We just got back from New York a couple of days ago and as I reflect on our vacation, I can tell you that it definitely didn’t go as expected. That doesn’t necessarily mean it went bad. As a matter of fact, it was probably one of our best vacations to date.
I usually tend to go to New York with the kids. Ryan stays home because he has to work and his schedule isn’t as flexible as mine. Well, this time around he was able to take off during the holidays and we decided to take a road trip to New York.
Road trips can be so much fun! You listen to music, sing along to your favorite songs, eat junk food, and wear PJ’s because nobody is watching. I remember taking a road trip down to Atlanta when we didn’t have any kids and it was nice. Even though we drove through the night, we were able to sleep in the next day. This road trip was a little different. We took all three kids with us and we quickly learned to lower our expectations.
Before taking off for our trip, I had it all planned out in my head. We were leaving Thursday night so that the kids could sleep through the night. Once they get up in the morning, I could put on a movie and drive the rest of the way. I also planned for JJ to get up every couple of hours to eat and he would fall right back to sleep, right? I mean he’s in his car seat and the car is moving so he should be totally fine. Who was I kidding?
The only thing that turned out to be true was the time we left. Everything after that was a struggle. I had such high expectations for my kiddos and didn’t realize that I was asking a lot of them. The trip to New York was tolerable. The trip back to Wisconsin turned out to be a bit unexpected.
Ever since Hailey was a baby, she would get carsick. As she has gotten older it has gotten a lot better. She did great on the way to NY so of course, I expected it to go well on the way back home. It didn’t. We had only driven a couple of hours before she got sick and we had to stop. We had to stay overnight in a hotel so that we could clean up the car and her things. We stopped so many times to feed JJ and they all took turns crying because it was just a lot for them to handle. We learned our lesson – 15-hour road trips with three kids (3 and under) is a tough one.
Next time we decide to take this trip, I will be a little more prepared for the unexpected. Whether we like it or not, our kids dictate how our trips go. If they need to take a break, we need to give it to them. I remember after checking into the hotel, we walked down the hall to the elevators. Ryan and I just looked at each other and laughed because we know THIS is our life and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. Yes, it was hard but I can now look back and cherish the memories we made on this trip.
Needless to say, it was so worth it. We were able to see our family. My children made memories with their Abuela (grandma) and Abuelo (grandpa), who they only get to see a few times a year. My sister was able to meet her new nephew, JJ. And I had the privilege to witness it all.
If I had to, I’d do it all over again – but with lower expectations.