Toddlers, the mini tyrants of this world. They are the Kim Jong-un of the small persons world. We love them but toddlers are hard work, fact. Anyone saying otherwise is delusional, lying, or has help. And despite being so little, they contain a huge amount of energy that springs into action from the moment they open their eyes in the morning. I’ve yet to find an off switch. Especially when mummy has a hangover. When I think back to those early hazy days with a new-born, they’re like the holy grail. Okay, okay so there are some sleep issues and you’re running on empty, but when you finally venture out of the house, leaky boobs strapped down and downstairs bits not aching anymore, you can generally sit (or do the manic rocking holding the baby) and drink coffee and actually talk to friends. And I mean, actually have a proper five minute conversation uninterrupted. You’re not having to physically grapple muffins you haven’t paid for from a small child, and you’re not having to chase after your child whose legged it with the next tables pastries. As I attempted some menial tasks recently which the kid was making rather difficult, I started thinking about all of the easy, simple things we should be able to do that are made impossible or certainly a tad more stressful because of little people. Obviously this list could go on for ever, but here are a few things that sprang to mind.
Hello there. How is everyone? Did everyone survive Christmas unscathed? I did, just about although I’ve come out the other side another year older and the kid was sick on, yep you guessed it, Christmas Day, so that was fun. These things pick their moments don’t they *rolls-eyes*. Because of the eternal coughing, throat clearing and nose blowing that’s been taking place, I’ve not really felt in the mood for writing and having a break from it all at this time of year is rather nice. But, on the eve of what is a New Year, it seemed appropriate to stick some words down, for my own benefit really.
After my last post talking about how lovely our house was in France, that made a family holiday sound rather wonderful, right? Well, now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty, how to survive two weeks away with fourteen other human beings, that happen to all be your family! If you get along with your family like I do, then group holidays with them can be great fun, you’re on holiday with people you love and want to spend time with, you get along with everyone and know the general traits of those with you, you get free child care and you make some fantastic fun memories. But, but, but, let’s not rose tint it, it can be hard work especially if like me you’re going away with quite a large group. There’s always a lot of clearing up, swimming costumes on the floor to pick up, dishwashers to empty and potential arguing between the kids etc. It often is your routine at home but multiplied. So, if you want to get the most out of your time away, and if you want to come out the other side unscathed, here’s my tongue-in-cheek guide to surviving a family holiday.
The National Trust to me when I was in my twenties, was just for old people. It conjured up images of boring old buildings with lots of grey haired walkers wondering about in mud clad boots. Fast forward to now and actually that last image isn’t far wrong, but there is a whole lot more to the National Trust than just the older generation. It’s effectively a conservation organisation, founded in 1895 it protects country houses, gardens, grounds, coastlines and historic landscapes. It’s a lifesaver when it comes to saving our beautiful countryside, but I’ve also learnt that it’s a fantastic lifesaver for parents too. I bought myself membership last year and it’s one of the best things I’ve spent money on since having a baby. Membership gives me access to some great places, wide open spaces (unintentional rhyme), a bit of history, houses to nose around and of course, great coffee and cake too. Now that the kid is two, I can sometimes (sometimes) coerce her into a bit of walking, so NT places are great for exploring, climbing and just being outside in the fresh air. I’m a big believer (not beliber) of getting both me and her outside as much as possible, it keeps me sane and it wears her out, win win. Here are some of the awesome places that I’ve ventured to so far.
The husband and I headed down to Cornwall recently for a week of sunshine and relaxing with the kid. We’d been given some hotel vouchers so we decided to base a little trip around one night at a nice hotel, spending the rest of our time in a holiday park chalet. Now, I’ll be honest with you, despite having stayed in some very cheap and cheerful, hostels pre kid when I went travelling with the Mr, the types where the mattresses tipped inwards so you both slept in a dip, I turned my nose up at staying in a holiday park. As I’ve gotten older, I like certain comforts and to me and my inner snob, a holiday park conjured up images of dreary, chavy, loud arcades and chain smoker parents. Not my idea of a holiday. Possibly a bit unfair and biased? Yes, I know but I’m being honest and I didn’t think it was my cup of tea thank you. When we decided to go to Cornwall, I’d initially looked at lots of Air BnB houses and found a few lovely little places, but the Mr soon put these plans to rest as the price of a Haven Chalet was so cheap compared to what I was looking at. So he went ahead and booked it despite my reservations.