Posts tagged #holiday

Holidaying with Kids

"It always look fun in the photos"

"It always look fun in the photos"

My mum and I were just talking about the Google guy and his multi-billion dollar fortune.  We were discussing the impact that having that sort of money would have on your state of mind.  What sort of goals would you set yourself (you wouldn’t need to save for anything and you could get first class training in anything you wanted to learn)?  How much would it impact the things that money can’t buy…like love and contentment?  What we would spend it on?  Travel - that’s what I’d spend my money on.  Traveling the world and experiencing as many different cultures as possible.   I’ve got to admit, that’s probably the only thing I really wish we’d done more of before having kids.

Holidaying with kids is a whole different kettle of fish.  We took our first son to Bali with us – twice.   The first time went pretty well – the Balinese love little babies!  The hardest part was packing.  We survived on carry-on luggage whilst he required two full sized suitcases to accommodate nappies, formula, shelf stable foods, and about 35 spew rags and clothing changes. 

The second time we went back I was pregnant with my second child.  Looking back I do wonder if I was not actually temporarily insane at that point in time. Well, if I wasn’t then, I can tell you that by day three of the ‘holiday’ I certainly was. 

My son was (still is) a terrible sleeper, so we were up half the night, then from the crack of dawn trying to keep him quiet (impossible) in a hotel with adjoining walls.  Every outing had to be timed to coincide with his sleep times, which meant by the time everyone else woke up, we’d walk down the street only have to start heading back to the hotel again.  He was walking...Bali streets… need I say more?  He got really sick with a fever two nights in…resulting in ear syringing, strange medication, and one million rupiah less in our pocket.  Two days later he runs full pelt into the ocean and gets slammed by a wave landing us back in hospital.  The next day he tried his hand at concussion, slipping and slamming his head on the concrete floor.  He got eaten alive by mosquitoes despite every effort to protect him.  He wouldn’t eat the food, he wouldn’t sit still in the restaurants and whenever we tried to let him run free he’d take off full speed in the opposite direction.  It was a nightmare – made worse by the fact that I was painfully sober, pregnant, hot and (put honestly) FREAKING OUT!  We returned home to wind up in PMH a week later with our son being tested for malaria. 

At that point I vowed never to travel with children under the age of about 8 years old EVER again.

Consequently my husband and I haven’t been on a proper holiday together for a long time…so when the opportunity to travel over east for a few days presented itself recently, my husband and I were just a little excited!  Our wonderful family has offered to look after our babies for us so that we can get away for an extended weekend.   Imagine, dinners at restaurants – on our time (not at 5pm) and at our choice (not HJs or a child-friendly venue).  Imagine actually being able to eat your food whilst it’s hot, talk to each other (rather than the constant diatribe “sit still, just a minute, I’m just cutting it up for you, it’s a bit hot, it won’t be long, don’t touch that, sit down, put that back, leave your brother alone, get that out of your ear!”).  Imagine being out after dark, strolling down the street, contemplating a casino visit, or a late night cuppa.  Oh, and shopping, markets, tram rides, theatre shows, SLEEP-INS…yep, this is sounding like heaven!

I really wish I could be all Angelina Jolie and travel the universe with my boys…but I think it is just going to have to wait (until I win the lottery and can afford private jets and live in nannies) or at least until they are a little older!  In the meantime, let’s hope this getaway is a success so that we can get our little travel fix every once in a while!

What have your travel experiences been like?

Waiting

"What are we waiting for?"

"What are we waiting for?"

Ever sat back and thought about how much of your life you spend waiting?  Waiting for the mail to come, waiting for someone to return home, waiting for lunchtime, waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for a holiday, waiting for your moment to arrive…

Kind of sad really.  Whilst we’re busy waiting, our life is passing us by without a second thought.

Thinking about the future isn’t a BAD thing.  Having plans and setting goals are essential to our motivation, drive and sense of being.  But filling up all our todays with the notion that tomorrow will bring bigger and better things can be dangerous.  After all, tomorrow becomes today when it arrives, so it’s really not a maintainable approach. 

If you’re in the early months (ok…years) of parenting and stuck in the mode of “survival waiting” (waiting to sleep, waiting to eat, waiting for your partner to return home and save you from your sleep-deprived self), I feel for you.  It is really hard and it can do really nasty things to your motivation and sense of self.  You can get lost in the cycle of waiting – and forget almost completely at times to enjoy the moment you are in.  I know that talk is cheap, and that most things are easier said than done…but if you can try to remind yourself that things WILL get easier, that the time WILL pass without you needing to sit and watch the clock, and all the things you are waiting for will eventually arrive, it may help bring you back into the living moment.  Try to stop focusing on passing the time and start focusing on enjoying the moment for what it brings.

Again, I know, not the sort of stuff you need someone telling you when you’ve got a screaming newborn in your arms and you’re functioning on an hour’s sleep…Perhaps reserve the “survival waiting” for moments like these?

As a parent I’ve found myself saying these sorts of things on a regular basis:

It’ll be easier when they are sleeping through the night. It’ll be easier when they can feed themselves.  It’ll be easier when they can talk, walk, dress themselves, explain what’s hurting, tell me when they’re hungry…the list goes on and on.  It is so easy to fall into this cycle of thinking, and I’m sure it’s pre-programmed in us to get us through the tough times.  But…and I know I risk coming out sounding like an annoying twat, the time really does pass so quickly.  Before you know it they’re off to kindy, dressing themselves and telling you the “right” way to cook their dinner and fix their hair.  We can waste away a lot of these precious baby moments whilst we’re focused on waiting for the next phase to start.  And besides, the reality is that no matter how much hope you are pinning on the next phase solving your current difficulties it will inevitably bring with it its own set of unique challenges. 

There are many other types of waiting, “sanity waiting” for the kids to go to bed so you have you time out, gather your thoughts and do stuff for yourself.  There’s “fear waiting” for the perfect time to follow your dreams, indulge your passions, take that leap of faith.  There’s “anticipation waiting” for the holiday, the weekend, the next big event.  No matter what type of waiting it is, it all comes back to the same dilemma.  Whilst we’re busy waiting, our focus is taken away from the given moment.  Sometimes that moment is bad.  Sometimes it’s boring.  Sometimes it’s tough.  Sometimes it doesn’t bear thinking about.  But sometimes it is great, precious, unable to be captured… sometimes it’s beautiful. 

So let’s try to stop this waiting game, or at least put the brakes on it a little bit.  The time is now.  Enjoy it, indulge in it, live it, survive it, treasure it and put your faith in knowing that everything will continue to tick along in the background with or without you urging it along.