Spring Break Gratitude

Mom and daughter at playground

“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” – Amy Collette
I had grand plans for Spring Break. There was a plane and a beach involved. I was also planning to visit my dear friend, Jules, who abandoned Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for sunny Tampa, Florida. It was going to be a lot of fun. However, I never pulled it together. The tickets were expensive and the notion of having to pack by myself and travel with the kids was daunting. It's not that I'm a single mom now, it's that I always have to pack for me and the kids.
I am lucky if Andre manages to get himself ready in time to make the flight. I'm not complaining, I'm just explaining how it is.

Ice balls on a sunny day!

Our Spring Break Staycation Was Relaxing

Leading up to Spring Break as I was looking at the airline websites, trying to find the right hotel, and discussing the plans with Andre who seemed less than enthused. So I just decided to bag the entire thing. When I did, I felt a sense of relief. And I exhaled. One thing that was heightening my anxiety was that Tax Day was the Monday when Spring Break started. Since I am a last minute tax preparing kind of girl, I was nervous that doing the taxes early would have stressed me all the way out.  I'd have to front load the preparation process, which would have been a lot considering everything else I have going on--especially since I am a graduate of The University of Virginia!

I went to Charlottesville, Va., home of the Virginia Cavaliers (my alma mater) for a college reunion two weeks before Tax Day and as luck would have it, Virginia made it to the Final Four tournament. Then, Virginia won its Final Four game and made it to the finals. So, I had to watch the National Championship game. I was thrilled that my team won the National Championship, but I lost days celebrating! 

Our Daughter, America's Next Top Model
So, it turned out failing to make those Spring Break travel plans was the best thing that I could have done. I wasn't stressed and I could actually enjoy my kids. This isn't a post about how staycations beat vacations. If you know me, or have read this blog before, you know that I love to get away and there isn't a high end hotel that I haven't liked. If you throw in a first class ticket, I may never come home! Still, traveling with three small children is quite the undertaking.

So this week, as I looked at my friends who were in paradise over Spring Break, I celebrated them. I wished them well. Still, I was grateful that I had listened to my heart. In the past, I would have forced it believing that there's just one way to make good memories, believing that it is all worth it provided that you get Instagram worthy photos from it.

I have matured in my parenting a social media journey. And that evolution gave me so much satisfaction! 

As you can tell from the photos above, we have enjoyed our time at home. Since we didn't go away, I didn't take off the entire week. Instead, I worked a couple of days and only took off the days when the baby couldn't go to daycare. This was the first time in a long time when I could actually enjoy my time off without anything hanging over my head. We have rested, taken walks, gotten ice balls from Gus, played outside, and even done some reading. In a word, we have relaxed and it felt so good!

(Special thanks to the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh that runs a great out of school program where our  daughter was for most of the week. It's basically like a camp. She loves it!) 

Related Articles

Spring Break Tips for Busy Moms
Expressing Easter Gratitude