Some of you may not know that I am divorced, and my daughter, Gabrielle, is from my first marriage. That whole phase of life was tumultuous to say the least, but we all came out of it alive and with a new future we are building together.
I made peace (although initially it broke my heart) that my daughter has to overcome some hurdles early in life that ever so slightly take away a bit of her innocence. She regularly has to pack herself up and get shuffled from house to house. She never has all her things in one place. While having two families, two bedrooms, two different routines, and two different parenting styles could be daunting and confusing, she handles it like a champ. This girl, fortunately, was born with a strong sense of who she is, where she is going, and what she wants.
While I see some signs of anxiety from time to time, mostly she goes with the flow in a very responsible and measured manner. She certainly does need us to plot out her next moves for her so that mentally she can organize herself and plan for what's coming (a girl after my own heart). She constantly asks "Ok, so who will pick me up tomorrow? Whose house will I stay at?". The realization that she knows she doesn't just have one home and has bit more chaotic schedule than some of her peers breaks my heart a little bit every time I hear those questions. But she doesn't seemed fazed. She is surrounded by so much love.
You know who doesn't always handle the shuffling and the mental tax of divorce seamlessly?
Time to round up the family and head off to adventure / major nap times / sun and sand / whatever your family is up to this summer.
We are heading out to the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, and couldn't be happier. Traveling with an 18 month old and a 4 year old isn't a walk in the park. In fact, there isn't much walking involved - it's almost always a sprint, except for that long 3 hour drive in the car.
To make my escape a little easier, I swear by a packing list that I continuously add to and modify to fit my family's needs. I HATE driving 30 minutes down the road only to realize that I have forgotten something critical, like socks, or my summer beach read, or Calum's favorite binky. No, no, no. That's a terrible way to start my few days of rest and relaxation (ha).
So if you are like me, here's some peace of mind. I've linked HERE my FREE downloadable family packing list. You can customize it to your own needs and keep adding to it for years to come! (Dad is not included because he takes like 3 minutes to pack himself - then I hand him the rest of the kids' list and he jumps in and helps out - sometimes).
HERE is the .pdf version.
And if you want to follow along with my family vacation, be sure you are following along with @htxmom on instagram!
The Parent Wish List
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Toddler parents can find ourselves at odds with extended family, grandparents, friends, co-workers around holiday time. The last thing we want to do is add to the chaos in their household with obnoxious gifts, or toys that just go unused and add to the clutter. So when grandma presents a perfectly wrapped package, we shudder in fear...is it ANOTHER noise-making machine? Is it a box full of permanent markers?? Is it a...box full of CANDY???
No. Just no.