The following post is by contributor Catherine Way of Indirect Observations and originally appeared in June of 2010.
The first time I took a big trip with my son, then two years old, I was looking forward to a break from the mundane, a chance to have some time to myself and the opportunity to have a few new adventures. After all, that is what holidays had been about before I had children. But that expectation nearly spoiled my holiday.
I found myself upset at my child for just being a child. I worried when he missed naps or didn’t sleep at night. I worried about disturbing other people on the plane or in the next hotel room when he wouldn’t stop crying. I worried when he wasn’t enjoying what were doing. And I got upset that I didn’t have time to sit and read my book or go and see what I wanted to see.
As I got more and more stressed I realised I was ruining my holiday. I was missing my son’s excitement at new experiences and I wasn’t enjoying the time I did get to myself or the new sights and experiences. Trying to make the holiday fit my expectations was making things harder for me.