As many of you certainly know, parenting is this messy, ugly, soul-crushing, doubt-filled experience that…we wouldn’t change for the world.
This week, I’ve taken the kids on vacation to Montreal. I saved for the trip for months and months. They saved for spending money for themselves. I booked this great little apartment on AirBnB that’s super close to all kinds of fun attractions for the kids and was way less expensive than a hotel. And we took the train because it was the most stress-free and inexpensive way for us to get here.
And, by and large, the trip has been…absolutely bloody awful.
The kids have fought and complained and cried for most of the trip. I’ve never – in their lives – seen this kind of consistently bad behaviour from them for such an extended period of time (we’re on day five of an eight-day trip).
Today, they reduced me to tears and trying to find a train that could get us home right now. I even had a rockstar friend offer to make the drive from Niagara to Montreal to get us out of here early (and I still may take her up on it).
I get it.
They’re super excited. They’re super tired. They miss their dad.
The excitement’s not going anywhere. The tiredness could be helped by more sleep, but the excitement isn’t helping my efforts in that department. And they’ve only been able to FaceTime their dad for a few minutes at a time on a couple of days.
And, in between the horrific behaviour and meltdowns, there have been glimpses of the funny, bright, loving children who are on vacation with me.
Do I wish there was another adult here to help me; to provide me with some respite; to help me referee? Of course I do.
But I don’t have one of those.
So, here I am. Hanging on by a thread. Not willing to trade in this parenting gig for anything.