We had planned in 2021 to go to Disney in 2023 when the kids turned 4 and 5. We booked the hotel room (my dad gets a free room with his Disney Vacation Club) and our flights and our park tickets. We planned on taking my mother in law as well and we assumed when we booked it that the kids would be ready to explore Disney.
Our trip was booked for January 2023 and during the summer of 2022 it began to dawn on me that we might not be ready for such a big trip as a family. J was throwing fits on a daily basis, and I just couldn’t imagine being on a flight with him or dealing with one of his tantrums in a different state.
Another thing that was deterring us was that when we took the kids to amusement parks in the summer, J would not go on any rides. I know there are other things to do in Disney besides rides but if we are going to be spending all of that money on this vacation, I want both kids to fully enjoy the experience. My fear was that we would be in Disney and we would all be miserable and wasting so much money and it would make me want to never go back.
When things are supposed to be fun but I am not sure they are up my kid’s alley (for example, taking J to the amusement parks since he doesn’t like rides) I always say “this is supposed to be fun so if you aren’t having fun then let’s figure out how we can make this fun for you”. But I didn’t want to have to do that in Disney. It IS supposed to be fun. I shouldn’t have to worry about the kids having fun in the “happiest place on Earth”, but I was, and that was just one sign that maybe we weren’t ready.
The year before we took the kids to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania and it was tough. J threw up in the car on the way there which was a rough start to the day, and the kids were just super needy and it was an exhausting experience. I remember saying to myself on the way home “we are not ready for Disney yet; I could not imagine not being able to go home right now to reset”. I thought by 2023 we would be ready because the kids would be older and more mature but I was wrong.
After many sleepless nights worried about our Disney trip, I finally got the courage to be open with my husband about it, explaining why I didn’t think we were ready. Surprisingly, he was totally in agreement. Although we were both disappointed and we knew my mother in law would be disappointed, we were confident it was the right decision for our family. Luckily, the kids are young enough that they didn’t fully understand that we already had the Disney trip planned so they were oblivious when we cancelled.
One of the things that I find difficult to deal with being a mom is seeing all of these “influencer moms” on social media depicting their “perfect lives” and it always made me feel bad comparing myself to them. So when I would go on social media and see all of these other moms taking their BABIES to Disney, I thought to myself, “if they can handle that, then why can’t I handle taking my 4 and 5 year old?” But you know what? We are different people and our kids have different needs and I, as a mom, have the power to decide what is best for my family and that is decision should not be influenced by how much pressure I feel to take the kids to Disney. One day we will definitely get there, and I am sure it is going to be a super fun, great, amazing experience, but I am not forcing us to do something we are not ready for. I feel empowered that I get to make the right decisions for my family, even if some people don’t understand it or agree.