Mom On Family Holiday Explains Why Parents Never ‘Go On Vacation’

Although family holidays are sometimes portrayed as times of rest and renewal, the truth can often be very different for many parents. Chicago mother of two Sarah Johnson explains why parents like her frequently feel they never really “go on vacation.”

When questioned about her most recent beach vacation with her family, Sarah chuckles. “Trip? “More like an additional logistical change of scenery,” she quips. Holidays may be anything but restful for parents, particularly those who have little children. Rather than reading a book by the pool, they are in charge of scheduling, bringing an abundance of supplies, and making sure everyone is happy and safe.

Sarah says, “Being a parent means you’re always on duty.” “There’s no switch-off button, even on vacation.” Parents are ever-vigilant, applying sunscreen and checking the safety of their children in the water. She acknowledges that it is “exhausting, but necessary.”

A family vacation needs to be carefully planned and carried out. Packing lists, which make sure everything from snacks to diapers is packed, are akin to military operations. “Sarah laughs and says, ‘Forget about spontaneous trips.” “Our ‘spontaneous’ is planning the night before!”

Sarah appreciates the educational component of family vacations despite the difficulties. “Our kids learn so much from exploring new places,” she continues. “Even if it means we’re always on our toes, seeing their excitement makes it worth it.”

Sarah agrees that as kids become older, vacations change. “With toddlers, it’s about safety and routine,” she says. “As they get older, it becomes more about experiences and bonding.”

For many parents, like Sarah, the key is to redefine what a “vacation.” It’s not about spending the entire day in bed, she muses. “It’s about creating memories, even if they’re chaotic.” Every experience, from building sandcastles to having arguments with siblings, adds to the family’s tale.

Ultimately, even though parents such as Sarah might not have the customary leisure on family vacations, their paths are filled with joy, wisdom, and affection. “We may never ‘go on vacation’ in the traditional sense,” Sarah says with a grin, “but we wouldn’t trade these adventures for anything.”


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