Bend Oregon Marriage Counselor says: Don’t Let Stress Wreck Your Family Vacation!

June 28, 2011 by

Ah, it’s that time of year where families and friends begin to gather to have barbecues and marshmallow roasts and watch the fourth of July fireworks. It’s often the beginning of family vacations and reunions. It’s also a great time to watch the fireworks go off in your own family. The stress of pulling it all together to get out of town, wrapping work up to the point you think you can leave and getting the kids packed and ready have left many a family wondering if it’s really worth it all the trouble.

Then there is the vacation or reunion itself. How many times did you plan on some R&R (rest and relaxation) only to be surprised by the activities, a hectic schedule and everyone else’s expectations, leaving you tired and exhausted? Add to that the cumulative stress of getting out of town and you have a recipe for fireworks.
I have joked that we would stay away from my Dad for the first couple days of a family vacation because he was so stressed out just getting there. My family probably says that about this Bend Oregon marriage counselor as well.

And what about everyone’s expectations? This is the tipping point of most vacations and reunion fireworks. Dad wants to play golf or go fishing, Mom wants to go for a hike and read a book. The kids want to go swimming or ride horses. The grandparents want you to go to the parade and pancake breakfast. You can add your own family favorites here. Oh yes, this is all supposed to happen at the same time? It’s little wonder we need a vacation from our vacation

Talk with your husband or wife, the kids, parents, grandparents and friends about what they want to do over the vacation. Add your own wishes and desires. Planning and scheduling will go a long way toward lowering stress. We all do much better when we know what to expect. If you know the expectations of other family members you can plan around their events more easily and communicate your needs and desires. This can lead to increased understanding and support for you. Try this out and let me know if this leads to a much more enjoyable vacation. Here’s to a Happy Summer!

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