We shouldn't expect young kids to appreciate how much time, energy, and money go into planning a wonderful summer. And young kids, especially on vacation, can easily get overtired, over-hungry, sick, and overwhelmed.
This summer we have many wonderful experiences planned for our kids. And I truly hope they enjoy each and every one. But I know that there will be many unexpected ups and downs. With three kids it's hard to keep everyone happy.
When planning this summer I thought back to my son's first two summers in California. He was my only child and I remember spending a lot of time with my friends at play dates, parks, and day trips. The kids were sometimes fussy, sometimes napping, and sometimes whining, but they would all tag along on whatever adventure the moms in our group had planned for the day. Sometimes we stayed local and drank hot chocolate at Monique's Chocolates. Sometimes we went on a trip to the beach. Wherever we went, we spent the majority of these outings talking about our joys, worries and frustrations as new parents.
Although it takes a bit more planning to meet up with friends now that I have 3 kids, I'm hoping to incorporate more of these chats into my summer schedule. These conversations rejuvenate me and help me keep my expectations in check. Hearing about the highs and lows from a friend's vacation helps remind me that our summer will not be perfect. And whenever things don't go as planned, I can remember that these stressful experiences will probably end up making great stories to share with my friends when we return home.