Thursday’s Thoughts on Home: Vacation packing

True confession: I get extremely irritable when packing and trying to get my family of 5 out of the door for a vacation.   Jeff (my husband) dreads the night before and morning of a vacation.  I’ve noticed that he tries to find the balance of staying out of my way and being helpful.  But I don’t know if I will ever allow a perfect balance, because nothing seems to be just right for me.

Once we are all in the van and we pull down the street, everything’s great.  I return to Dr. Jekyll, or is it Mr. Hyde?  Whatever it is, I become sane and nice again and expect Jeff and my boys to ignore the fact that I was just monster mom and monster wife.

What is it about packing that stresses me out so much?  I don’t know.  I usually can do it pretty quickly.   We have never gone anywhere that we couldn’t buy something that was forgotten and everywhere we go has laundry access.   So I don’t think it really is the packing that is the problem.

Sometimes it is a puzzle trying to make everything fit in the van, but we always do.  So that really isn’t the problem.

What is the problem?  I think it’s the expectation that in addition to getting everything packed and ready to go, I want to leave the house cleaner than normal.  I know that I don’t want to feel let down by my own house when I return from staying some place much nicer.  So I try to make our house as perfect as I can while packing and organizing and trying to get 5 people out of the house and into a van.

So I’m thinking I either need to let go of that expectation of coming home to a perfect house (or as perfect as my house can be) or I need to learn to delegate.   Well actually it is probably a combination of both, because if I’m delegating some of it to my 10, 7, and 5-year-olds, I definitely have to let go of the expectation of perfection.  We don’t have any trips planned for a while now, so I have plenty of time to come up with a new battle plan and attitude about getting us out of the door!  And hopefully next time, I won’t transform into Mr. Hyde, or is it Dr. Jekyll?  Whatever it is, it’s not fair to the rest of my family.

♥Becki, imperfect packer

P.S.  In light of not being too hard on myself… I’m reminded that we’ve had a history of chaotic events coinciding with vacation departures.  Last year as we are packing the van, I realized that I left my purse inside the unlocked van overnight and it, along with our vacation cash, my credit cards, my checkbook, a few gift cards, and some receipts that I needed to be reimbursed for were stolen.  Then earlier this summer as we were packing the van to leave for the beach, we noticed that our 7-year-old was limping and his ankle was swollen.  Apparently the fall he had the night before was worse than we thought.  So we had to delay our departure as Jeff took him to urgent care to have it looked at and get an x-ray.  Thankfully it was only a bad sprain, but still…


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