We booked our holiday back in January, when it was freezing cold outside and we were all in need of a pick me up after Christmas. I always like to have things to look forward to, especially in January when everyone is back to work/school and it is the start of a brand new year.
We hummed and hawed for a very long time about going abroad with the children. I am one of life’s worriers and the thought of travelling with a four year old and a baby had me already stressing and making mental lists in my head. But Steve and I have fond memories of our holidays abroad together and we were keen to share this experience with our children, even from this young age. We had thought about it for a long time before Phoebe was born and it was just us and Charlie. Each year we suggested it and then chickened out opting instead for a holiday cottage in the Lakes or up in Scotland. Don’t get me wrong, we loved our holidays and have some great memories that we will cherish forever, but after our last trip to Scotland which involved a four hour car journey and rain every day, we thought “why not?”
So we booked an all inclusive week in Majorca with my sister in law and her partner. And I am so pleased we did.
There were times leading up to our trip where I thought “are we doing the right thing” and “is it going to be worth all the stress?” My list of worries before the trip included (and this is just a sample selection) : Will the children be okay on the plane? Will their ears pop? How will I get baby milk through security? How will I sterilise baby bottles abroad? What if Charlie doesn’t walk through the scanners at security? What if they don’t like the heat? Will I lose the baby weight in time? Etc etc…
It turns out that both children loved being on the plane; their ears didn’t pop, security didn’t look twice at the baby powder, sterilising bottles just required a tablet and a bucket (that’s a different story), Charlie waltzed through security and they both embraced the heat and their new environment. (Less said about losing the baby weight the better). So why did I spend the last six months worrying??! Well, because I am a Mum and that is what we do.
We stayed in the quiet resort of Calas de Mallorca, on the East side of island. It was about an hours drive from the airport which was probably about as long as we could put up with the screaming child sat behind us (not our child I might proudly add 😉 ). And you know what? Everybody loved their holiday, or at least they seemed too. We let go of routine and swam in the pool until after nine pm, I sauntered round in my swimming costume all day (sadly not bikini, not yet), we practiced our limited Spanish and ate and drank too much. But it was one week of freedom and having fun. That’s what holidays are for. Or at least that’s what we told ourselves again and again as we filled up our plates at the all inclusive buffet.
There was obviously the odd grumpy moment when everyone had had too much heat and really needed a nap despite repeating “I’m not tired”. But that happens on any holiday, or at least it does for us. And why is it they wait until you have just sat down with a drink before announcing they need the toilet?? Charlie seemed to have bags of energy and just when we thought he might sit still for a few moments (silly us) he would be up and asking to go in the pool again. Phoebe actually turned out to be pretty easy as she spent each day eating followed by a quick splash in the pool and then napping for a good one to two hours before waking and repeating. Now that is a holiday!
We didn’t go into this holiday completely naive. We knew it wouldn’t be like our past pre children trips. We knew it wouldn’t be completely relaxing and that a romantic stroll on the beach followed by a drink in a bar would be out of the question. But I loved it. I loved being surrounded by my family and seeing how much fun they were having. I loved seeing the enjoyment on my four year old’s face every time he jumped in the pool and was able to eat yet another ice-cream. I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
Overall it was a great success and we now have so many amazing memories of our first “family of four” holiday abroad. Of course, we will still holiday in the UK as there are so many beautiful places to explore here too and my memories of holidays as a child were always in this country. In fact, I am now lucky enough to live where we always used to holiday. But we definitely feel we have opened up a whole new world in terms of travelling with children and are excited to explore and discover new destinations with them. It really isn’t hard if you just go with the flow (as much as you can with little people) and ENJOY every moment of it. Including the tantrums. And having to hold your son over the tiny aeroplane toilet so he can have a number two at thirty five thousand feet.
We can’t wait for our next adventure.
But for now back to reality.
The diet starts tomorrow…