Moms Columns & Blogs

Staycation, schmaycation. What about the momcation?

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The concept of the “staycation” is sooo Summer 2008.

Remember? That’s when escalating gas prices and other national flub-up issues forced Mom, Dad and the kids to confine summer travel to a 30-mile radius of home.

Then came the word “naycation,” as predicated for Summer 2009 by MSNBC travel columnist Christopher Elliott, as in: “Nay, the economy hasn’t improved, kids, it’s gotten worse and everybody will be staying inside this summer and reading Bobbsey Twins books.”

Soon after the coining of naycation then, came the panicked travel industry with the bubbly concept of the “yaycation.” The theory behind this happy non-word is that lonely airlines, restaurants and hotels are offering so many deals, it’s actually a good time to take a family vacation. Never mind if you lost all your retirement, your college savings and maybe even your job, “Let’s go on a Disney yaycation!”

I think the media missed the point with their clever words.

Consider what happens when the family doesn’t go on vacation, when Mom, in particular, doesn’t have primary responsibility (let’s face it) for packing up the kids and (efficiently) packing up the car, then moving everything in the car to a cramped hotel room, or worse, a tent; then keeping up this new space, not to mention the kids’ clothes, flashlights and daily ration of Rice Krispie Treats; then (effectively) taking down the tent or otherwise dismantling the vacation space, packing and organizing the automobile again; then moving everything back into, and reorganizing, the original house at midnight just in time to fall into bed for the next day’s 6 a.m. bonanza blow-out school supplies sale and seven loads of laundry.

What does a mother get when she doesn’t go on summer vacation? Rest. A vacation from family vacation.

Why do we Americans always have to be about stimulating the economy? Being patriotic means Mom and apple pie, too, right? You know, If Mom ain’t happy, there ain’t no apple pie?

Not going on vacation means I don’t have to kennel the dog, find neighbors to feed the cats or ever have to look for bug spray in a crowded tent at 3 a.m. because I’m the only one who knows where it is.

Not going on vacation means my kids house-sit and cat-sit all summer for the neighbors who do go on vacation, which means they pay for their extras this fall, not me, which stimulates my own economy, thank you very much.

Not going on vacation this summer means I, for one, mother/consumer actually relaxed, into long summer nights on the back porch, and the happy knowledge that the family credit card is still holding at a manageable balance.

Forget staycation, naycation, yaycation.

This is the year of the momcation.

And that has to be good for the state of things, too.