Holidays with kids.
After spending two weeks ‘off’ with three kids and a husband on a short fuse I’ve come to the conclusion ‘holidays with kids’ is an oxymoron.
We didn’t go anywhere fancy: we took advantage of the fact my parents were somewhere fancy by decamping from our flat in Sussex to their cottage in Dorset for a couple of weeks.
Perhaps it’s because we have three kids instead of a more manageable one or two; perhaps it’s because the baby is at that age where anywhere other than your own home is an accident waiting to happen, or perhaps my expectations of our first ever two-week family break were simply too high: either way it wasn’t quite the relaxing holiday I hoped it would be.
And it turns out there are an awful lot of things they don’t warn you about holidays with kids.
10 things they don’t tell you about holidays with kids
1. It’s not a holiday. You’re just somewhere different doing all the same things.
2. You won’t come home feeling like a ‘whole new person’. The best you can hope for is slightly less tired.
3. If you’re not on an all-inclusive package deal you’ll google ‘all-inclusive package deals’. At least once.
4. You can shell out money hand over fist. And they’re still not happy.
5. You think letting them stay up as a treat is a good idea. It’s not. It’s a really bad idea.
6. At some point you’ll be THAT family. You know the one – the one that causes a scene and everybody stares at, smugly relieved it’s not their own offspring causing the hullabaloo.
7. There’ll be low points. For us it was a liquid poo in the middle of a communal water fountain minutes before discovering there were just two baby wipes left in the packet. I know.
8. There’ll be high points too. The sort of thing memories are made of. Like singing ’80s power ballads at top volume in the car, or wrapping them up in the picnic blanket on a day trip to keep them warm.
What happened to the heatwave? This picture pretty much sums up our holiday so far: wrapped in the picnic blanket to shield from the wind & rain. Then again, isn’t that what holidays are all about? 😂 #rainraingoaway #childhood #childhoodunplugged #capturingchildhood #capturingtheday #myboy #holiday #holidayfun #familygoodtimes #familytravel #familyadventures #staycation #dorset #oureverydaymoments #documentyourdays
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9. You develop The Look. The one which passes between fellow parents – complete strangers – that says ‘I know. And I feel your pain’.
10. You’ll need a holiday to get over it. We’re already looking into all-inclusive package deals for next year. The prices are eye-watering, but as Misery Guts pointed out when I questioned whether we could afford it: can we afford not to?
Could an an-inclusive package deal where we don’t have to prepare any meals or do any clearing up, with kids’ clubs for a bit of respite, be the answer? We’re seriously considering it. Or would the end result still be the same? What do you think? Do you think holidaying with kids is an oxymoron? If you’ve been on holiday with kids in tow this summer I’d love to know how it went!