Do you aim to relax and unwind on holidays?
Do you enjoy lazy late evening meals?
Do you look forward to long lie ins and leisurely breakfasts?
If so, a Family Holiday is NOT what you need…
Oh great here she is again, bitching and moaning… well no actually I’m not, so read on or keep moving!
Here I lie at what I consider stupid o’clock in the morning for the second day in a row, creeping in and out of the room next door trying to keep one small boy quiet so the even smaller boy can squeeze an extra chunk of sleep in before another busy day.
I would pat myself on the back only the real credit needs to go to Steve Jobs and his proteges…
We are at the end of our first family getaway that didn’t involve sleeping at either set of grandparents’ houses.
Yes the baby is 4. Yes we are extremely neglective parents.
I lie, we did have a few days in Majorca when the eldest was only 6 months old, there were no late meals or leisurely breakfasts then, and there wasn’t a whole pile of sleep either.
We also took him to Dublin for what was meant to be two nights in a nice hotel when he was 18 months old. Suffice to say we did NOT stay two nights and I had a mild/moderate form of PTSD after it.
Hence we have not attempted this since then.
Over four years on I felt that it was time to suck it up and go somewhere. The eldest is heading for Senior Infants, the baby is 4 and only now do I feel like they would actually enjoy and appreciate a good trip away.
Well, appreciate is a stretch…
So after much frustration I managed to find some suitable accommodation in the form of a two-bed apartment in Dublin city. Basic but reasonably priced, good locatoon, plenty of space, ideal.
I had myself in knots trying to get ahead & have as much pre-thought out as possible to make things go as smoothly as possible.
I am very satisfied and slightly smug to say that it worked.
Dublin Zoo on day 1 after our 2+ hour drive, Tayto Park for day 2, and when it is not-so-stupid-o’clock today, we are heading over the bridge, hopping onto the Luas and getting some museum time before raiding a toy shop and heading home.
In fairness to them the boys have been excellent. They have enjoyed every second of it… I’m choosing to ignore the many many requests to know “are we at the exit yet” and the “this is boring” statements…
We had been given a tip by a family member to bring the buggy out of retirement for Tayto Park for the 4 year old, and my god that was a lifesaver. We also used it for the zoo and we will probably let him hop into it today for the spin around town. It allowed him to have a break from ALL the walking (so much walking!), it kept him safe when there were crowds and it also acted as a very useful pack horse!
The good ole Quinny definitely helped avoid what would have been many a meltdown.
Now getting back to my opening statements…
There has been a dangerously low amount of sleep…!
Well for me anyways… and Small Bro is also showing signs of fraying around the edges due to his room mate not wanting to shut the F up until 10pm each night and still waking at 6am🥴
There has been ZERO relaxing for Mammy and Daddy. The boys were up so late that as soon as they settled we just headed for bed ourselves, broken after the marathon of a day.
You need eyes on the back of your head in busy places and I wouldn’t say I was on edge while we were at the zoo & the park but you are just always on the watch, trying to avoid the sheer horror of a lost child.
We did have great fun at Tayto Park, we all really enjoyed it, but honestly the zoo is like an endurance test. They just want to leg it from one animal to the next, not stopping for more than 5 seconds to appreciate what they are actually looking at… that stresses me out, and pisses me off too if I’m honest.
The endless claims of starvation are a challenge too. It’s mostly just to see what else you are going to pull out of the magic backpack as opposed to actual hunger, but either way, annoying…
There were no leisurely breakfasts. There were multiple breakfasts eaten but zero leisureliness…
I have to say we were pleasantly surprised with our dinners though. We wandered a bit the first night & got directed to what ended up being an amazing steak restaurant, it had a good kids menu, staff were lovely and the food (and wine) was so so good.
Steve Jobs stepped in to keep the peace again while we waited for the food and everyone was happy.
On night two Hubby found a nice Italian place so we had a very swift but tasty pizza dinner there with no drama. That’s about as good as it gets when eating out with these two uncultured creatures.
My sister-in-law rightly said that once you just accept that these trips are not about you and that you will be sleep-deprived and exhausted, then it makes it easier.
And she was right.
Family holidays are NOT for relaxing or unwinding. There will be feck all sleep had. There will be too much screen time in the car or at the table. There will be far too many treats and way too much sugar consumed. We will feel like we have the worlds worst hangover for a week after we get home.
Family holidays are just chaos.
They really are NOT suitable for adults.
But we do it anyways.
And by Jesus they better have made some feckin lifelong memories!!!