, “I think I just went to the grocery in my dreams. Or did we actually go?” In another dream, it got even duller and I didn’t go anywhere: I cleaned the house. Where’s the fun in that?
Is my wild dream life a thing of the past?
Is my greatest fantasy getting chores done?
Will I ever fly again?
I decided it was time for a big helping of my life before baby. I went out. Without my husband, without baby D-and certainly not to the grocery store.
I joined two non-parent friends and my older sister and BFF-both of whom also wanted a “Mama’s Night Out”-and ventured out on a Saturday night in Hollywood as we did before we had children (or were pregnant with them). We ended up at a very L.A. club that required being on a guest list, didn’t have a proper marked entrance (very Swingers-esque) and didn’t get happening until after midnight.
We had overpriced cocktails and danced as if we were teenagers, thanks to the DJ, who was spinning tracks from artists from our generation versus the 20-something crowd who ruled the place: Prince, Beasties Boys, The Cure, to name a few oldies but goodies.
We didn’t get home until after 1 am. And when I opened my bedroom door, there was my husband and baby fast asleep in bed. I stared at them for a while and thought, this night was even better than I had anticipated. Not because I got to go out without them, but because of what I came home to every night that I didn’t have 8 months ago. (Well, most nights, around that hour, I’d be nursing that babe of mine).
In that moment I decided that the two hours out in Hollywood was real life and my family life is the dream-though, very G-rated with occasional mature language (I blame hormones!)-even with the empty pantry, mountains of laundry and cluttered rooms.
But I’m hoping when I wake up next weekend, my husband and daughter make my dreams come true and those undone chores will be figments of my imagination. Yeah, I’d totally make them my Valentines if they did.
Make the mother in your life’s dreams come true this Valentine’s Day with a selection of Rockabye Baby CDs that will softly rock her and her baby to slumberland.
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Parents, do you dream of peaceful nights without baby's cries? Well, the rumours are true: Lullaby Renditions of Fleetwood Mac will soothe those woeful tears. Don't stop spinning these gentle instrumentals - they'll make sleeping fun.