Despite beating the holiday blues I like to think that today I’m back with a bang!
I survived my first holiday as a lone ranger with my two little people and it’s safe to say the holiday went something a bit like this…
The ugly – The bad – The good – The great.
And here are some of the reasons why.
The Ugly: Now, despite whoever you are the lead up to a holiday is stressful as fuck. The clothes, the packing, the passports, the first aid kits, the medicines, the shoes, the check lists. Pulling my hair out would be an understatement. During the week lead up till going you threaten your kids with cancelling said holiday at least 453 times, are you even a parent if you don’t?
The bad: I know it sounds terrible, but the first two days of my cruise I thought about head diving straight off the balcony and into the Atlantic Ocean. Cruising is amazing, and I love it all. The only downfall is when sailing from Southampton you have 3 days of cold weather before you hit the Spanish Sun, and this seems to then provoke a full scale battle with two little people who are now standing in front of a swimming pool begging to get in and have a dip even though it’s a measly 14 degrees and cloudy.
I love the pool – but not in the fucking cold. I hate the cold – always have done, always will.
On day 2 I gave into the moaning of “you’re the worst mum in the world” and took them to the pool – outside – in the cold. “I AM NOT GOING IN” I made absolutely clear from the start, I will sit on the edge and you have 15 minutes and that is it!
They were happy, I was cold, but I braved it.
Upon this brief visit to the pool while sitting on the edge completely out of the splash zone area, some little idiot thought it would be funny to start kicking water up in my direction (she had to be Susan’s kid I’m almost sure of it) but it’s safe to say that the little fucker was about 7 seconds away from getting fucking dunked.
Oh how I imagined this holiday to be different – I pictured me being bronzely tanned by the Mediterranean sun, a Cosmo in hand and not a care in the world.
It always plays out differently for the holidaying parent though – gone are the days of relaxing poolside with a cocktail, the last time I was able to do that was 2004 when I was 16 years old.
Instead I was faced with a struggle of putting a fucking life jacket on a unwilling 5 year old, a 9 year old who thinks she’s an Olympic swimmer but can barely keep her head above water, but will in no way shape or form use any sort of arm bands or float because it will damage her reputation and she will be scarred for life.
No wonder why the Atlantic Ocean looked like an appealing option at this point.
Although I wasn’t completely on my own this holiday, I had the help of my parents, sisters, auntie & uncle and cousins but I am still my child’s only parent on board – all responsibility for those two little people falls solely into my lap and my lap alone.
My families help was something I couldn’t off been without, but even though they are willing to be on hand and help out where and when they can, you can’t help but feel a little bit guilty when you do receive it.
They didn’t sign up to babysit on their 2 week vacation. They didn’t sign up to be sat with all the other parents loosing the will to live at the baby splash zone. They signed up for Sun, Sea and Alcohol – that’s it.
Three days in and finally the sun is shining! The grey clouds are gone and the temperature is up! Thank you Jesus!!!!
Today should surely be a hell of a lot easier – I will sit around that pool happily today, I might even get a chance to grab a cocktail and relive my youth a bit!
We now face the dilemma of the 9 year old wanting to be in the Olympic pool because she’s clearly cool as fuck and does not belong in the H20 Splash Zone. And we have the 5 year old, who is all for the Splash Zone and makes the sound of a wounded moose every time you try and tear him away from it.
Kids – I’d love to be able to split myself in half, I really would – but there’s only one of me and I can’t be in two places at once – so can we please just come to some sort of fucking agreement and choose one pool and one pool only.
I rallied the troops out and drew out our battle plan.
Mum – you will sit at the Olympic pool and watch the 9 year old. Fag breaks are in 20 minute intervals where Erin will come and take over.
I will watch the 5 year old fish – Dad you can come and take over when fag breaks and toilet breaks are needed.
Report back every hour – over and out.
Sometimes having children is like having a mini army – and every army needs a Sergeant Major and that is what I became. This is a battle I refuse to lose. And so I put my game face on and watched the battle between the little people and the adults commence. It was like a scene from Game of Thrones – The Knights watch vs The Wildlings.
Can you smell that? It’s Victory!
The battle plans are in full swing, adults have the control and the upper hand and we are winning!
Adults – 1 / Kids – 0
Although a holiday is a break away from the everyday mundane routine of life, kids need routine. I find it’s something they crave, well my kids anyway. And although this place is nothing like home I put a routine in place none the less – a holiday routine. And that routine consisted of generally sleeping through till 1 o’clock in the afternoon and then snacking on cheeseburgers for breakfast (okay I didn’t say it was a great routine) then generally spending most of the day in the pool, with hourly intervals to be lathered in Factor 50 till around 5pm to then which we get out, get dry and get ready for dinner at 7pm.
And to my amazement it worked. It fucking worked.
Susan would be proud (despite the cheeseburger breakfast)
Finally it was starting to feel more like a holiday and not so much a concentration camp for the incompetent parent.
Second week in and I can safely say I am winning at life.
I’ve won the battle – I’ve won the war – I am Victorious at long last!
I’ve managed to keep my kids alive – which let’s be honest is a victory in itself.
No accidents – no major meltdowns – no illnesses.
To round the holiday experience up, I can positively say I had an absolute blast and so did my two little people. It was just what we all needed and I will cherish the memories for a lifetime.
Holidaying with kids is no easy fete – but you have to take the good with the bad because I know that one day in the distant future they will no longer want to holiday with their crazy mother. They will be off doing a week’s stint in Ibiza, and getting boozed up in Magaluf with their mates. So I will cherish it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Okay, maybe I won’t cherish the bad, but hopefully I will have forgotten about it in years to come.
Now i just face the struggle of washing at least 4589 pieces of clothing, while being back at work full time and juggling the 6 week holiday – I feel a blog post will be on its way soon with that topic.
But as they say, a mother’s job is never done.
Sergeant Major – Over & Out.