One of the things I hate about being a single parent is doing the “big stuff” alone. I can do day to day stuff. I am totally fine living alone with my 2 kids, I can run my house, my way. I clean when I want, I make what I want for dinner, I purchase what I want and can have it delivered to my doorstep without any questions. I can help my kids with school, I can run them anywhere they need to go. That stuff is easy to me and I like that part of being a single parent.
I am not great at the big stuff, like vacations and road trips. When they were 4 and 2 we started to venture to the waterpark by ourselves because their dad never wanted to go. It was close, we had summers off, and needed something to do. We mastered our routine and it was a success. We have since gone to Great America, just the 3 of us. We made that a summer tradition for several years and it was successful! The road trips and vacations are another story, but I know how important these experiences are for my kids, so I have to figure it out.
So far, we have enjoyed our summer Michigan trips. They are easy. We go stay with my college friends, their husbands, and their kids. We are all family. The husbands take over with my son because he is the only boy. We all help out and enjoy our time on the lake.
We took road trips to Wisconsin and St louis with my best friend and her kids. We rented a minivan and were one big, happy family. We have also done road trips and hotel stays with the travel baseball family, but on these trips I was never “alone.” I was never the only adult. I knew I had backup if anything happened and I needed it.
I finally got brave and flew with my kids. They were old enough and I saved enough money to take them to DisneyLand. The catch was that my dad lives in California. We stayed with him, he rented us a hotel room at Disney for 2 days, dropped us off and picked us up. I didn’t have to rent a hotel or rent a car. My mom drove us to and from the airport here and my dad picked us up in California. I really didn’t feel like an adult, and still didn’t feel alone.
Eventually, we will take a flight somewhere, just the three of us. Someday, I want to do some sort of cross country road trip and stop along the way, but I am not brave enough for that yet.
A couple of months ago, my kids said they wanted to go somewhere for spring break. I knew they didn’t mean to fly anywhere, with Covid, I am not at that point yet. What I decided I was ready for right now is a weekend away, camping (in a cabin, not a tent) in Starved Rock. We leave Friday after work and will be there until Sunday. I am already questioning my decision. It’s times like this, when I really hate being the only adult! I am making lists of what we will need. I am hoping it will all fit in my car! We are bringing both dogs, which will add to the fun, and the chaos.
I have no doubt our weekend will be memorable and fun! My kids are easy going and do not have high expectations. This is my hurdle to jump. I am the one who has to find the cabin at night and unpack the car in the dark. (This is when I hate my love for murder mysteries) I am the one who will be responsible for hiking with 2 kids and 2 dogs. I am already praying no one will get hurt. I am the one who will have to start the grill and the fire pit, at night, even when I am not comfortable doing either. You can’t go camping without grilling or smores! I am the one who will worry the entire time I am there, hoping we will all stay safe because I hate knowing I am the only adult there!
This is the part of single parenting that stinks! However, I refuse to let my kids miss out on anything. If anything, I want them to experience more, to see more, to travel more.
Hopefully, my confidence with driving cross country and flying to fun, new places will grow. I am a bit closer with each step I take!