The consequences of doing too much

Throughout this visit, I’ve violated one of my own major rules of traveling with kids — I haven’t scheduled enough days of nothing.

I’ve generally found that my kids can “go” — sightseeing, travel, visiting friends, doing anything more substantial than playing at the park — for two days, and then they need a day off. The day off can include playground, tv, movies at “home” (meaning our travel home base), but must also include naps, kid friendly meals at home at normal times, baths, stories, and not having to be anywhere at any particular time.

We pretty much blew that on this trip. Our first week away from Vienna, we only had one day like that, and we waited 9 more days to have another. I actually thought it was working. I thought that we were going to get away with it — that maybe being around so much family was having a restorative effect on the kids that was letting them be “on” for way more of the time.

It didn’t last, though. We’ve had to cancel significant plans at least every other day for the past week. I’m exhausted, the kids are frazzled, and we are all prone to whining and short tempers.

In other words, I stand by my previous assertions — we would have been happier and less stressed if we’d planned a less intense schedule. I’m impressed and grateful that my boys hung in there got as long as they did, and I feel a little guilty that I pushed them so hard.

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