Ahhhh going on holidays with the kids. You envision glorious happy moments of discovery, wonder, adventure and family unity. But the sad truth is, where once upon a time a holiday meant getting AWAY from the stress, now it means literally throwing yourself INTO THE FIRE of the stress.
Yes, because it seems that your definition of holiday is HUGELY different to that when a child is in tow (where the word holiday seems to shockingly be missing from the phrase “going on holiday”). No wonder then that most parents find going on holiday MORE stressful than going to work. WTF!!! If someone had told me this pre kids I’d be like – holy moly, are you CRAZY?! But no, they are absolutely right. Being on holiday with a child, particularly a toddler as in my case, is the same endless slave labour – but just in another country. No wonder one in four parents say they don’t take a family holiday because they are so stressful.
As I sit here having been given a “day off” on what is supposed to be a “holiday” (go figure), I am contemplating that whatever going on holiday with a child is – this is what it is not:
No actually, it is the absolute polar opposite, because rather than being able to kick back and do less, you have to amp up the activity stakes, chasing your crazy selves round every god damn tourist site and attraction on a daily basis just so you feel every single hour of your holiday day with some so called “adventure” of another.
Unless your idea of forfeiting anything that YOU might actually want to do and living every single holiday moment for your kids is your idea of fun (read: chasing an over-excitable toddler round a zoo, wondering around with an ice cream dripping all over your clothes because they don’t want to hold it, being holed up in the children’s play area at the museum and seeing zero of the rest of its collections) then a holiday is essentially the absolute opposite of fun for a parent.
You know those times when you nod your head and think, yeah! I didn’t do such a bad job with my kids after all. Nope, none of that on holiday. Instead lots of dying of total mortification as you note how well behaved the native children in your country of choice are compared to your own child who looks like they have drunk about ten cans on Coca Cola and downed five packs of sugar infested sweets. Total parenting confidence shattered in one fell swoop.
See this picture here?
This might look like a lovely picture of two parents sharing a moment whilst their child looks on, but what somebody forgot to add on to this photo which would show the REAL picture is a speech bubble with the said child WHINING ENDLESSY at the top of their voice and the moment is ruined forever more.
5. Whatever you thought it was going to be
I’m telling you this now, whatever dreamy, airy fairy vision you have of going on holiday with your child is, unless they are just a baby who just sits there and coos the entire duration or are an angel in disguise, then the only way to survive a family holiday and not end up filing for a divorce from your significant other and sproglets is LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS NOW! This one comes with a massive ***WARNING*** sign slapped across it.
I blame those blasted holiday brochures who have tricked us into thinking a week away will leave us all bouncing around in unparalleled delight and familial unity. It might be a “holiday”, but it sure as hell ain’t an escape.
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