Many mothers worry that holidaying with kids is not possible. But is it? Is having children really the end of holidays and travel?
Have you ever heard that saying ‘a holiday is the same sh*t in a different location?’ when it comes to parenting children on holidays? It’s a pretty common occurrence that parents will face the same battles in parenting as they do at home – but just located in a different place.
This happened to me when I recently went away for four nights on a mum and kids trip. It was supposed to be heaven. The kids had friends to play with and I had MY friends to “play” with (aka relax by the pool drinking cocktails). All of the kids are older now – they ranged from 9 years to 14 years – so parenting is so much easier. Supposed to be. Except I had one little girl (9 years old) who missed her daddy SOOOO MUCH, that she couldn’t have fun. There were a LOT of tears, and a LOT of grumpiness (by both of us!). Our happiness as a mum is dependent on our kids’ happiness, right?
I want you all to know that I get it. It is holiday season in Australia because of summer school holidays and many families go away. They also go away to visit friends and family for Christmas. I get that holidays after children don’t equal the relaxing, fun filled holidays that might have once been.
It might be that your baby or toddler doesn’t sleep well in another location. They become whingey when out of their comfort zone of home and routine. You might not be able to access food that your toddler or young children are familiar with.
Does this mean that holidaying with kids is not possible?
I guess it really depends on the values you and your partner possess. How important is it to you both to continue travelling? Do you want to continue travelling to foreign places to learn about history and explore? Or, do you prefer a holiday in Fiji where you can swim in the pool and play on the beach? Are you the type of family who embrace camping, and you travel from caravan park to national park and everywhere in between?
Some families accept that they will slow down with their children are very young and they might travel in a different way to when they were childless. Others motor onwards, and help their children adapt to their way of life, their way of travel.
There are many things we can do to help our children on the road. Some mums choose to use baby carriers for babies and toddlers so that their hands are free to carry luggage, they can go on sightseeing walks and tours whilst carrying the children. We can use cheap strollers to push three or four year olds around foreign cities when they get so tired they can’t walk. Families can camp anywhere, anytime, and babies and toddlers can sleep on a mattress under a tree during the day.
But how do you help a child with their emotions on holiday? When they are exhausted, when they are out of routine, when they are missing someone? Go back to basics. Be there. Hold your child. Provide whatever comforts are helpful. My kids took a t-shirt each of their dad’s on our recent trip. They slept with the t-shirts. It gave them comfort. You can use skin-to-skin to help settle a baby or toddler who is just ‘out of sorts’.
Holidaying with kids doesn’t have to be a disaster. It is just different. It will be something that you also adjust to, get better at, and come to terms with as time goes by. It is MUCH easier now that the kids are older. Even though there are often still issues, they are different, and they are easier.
Join the village to find out more about how to support mothers in their adventures with their kids. https://makingmamavillage.com.au/