They Must Have It Better Than Me

Over the weekend I was updating our photos around the house, mainly replacing old photos with the ones we had taken on our family vacation this summer. I love these pictures so much as they perfectly capture the love we all have for each other, but they also make me laugh and shake my head a little bit. I say this because they don’t exactly paint a truthful picture as to what the trip was really like, quite the opposite actually. Here we are:

And here’s the real story:

Earlier this year, Kent and I planned a week long vacation to the Isle of Palms, South Carolina with just us and the kiddos. Perfect. We were headed to our happy place as a family of four for the first time and we were pumped. Here’s how we envisioned it:

– Can’t wait to build sandcastles and look for seashells with Jade!

– Can’t wait to see what Griff thinks of the beach!

– Can’t wait to relax while Jade plays with her sand toys and Griff chills in the beach pack n’ play!

– Can’t wait for cocktails on the balcony after the kids go to bed!

– Can’t wait to sleep in, the kids will surely be worn out from playing on the beach all day!

– Can’t wait to be in a constant state of bliss!

This is all pretty hilarious to me now because, honestly, what were we thinking? Here’s how the trip really panned out:

– Jade wanted nothing to do with the beach and everything to do with the pool. “Jade, we go to the pool at home, don’t you want to play at the beach? Isn’t this so fun?” Nope, not having it.

– Griff loved the beach so much he wanted to eat it. He ate mouth loads of sand and wanted to wash it down with some salt water.

– Our dreams of relaxing on the beach were crushed by Jade’s constant question of “Can we go to the pool now?” and Griff’s screams to get out of the pack n’ play.

– I can’t recall if cocktails on the balcony ever happened after the kids went to bed because we were so damn tired.

– We never slept in, not once.

– If none of the above was going on, one of our kids was either talking about going #2, trying to go #2 or actually going #2. And if you know me and the topic of #2, this was not exactly blissful.

Somewhere along the way, I called my sister to vent about what a crappy time we were having. I remember looking out the window as I was talking to her and said, “There are all of these cute little families playing on the beach right now, having the time of their lives and then here we are, cooped up inside because no one is satisfied. This was not the plan, WTF!” And she responded with, “It will get easier to vacation when Griff is 4.” PS, he is 1. This was not encouraging information.

After we got home and got our pictures back, I did the standard thing and posted my favorites on social media. They were my most “liked” and “commented on” photos by far. “Beautiful pictures!”, “Looks like a great trip!”, “LOVE that one!!! 😍” As for my sister, she didn’t waste a second in calling me out on this BS. “Looks like quite a different scene than the one you were telling me about over the phone!” And she was right. While we actually did make some wonderful memories on this trip, it definitely falls into the category of “Most Likely to Not Repeat”.

My point in telling you all of this is to simply remind myself and you that people don’t always have it pulled together like we may think. Often times, we create these scenarios in our heads that make us believe someone is having more fun, that someone is doing a better job, or that someone has it easier, when in all reality, we have no idea what that person is going through. And honestly, what does it matter to us? If someone does have it better, good for them, really! It’s time to focus on ourselves and not idolize people in this way. Regardless of what is not going as planned in life, whether it’s something as minor as a family trip or something else major, let’s try our darnedest to make these situations the best that they can be.

So with it being Turkey Day tomorrow, my advice to you is that if you overcook the turkey, burn the stuffing or drop the pie, don’t start thinking about how other people must be having a way better meal than you. Instead, throw in some frozen pizzas, bring out a bowl of M&Ms and keep the cocktails flowing – it will be your most memorable (and probably most fun!) Turkey Day yet! 

Happy Thanksgiving! Cheers, Charlotte

PS – Another point in writing this is to tell you that if you have a 3 year old and a 1 year old, and decide it’s a great idea to vacation without any other family members or friends in tow, to think really hard about it. Like…really hard about it. 😳

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