Two days before we left for our two-week vacation to the Cayman Islands I was wishing we bought cancellation insurance. Our kids were scrapping, I was burnt out and the thought of spending two weeks on a tiny island with my husband and children DID NOT sound like fun. The condo we rented was self serve — so we did all of our own cooking, laundry and housekeeping. Really — was this different than my day-to-day life, except with more sun? To make matters worse, we’d have to take our kids to restaurants (and unlike Lisa’s girls, our children don’t always behave when dining out). When I told Mr. P that I didn’t want to go I got the most unbelievable dirty look ever.
After nearly two weeks of Caribbean sun, I’ve done the impossible: I’ve relaxed while on vacation.
A bit of background: I’m not a person that sits still or relaxes easily. I need to be on the move constantly (I can see this in our children!). When we have vacationed as a family before, I have been either pregnant, chasing a toddler or visiting family (sometimes all of them at the same time). I think there were several things that helped me relax on this trip:
- We stayed for two weeks, so there wasn’t the pressure to cram all of our sightseeing into a few days.
- Caymanians are kind and laid back. It’s hard to be uptight when you’re surrounded by people running on island time.
- Our condo was away from George Town, was very quiet and had everything that we possibly needed.
- We only dined out once a day, choosing to go for lunch instead of dinner. Meal prices were cheaper, restaurants quieter and it kept our costs down. We cooked breakfast and dinner at home.
- I made time for me (running the Cayman Islands Half Marathon — more on that soon!)
- We travelled during the off-season — fewer tourists means quieter beaches (though last week there was seven cruise ships in port and George Town was packed!)
- We didn’t do anything from the big “must do” guide book lists. Instead, we asked Caymanians we met about where we should go – and we discovered quiet beaches and inexpensive restaurants.
- I spent time with our children, instead of constantly cleaning or doing laundry or putting away toys.
That last one is I think the key to why I had such a great trip. I take my job as a SAHM far too seriously and am proud to have a reasonably clean house and healthy home cooked meals. Far too often that comes at the expense of playtime with our children. (“Wait a minute” is said a lot!)
What is the takeaway from this post? For the last two weeks I did little cleaning and more playing — and our whole family was better for it. While I can’t promise that letting the dishes sit for more than a day will ever happen again, it did make me realize how much more fun playtime is than laundry time.