“There’s no vacation from being a parent.” – Chevy Chase
When I was 11 my family went on a weeklong trip to the ocean and we brought my next door neighbor Colleen with us. She and I were messing around in the shallows and I tripped her, and she split her knee open on a rock and needed a dozen stitches, plus couldn’t walk nor go in the ocean. I spent the rest of the vacation as her servant. It sucked because neither of got to have fun on that vacation.
A few years ago I went to Maine with the kids, the summer before my youngest was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. It was similar in a lot of ways because even though the older boys could take care of themselves with their cousins, my little guy needed constant attention and supervision. I got zero respite. Not a fun vacation for me because there was no vacation, just a different type of work.
Even though they are bigger now and don’t need to be constantly supervised so they don’t run into the road or the ocean or get into some other form of trouble/danger, the vigilance is still there at a lower level. The guard of the parent is never completely down, and because kids are high energy they drain almost as much as they recharge.
Being a parent is the most stressful yet rewarding job there is. And there are no days off.