It feels like SO long since I’ve written. We are now back from our lovely family holiday and as wonderful as it was, it’s nice to be home.
It was back when I was pregnant the idea of a family holiday came up. At first I was reluctant; I had envisaged our first family holiday being just the three of us. But this holiday would be with all of Sam’s family; parents, sisters and brothers and significant others. And I was a bit worried that it might be a bit overwhelming and hectic. But once Josh had arrived and as I’ve settled into motherhood, I soon became very excited at the idea of a break and 10 built in babysitters!
The other thing I was slightly worried about was the epic journey. Given that we live 6 miles from the most easterly point in the UK, a drive to Cornwall with a 7 month old did daunt me rather a lot! So we decided to set off at the crack of dawn (4.30am !!) in the hope we’d get a decent head start. Thankfully we did and factoring in two decent stops for breakfast and lunch, we had a fairly decent journey. We didn’t arrive at the holiday house until gone 3pm that day so it had been nearly 12 hours, but when we stopped it was for a couple of hours each time. I can’t stress enough the importance of getting the little one out for regular breaks, not just for the obvious safety reasons, but to perk them up a bit. Josh was so pleased to get out of the car seat and take in some new surroundings and I was so grateful that a lot of the time he was in the car seat, he slept.
We were thrilled to arrive at our new digs! The house was absolutely gorgeous, and enormous. Everyone had a really decent sized room, complete with ensuites plus additional gorgeous luxury bathrooms. There were even two lounges which was a godsend when we wanted to put the kids in one room, and watch the tennis in the other room!
Cornwall is of course, beautiful. I’ve spent many family holidays there and loved suggesting places to go. There was something so special about taking Josh to beaches I spent my childhood on. One day Sam, Josh and I had a day to ourselves, and went further down the coast to St Ives and Mousehole. These places were spots I visited with my family pretty much every year of my childhood and it was so lovely watching Sam take Josh around in his back carrier (which, by the way, I cannot recommend having enough. Josh loved being in it) and showing him the rock pools that I can so clearly remember paddling in as a child.
We had several lovely days out as a family too. It was of course chaos with 10 adults, 2 toddlers and a baby, but we were all hands on deck and made it work. It was lovely to spend time together, and watch the kids running around. Of course it wasn’t always plain sailing; there were times people were tired or just not in the mood to do what everyone else wanted. But in this situation it is best to be honest, something my in laws encouraged, and if people wanted to go off and do their own thing they should. We did do this a couple of times, and although it was lovely, I did feel a bit guilty. Sam is very close to his family and would have happily spent every minute all together, where as it was very important to me that we also had time together just the 3 of us. I feel very fortunate that they understood this and didn’t feel at all offended.
Of course the one thing I did learn on this holiday is that once a baby is involved it isn’t entirely holiday like anymore. Josh is cutting his first tooth and he has had an awful cold so he was quite miserable at times, and didn’t sleep particularly well. So some days I’d had only a couple of hours sleep and when you aren’t in the comfort of your own home, this can be hard to handle. I was grateful that my sisters in law and mother in law would take him off my hands for a bit and one morning Sam took him out so I could have a (much deserved) lie in!! But when you’re tired and grumpy it can be hard to be in the holiday mode and I did say to Sam that in some ways our experience of the holiday will have been a different one; he could sleep much more, feel rested after all his hard work recently, and appreciate having a break. And as much as I had a lovely time, it did sometimes just feel like I was just looking after Josh in a different location, rather than having a holiday. I know that might sound a bit bitter and I don’t mean it to, but that’s the price we pay for motherhood. Because it’s not going to be all cocktails on the beach and uninterrupted sunbathing. It’s about making memories for my son, making sure he has wonderful holidays to look back on with his cousins, grandparents and aunties and uncles. It’s about being a proud Mum showing him sand on the beach and dipping his little toes in the sea. And some nights, it is about letting someone else have the baby so you can have a few hours break to enjoy a cold Sauvignon Blanc and a book in the garden…. bliss!
All in all, we had a great holiday. I was spoilt and well looked after. And on this rollercoaster journey of motherhood, it was yet another eye opener. Sometimes I can be very naive but every day, I am learning, I am understanding more and more how different my life is. And I wouldn’t change a moment of it! And I should also end this post by thanking my lovely family for a wonderful holiday and all their help.
Here’s to making memories!