Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 12 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Teresa of the Andes
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Life stressing you out? Vacate It!

HTeam | Shutterstock

Calah Alexander - published on 04/17/17

Family vacations become 'happiness anchors' that children hold on to for the rest of their lives.

Spring is a crazy time. Between Easter, first Communions, sports seasons, and the school year wrapping up, we hardly have time to catch our breath. So spring is also invariably the time when the house starts to get beyond my control, and my frustration with the demands of family life gets in the way of my actual family.

This is probably familiar to a lot of you, given the amount of vacations that tend to happen in the spring. Families seem to intuitively know what science is just now starting to prove — that vacations are vital for both adults and children. John McDonald, director of the Family Holiday Association, told the Huffington Post:

The happiest memory of 49 percent of the British people surveyed was on vacation with family. A third said they can still vividly remember family vacations from their childhood. What’s more, a quarter brought up these memories to get them through tough times. “We consider these to be a ‘happiness anchor’— reflecting on our happiest memories of joyful time spent together as a family can be extremely powerful in bringing relief and respite when faced with the darker times that life can bring,”

I vividly remember our summer vacations to Lake of the Ozarks, and that sun-drenched week seemed to expand and make up the whole of my childhood summers. We spent those days just being a family, without life getting in the way.




Read more:
14 Ways to Make Family Summer Memories Last a Lifetime

Unfortunately for us Americans, we don’t have a national charity that helps us afford vacations and not all families can swing a week away. My family is lucky now because we live an hour from the beach, so once my husband’s semester wraps up we can steal away for a day trip. But when we lived in Nevada, we had no such luxury. Every “family activity” cost money and we didn’t have any to spare.

I remember blogging once about being sick of housework and bickering and dishes, and being desperate to escape the monotonous drudgery of motherhood. One of my readers advised that I take time away — not from my family, but from the work of it all. She said I should buy paper plates and corn dogs and spend the day reading books with my kids, building forts, and playing outside.

So I did. And it was glorious.




Read more:
Nothing Takes the Fun Out of a Vacation Faster than Sick or Injured Kids

I realized then that it’s not the travel part of vacations that matter most. Sure, travel adds novelty and excitement, but what kids really remember from those vacations is the time they had with their parents and each other. Reading not just one book but book after book after book, as many books as my kids wanted, was exciting. Reading inside a fort constructed of mattresses and sheets and pillows was magical. Eating corn dogs and throwing away the plates was luxurious. It was a mini-vacation in our living room, and it was exactly what we needed.

Don’t stress if you can’t afford to give your kids a Disney vacation or a cruise — just give them your time. Vacate the daily grind and spend time with the ones you’re always working for. That’s what they want most, anyway.

Tags:
Family
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
2
Archbishop Georg Gänswein
I.Media for Aleteia
Gänswein: Benedict XVI expected to live only a few months after r...
3
JESUS
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
4
Philip Kosloski
Why you can eat meat on Easter Friday
5
DIVINE MERCY
Aleteia
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
6
Sister Bhagya
Saji Thomas-ACN
Catholic nun faces conversion charges in central India
7
TABLICA POŚWIĘCONA PAMIĘCI OFIAR PRZEMOCY SEKSUALNEJ
John Burger
N.Y. Cardinal: “For God’s sake, get back to Mass̶...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.