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  • Writer's pictureTo Become A Mother

Five tips for a better holiday

Your holiday is just around the corner. You can’t wait to put work deadlines, laundry baskets and the general everyday grind to the side for a week away with your family. But idyll can easily turn into chaos when the children argue, your partner is spellbound by his phone or the rain is pouring down. Here we share five lessons that we have learnt from holidaying with small children.



Ease into your holiday


For many of us there are loads of things that we must finish before we go on holiday. We therefore crank up the tempo to get everything done, running even faster than usual. But when the long-awaited vacation is finally upon us, we are so wired that it can feel impossible to switch off and relax. The contrast between the high paced life at home and the slow holiday plodding can be tricky for everyone in the family to navigate, including the children. So give yourself, and your family, time to settle into the holiday. Accept that the first few days will be a transition for everyone and that conflicts may erupt. Lower your expectations and cut your family some slack – you will all get into the swing of holidaying in no time, wondering if you will ever be able to cope with the higher tempo at home again!


Be together


Being a parent to young children is hard work. There is always a long list of things to do – nappy changes, feeding, tidying, entertaining and comforting – and sadly, these tasks don’t disappear when you go away. On the contrary, with the children out of their usual routines, it can seem like even harder work than usual. Whilst it can feel exhausting at times, try to accept that this is how life is with small children. Take things at a leisurely pace and do them together as a team – often it doesn’t really matter what you do when you are together as a family.


Focus on the good things


What you focus on will take up space. Therefore, instead of feeling depressed about the rain or frustrated by you children’s mess, try to shift your attention to the good things. The cup of coffee your partner made you this morning, the card games you played after dinner and simply just the fact that you are away together as a family. We don’t need to pretend that everything is great (even when on holiday!), but if we pay attention to the good things in our life, we generally feel happier and more content.


Prioritise your relationship


Life can be extremely busy, particularly in the run up to a holiday. We therefore often come to the holiday exhausted, restless and stressed, feeling further apart than ever from our partner. The holiday can be a good time to try to reconnect with each other. Ask each other what your respective expectations are for the holiday and what each of you need from the other. As parents, it is easy to focus the attention on the children’s needs and forget about each other. But when the parents are happy, the entire family is often happier. Investing some time in each other is therefore a worthwhile investment for the entire family!


Adjust your expectations


It can be difficult to do the things you normally associate with a vacation when you go away with young children. Nap times, bed times and meal times all put spanners in the works when it comes to spontaneity and adventure. Try not to stress about all the things you cannot do and instead make the most of the time you have together. Take a nap yourself when the children sleep, do shorter excursions in the morning when the children are awake and have nice dinners at home instead of going out. You’ll still come back with loads of memories – even if they were made by the paddling pool in the garden as opposed to the beach!

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