Host Ashley Peebles shares her tips and tricks for making memories during your kids Spring Break this year all while your spouse is deployed!
Today we will dive into spring break planning when your spouse is deployed. You know as soon as your spouse leaves, everything hits the fan—everything breaks, things that used to take minimal effort seem to take a whole lot…and there is so much more planning involved. It’s so much easier when your spouse is at home to just load up everybody in the car and go do whatever you want to do or jump on the plane and fly somewhere. But it’s not as easy when you are solo parenting. When you think of spring break you think of fun, parties, beaches, and living it up. But when your spouse is deployed the reality of that is the kids are at home the whole time. They don’t have school to go to. No break for you as a parent. And if you are a parent that still works, you are not going to get a whole lot of work done.
Let’s dive into some of the things you can do if you do work, and you cannot take off. There are services out there that can help with childcare during spring break. If you are stationed overseas, and you are nowhere near your family, there are other families that are in the exact same position that have older kids and you guys can lean on each other. Hook up with the family that is also in the same position that has older kids, throw a little bit of money toward that teenager, and give your kids somewhere to go during the day. But in the evening, it is going to be a little bit more exhausting on your part. In the evening we need to do some special things with the kids. Maybe you have a little bit of money set aside and you can do something special.
Try to stay small and local:
Going to a beach that is a couple of hours away may be too exhausting. Instead go to a local hotel. Find a hotel that has a pool and free breakfast. Load up, pack their bags just like you are going on a fancy vacation, take them to a hotel and the kids will have a blast. For about 100-120 dollars you can get a pretty nice hotel and live it up with the kids.
Tip # 2:
Everybody wants to go to Disney, but that sounds miserable with only one parent. Stay in your house or go to a local hotel and live it up for a night. You can go on a picnic, bike ride, bowling, Topgolf, zoo. If you are going anywhere that requires tickets, check with your ITT office at your local base to be able to save yourself some money. Even small things like turning up music and dancing in the kitchen will make lasting memories for kids. Another idea is you could make blanket forts, watch movies, and let kids stay up late. Even having breakfast for dinner or making cookies gets kids excited.
Write down and go through a bucker list with your kids:
Have your kids make a bucket list for things that are local and for what can be done at home. Plan a “yes day” for spring break. Tell them that anything they want to do that day is a yes (within reason). To make sure it is affordable, you can tell them that it’s a yes for a food, a yes for an activity, and a yes for a movie at night. They can choose anywhere they want to eat, anything they want to do, and they get to choose the movie that evening. Don’t make it big pricewise, make it big memory-wise. Let the kids get loud, be busy, be exhausted, but just make memories. That’s what spring break is all about.
Go outside at least once a day
It’s easy, simple, and free. Have picnic, go for a bike ride, go to the water, go for a hike, or google things to do in your area. One time when my husband was deployed and my friend’s husband was deployed too, we decided to go on a playdate-vacay. It was awesome! Just two moms, all our kids, and we hit the road. We made memories that will last us a lifetime. You can go together to the beach and split a hotel room. You can also book a cruise and put the kids into the kid’s club. Make sure that anywhere you go you check the vaccination requirements because things could have changed since COVID started. You don’t want to show up somewhere and be declined entry.
You only get so many spring breaks with your kids at home. No matter what you do, just make sure that at the top of the list is making memories. Don’t overly stress yourself to make something happen that your kids don’t really care that much about.
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