Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Balancing Vacation Plans
SO, now that we have LOTS of Birth families in our little family- visits can be tricky. Here's a few tips I've come up with when it comes to planning your visits with family and birth families...
1. ALWAYS do what is BEST for YOUR immediate family first-not your parents or extended family.
You can't please everyone all the time so, quit trying. Focus on who you can please- your spouse and kiddos!
2. Make a MAP of your trip/ Timeline but, don't make a play by play list. LEAVE your plans open and flexible when it's possible. The coolest things/ experiences happen when they are not planned!
So for us, we have one afternoon/evening in UT on our way to NV to see Gavin's Birth mom and her entire family. We will have a dinner there but otherwise the rest if the evening in unplanned. We are open to whatever:) You can overbook your hours too quickly, stress out that you are not following your plan or way behind schedule and there goes your sanity and stress levels.
3. DO plan some special time for each birth parent to snuggle/ visit with your/their child.
After dinner, i know that Gavin will be tired, ready for a bottle and such. I let J have some time with him- all she wants to do some or all of these things. It's precious time to anyone especially birth parents. And don't plan one visit backed up to the other if your birth parents aren't on speaking terms. Make each visit- it's own day if possible or at least not right after the other. You are not a referee or a therapist so, avoid situations that would stress one or the other out! We see Dustin on our way BACK through UT after Christmas- a totally different time period altogether!
4. HAVE Grandparent time with your kiddos. Let your mom and dad bond with your child/ren without you interfering. Go grocery shopping and leave the kids with your mom & dad. It's important that grandparents also, have bonding time with your children and your newly adopted children too! which leads me to my next tip...
5. GET a bit of time in for YOU- whether that's going shopping alone, taking a long undisturbed bath, a long walk through your old town, going snowboarding, getting a pedicure etc. YOU need it and deserve it and you will enjoy your vacation more!
6. ALWAYS take tons of pictures with your birth parents and family! DON'T FORGET to send them some after your vacation too!
7. BE careful of other peoples time. If you can ONLY get in at midnight b/c your husband gets off at 9pm and that's it- then fine, leave then but, if you have any sort of flexibility- leave at a time so you can arrive at a decent hour to your layovers or destinations. It's funny to me when people think driving through the night will get them their faster but, then they don't wake up till 11am and what's the diff. if they would have gotten in at 11am anyways. What you try to make up for in time is made up for in sleep, normally!
8. HAVE a mini reunion playdate. You may not be able to plan everyone schedules but, if you plan for a get together- invite all your old friends and cousins, and birth family members- you will at least be able to see some people that you were hoping to see, even if for a short time! The key is low maintenance with these activities too.
that's my 2 cents- happy travels and Merry Christmas!