Hate Holidays?? Read This …

family-on-the-boardwalk-1246812Passover just ended. Passover lasts 7 days in Israel, and 8 days everywhere else. And in Israel (where I live), we get almost a week of pre-Passover vacation. In other words, a nice, long spring break. Nearly two whole weeks.

Honestly? I love it. But I know a *lot* of parents who don’t.

Sure, some of how you feel depends on what field you work in: if you’ve got flexible hours, it can be great; if you have to take a babysitter for a full day, every day, for two whole weeks, it can get mighty expensive.

I believe that vacation is good for kids, though. And I believe that vacation is good for families. I think that parents should *like* to be with their kids, and if they don’t – they need to do a good soul searching session, along with some good soul scrubbing. They’re your *kids*, for G-d’s sake. Why don’t you like spending time with them?

Here’s what I think the reason is:

Life is too fast-paced, and we’re too superficial.

We’re used to disposable pans and dishes. Googling something and seeing the results appear in less than thirty seconds. We’re used to dishwashers and washing machines. And most of all, we’re addicted to our screens.

We want the American dream: a nice house with a porch, a front yard, and a back yard. A car or two. Great-paying jobs, that allow for vacations every now and then. “Real” vacations. Not just staycations.

We want to send our kids to extracurricular activities, top high schools, Ivy League colleges, and expensive summer camps. We want to go out to dinner once every few weeks.

We *don’t* want to put too much effort into things that can be done for us, like laundry, dishes, and cleaning. (Which, honestly, is understandable.)

All of the things that we want take money. Money takes time and effort to make. The more you work, the more you earn.

All of the things we don’t want, we can spend money to have someone (or something) else do for us. Work more, and do less of what you hate.

The thing is this: Work and kids are polar opposites.

The workplace is fast-paced. The faster you work, the better a worker you are. Screen life is fast, too. Those “long” ads that you hate? In reality, they waste between thirty and ninety seconds of your time.

But kids . . .

Kids need a slower pace. They take nine months to grow big enough to be born. They take a year and a half before they talk, and at least two before they’re potty trained. It takes kids over a decade and a half before they become mature adults.

Kids need time, energy, and patience. They don’t fall for excuses. They don’t accept that you’re on the phone all the time. And they make us think, feel, and pay attention to the world we’ve been ignoring for forty+ hours each week.

That’s tough.

But most of all, kids make us slow down.

We hate slowing down. So we fight back.

And that’s why we all hate vacation.

The solution?

Make a conscious effort to slow your pace, at least on weekends. Remember, there’s no advantage to the fast pace of screens and work.

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