Getting back into the swing of things after a long vacation is always hard. We’ve just recently done it once (getting back from our summer vacation, which I have yet to write about) and we’re facing our next round of it (because school starts in less than 2 weeks, which is a bummer). But it’s worse when the whole family is battling jet lag, as we were after our trip home over Christmas. Making matters even worse was that we had a really short turn-around before getting back to our usual routine.
We had planned to have the boys skip school for the first two days after we got back, returning to Vienna on Wednesday but not sending the boys back to school until the following Monday. But B ended up sick for large parts of November and December, and he missed so much school that we were worried about him missing more than is allowed, so we lost the option of keeping him home for any extra days. So instead, we left the US on Tuesday, arrived in Vienna on Wednesday, and B went back to school on Thursday. (L, who is still in preschool, can miss pretty much as much as we want, so he did stay home until the following Monday.)
We were all exhausted and felt totally dysfunctional.
The frist night we were back, L woke up 3 times overnight. The first time, I had no idea where I was and was worried I was going to wake my mom . . . who was still awake, because she was at home in Maryland. At 1:10 in the morning, B got up, out of bed, on his own (which is odd for him in any circumstances — he usually waits for us to come and tell him it’s time to get up), went through the entirely dark house to the living room, turned on all the lights, scared himself with thoughts of a giant, sinister snowman, and came running into our room crying. It took 2 hours to get him back to sleep.
After that charming night’s sleep, I found I had forgotten how to do EVERYTHING. I couldn’t remember how to pack B’s snack for school. I couldn’t remember how to get the boys dressed and out the door in any reasonable kind of time. I couldn’t remember what time I needed to leave the house to pick B up on time. And I certainly couldn’t remember how to communicate in German. My first attempt at post-vacation German resulted in the coffee guy immediately failing over to English despite my continued attempts to communicate in German.
It’s always a bumpy road back to “normal” after a long trip away. And sleep deprivation never helped anyone adjust any faster. Next time, I will do whatever I can to NOT have us jump right back into things as soon as we get back!