If you want my honest advice....don't do it....don't travel with children....especially on a road trip.
Who in their right mind would take a road trip with children?
Children need structure and routine....and familiarity....so do adults....so don't take a road trip with children if you want rest, relaxation, peace, happiness.....just don't.
Don't do it!
I think I made my point.
But you're going to do it anyway.
You're going to plan and dream about that awesome family trip you're going have...
You're just going to do it anyway.....
Just like I did.
I hate travelling with children, but I did it anyway....and I actually thought it might be a pleasant experience..... I actually brought a book to read….like….I actually thought I might have some free time for reading....
Yes, we continually engage in activities that will cause distress...like travelling with kids....why?
Stupidity? No.....I'll explain why we're not stupid in a second….
(and this is where my daughter Kate would interupt and say, "One....your second's up!")
...okay, give me one other thought before I indulge in explaining our lack of stupidity.....
Doesn't it make sense that the same happy couples that decided to have children would actually go on trips with them.....and fanticise about awesome family vacations? Did you know that parenthood actually creates marital dissatisfaction? Data collected by John and Julie Gottmann of the Gottman Institute in Seattle reveals this very truth! Having children (statistically) causes depression.....so we continue the downward trend.....we go on vacation with our kids.....
Okay, it really does sound like we're just stupid....but really, we're not....we are
VERY VERY BRAVE!
Another research....(and I can't remember….okay, I just don't want to look it up....) explains that people are wired for personal growth. It is our destiny to grow (inwardly) as human beings. And the best way to challenge ourselves and grow (and change) is to have children. So it all makes sense.....really....it's all a journey in self improvement.
We are very very BRAVE!
And lucky for us, the very research that showed that children cause unhappiness also revealed that the families that remained happy all had certain things in common….and I'm not going to dig up that research, but two methods (for maintaining a loving relationship with your spouse and remain happy overall) are:
1. Spend alone time with your spouse….dates and vacations without kids!
2. Keep a mental log of the wonderful moments; or have lots of wonderful memories!
Okay, but as I recall my road trip, all I think is that I was VERY stressed and, honestly, I wasn't very happy. But if I've learned anything in my ($!) years, it's that happiness really does require a lot of work and….and I don't have to be satisfied with my current perception of things….of the trip…..
Feelings are just side effects of our perceptions and what I "believe" to be true is simply how I decide to "perceive" a situation.
Okay, let me put it another way: Gretchen Rubin writes about a psychological phenomenon she calls "argumentative reasoning" in her book, "Happier at Home". She explains that "when a person takes a position, he or she looks for evidence to support it and then stops, satisfied. The mental process gives the illusion that the position is ….well justified. However, a person can often make the very opposite argument just as easily." ?!!
So I will make the "positive argument" and, through this blog, show supporting evidence that the road trip with my family was indeed WONDERFUL!