The end of May is here, and summer is just around the country. If you are like us, you are looking at your bucket list and planning what you will check out this summer. The planning phase is exciting! Sometimes the execution of it is not.
If you have been to Disney or the zoo or an aquarium lately, you have seen the frustrated parents and exhausted kids. There’s going to be some of that when you are on a vacation when you aren’t used to being all together 24/7, but pushing yourself to bring down “unit cost” will only bring you more frustration. Your children will see and feel it. It will seep into your vacation. They will act up. You will be frustrated. Often times everyone around you will see it and feel it. Unhappiness spreads.
What to do?
Let’s bring back the magic! Let’s bring common courtesy back to our gathering. The point of going to the zoo, Disney, the park, is to have family time together. Yes, it is about seeing the characters, enjoying the rides, seeing the animals, etc, but if you’re grumpy then those memories won’t be happy ones. Keep the focus on being together. Be present in the moment. Yes, there will be toddler meltdown and needed afternoon caffeine breaks, but there are ways to potentially mitigate this.
-Take breaks when you need to.
-Find air-conditioning if it is hot. Find heat if it is cold.
-Have snacks on hand to prevent “hangry” moments. This is just as much for me as it is the kiddos.
-Always carry extra water bottles. Staying hydrated is key to outdoor fun in the sun!
-If you have a stroller, make sure you were looking around you as you go through pathways and corners.
-If you don’t have a stroller, be aware of those who do because it is not easy abruptly stopping a double stroller when going downhill so please, please leave enough room between you and the stroller.
-Utilize baby care centers – if you are at a theme park or zoo, chances are they have a whole center with air-conditioning dedicated to little ones as a space to break away and destress. If the hustle or the heat is getting to you – use these for a break.
-If you have to check your phone, pull off to the side of the walkway. Stopping in the middle of a pathway creates backlog of people and can potentially lead to injury.
–Smile. If you do it you will probably feel happier.
-Don’t cut in line-don’t have one person of your party wait in line and then for the rest of your 15-member party show up later. This is not kind or courteous. There are moments that you will have to escape with the potty-training toddler, but having a majority of your party cut in line 30 minutes after you arrive is just discourteous and is technically against the rules at most theme parks.
-Talk to those around you. Maybe they’ll have ideas on how to get past the law or a shortcut to a different location. I talked to those that works there and be courteous. Being angry that won’t get you anywhere.
If you practice common courtesy, you will be happier. Your children will see you interacting with others like this. And you’ll probably spread happiness too.
#milmomadventuretip: Set reasonable expectations. If your child usually eats, naps or goes to bed at certain times, you can probably change the timetable a little with all the excitement of the outing. But plan accordingly. You will be happier when you meet or exceed those expectations vice being disappointed when/if you are unable to meet them.
What are your tips to keeping the magic in family outings? We want to add your tips to our list!