We just got back from our "vacation" a few days ago. I use the word vacation loosely because I always think of a vacation as something relaxing that you come back from feeling refreshed and ready to go. I came back feeling exhausted and like I needed about 3 days to sleep it off. We have a lot of family and friends in different places, so our vacations often turn into trips to visit folks we don't get to see very often. Often it involves Hubby's family too. There is good and bad in all of this, and while it is very tempting to use this post to rant about all the frustrating and exhausting things that happened in the last week and a half, instead I'm going to focus on some things I learned on this vacation. It may not have helped me recharge my batteries, but it did give me new perspective on my life, and that's worth an awful lot. So here's what I learned.
-I have an amazing husband. Amazing. He is so great with Bean, he's so supportive of me, he's funny and silly but knows when to be serious. He helps me stay calm when I'm starting to lose my cool and he knows when I need a little reminder to just chill out and stop getting so worked up about things. I realize more and more how lucky I am to have not only a husband, but a partner in life. He helps with everything and doesn't expect me to take on the role of parent or home caretaker alone. I am so very thankful for him.
-Bean is more able to go with the flow then I am. I had a lot of worries about this trip related to Bean because there wasn't a lot of concern about her schedule or about baby proofing so that she'd be in a safer/easier environment. I almost broke down a couple times with the anticipation of how hard it was going to be for her to play and sleep in our surroundings. Well, she was just fine. She didn't touch what she was told not to touch and she slept better on our trip then she has at home in awhile. She was able to deal with the fact that we stayed in three different places with different people. The only real problem that she had was that she didn't want to eat a lot of the food that she was offered, but I was prepared for that and had back ups. She totally made me realize that I have to give her the opportunity to try things more often because she can handle what's thrown at her.
-I have to be less of a control freak. If my 14 month old can deal with all this change and doesn't bat an eye when her nap is late or dinner is early or our normal schedule is completely thrown out the window, then I need to be better about dealing with it too. On the outside, you'd probably never know that I'm having any kind of a problem, because I try to make sure that my craziness doesn't effect the other people we're spending time with, on the inside though I'm definitely having trouble giving up my control freak tendencies and am usually a big ball of stress. I relax more as time goes by, but I admit that I do have a hard time, and I need to work on that.
-I love my house. I was so happy to come home. It's so cozy and comfy and it's safe for Bean. I love her nursery. I love rocking her to sleep in her big, comfy glider and snuggling her into her crib. I love watching her run around and dance to her favorite music and I love that she can play in our fenced yard without having to worry about cars or neighbors or anything else. I love how comfortable she is here and how she feels like she can be herself. I love the moments when she starts babbling at the tree out her window or when she runs away without a diaper on and her little naked tush disappears around the corner. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful home and yes, I wish I had more time to keep it more orderly, but it's ours and I love it and I am SO happy to be back here.
-Finally, as much as I complain about the fact that I wish all of my friends lived in the same place and weren't spread out across the country, I am so thankful for the fact that I have these friends. It's nice to know that when you're in a new place, you have familiar faces to see there, and while I do wish that I got to see them much more often, we make the most of our time together and I'm just really thankful to have such wonderful people in my life. People who you can be stressed and crazy around but they still remember who you really are without all the nuttiness. People who have seen the hardest times in your life and now can really celebrate the victories with you. People who understand you and who you don't have to explain yourself to. People who it's just easy to be with and who you love more each time you see them, even when you don't think it's possible to love them any more.
It wasn't a relaxing vacation for sure, but it did make me think a lot about how very lucky I am. It also helped me learn a lot about traveling with a little one and that will hopefully make our future trips a lot easier. In the end, it was worth it both for what I learned on this trip and because our little family got to spend every single day together for over a week. And any time that happens, it's a good thing, no matter the circumstances.