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Holiday Freedom

Holidays are great aren’t they? Honestly just a few days away from the office, the chores, the everyday stress that we all deal with has such restorative powers. Actually to be honest we were camping so I didn’t leave all the chores behind, but washing up in a bucket watching the sun go down is pretty different to loading the dishwasher. Making the girls’ supper whilst they built a den with some kids from the tent opposite ours is a bit different from hearing the dulcet tones of Jake and the Neverland Pirates wafting in from the living room.

In fact camping creates it’s own kind of freedom. We had no power socket so our phones died by the end of the first day (the iphone battery being what it is), that fact alone disconnects you from the normal world you inhabit. Slightly unnerving at times, (was Mabel still alive? had the house burnt down?) but then it’s only what we all did as kids. No mobiles then either. Life becomes very basic very quickly. The girls adapted brilliantly and I’m quite surprised to say I did to.

Actually I ought to bring myself back from my Swiss Family Robinson reverie and confess a few things:

- we were only in a tent for 4 nights
- I had my own tent (him indoors and the girls shared. I know I’m a terrible mother, but also the lightest sleeper in the known universe and he knew I’d be a grumpy pain in the arse otherwise)
- on day 5 we moved to a mobile home (oh the glamour) and the rest of my in laws joined, which for the avoidance of doubt, was a very Good Thing.

Every time we go on holiday I’m reminded of what amazing children I have and of what a great Dad they have. Him indoors really loves camping with them. He gets very tent-proud. I learnt quickly that a tidy tent is a happy tent (I wonder if I put a load of canvas up in the house he’d have the same attitude at home, could be worth a try…).

Him indoors and Tilly

Him indoors and Tilly

Lots of swimming meant that Eliza has learnt to swim without arm bands or a float, which is brilliant and up there with the stabilisers coming off, Tilly has become really confident too. In fact Tilly’s daredevil side is a little unnerving. She is the classic ‘you need eyes in the back of your head’ child. We had a few scary moments with her. I’ll leave them to become dim and distant memories.

The beach was a short walk away, with a late high tide which meant there were lots of exciting things to be found in the rock pools, the girls found Starfish, hermit crabs and other wondrous creatures. Tilly found lots of seaweed, she was very excited. Eliza is not squeamish, I am. Some of the creatures of the deep I’d rather not hold in my hand, she’s game for anything.

There's a hermit crab in there, honestly.

There’s a hermit crab in there, honestly.

Of course all that fresh sea air, swimming, playing and generally not stopping from the moment they woke up to the moment they fell asleep, exhausted and happy, ready for dreams of living in giant sandcastles, meant they slept well.

They ate well, Tilly loves mussels, and they didn’t snack all day long which proves my point that snacking is borne from boredom.

The girls absolutely loved spending so much time with their cousins, aunts, uncle and grandma. It was the kind of family holiday I would have loved as a child too. Always something going on, people to play with, grown ups to read you stories and give you special treats and tell you interesting things. Just perfect. It was very special.

We arrived back on Thursday, which meant we had 4 days before the return to normality, that was good for me and good for the girls. Every day they asked me ‘Is it a mummy day?’ and the excited giggles that followed the answer were worth the odd fight I had to break up when deciding who would be the doctor and who would be the patient in their game (answer? dollies can be patients, you’re both highly skilled surgeons. Aim high girls!).

I still haven’t learned how to split myself in two, I’m hoping some bright spark will come up with that trick in my lifetime. It would make life so much easier. Then I could cuddle them both at the same time and not get told that I give Tilly more attention (which I categorically don’t).

But Monday morning on the train going back to work I had a heavy heart. I like my job and I’m happy with it, but my proper job, the being a mum job beats it hands down. How could it not?



  1. You know you’ve had a fabulous time when you feel like that on a Monday morning. You childrens father sounds lovely and so does your holiday. I, for one, do not like camping but it sounds completely different for you :) Thank you so much for linking to PoCoLo and hope to see you tomorrow x

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