Family Holidays: Better in theory than practice

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This post is the third & final in a series brought to you by Aussie’s New Platinum Card. They asked me to share a few travel & shopping stories. The new platinum card offers a low rate, low fees, no international transaction fees on purchases, extended warranty insurance and complimentary international travel insurance. 

It’s been said many a time before that holidaying with kids is like not taking a holiday at all. It always seems good in theory, looking at your hotel’s website a few times every day from the middle of your everyday mundane life but yet when you are actually there, all four of you sharing the one hotel room, with no one getting sleep and kids complaining that they are “bored” and that this is “stupid” it seems far from it.

We planned our first “overseas family trip” to Fiji back in 2010. It was meant as a last hurrah of my maternity leave before I went back to work. Harper was just 5 months old and Daisy 3. I was exhausted and cranky most of the time and Rob was well, Rob. Calm. Patient. Kind. Understanding. We chose a resort to go to and daily I would click on that website looking at pictures, imagining myself sitting by the pool, with a cocktail in hand. In my head, and on the net (and actually in reality) it looked like this:

What you can’t see is just left of this shot was an overtired 3 year old who was running around ripping those cushions off those comfy chairs and basically tearing the place apart. You don’t see the baby, in her pram being pushed back and forth, back and forth, willing her to sleep for what seemed like hours at a time only to have her fall asleep too late and had to be woken to make sure she slept through the night. Or the mother, who didn’t really think through the whole post baby getting into swimmers in public view with breastfeeding boobs that were so large and unattractive that they would have put any potential mothers off having children. Ever. And The Dad, having a cocktail and having a lovely old time.

The days were long, starting well and truly in the 5’s whereby the toddler awoke and demanded to go swimming. NOW! Everyone staying in the same room meant that it was imperative if anyone was going to get some sleep to monitor noise and light levels – whipping the loud toddler out when the baby was sleeping, or not sleeping and keeping the crying baby from the exhausted toddler when she eventually collapsed into slumber. I’m not sure where the adults fitted into the picture – especially at night having to go to bed at 7.30pm because well, there was nothing else to do when you can’t make much noise. I think we read? It’s hard to remember.

Dinner always seemed like a good idea at the time, but in reality was a highly stressful affair as I worried unnecessarily about people who were actually trying to have a lovely romantic time without us ruining it for them. Delightful plates were scoffed down in 2.4 minutes while holding the baby on my lap letting her chew on a chip (who cares if she wasn’t on solid’s yet) just so I could eat something, before retiring for the night at 7pm.

But for all that, there were these moments:

The time together for a week. The fun we had in the pool. The beautiful people of Fiji who adored the girls. Enjoying warm weather and long days when at home it was getting cold and dark. Time to read. Hours to just be. Not cooking any food for anyone for a week. Not having to wash clothes.

Which, much like child birth, are the only bits I really remember.

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  1. I swear to GOD you are a Barrie sister – feeding your pre-solids 5MO baby a chip – HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA xo

  2. Honey I don’t even have kids and I have similar experiences. I think we are so desperate for the perfect holiday (all that mooning over the websites!) that we romantise it WAY beyond any realistic expectations. But I keep doing it time and time again! I never learn my lesson =)

  3. Hehe… we did the same thing with a 2.5 year old and a 7 month old to Malaysia. I wasn’t breast feeding anymore and had to boil the water and sterilise bottles in hotel sinks.

    It would take us a hour to leave the hotel room each day and it felt like just as someone had woken from their nap someone else needed one.

    Or we’d get to the pool and someone would poop their pants or need feeding or just crack it for the hell of it.

    I’ve have fond memories of the trip but it wasn’t relaxing.

  4. We went to Fiji last year with a 18 month old and a 3 year old. It rained most of the week, my husband hurt his back and was actually quite cold. To top it all off the toddler came down with Hand, Foot & Mouth (aka blisters inside his mouth & all over his face, hands and legs) on the first day and was prone to spontaneous nose bleeds! All I truly think of now… a lovely week with my family.

  5. Thanks for sharing your wonderful holiday. Our holidays usually consisted of going to a seaside place in our southwest and often taking our 3 young granddaughters with us. Nothing exotic but very, very enjoyable and lots of fun.

  6. JUST got back from a holiday in Florida and I swear we were in Fiji together instead. You with your kiddos and me with the 3 year old C:

  7. Anonymous says

    Far out that post just summed up our recent trip to Bali! However throw in a case of Bali belly for the 4 yr old and one out of date passport for my husband that made him arrive 4 days late, leaving me to wrangle both kids without him!
    I think i returned feeling worse than before i left!

  8. Off tomorrow morning to Fiji with my very nearly 2 and 3 year old! I was…very much looking forward to it…now I’m slightly petrified…

  9. WHAT THE?!? ^^^^^^

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