My family experienced a Disney vacation at a discounted rate as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. All opinions are my own.
My family Disney Vacation doesn’t look like most other people’s. And that’s okay.
My family hasn’t done things like a lot of other families for quite a while now. Having a child with ADHD as well as oppositional behaviors has meant that sometimes we take the path of least resistance on our Disney vacation.
Having two children close in age but opposite personalities means that sometimes we divide and conquer.
Having a third child five years after the first two means that sometimes concessions are made toward that child. Sometimes, though, that kid just gets the shaft.
I pondered all of this on our recent vacation to Walt Disney World and on the Disney Cruise Line as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. We’ll also throw into the mix that I was sick, rendering me incapable of exerting my will on my family as much as I might normally.
Social media is a tricky thing. It brings people together in wondrous ways. It also causes people to compare themselves with others and feel badly about themselves.
I was surrounded by over a hundred other social media pros and their photo-ready families. Instagram feeds were full of smiles and togetherness. I had visions of all these amazing photos we were going to take – as a family. I should have known better. What was wrong with MY family?
Nothing. We just don’t roll like that.
Divide and conquer has always been a very big thing for us. We love our family time but have rarely insisted on all of us being together, all the time.
The first night of our Disney vacation found our youngest not feeling that great so I took the older two to Epcot. Closed it down. Headed to the Magic Kingdom for the last hour. Closed it down. Respect from my teens because they had been in the car for 7 hours, were not relegated to the hotel room and Mom’s a hardcore baller who needed a beer and a castle, in that order.
Next day, the little guy perks up. The older two? Not so much. The hubs and I take our youngest for some focused attention in the Magic Kingdom while the teens hit the pool. Then, the text comes in.
“We’re on our way to the Magic Kingdom.”
Oh. Yes! They humored their little brother with a spin on It’s A Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean before peeling off to do their own thing.
Our entire Disney vacation was like this. Family members moving in and out of each other’s orbits. Ebb and flow. I got to spend time with each kid doing what they liked best, which is infinitely preferable to listening to people bitch about what they would rather be doing.
What made this crazy amount of freedom possible for the teenagers was the destination itself. Nowhere else on earth would I have had the peace of mind to let them come and go at will.
Disney infrastructure and cast members made this the best vacation ever for them. I knew they could navigate Disney hotels, buses and parks safely. I knew that if an issue arose, cast members could be depended on to make it right.
This was the only picture of all five of us from either the Land or Sea portion of our week-long Disney vacation. Heading into Pandora early was one of our conference activities and they had a photographer set up for us. I will be forever grateful.
Even more than the picture, though, I treasure the knowledge that people were happy. This was an amazing vacation for our family because we didn’t have to do everything as a family.
Sounds weird? It might be for you. But our unstructured system works best for us. We operated on Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust during this vacation and magic just happened.