Are you envious of those picture perfect holiday Instagram posts of families on holiday? You wish your family were the same. You want your family to have that same happiness-frozen-on-Instagram moment.
But what you don’t see in those family holiday Instagram shots are the hundreds of other imperfect shots filling the camera’s memory cards and smartphone’s memory. You also don’t see the real life whining, the complaints, the refusal to eat the strange food, the fights and the tantrums. Behind that one perfect shot is a hundred or so imperfect moments.
Here are some tips to cope when you’re having a crappy family holiday
Pause and assess – Before losing your shit, take a deep breath and assess what the problem is. Kids not wanting to share something? Complaints about the food? Bored? Sudden pain and aches that were not there before? It is always better to see the problem with a clear head before solving it. It won’t help if you’re already hot headed yourself. It will only stress you out even more.
Divide and conquer – It does get tiring when problems just keep rolling in like a never ending tidal wave. Share the burden with your partner. If you’re tired or if you’re angry, have a break and let the other one handle it. Then you take over on the next one. Or if all hell is breaking loose at the same time, decide who will take on what so you can tackle everything together.
Sit down and talk – You’d be amazed at how effective this can be. When my daughter whinged about everything she found wrong with the holiday, I sat her down, looked her in the eyes and talked to her like a real person. I asked for her help to make things work so we can enjoy the rest of the holiday. Make it a serious conversation and help them understand the consequences of their actions. Give them responsibilities and tell them to speak up if they can’t do it. Explain how everyone has to pitch in so everyone can have a great time.
Take photos – It might not be perfect, it may be chaotic, but trust me, you will want to capture that moment. It will become a great dinner tale when they’re older and they will treasure those imperfect photos of your crappy family holiday. Photo albums need not be perfect all the time.
Ice cream – If all else fails, have ice cream. The ice cream break will relax everyone even for just a brief moment, and hopefully put everyone in a good mood after.
Above all never forget that everyone has a crappy family holiday at some point. You’re not alone.