Is this for me or for you?

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I am right in the middle of planning our next trip.  There is seriously so much work that goes in to planning.  From flights to accomodation, hire cars, the logistics of getting from one point to another... on top of all of this, as parents, we need to take in to consideration rest days.  Well, I do anyway.  I learnt this lesson the hard way when we were in Japan.  My daughter needs to have quiet days where she doesn't leave the house, if we don't have them then there are tears, tantrums and all the irrational behaviour. When I look back at our time in Japan, I wonder whether some of the things that I planned for her, were really for me..... Disneyland for example.  She absolutely loved her time there but when I look back at the pictures, I wonder who was having more fun or who will remember more.

My daughter still speaks about our time in Japan.  Any time I mention going on a future trip, she calls the destination Japan (even though it may be the snowfields, the USA, the beach.... never mind, it's called Japan!).  The goal at the end of all of this is to create experiences that she will remember.  To have her look back and think that her Mummy did her best.  To teach her through experiencing other cultures and to learn more about each other through putting ourselves into extreme circumstances or stepping out of our comfort zone and our daily routine..... like getting lost after a day in Disneyland in a non-english speaking country with a child asleep on my back who has just done a wee while sleeping that is drying on my clothes and legs.... fun!

This upcoming trip will include a visit to Disney World.  I contemplated staying at one of the Disney resorts close by but faaaar out! Those places are more than twice the price of staying at a Hilton! That is being conservative too.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Disney.  I know all the words to all the songs and am constantly dancing about like a lunatic to the music, telling myself that it is for my daughter.  I know that being able to stay at an all inclusive resort where you're able to dine with the Disney characters is a freaking awesome experience which I know I would love, my daughter would too, but is it worth $500/night? I don't know but I do doubt it.  Kids don't know what they are missing out on unless they're told.  Do I need to spend US$200 for her to be made up like a princess at the Bippity Boppity Boutique or would she still get the same effect if I was to do her hair, put some glitter on her face and put a princess dress on? I tend to think that whilst having a special princess make over is special and a lovely thing to look back on, one doesn't need to spend $200 for the privilege.  By the same token, do we need to spend oodles on a tropical vacation when there might be a nice beach with a quality caravan park 20 mins away that will have the same meaning to the kids? Sometimes we spend so much time an energy planning that special vacation and all they want to do is stay in the pool at the accommodation.  Definitely not saying that we shouldn't take these vacations- I am planning a massive one at present (totally work related!).

At the end of the day, we are all doing our best as parents.  We stress ourselves out about any number of things to do with our children and what we are or are not doing for them.  We endure endless self imposed guilt about our shortcomings.  We constantly question the decisions that we have made and hope that what ever we do, turns out for the best in the end.

Any day I see this face, I know I have done something right and created a memory worth keeping.

I am constantly questioning whether the decisions I make are the right ones.  I guess as long as my princess is happy and surrounded by love, I can rest easy that I must be doing something right.