Well, we are back from our week away in Hamilton Island and I know its a cliche to say but I feel like we need another one already!
Yes, yes I am.
You see, and anyone with kids will stand by me (fingers crossed) holidays with children aren’t exactly relaxing are they?
They are so many other things. So many other wonderful things. But they’re not relaxing.
Our week away started as what can only be described as extremely traumatic.
We boarded our first flight to Sydney early Monday morning. Along with, oh about 300 men and women in suits.
That, then and there, was Billy’s cue to scream bloody murder and make those business people so glad they were trapped on a plane with Linda Blair!
I’m not exaggerating. Think of the world’s highest pitch scream, throw in some violent kicks and punches, and a lot of thrashing. For an hour. And you get the gist.
We landed and I made a crack about being the best kind of contraception…which was met with nods and few laughs. Tough crowd.
But that was only stage one of our journey. We then had to board an even smaller plane for the second part, which was twice as long as the first.
Billy kindly only screamed for half of it before wearing himself out and sleeping for 40 minutes, then screamed a little more.
We disembarked looking dishevelled and like we had been through an exorcism. But we were finally in paradise. And anyone who has been to Hamilton Island would agree, it is a little slice of heaven.
Mid-week I had this huge epiphany.
“Look at the kids” I said to my husband.
“They are so happy just playing, without a single toy. We don’t need all that crap in our house. Let’s get rid of it.”
“Uh-huh” My husband replied, knowing exactly what I would do.
By Saturday, I’d changed my mind (hate it when he’s right)! They were fighting over leaves. Seriously. One of them took a leaf off the other and all hell broke loose. I quickly realised that if they’re going to fight over nature, then the fighting they do over Lego is probably pretty normal.
We successfully attempted two dinners out. I even had a cocktail and ate my meal without little fingers and hands touching everything on my plate.
The key seemed to be getting in early (think 4.30pm) ordering and eating by 5pm. We virtually had the restaurant to ourselves and the kids weren’t at the point of no return (aka witching hours).
We basically kept everything simple. We focussed on time together. All of us.
Holidays of the past have been about getting time out and recharging but frankly that is impossible with three small children. It is downright unfair and unsafe for one person to have the responsibility of three little kids near water. Or at least that was my husband’s excuse (nicely played!).
As we wrapped up our week away we were blessed with Billy sleeping for the entire trip home. An early morning swim wearing him out enough, thank god!!
So, would we do it again. Yes, absolutely, and we will. Travelling with small children is not easy. But it is worth it.
The boys said they had the best time of their lives. They won’t remember the three hours trapped on a plane with a screaming toddler. They’ll remember the afternoons looking for sea creatures in rock pools and the fish and chips on the beach.
Me, well I may take a little longer to recover from the hell on the plane, but while I am no less weary, my heart it full to the brim, and that is all that matters.
Have you travelled with kids? What works/doesn’t work for you?