Coach Mom Newsletter - June 2010
Packin' with a Plan
two babies within 16 months, then shortly
after attempting a vacation brought this
reality: Our vacations were over for a
while…we were now just taking “trips”.
Trips are not only less relaxing than
vacations, they are often harder than
staying home with all the amenities. With
babies and toddlers, the truth is that
you may not even get a Saturday morning
sleep-in for years, much less a full week
of relaxation. But getting away as a
family can still be a good thing, and a
few strategies will help everyone.
Creating a packing list
on your computer can alleviate some of the
stress associated with making sure you leave
town with everything your family needs. Each
trip that rolls around, you simply pull up
your list on the computer, change it to fit
the families’ current needs, print it off,
and you have your packing plan.
This list is invaluable
to you as a mom when your children are
young, but as they grow older there is great
joy in printing off multiple lists and
telling them they may go pack their bags
(You might want to check each bag before
departure. One time one of my little ones
arrived for a week’s summer vacation with
only two pair of shorts!)
Our computer packing
lists have changed through the years. They
started with diapers, strollers, and sippy
cups and have morphed to include video
games, chargers and water bottles. Following
are a couple of sample lists (with some
explanations to the side in italics), to
help you get started with ideas for what you
might include. The first list is for a
family camp that we go to every year, and
the second is a list that I gave to my
children when they were going to spend one
night with their cousins in Oklahoma last Fall.
Ranch - Colorado 2009 Packing List
Western shirt (1)
Tennis shoes (2)
Flip flops (1)
Hat or visor
toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
Lip balm for each one to carry on them!
Good water bottles for everyone to
constantly carry with!!!
(hydration in the mountains!)
*Everyone bring what
you need for Saturday night hotel sleepover
to Mom’s room – pj’s, undies, change of
clothes, toothbrush, etc.
pack everything for our first night on the
road in one bag so that we only carry one
suitcase into the hotel.)
Stuff for car:
Pillow, Snack bag, books, magazines,
Derek, Strap on t.v.
don’t have the built-in kind)
hitch-all AND car topper!
(reminds us that we shouldn’t even think of
trying to cram suitcases inside the vehicle
unless we want to feel like sardines for 15
hours each way.)
DVD’s and mom’s
trash bags to cover luggage on hitch-
MapQuest printouts from one destination to
Claritin D, Sudafed, Afrin 2x
day – if get sinus problems in altitude
pack, no one will have a problem!)
Bible Study talks
for dirty clothes
one person to make sure the job gets done)
Pack up the dog’s stuff – crate, bowls,
Coach Mom books/stuff
Courier-Gazette – 972.542.2631
Morning News – 214.745.8383
*Check with Hotwire ahead for the best hotel
Leave 7 a.m. Sat. morning, and take
Stop roadside for lunch.
Spend night in Pueblo.
(Following are hotels that we found who were
on our way, were a good value, and could
accommodate a family of 7 suite-style)
breakfast for Sun. a.m., but eat dinner 1 ½
hours before arrive in Pueblo Sat. night. Pack lunches for rest stop
Childress, TX) (notes
to remind us the smartest places to eat
along the way)
Microtel Inn & Suites
1501 Ross Street
Exit 71 (behind Holiday Inn)
Overnight packing for Norman, Oklahoma Trip
Everyone, please pack in a bag…
A nice set
of clothes for tomorrow (jeans and sweater)
Carry-on small bag
with hand-held game, books
*Please get dressed, make your bed and
double-check that your room is clean to
leave for our trip.
Bring your bag, pillow, and games
down to the family room and place them
beside the couch.
EVERYONE WHO DOES THE ABOVE WITH A
GOOD ATTITUDE BY 9:30 a.m. GETS A BONUS
deadline with an incentive helps get the job
Derek please bring newspaper inside.
Caleb: the dog’s crate/bowls/food/leash
Portable t.v. strapped into car (Dillon)
A few DVD’s
Of course we all have
different families with different needs,
thus will end up with different packing
lists. I can’t imagine what my friend
Carol’s list look like. She and her husband
have many to consider when making their
“go-away” lists. They have 4 children and 26
animals. The breakdown? 5 horses; 2
miniature horses; 6 dogs; 1 cat; 7 chickens;
1 parakeet; 1 rabbit; 1 pot belly pig; 1
goat; and 1 sheep. Seriously, I’m tired just
typing it out.
…Your packing is
looking easier already!
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Ask Coach Mom
My parents are planning
a big out of town family reunion for July,
but I don’t even want to think about trying
to leave town – with my children at 3
months, 2 and 4 years, even packing for day
trips can be overwhelming. Last year we took
a trip, and by the time we left home I was
so stressed out it took me days to unwind
once we reached our destination. I don’t
want to disappoint my parents and siblings
by not being at the reunion, but they have
no idea how difficult this is. I truly don’t
want to miss it, but fear is paralyzing me.
I remember days when
even the thought of packing up my kids to go
to the grocery store was paralyzing. I had
to talk myself through it. So, if it
takes me 10 minutes extra to get the
children out of their car seats and settled
once I get there, what does that matter? I
have 10 minutes for that, and it’s okay. And
if someone has a fit while we’re inside (and
they probably will), I will breathe deep,
pray and we will survive it. Thinking
it through and adjusting expectations is the
first step with any trip, big or small.
Regarding taking trips,
anticipate the high-stress moments and be
intentional with those times. Hiring a
babysitter or mother’s helper (an older
child, either in your family or in the
neighborhood) to care for your preschoolers
the last two hours before trip departure is
a big stress reducer. Having help on the
back side of a trip, the first hour after
arriving home, allows you to merge into home
life a little smoother.
Bless you as you go!
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