Having just returned from our family ‘holiday’ I am obligated to write an how to
endure survive a family holiday post. Quotation marks may feature heavily. Here are my top tips!
- Abandon hope and expectation all ye who enter here. There really should be another name for a family ‘holiday’, because, delights though there may be some, they really bear absolutely no resemblance to any holiday you have previously enjoyed. Lower your expectations. Lower them some more. Actually anticipate that you will have a terrible time and any moments of unexpected joy will be all the sweeter nectar.
- Take a buggy. Even if all of your children have shunned buggies for the last year, at least one child will always be ‘tired’, and you will end up with a two stone toddler clinging to your front, and a rucksack of the requisite army level supplies required to leave the apartment for 30 minutes, strapped to your back. It also offers the possibility, however slim, that the child might nap whilst out for a stroll, allowing the opportunity for that most beautiful of things, an afternoon drink.
- A mid-afternoon drink is an absolute delight, and one part of my pre-children holiday routine that I will not forego. Get the kids a Ribena and a packet of crisps and you might get twenty minutes out of it if you’re lucky.
- Employ screen time liberally. Relax your standards. A bit of Peppa Pig can eke out a little while longer in bed. (The last thing you want is to be starting your days at 0630am on ‘holiday’. Delights that my kids are, even if they go to bed late, they still wake up horribly early. Aren’t they kind?) A little bit of Minecraft at the dinner table might mean you can linger over your meal a while, rather than leg it out the door the minute you’ve gulped down the last morsel of your (one course) meal.
- Take this opportunity to introduce your children to new and exciting cuisines. This year, my daughter (2 years old) tried both a crisp sandwich and calamari for the first time. She enjoyed both. One of my proudest parenting moments
- Tag-team time off. Unless you are lucky enough to holiday with built in babysitters, then getting any ‘me-time’ on ‘holiday’ is nigh on possible. Take it in turns with your other half to go for walks, or for a drink; this will leave you ‘refreshed’ to endure your next shift with vigour.
7. If your child is recently potty trained, take a potty. Otherwise, you just might find yourself scooping poo out of pants for the third time in an hour due to a powerful combination of the fear of an unknown toilet and suspected consumption of sea water.
8. Don’t believe the hype. Remember, as always, that everyone is posting their ‘best bits’ to Instagram and Facebook. Rest assured for every Clarendon filtered image of siblings cavorting in the sea against an azure sky, somebody, somewhere, is scooping shit out of pants.
9. Try, try and remember , these are the good old days.