Spring break season offers the chance to get away to beautiful destinations, often, if not always including sandy beaches amidst azure skies and turquoise oceans. In college, you go because there’s a break in the semester and you want to party and as adults with little kids you get away because your kids are out of school and what better reason than to spend family time somewhere peaceful for the perfect R&R.
But what’s uncanny is how similar the two vacations end up being for very different reasons. Here’s 5:
1. You do not want to see the Sun Rise
Picture this. A soft breeze caresses your body and the fresh morning air mixed with the sounds of the ocean waves serves as the backdrop to the symphony to which the crescendo, the final piece is the sun rising, glorious and breathtakingly beautiful.
Except, you are more likely drooling on the pillow of your hotel bed, limbs sprawled in every which direction, potentially wasted. As a hot-blooded college going young’un you sleep through the day and party at night. What sunrise?
As a sleep-deprived parent, all you want to do is sleep in if they let you and hopefully they’ve been worn out enough so they let you. Romantic notions of beautiful sunrises are all very well as long as you don’t have to live them. Not during this stage of your life!
2. Rooms are a mess
You have food and drink all over your room. In college, because you haven’t the time to waste on such tedious things like cleanliness and you are eternally hungry so you pretty much have bags of chips, alcoholic beverages, glasses and whatnot that you’ve emptied out during one of your binges. Clothes are strewn all over the room. Some are dirty, some are still to be worn but they don’t look any different from the others.
As a parent, you pack every conceivable toy and article of clothing necessary. You need to keep them occupied and you never know when there will be spills, bathroom accidents etc. As a parent, you also pack every conceivable snack your kid might ask for during any and every moment to your destination and during your vacation. Your kids will ask you for something just as you’ve stashed your luggage neatly in the overhead cabin and tucked things below the seat ahead and buckled your seat belt and comfortably settle in. And you will go through the whole exercise again to avoid an argument, bored/hungry kid that could potentially turn the situation into a meltdown. They will ask you for that ‘something to eat’ when they’ve refused to eat that something after asking them umpteen times and you finally decide to give that something to the sibling or God forbid allow yourself a bite. You would have patted yourself on the back as you look at the inflated prices that you would have had to cough up to satisfy their cravings. So, instead you have carried everything and the kids and yes you too have rummaged through your bags and availed this carry on buffet service as and when hungry stomachs have demanded it. You are paying for housekeeping so you sure as hell do not want to go around cleaning up after them. No, thank you! Not here my friend.
3. You try to save money where you can
You’re in college so you’re pretty much broke. You’re trying to save every penny you can while also making sure you have the money to spare to enjoy yourself a little. You are only young once. So, you always look out for good deals and make the most.
You have one, maybe two kids to put through college. You have barely paid off your own college debt. You are house poor. You want to make sure you enjoy your time but are budget conscious. You may miss the sunrise but you sure as hell will try to make it to that free buffet!
4. You will stay out as late as you can
As we’ve established already as a hot-blooded young’un you are more likely to sleep the day and party wild through the night. You live for the nightlife and make the most of every bit of it.
As a parent, if you are lucky enough to get a sitter you can trust you will make the most of it too. Stay out late, drink and eat and embarrass yourself at the karaoke. If you are only a little lucky you will have gone on vacation with other parents and you will make desperate attempts to get the kids to sleep while you cozy up on the balcony with drinks and food. The little buggers more likely will not sleep a wink and you will have stooped to let them watch the television, which is a noose in itself. The longer they stay up, the longer you can stay up. But the excitement of getting that time together is dampened with the knowledge that you will have cranky kids on hand and your next day is up for a toss, veering mostly toward the ‘you’re quite screwed’ direction.
5. You are exhausted at the end of the vacation
You young blooded young’uns, you! So much frolic and fun wears out the system. You are happy but exhausted after your weeklong tryst with libations and listless celebrations of life.
As parents, you are ALWAYS exhausted. You will be exhausted until the end of time. So, there!
By Archana, previously published on www.southasianaustinmoms.com