On Family Vacations, Build Boredom into the Itinerary

Rain slashes the windows and the cloudy French sky is heavy with foggy mist.  Our planned horseback ride through the Dordogne countryside is out of the question today, so my two daughters and I are cuddled up in our little 3 bedroom camping chalet near Sarlat la Caneda, each to her own quietude.

One girl is facetiming with a friend in California, the other is cozied up in her bed, listening to an audiobook and drawing.  I am enjoying an unexpected pause in our nonstop 6 Week Single Mom European Adventure.  We could be busy exploring myriad castles, prehistoric cave sites, and charming villages of southwestern France, but instead it’s 11am and none of us are out of our pyjamas.

Am I wasting a chance to explore, to experience all of the French delights?  Am I throwing away a precious vacation day, that would be better spent visiting the Lascaux Cave paintings?  I think not.

Sure, I’m spending a lot of money per deum to be in France, and yes sitting around in our jammies until we get hungry enough to venture out for lunch may not be the most prudent use of time.  After all, we could be doing this home in California for a lot less money and effort.

Everyone needs a mental health day, however.  Non stop entertainment and fun is good for no one.  Kids need downtime, mommy needs a break, and rainy days are a great excuse to do nothing.

Kids also need to be bored and have a zero stimulation day to foster creativity and get their brain juices flowing.  iPad games are out, but journaling, drawing, and writing stories are definitely in.

Tomorrow will be sunny again, we will have only bucolic country roads between us and all the delights of the summertime France.  Today, pour me another cup of coffee and get comfy, because this girl ain’t going anywhere fast.



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