Regardless of where you are going on holiday this year whether it be 2 weeks in Florida, or a weekend in Skegness (either is fine this is not a dig at destination choices) you will have an expectation of what your holiday will be like. We all do, it’s called our imagination. Our perception of how our two weeks in the sun/snow/beach/theme park will be. It’s nice that little imagined holiday isn’t it? Idyllic and chilled and everything you imagined it would be.
Except – we’ve got kids. And some of us are single. And well, when do things ever turn out exactly how we imagined? The expectation versus the reality of holidaying with children is somewhat incomparable. For example –
What you expect to happen (or what I always imagine to happen) goes something like this; they’ll sleep in. Then we’ll spend days doing so much fun stuff that they (all of us) will fall into bed exhausted no later than 8pm and sleep soundly all night waking refreshed and ready for the next adventure the next day.
Reality however is slightly different. Firstly, it’s too hot to sleep. You’re sweaty and the fan makes a stupid whirring noise that keeps you awake all night. Coupled with the fact that the demonic toddler had a two hour nap on a sun lounger at some point between lunch and when you were fishing one of the other ones out the pool and it’s now 11pm and she’s still tearing around wild. The older two are fine because they appreciate that mummy might just lose her shit if they don’t shut up before 10pm and are adequately rested (or at least quiet).
Picture this – sun, sea, cocktails, a good book and a sun lounger. Now that’s my cup of tea for about twenty minutes and then I get bored but the idea of just doing nothing for however long is very very appealing. We all have busy lives, so switching off and relaxing is something we all need from time to time.
However, reality pans out to be something different. I am yet to open a book this holiday (granted I didn’t bring one but still), yes the sun is out but see previous point about it being too hot (34 degrees today), we’re in Switzerland so there’s no sea and apparently Cider is an imported delicacy here and costs around about £10 per can so yeah thats out too. Oh and I brought all three children with me, again the big two are fine, they can swim and are completely in their element just swimming and jumping and lounging all day. But I am also the proud owner of a kamikaze toddler who just doesn’t quite appreciate nor gives a shit about the fact that sometimes it’s nice to sit down for 5 minutes. Today she discovered that if she throws her shoes into the big pool her sisters will get them for her. This is now her favorite game. But also means she needs to be followed pretty much constantly to avoid any accidental falls into said pool. She hates the water personally and hasn’t even so much as ventured in, which is also shit.
So you’re not sleeping and you’re not relaxed. Having a nice time so far? Next on the hit list –
I always imagine that I’ll come on holiday and eat dead healthy. It’s hot so you want fresh stuff, and fruit and you’ll drink shed loads of water and it’ll be the best time ever food wise. Especially if you’re all inclusive because then there is endless choice.
Food reality at present – today #3 ate a plate of pesto pasta. Her first full meal since we got here, and we’ve been here 6 days. She has lived on crisps and half eaten bananas ever since we landed pretty much. Again, we are in Switzerland, where a bowl of spaghetti costs in the region of £43 and we’re a 15 minute drive from any shops. We’re having BBQ each night which is AMAZING for us adults and actually we are all eating quite well, but none of my children especially like carbs, and #3 is a vegetarian. The current state of dietary play is ice cream (any variety will suffice), and those plain crisps that you find everywhere abroad but never in the UK.
There is also a small sense of third wheel syndrome, which is completely unfounded but still lingering. Being on your own, abroad, is a little bit lonely, especially when you’re holidaying with a couple as lovely as the one we are with. Although, they have watched my tribe and let me run every other day while we have been here and for that I am eternally grateful. We wouldn’t be on holiday without them so I am happy with my third wheel status for the time being.
But on the flip side (and I love the flip side) my girls (and I (I’m also making the assumption for #3 seeing as she can’t vocalise her opinion)) are having the best holiday we’ve ever had. This place is absolutely amazing. The scenery is just breathtaking and not comparable to anything any of us have seen before (and Anna and I did Iceland in Winter). The freedom that the children have is also unlike anything they have been allowed before, we are literally 10 paces from the park and the pool, they have been off all day in their little 7 person gang (we inherited a boy from the next door caravan), they are all having an absolute ball. The girls are loving having other girls around, sibling rivalry is rife in both our houses so it’s nice to have more children to break that up. And so are we. We all went to Lake Geneva yesterday, took some pedalo boats out onto the water and had a swim. Those are memories that they will all remember forever, and is right up there with one of the best things I’ve ever done. It might not be the quiet, massively relaxed, idyllic holiday that is thrown up by our imagination but it is perfect. We are surrounded by everything that we need and everything that we love and the smiles on the children faces makes the lack of sleep and carbs all worthwhile.
And anyway, I couldn’t think of anything more boring than two weeks of a sun lounger, cocktails and with no decent chat.