The family holiday. Ahh, those blissful weeks of anticipation you spend dreaming about the relaxing days of adventure mixed with lazy evenings reading, eating yummy food and drinking with your loved one.
There’s no doubt it’s a calendar highlight, whether it’s camping in the country or a blow out all expenses trip to the other side of the world.
We’ve just been very lucky to have spent a week in Majorca. The four MotherFudgers embarked on our first trip abroad since 2 became 4.
The smalls are now 4 and 6 and it’s the first time we thought it wouldn’t be like some form of hell going on a plane. Anyone who does it with a buggy and a baby needs some kind of medal. We clearly aren’t that brave.
I won’t bore you with the minutiae of our trip – we had a fabulous time, it was a much-needed break for all of us, but there were some things that occurred to me about holidaying as a family wherever you go and whatever you do. Things that next time I’ll refresh my memory about before our next trip:
- The journey is a game of parenting roulette. Also see point 3. You have no control. Whether you’re in a car on the motorway, using the trains, flying, you’re in the lap of the Gods here my friend. That mixed with kids, yeah, good luck. It’s a gamble and you’re going to lose at some point.Find your happy place. This too shall pass. Grin and bear it. And if that fails dish out Haribo like your life depended on it. No judgement.
A three-hour flight delay, lost luggage and our taxi driver buggering off – we all felt the boychild’s pain.
- Same shit, different location. If you’re the one who always remembers the rubbish needs putting out, or you’re the one who sorts the picnic for the day. You know what – it’ll be you who’s doing that on holiday. Just because you’re away doesn’t mean the miracle fairy will have waved a wand.
- The kids will have meltdowns. Accept it. They couldn’t give a shit that this is a precious week and hundreds of pounds of hard-earned cash. They’re kids and they’re going to lose their shit whether you’re in England at home or a restaurant abroad.
So much ice cream
- Pick your battles… but maybe don’t pick quite so many on holiday. It’s your holiday too. If the kids are on the iPad AGAIN and it means a bit more of a break for you then go with it. And if they ask for another ice cream, fuck it. Go for an easy ride. It’s not defeat. It’s a sanity saving exercise. 5 a day only matters when you’re on home turf. Fact.* (* = I’m lying.)
- Take pictures. My family, Mr MF’s family. Our own little team – it’s always me taking the pictures, so going on holiday isn’t going to change that. If I didn’t document our holidays there would be no memories. This even includes my overly direct requests by strangers to take pictures of all of us as I want at least one pic of the four of us.
This is a selfie, because if I didn’t take them, no bugger would!
- This is your chance for some partner time. If you have a partner then claw back some moments together and if you’re single then enjoy those moments too. You don’t have the million bullshit domestic jobs you have at home. This is your chance for a bit of couple time. Whether that’s when the smalls are at a kids’ club, or just during the evening when you plan a takeaway and time together. Make sure you do something a bit different to the norm. Put your phones away, enjoy being with each other. Reset together. Priceless.
Sangria and couple time
- You don’t have to go abroad to have fun. It was our first holiday abroad as a family and it was great. We loved it, but actually I don’t think you have to go thousands of miles away on a plane to have a great trip. I doubt we’ll be able to afford to go abroad next year but wherever we go will another adventure together.
- The kids will love the bits you don’t enjoy. It may be a boring train journey to you, or a wait for your luggage at the airport, but for kids there’s wonder in everything. The smalls loved watching the luggage popping out of the shoot at baggage claim and seeing new insects abroad “that were red and had extra bits”. That’s the wonder of kids – they remind you of the gems in the norm and that’s even more apparent when you’re taking time out to relax yourself. Go with it because they’re so right in seeing the magical new world in front of them.
A bus journey in a different destination is amazing
If you’ve been away then hope you had a blast, and if you’re off on your holibobs enjoy it as you’ll be making memories – whatever they are.