I know you’ve been dreaming about your vacation. You researched the perfect spot, coordinated the times when your in-laws weren’t available, and you only had to sell one egg to pay the deposit. Relaxation and fun times are so close you can taste them.
Well listen up sister, if you don’t plan accordingly you will fall deep into the vacation trap known as childcare in an alternate fucking location. Same old shit, different venue: no matter where you are there will be sunscreen to apply, wet swimsuits to pick up, snacks to dole out, all accompanied by a chorus of unappreciative whining. That, my friend, is not a break of any sort.
What if I told you that a real vacation is within your reach?
Here’s how you get the vacation you deserve:
1. Contract an unidentifiable, untreatable virus.
Whether you jump into the ball pit at IKEA tongue first or just fake it, you suddenly can’t get out of bed. Speak in a soft voice channeling that kid from The Secret Garden to convince your family of your fragility. Smuggle in your own tequila in shampoo bottles. Shots of NyQuil will work in a pinch.
2. Plan your trip to coincide with your period.
Throw your hands up in the air, “How does this Always® happen?” while secretly thanking your ability to go with the flow. With every, “Mooooom, can you…?” look at your husband apologetically and shake your head no. By your child’s third or fourth plea, enter snapping mode: “Because I just can’t!” Slam something and then look really sorry. Ask if you can go lie down for a bit.
3. Fake the death of someone close (but not too close) to you.
On your first vacation day, start browsing Facebook. Clutch your hand to your heart and say, “Oh my God.” When your husband asks what’s up, say: “Remember that elementary school teacher/old neighbor/hair stylist? Well, she’s no longer with us.” Pause and count to 45 in your head. Mutter, “I just can’t believe it.” Stare into space pretending you don’t hear your children’s cries for snacks. Tell your husband, “I’m just so distracted by, well, you know.” Ask if you can go lie down for a bit.
4. Consider partial small digit amputation or a bad sprain.
A fresh wound from a ladder fall or a cooking accident will relieve you of all parental duties while you elevate your injury. Once an hour, get up, and make a big show of struggling. Be “helpful” until your husband tells you to “Sit the fuck down already.” Sheepishly re-elevate your injury. Ask meekly for a straw for your cocktail. “Only if it’s not too much trouble…” Sigh audibly when you have to take a pain killer. Ask if you can go lie down for a bit.
5. Establish yourself as an unsuitable parent.
Start by hitting the rum drinks hard. Next, dry hump the bellhop at the hotel or perform a strip tease on the all-you-can-eat buffet. Get banned from all public areas. Once you’re no longer welcome, you’ll spend the rest of the vacation squirreled away. When your family returns, start your rant, “It’s so unfair! I have to stay here while you have fun! This place is run by fascist pigs!” Tell them you need to lie down for a bit.
Picture it: you, in a bed, wrapped in sheets you didn’t wash, watching Netflix until you drift off into an uninterrupted, booze-induced nap. That’s a real vacation. And it’s all within your reach.