I was recently away from my kids for seven nights - IN A ROW (gasp!) - with very limited video chatting. One would think I’d be greeted extraordinarily well upon my return home. But the truth is, after some welcome back screams and bounces and maybe a hug or two, everything resumed as normal. It’s like I hadn’t left.
If you’re about to return home from a mom vacation, I want to prepare you for a few things in advance...
Nobody is going to want to hear about your trip. Not if it was the most stunning landscape you’ve ever seen. Not if you met a celebrity from your favorite tv show. Not if you ran a marathon and said goodbye to a personal best to help another runner make it to the finish line. Nobody cares.
The kids might show zero appreciation for the souvenirs you got them. Even though you did your very best to find something unique for each child. Even though you walked the city or hotel gift shop or airport stores multiple times. Even then, there’s potential for whining, complaining, or a straight-up disregard for what is bestowed upon them.
Everything is going to seem louder. The laughing, fighting, crying, and playing will be at a higher octave than you remember. Your husband’s snoring, too.
You’re going to come home with laundry. I know this is an obvious one, but if you combine this with the laundry that already exists in your household of wee ones, you’ve basically just multiplied the workload.
Your kids have probably forgotten your rules. Because although you and your husband are supposed to be on the same page, we all know that meal times and play times and bath times (if they happen) look much different with Dad than they do with Mom. To recap, french fries are not truly vegetables, we don’t attempt flips off the couch, and - unless there is soap coming out of the sprinkler - you need at least one proper bath this week.
Your kids will probably resent you for reminding them of your rules. Then you will receive hate mail, delivered straight to your bedside:
She forgot to mention how much she missed me!
The good news is, after some sacred time away, you’ll be walking into this volatile situation with a tank full of patience and forgiveness up the wazoo. To make things more fun, I suggest you print this article and use it as a checklist when you return home. It’ll really throw off the Fam Jam if you’re cackling in the corner with a clipboard. Hated souvenirs - CHECK! Left me hate mail - CHECK! Mwaaa haaa haaa.
But, for real. Enjoy every moment of your time away. I’m telling you that you deserve it. Especially after the royal treatment you’ll get when you return home.