In high school, I took a psychology class that listed out common life scenarios that cause stress. Christmas and Vacation were both on that list. it baffled me at the time. These were happy times. How could they cause stress?

Fast forward to entering the working world and I got how the prep for a vacation could be stressful (there’s plenty that has to be done before you leave). And fast forward to entering parent land and I now get how the vacation itself can be stressful (you’re still parenting - no break from that - but you’ve given up your routines and your norms making things just a bit harder).

A wise woman told me, “Vacation for parents is really just a change in location.” Very wise.

We all crave vacation and then, when we’re in it, it’s easy to crave the normalcy of regular life. We love the trip and also look forward to getting back home.

It’s a familiar feeling. I love work and yet pine to pick B up early from daycare. I love time with B and yet pine for a few hours to get back to work.

Do you experience this?

Loving the various parts of your life, but wishing you had more of each of them?

Until we create clones that allow us to enjoy endless time for all our various pursuits, I believe this is one of the biggest challenges that will plague parents in the modern world. I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever solve, but I am trying to find presence and peace in every moment - vacation and normal days, work time and kid time, time alone and time with others. I suspect it will be a lifelong work-in-progress.

Right now, we’re enjoying a wonderful week on a lake in Maine. I snuck off for a few hours to write this email and do a few other work things. It felt good for the first hour. But each additional minute is getting me more antsy to get back. So I think I’ll do just that. :-)

How do you manage this constant wish to be in 2 places?