Do you Travel by Camper?

Source: Photo by Sara Darcaj on Unsplash.com

Like many people, the pandemic has upended our lives… and one impact has been that we had to cancel our Universal Studios vacation. We had planned to go there for a week in April, but then with the Stay at Home order we cancelled everything and got our money back with the intention of re-booking when things get less crazy.

Now, Universal Studios is opening back up on June 5th with some restrictions (mask wearing, social distancing, etc.) but we won’t be going back for a while. However, we would really love a vacation!

So, we’ve been thinking outside the box and asking ourselves what type of vacation would be relaxing and also let us feel safe when it comes to our health. What can we do that will be fun, but still allow us to socially distance easily?

One of the ideas that keeps popping up is traveling by camper. We’ve never rented or used a camper before though, so we think maybe a short trip would be fun to try out camper life.

We have a 4-wheel drive truck with a towing hitch and my husband regularly drives tractor trailers, so we feel pretty confident about driving around. We can either rent a full RV or a camper to attach to the hitch on his truck. I’d like to go someplace with a beach, so there are a bunch of east coast options, including: Assateague Island in Maryland, Cape Henlopen in Delaware, and First Landing State Park in Virginia.

Here’s the thing though, I’ve never even been in a camper. I’ve never sat in one, cooked in one, or slept in one. Will I hate it? Will I love it? Who knows!

So, if you’ve tried out camper life, by either owning an RV or renting one… I’d love to hear all about it! What’s best, what’s worst, what did you not realize until you were in the thick of things?

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Parenting through a Pandemic

We have had some really tough days. And while Jack is typically a pretty easy-going dude, he has been having temper tantrums over the last few weeks.

They are quite sporadic, but usually they are triggered by his online schooling. Each weekday, I break his classwork down into two or three sessions for him to complete throughout the day. Normally, it works out great… he gets his first part done in the morning and earns the chance to play video games. He completes the second part after lunch and if there is a third part, he does that in the afternoon.

Easy-peasy.

Unless there is something Jack decides is “too hard” in his classwork. Depending on the day, it could be a writing assignment or sitting and watching a boring video of his teacher explaining multiplication. Once he decides something is too hard, he goes from 0 to 100 with yelling and crying.

It’s a full-on temper tantrum like you’d expect from a 2-year-old.

It’s exhausting and frustrating.

I’ve tried to respond to it in a variety of ways. I’ve asked him to leave the room until he can get himself under control. I’ve told him that I understand that he’s frustrated. I’ve ignored him. I’ve reassured him that it’s not too hard and that he can do it because he’s awesome. I’ve asked if I can help him. In my less graceful moments, I’ve yelled at him. I’ve picked him up and put him in his room until he can get himself together. I’ve hugged him and told him that we will get through this.

Nothing works.

It’s like a teapot is slowly gaining steam and them BOOM, the whole dang thing explodes.

And then it passes. He calms himself down and returns to my office and completes the work. And he’s fine. It’s like he just needed to relieve that pressure and now it’s all okay again.

And I get it.

I understand that children going through this coronavirus pandemic are dealing with anxiety. This quarantine is hard! The coronavirus is scary! Jack is only 8 years old. He hasn’t been able to play with other kids for 12+ weeks and it’s hard. During the weekdays, when I’m the one home with him each day and I also have to juggle my full-time job, he’s not getting enough attention.

I get it.

But also, as a parent, I’m trying my best to raise a good human. And letting him having temper tantrums because he thinks his work is too hard isn’t teaching him how to deal with life.

I want to give him room to act out during this pandemic stuff, but I also am trying to raise him to be a good person.

I don’t really have any good way to end this blog post. If I had to guess, I’m thinking a lot of us are all going through the same thing. The weird balance of trying to get through this situation and also trying to raise a good kid. I guess all we can do is keep trying to do our best.

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I Never Wanted to be a Teacher

I haven’t done a full-on rant here on the blog for quite a while and honestly, it’s about time. This has been coming up time and time again in my social media feeds and I need to get this off my chest.

Here’s the thing: I never wanted to be a teacher.

With kids suddenly being at home and parents suddenly having to handle taking on the task of online schooling for their children, there’s been all these posts and memes about ‘oooh, now you know how hard teachers jobs are’ and ‘ooooh I’m going to buy my teacher a jug of wine for dealing with my kid’ and ‘this proves that teachers should make a billion dollars!’

And yes, teaching is hard.

But here’s the thing. Most of us parents didn’t sign up to be teachers.

We didn’t go to college with the goal of working in education. We didn’t decide that our professional passion was to teach math or ELA or health. This isn’t the job that we chose. Or even the job that we found that we excelled at.

At no point in my life have I ever said, “wow, I really want to be a 2nd grade teacher.”

And it has nothing to do with my kid, or how much I like my kid. I think my kid is awesome and I love spending time with him.

You know what I don’t love?

Working a full-time job as the Marketing Director at a law firm AND suddenly having to work a second job as his teacher.

It’s not about me simply teaching my son. It’s about already being stressed out and burnt-out and anxious and ALSO having the weight of my child’s education fall on my shoulders.

Jack is already slower when it comes to reading, I worry (and worry and worry and worry) that with this gap in his schooling that he will fall even further behind. I worry that I’m a shitty teacher because I don’t do this random bullshit way of math that they are teaching him. I worry that I’m splitting my focus too much between my REAL job that I get paid for and this BONUS job of teaching my kid.

Teachers are people who have chosen their profession because they want to do it. Teaching is their job. And good for them.

I didn’t choose this. The other parents didn’t choose this. Teaching is a profession. At no point would someone be expected to suddenly be an engineer, physical therapist, tractor trailer driver… on TOP of their normal job.

So, for all the parents out there scrambling to keep up with your full-time job from home, keep your family fed and healthy, pay your bills, teach your child(ren) and maybe even shower and get dressed… I see you. I feel you. I AM YOU. And I think we all need a dang vacation when this is all over.

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