By HOLLY WAINWRIGHT
I look forward to a family holiday like a starving woman in sight of a breakfast buffet.
I crush on the very idea of not having anywhere to be at five-minutes-ago O’Clock, of it not mattering a jot if no-one wants to get out of their PJs til 11 and actually getting to have a conversation with my other half, rather than, you know, just verbally running through the epic ‘to-do’ list of life.
I salivate at the thought of taking the kids out for relaxed early dinners where we’re not rushing to a “school-night” bedtime deadline, at the idea that a change of scenery will mean a reprieve from the dreaded daily task list, and I cling to the idea that a change of pace will transform me from the mum I am – parenting style: shrieky banshee – to the mum I want to be – parenting style: chilled-out confidante.
And then it comes. And three days in, I want to go home. Badly. Because clearly, I’ve been suffering from family holiday amnesia.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many, many wonderful things about spending 24-7 with your loved ones in an unfamiliar location. But if you are on the brink – or slap-bang in the middle – of school holiday away time and are not loving it quite as much as you know you should, take heart. You’re not alone.
Here are the seven truths of the family holiday:
1. The first night will suck. The kids won’t sleep in a strange place, they’re too excited because the place is so awesome/terrible and they’re just so hyped-up/terrified. Plus, they’re out of routine and they slept in the car. That first holiday glass of wine is retreating further and further away with every failed bedtime attempt.
2. Everyone will get sick. You know that hospital/medical centre/GP you drove past on the way in? You should have taken the number down because you will need it. You will wile away lazy afternoons in the waiting room at A&E/ that quaint family doctor. Accident and illness love holidays as much as you did, before you left.