I get that being on holiday we should be extremely excited to spend quality time with the children, that we are lucky that we could even go on holiday. I am so very grateful for the holiday and the different scenery do not get me wrong, however here are a few points I wish people told me before.
We are in a caravan and it is beautiful. It has everything you can want for a home away from home experience. It even has toys and an Xbox, but BBG still manages to find something she wants to hurt herself on and the older children have the tiniest bedrooms so they are all over each other while dad and I are frantically getting ready for a day out. Don’t even get me started on wires and plug sockets.
Basically child friendly doesn’t mean child friendly!
2- Where is everything?
I don’t know where my local food shop is so I have to drive about 20minutes to get a loaf of bread as that’s the first store google maps says is close by. I have spotted locals carrying co op bags which means they are close but where I have no idea! There’s the on site store but I really don’t want to remortgage just so that my children can have milk on their cereal.
Then it’s finding things in the caravan, where’s the knives, what light switch does what? We have a fire, can we turn it on when the night gets chilly of course not as I don’t know how to work the remote that sorts that, do I know where the potato masher is? Of course not I’ve searched and searched and nothing… then I check the itinary and notice that there isn’t one on there, I’ve been looking for something the caravan doesn’t even have!
It doesn’t really sound that bad, but when you have 4 children wanting your attention you need to know where everything is otherwise it can quite quickly turn into world war 3!
3. Routine change and horribly behavioured children
It’s like a switch the kids can be beautifully behaved. Then boom they are all crying over nothing, all shouting, all exhausted as routine change and the change of beds just aren’t right so they aren’t sleeping well! Their behaviour would suit a prison and yet I know it’s all down to the fact everything is so exciting and yet so wrong.
4. Living out of a suitcase
Everything is put away in the wardrobes but the weather isn’t quite right for anything I brought. If I was at home I’d have so much choice and yet at the moment I am stuck with an outfit a day plus 2 spares for everyone. This isn’t limited to clothes either, it includes toiletries or toys. I get that I can’t pack everything but I’m sure you can’t go on holiday without either forgetting something or bringing the wrong clothes.
5. You need suitcases, lots of suitcases
My largest suitcase that could do me for a week with loads of pairs of shoes and change of outfits that will fit the families clothes for a weekend away I’m right? yeah that is not enough! Now it’s that suitcase, plus bags, o so many bags.
Our car boot is just jammed packed full of things! I don’t even manage to bring everything I want and we’re away for half the time!
6. Holidays … relaxing … you have got to be kidding
I remember those holidays of rolling out of bed at some late hour of the morning, wandering down to the bar picking up a cocktail (or 5) and sun bathing for the day, or going into the ocean.
Now I’m being woken up at 5/6 am as the kids are too excited to sleep. I am going on to the beach but having a nervous fit about where all the kids are in case any have slipped my vision and gone into the water. Where the relaxing read a book round the pool, is now chasing a screaming child around an adventure activity.
If there’s child care that has qualified nursery nurses then don’t feel guilty using this service as otherwise point 7 is going to be very real for you.
7. You come home more shattered then you left.
Gone are the days when I go on vacation, coming back with a glow of sun tan, and my complexion the best it’s been. Now I return from vacation exhausted, wanting another week off.
I will admit though I wouldn’t have my holidays any other way now, and there will be a day in the not too distant future where I will miss the stress of holidaying with the kids.
I just wish people warned of the stress holidays can be as all I had were pictures of magazines of the fresh faced family completely stress free. It would just have meant that some of my mum guilt over the above points wouldn’t have been so bad. So here I am passing on my wisdom to you guys.
We used to fly with the children regularly to come see my family when we lived in Prague for a bit and when we visited Australia to see family. Flying and a holidays abroad brings in a whole new level of issues!