I have 4 young boys and a baby girl on the way. My husband works hard for our family, and we have a very average income. We love homeschooling and giving our children experiences every day that will prepare them for life, and we enjoy the little moments as a family as often as we can.
I’m also pretty confident 9 months out of the year. Confident that homeschooling is the right path for our family. Confident that the time we have as a family is fleeting, and we will not regret even the bad days. We take day trips to the pumpkin patch, local farms, homeschool playdays, and in general, we are busy.
Then comes summer. June, July, and August. My confidence goes out the window, and social media drives me to doubt the decisions we’d made for 9 months. I wonder why we didn’t save more, didn’t plan accordingly, and why every other parent on social media looks better than us.
I start having ‘we’re not going on vacation guilt.’
The beach, Disney, Lego Land, or even camping. You name it, and it sends chills down my spine when I see other families off doing the wonderfulness of summer and we aren’t. Every year I go through it. Every year I swear the next year will be different. However, I thought about it and remembered that my family rarely took a vacation when I was a child. They didn’t have the money either. We went to Disney when I was 5 (which I don’t remember). We did the beach a handful of times (I also barely remember).
You know what I do remember? Baking cookies with my mom. Christmas morning. Evening walks in the country and picking flowers. Sitting in my bed late at night and reading Highlights magazines. I have beautiful memories of childhood, and my parents never took me skiing, had a timeshare, or stayed at a luxe resort at Disney. Would those be great memories? Absolutely. If we could afford it, would we do it? Heck yeah. However, the daily memories that so many of us gift to our children through homeschooling them is what they will remember.
I guess social media is ‘who done it.’ It’s such a blessing to keep up with people, but it can really be a bummer as well. Also, just a shout out to my mommy friends who have little ones like me. Our boys are 7, 5, 3, and 1, and baby #5 is due in October. Does vacation to anyone else sound like…torture? Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but my goodness–to get them packed and happy is beyond me. Add to that pregnancy and morning sickness well into my second trimester. Bleh. Give me a kiddie pool and a glass of sweet tea please.
So, to those of us who still have 4+ 5-point harness seats in our SUVs, let’s remember that this season of life is short, and there will come a season for vacations. I hope you feel less alone if you’re dealing with ‘no-vacation guilt.’ I know I’ll most likely be bummed here and there. However, besides those 7 days/6 nights, there are 358 days of the year left to make awesome memories with our children!
Do you go on vacations with your very young children? (Or did you when your children were very young?) If not, do you feel guilty about not going?