So this weekend, we had our first official family holiday.
It was only to Center Parcs in the lake district, a mere 2 hours away from where we live.
That said, I had all the planning done for our trip including nap times etc.
This was the first time I’ve ever been so organised and I loved it. I set a standard for myself, I have to say, as I’m quite often too laid back.
We decided not to holiday until the kids were a little older so that they would be less hard work to accommodate, to tell you the truth.
Our children are aged 2 and 3, a boy and a girl. We took them to see Grandparents in Ireland when they were almost 1 and 2 and it was a disaster! With meltdown after meltdown, a hundred bottles, formula, nappies, buggies, travel by boat, by car, by plane, care seats, it was just awful.
We swore we’d never do it again. We wanted to go on holiday in the sun but we thought, the sun exhausts them more than usual plus all of the above, it’s just not really a holiday for anyone.
And I’m glad we waited.
Our lake district toddler holiday didn’t come without its dramas either – though a few less than abroad, I would say at this age.
We had wonderful plans to hire bikes that the kiddies could ride on with us, tottering through the meadows leisurely, laughing at each others wobbly bits…(that’s not just our tummies!)
In reality, the 3 year old wanted his own orange bike that he’d spotted, so broke his heart until he got it, and why wouldn’t he? He’s in a huge building surrounded by a million kiddies bikes, he was in heaven.
I said to my partner ‘this is their holiday, let him have it, because all I want is a smile on that child’s face.’ Of course we wanted to ride with him too, but I quickly thought, ‘I’m making this all about what I want, and not what they want’. So off he went with his daddy, not a murmur in sight.
Meanwhile, our 2 year old girl, wouldn’t get in the buggy attached to my bike, as she wanted one like her brother’s, but she can’t even ride a balance bike properly! Plus she’d been up and down in the night and awake since 6am in new surroundings – it was now half ten and she was shattered.
All bikes abandoned and off we went, just leisurely strolling, letting her pick up acorns and putting them on the grass. She was delighted with herself.
I was already conscious of this before we were on holiday, and I always try to remind myself of the fact, that it doesn’t matter where you are with your children as long as it’s quality time when you are there.
If definitely felt like this on this holiday. All the money we had spent to be in the best cabin, eat in the best places – yet the happiest she could be was running along in the outdoors, collecting acorns with her mummy, and our boy riding a ‘big boy bike’ with his daddy.
It’s just priceless!