I am one of those annoying mothers that insists on keeping up a schedule when on vacation. I know, this is frustrating to a lot of people. I understand it means limiting activities at times, but trust me, it is worth it. Here is a list of reasons why I insist on a schedule, even on vacation.
1) Children’s sleep needs don’t change on vacation. This is sad but true. I wish my son suddenly could go without a nap for a week every once in a while so we could get out and have a lot of fun. But this isn’t the case. Just because we are doing something different, it doesn’t mean he can skip important hours of rest. If anything it means he needs more rest! We are in a new, exciting situation. There is more stimulation and less down time. Kids need sleep just as much if not more during these times. Busier days and more activities up the need for sleep, so I make sure my son gets it.
2) Sleep helps attitude. Think about it, when you are tired out, you get cranky, even on vacation. The same thing applies to kids. Often on vacation we are eating new foods, going new places, trying new things. This can be scary and stressful to little kids. Being well rested helps us combat that. It is way easier to deal with a potentially scary situation with a full sleep tank. I have found one of the biggest reason my son has tantrums is that he is tired. By getting enough sleep we can try to avoid this.
3) It’s vacation for Mom and Dad too. This might sound harsh, but it’s true! Yes, I want to make sure my son has a great time on vacation. And yes, I know that when you become a parent you sacrifice certain things. But parents matter too. We are allowed to have a nice vacation as well. Our vacations pretty much consist of going to visit family. Lucky for us, we really like our family. Having Ben nap and get to bed on time means we get to actually sit down and visit with the people we don’t get to see very often. We have game nights, watch movies, and get to relax with people we care about, away from the to-do lists of home. It also gives Pat and I a moment to reconnect, away from the normal grind.
Now, despite all these reasons I know vacation is a special time. If there is a specific activity we want to do, or a special reason to stay up late, we adjust the schedule. I’m not crazy, I know the point is to have fun and take a break from the regular routine. I just also know what Ben can handle. He still needs at least one nap a day. He still needs a lot of nighttime sleep. He needs morning quiet time at least once every couple of days. Because of that, we plan to follow his routine most of the time. We don’t ignore his personal hygiene while on vacation, why would we ignore his sleep hygiene? It just makes sense.
Be sure to check out all the other posts on sleep this week!
- Monday: Valerie at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
- Tuesday: Shea at The Moses Home
- Tuesday: Stephanie at Giving It Grace
- Wednesday: Brooke at Apffel a Day
- Wednesday: Kimberly at Team Cartwright
- Thursday: Carrie at Wiley Adventures
- Thursday: Emily at The Journey of Parenthood
- Friday: Claire at My Devising
- Friday: Elaine at Faithfully Infertile