We just returned from a week at Walt Disney World which is famously known as the "Happiest Place on Earth!" But I have to say, it can be grueling for adults AND kids! I saw more tired, sweaty unhappy looking faces in the happiest place on earth, and, at times, I was fighting those feelings too. Luckily, I had a few things prepared to help us make it fun and enjoy our time there too.
1. Research is key! The key to any happy vacation destination is to research where you are going. Gone are the days of fancy free vacationing as a childless couple. Even if you take 20 minutes and look up your destination's kid friendly places and restaurants and list them, you will be so much more ahead. A place like Disney takes a bit more research and planning to be able to do what you want. I was in denial about this and did it at the last minute, but we were still able to hit the high spots and have fun.
2. Lower your expectations. And then, lower them again. If I have heard and experienced it once, I have a thousand times. You take kids to Disney (insert your destination), they have more fun in the hotel swimming pool! Plot out those must see areas at your destination, and then plan for a lot of down time too. Just say to yourself, this won't be our last trip here (if you love it) and then let go of the things you can't just fit in as you go at a (much) slower pace.
3. Bring Refreshments. Everywhere. In our plan to try to save money we packed simple lunches, snacks and water bottles everyday and used our $ to buy the fun stuff like souvenirs, ice cream and the irresistible Dole Whip.
4. Know your weather. Freezing cold? Blazing hot? Make sure you have emergency personal comfort reserves. Jackets, hats, ponchos, sunscreen. My new love are, chilly towels that you wet, snap and wrap around your neck to cool down. AMAZING.
5. Remember why you are there. I wanted my son to see and experience the magic that can happen on our vacation. A time that is just for us as a family uninterrupted by work, household demands and routine. We stayed up late, swam in the pool at night, met Mickey Mouse and rode the Dumbo ride about 400 times. This is what really makes family vacations special.
This can happen in your backyard too, but then you would probably worry about mowing the lawn first!
Happy Summer Everyone!
This blog post is in Celebration of World Doula Week #worlddoulaweek and in response to a challenge put on by Not Just Nine Birth Services blog challenge.
The topic today is what is a Doula? While the textbook definition is a person who supports a mother either in labor or postpartum, I will tell you what being a Doula is to me.
As a postpartum doula, I serve my families anytime within the first 12 weeks of their infant's life earthside. With every visit, I arrive at their home and assess the situation. Sometimes it's a matter of triage, mom and dad are in tears, baby is screaming and the dog needs to be fed. I put my bag down, and start working on the high priorities,mom needs help breastfeeding baby, send dad out for a break, feed dog, swaddle baby to soothe, encourage mom to shower, feed parents and dog. Usually within an hour or two the house of turmoil becomes again a peaceful haven.
With a Postpartum Doula, those early days with your infant don't have to be so tough. Postpartum Doulas are trained for this stuff! We also provide you evidence based information on the questions you have about baby's care and individual needs.
Some visits are about reassuring parents that they are doing everything they can to support their high needs baby. I research and find reccomended resources for you to pursue. You don't have time to read and research everything, let a doula do it!
Postpartum Doulas are babywearing,breastfeeding, soothing, swaddling, diapering, bathing, cooking, tidying, errands, support in a non-judgemental, no strings attached package.
And that is what a Postpartum Doula is!
"Mom, put that down and watch with me!" Said my 4 year old son. We were sitting in the recliner watching a movie together. I had my arm wrapped around him and in the other I was tediously balancing my iPad while checking email and social media. I felt frustrated when he said that. "How could I BE more present than I am now, I'm here aren't I?" I thought. Then I realized my son was right. I wasn't being present with him. Even though we were sitting in the same seat, that wasn't the same as being "together." I wasn't sharing his experience, I was having my own. For a person whose brain tends to move spherically in many directions, this is hard for me. I am constantly trying to do many things at once, especially since the care and feeding of the young one takes up a very large part of my day! I usually reserve my brain space for thinking on my own projects or issues. When I have a moment to sit still I go to work plotting, planning, researching until I realize I am not there. Or rather, I am not here. Here in this moment, now.
I'm a Postpartum Doula in Durham, North Carolina. I love working with tired new parents, tiny sweet babies, playing Lego with my 4 year old and tending to my own "nest" at home.
"Supporting families in the fourth trimester"
Based in Durham, NC, She also serves the following areas in the Triangle: Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Raleigh, Cary and Apex.