Guest Blogger NorEastMom:Every mother I know this week keeps chanting, "Why didn't I plan this holiday break better? It's going to be different during Winter recess, that's for sure."
Vacation seems to sneak up on us moms, leaving us stressed, exhausted and playing the role of a 24/7 entertainment center. Here are some sanity saving tips to organize your next school vacation, so your kids will stay busy -- and you won't go through so many sedatives:
1. Plan Ahead: This may seem as obvious as Joan Rivers' plastic surgery habit, but you'd be surprised how many of us never set up any play dates or outings in advance. As you begin to ask moms who is around during vacation week, jot it down on the calendar, so you don't keep calling that family in Tahiti and waiting for a callback.
2. Scour the Local Amusement Parks: A new indoor kids park just opened a few minutes from my house, and its become the salvation of mothers this winter. Museums, zoos, and new parks can be exciting outings for kids. Sure, it takes a lot of mommy energy, but nothing is worse than staying in the house all week and straightening up twelve times a day. I'd rather have a lion chew my arm off through the bars of his cage while my children watch. And my children would agree that even in that case, I'd still be nicer to be around then when I'm stuck in the house with them all day.
3. Put Up With Kids You Don't Like: Hosting an obnoxious brat can be rough, but the beauty of it is when the demon goes home, your children look like perfect angels and you feel like the most successful mother in the world. Kick your feet up and have an "I must be doing something right" cocktail upon his or her departure, and don't forget to call the mom later in the week to pay back her debt. Load the kids up on Red Bull and dark chocolate before you drop 'em off to her.
4. Grandma Sleepovers: Weeks in advance, I like to start talking up the grandma sleepover. For encouraging good behavior, it even beats the legend of Santa's around-the-clock surveillance. My son will pack his bags three days in advance if he knows he's going to grandmas, as he looks forward to chocolate pancakes, zero bedtimes, PG-13 movies, and grandpa's bad word tutorials.
5. Babysitters! This is the final key to sanity, so book your sitters early. Even if you and your husband drive around blasting music and drinking 7-11 Slurpees, the sweet smell of freedom is worth every dollar. The kids enjoy honing their manipulation tactics ... Sure, Sally, our parents let us suck on whipped cream cans while watching 'Family Guy' until 11:30, it's all good ... And the grown ups can treat themselves to a few hours of vacation, until they get to run excitedly to their quiet desks Monday morning.
Hopefully, this will get you through the week, until you are finally able to yell those four glorious words throughout the house ... "THE BUS IS HERE!"