Last year, during the 6 week holidays Mr. Be and I took our two little ones to the Island of Kos in Greece for 7 days of sun, sand and sea. This was our first family holiday and I have to say that we could not have picked a more beautiful or child friendly island. I highly recommend Kos for family holidays, there is lots to do and it is a truly wonderful, family focused place.
We spent our days by the kids pool and waterslide eating ice cream and watching our little ones have a whale of a time in the water. We picked an all inclusive resort and spent meal times talking to the friendly wait staff and eating delicious fresh food that was plentiful and that offered an overwhelming variety of dishes. We rented a car and drove all over the island, stopping at beaches and little towns along the way. Had dinner watching the sun set and just made some unforgettable memories.
Although we had a fantastic time, travelling/holidaying with little ones is not always easy- they get bored, restless, homesick and can become quite clingy. Mr. Be and I quickly realized that we were not going to have much time to relax on holiday. Gone are the days of lying by the pool with a cocktail in one hand and good book in the other, well not on family holidays anyway. We devised sort of an unspoken shift operation so that one of us could be ‘relaxing’ (pretending too while rather passenger side parenting) while the other looked after the kids. This worked well when all was said and done but it’s safe to say once we landed back in England and drove home from the airport we were well and truly knackered and felt like we hadn’t really had a holiday or spent any time together.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so thankful that we had the opportunity to spend a week in a lovely place with our children and I love the fact that they talk about Greece and all the fun they had all the time. This really is joyous to me as I feel that children should experience different places and embrace different cultures and have fun doing it. By the end of our 7 days in Kos, I turned to Mr. Be and said…’mate, we need a holiday’. Needless to say, he felt the same.
We had just spent 7 solid days and nights together as a family. As mummy and daddy we had worked as a team to ensure the children were safe, happy, fed, bathed and well but had not done anything together or just chilled out. Apart from the absence of housework and cooking it was the same as being at home although much more intense as there was no school, work or nursery to break up the day.
It was at this point that we decided to do something we hadn’t done before…spend 2 nights away from the little people. We needed to spend some time together as Mr. and Mrs. Be, not as mummy and daddy. My mum agreed to have them for a weekend and that was it, we booked our flights and accommodation and had the most fantastic 2 nights and 3 days in Riva, Lake Garda. Simply amazing.
We spent days roaming, leisurely around the town, eating at quaint little restaurants, using the spa facilities at the hotel and genuinely just relaxing, talking, laughing and enjoying each others company, something that we hugely take for granted and I think almost forget to do. We felt guilty about leaving the kids, (well I did lol) but why? We spend 365 days of the year with them doing the best we can. Parenting is no joke, it can be really tough. Everyone needs a break now and then and that includes kids having a break from their parents. My two had a great time with their Nanny and were spoilt rotten! They loved it. Win, win!
In day to day life it is so so easy to distance yourself from your partner and have no idea that it is happening. Amongst the pick ups, drop offs, work, meetings, packed lunches, washing, ironing, nurturing, story telling, playing, social media distractions and everything else, I think we as parents forget about each other and ourselves. I’m not just talking about those intimate moments in the bedroom but those moments where you are watching something together on the sofa and laughing, or reading something together or even just eating dinner, discussing your day or whatever else after the kids are in bed. Those times are so so important to reconnect with each other. Use the time you have together to really spend time together, you deserve it.