I’ve always loved spring break. As a kid, I was excited about the time away from school, and as a college student, I was excited about staying up late and drinking terrible cocktails somewhere besides campus.
Now that I have kids of my own, I look forward to spring break in that same optimistic way that promises nothing but wonderful memories being made—what could go wrong?
Though spring break is definitely an exciting and memory-filled time for families, imagining nothing but happy moments is a bit, uh, unrealistic. Whether you’re staying home or going on a magical vacation, we’re all thinking the same thing.
We're going to have so much fun!1 of 17
Where are we going? The beach? The mountains? Grandma's house? Staying home? Wherever it is, we can have ice cream every day! In my mind, vacation-me is much more adventurous and permissive than real-life me.
There will be plenty of time for educational experiences.2 of 17
Of course, we'll weave some learning into our week of fun. Maybe we can check out the local art gallery or museum. It's about time we introduced the kids to some culture.
We'll limit the screen time, of course.3 of 17
We're going to read so many books! For the first day or two, anyway.
This week will be a good opportunity to swap out winter wardrobes for spring.4 of 17
Thank goodness it's finally shorts weather. The kids' ankles have been exposed for a month because they've grown out of all their pants.
Why do the kids get up so early when there's no school?5 of 17
The same children who cry and moan about getting up for school every morning are tapping on my forehead at 6 a.m. on the first day of vacation asking to use their iPad.
How can they eat this much?6 of 17
I appreciate less structure during vacations, but somehow my kids take this loose schedule as an opportunity to cram three more meals into the day, as well as 5,000 more snacks.
How can it only be Tuesday?7 of 17
My kids trash my house every weekend, and spring break is one loooong weekend. My house is in shambles by Tuesday, which is confusing because they've had their faces in their devices since Monday morning. So much for that ban on electronics.
Teachers don't make enough money.8 of 17
How do these heroes manage 10 times as many children all day long? Why do their faces look happy? "Alexa, remind me to buy my kids' teachers a case of wine."
We should have gone away this week.9 of 17
If we were somewhere else, the kids could trash a hotel room or Grandma's house. If we were on a trip, maybe they wouldn't be eating their weight in granola bars.
We should have stayed home this week.10 of 17
Why did I spend all this money so the kids could fight and eat snacks at this beach/mountain/campground? Well, at least my Instagram feed will look fantastic and my house is staying clean…
I had no idea this house could get so messy.11 of 17
We should probably burn this place down and start over somewhere else. And what's that smell?
I had no idea we could eat this much ice cream.12 of 17
I guess it gives us a break from the endless granola bars and Goldfish crackers.
Thank goodness for the library.13 of 17
"Alexa, remind me to also send wine to the librarians in the children's department."
Finally! One sunny day. Devices down and butts outside!14 of 17
Vacation isn't so bad after all. I wish we had another week of togetherness. Maybe then we'd actually make it to the museum.
I've never been so happy to see Monday morning come along.15 of 17
I love my kids, but I sure love seeing them get on the bus today.
I'm glad I took some pictures. Look how much fun we had!16 of 17
With spring break in the rearview mirror, I'm grateful for fun experiences, a chance to reconnect with the kids over things other than homework—and all that ice cream.