Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why My Expectations as a Mom, Sometimes, Quite Literally, Just Suck.

Kids, sometimes taking you on a little mini-vacation, isn't all it's cracked up to be.
I'm sorry, but it's just not. Of course, you do learn a thing or two though.

A few weekends back we had a big family weekend in the city. Chad and I debated on whether or not to bring the kiddos with us and it went something like this:

Family weekend away in a fun place at a nice hotel


Weekend away for just mommy and daddy in a fun place at a nice hotel.

Family weekend won, due to guilt begrudging both of us and actually some pretty fun anticipations of how excited the kids would be seeing the city and all of the lights....[cue Kanye].

Boy did I "f" this one up.

Here's the image of sugarplums I had dancing in my head:
Get to the city early enough to walk over to the tree and Kriskindle Market on Daley Plaza,
Then, see the windows on State Street and head in to Macy's to see the tree in the Walnut Room.
Grab some hot chocolate on our way to dinner at Bandera and then
Head back to the hotel for a late bedtime and snuggle time with the kids in their Christmas jammies, and me in mine.
Wake up the next morning and walk to breakfast, then head over to Millennium Park for some ice skating, maybe even hitting up a few shops on Michigan Avenue on the way back to the hotel, oh, maybe around 2pm or so.

Here's what actually happened.

Checked-in at the hotel and the kids didn't want to leave the room.
Got to Michigan Ave. and we had to spend an hour in the Disney store. (Yes, I know it's a big one, but really?)
Got to Watertower Place and spent another hour between American Girl and Lego.
[Cue whining about taking new toys back to hotel room to play.]
Chad and I trying to figure out best place to eat because now it's 5pm.
Anyone who knows me also knows that if I'm hungry, I'm really cranky too.
Chad suggesting we eat in the hotel room...kids listening. Yup. 3 to 1 odds here.
Walk over to Bandera- YAY!
Waited an hour and a half to eat - BOO!
[Cue kids whining about taking new toys back to hotel room and wanting to order pizza in hotel room]
Drank two Blue Moons while waiting - YUM!
[Cue kids still whining about taking new toys back to hotel room and wanting to order pizza]
Food comes...
Ava wolfs it down.
Graham doesn't like his. Of course.
I'm drunk so I really don't care.
Finish dinner and it's back to the hotel room to play with new toys and watch tv. IN CHICAGO! Goddammit. Now it's 3 to 1 again. I lose. And, it's 6pm!

Kids go to bed at 7pm.

We all wake up in the morning refreshed, but I'm still bitter about the way things went down the night prior. So we get up, I lay out all of my expectations as clearly as I can for this day, so it's "better"...meaning, for me, and we head out.

First stop: Corner Bakery for a very yummy breakfast where we were all happily eating and mama's got her morning cup of java so that's wonderful. Then, onward...

As we attempt to walk to Millennium Park, we get sidetracked by the sale at flagship Gap, plus Graham needs mittens...40 minutes later we leave and continue to head to the Park. We're finally on our way and I stop and look around. The kids are cold, and they're tired from what I can only imagine is the let-down of their spastic energy from the day prior. Chad's willing to fight the wind and carry a child all the way there while the whining continues and I say:

"Let's just go home." But not resentfully, more like sincerely. As in, I'm sincerely done with this little family vaca and want to get home as fast as f*ing possible. I love my kids, I love my husband, but this weekend was not meant for us all.

As I think back I realize, one, I had way too many expectations, especially for the ages and temperaments of my kids. They would've been happy staying at a Motel 6 for the night just for something different. I overshot it. I won't next time, at least, I'll try not to. But what can I say? I had the best of intentions...for me. And that leads me to number two. I should've realized what I needed out of this weekend, which was really afterall, time for a grown-up night out with my husband. I let guilt make a decision for me. Gonna try not to do that again too.


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