Family Vacays – The PROS and CONS

School Holidays are over!  For some of us this means “thank fuck for that!”  but with my kids not at school yet we were relatively unaffected (with the exception of no school rush traffic – hooray!!!)  I have years of school holidays to look forward to but for now I’m enjoying not being part of that crazy little sub-world!  But it did lead me to think “what a great time for a holiday post!”

We recently returned from our family winter vacay….only cold, cold, cold and no snow – major let down! Anyway that’s a different “con”!

So while I was away organising, getting others ready and having NO TIME to myself, I thought to myself that yes family vacations are amazing and full of pros but they also have their “cons”!

Lets start with “cons” as it can only get better right?

CONS

  • I’m going to start with a biggie and just throw it out there – SEX! Most parents say “Sex? Whats that?”  After children your sex life dies a little…many reasons for it…but when on family vacay, where do you find the time? The kids are constantly wanting you and then when your own parents turn up well…!!!  It’s not as if you can just close the door and have a early night or get your freak on in the lounge!  Nope, it’s evenings of Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly;
  • Packing all the right things.  Let’s face it you mostly forget all the actual things you need and end up packing toys, books and a whole lot of other junk the kids wont even look at let alone use;
  • The connnnnnstant nagging! My view on vacations is that they’re meant to be relaxing and fun. Well relax is not something we did AT ALL. Every time we thought we had a moment of bliss the kids would start fighting, yelling, crying or just being outright naughty! (I’m not at all saying my kids are awful naughty children but they do have their moments as all children do);
  • The mess!  As some of you will know children are messy pups! There is just shit left, right and center!! Doesn’t matter where you go they create a shitstorm! Well mine do at least! And when you’re in someone else’s holiday house…weeee-eeelll you kind of feel obliged to not let it degrade to a filthy brothel-like state!  It’s just courtesy, ya know?  But vacation mess also includes all of the washing backlog, the packing and the unpacking – those bits suck!;
  • Moolah.  Always a huge part of vacations. Flights, accommodation, food or eating out, vehicle rental, experiences and activities…(experiences were differently a pro).  It’s always worth it but it can definitely hurt the wallet.  And now that Harper is 2, we’re looking at FOUR airfares, not three!

Right lets get to the Pros.

PROS

  • The beauty. Where ever you go there is always something beautiful to look at. Okay maybe not everywhere, but most places. Whether it be scenic, historic, art or cultural or just something that tickles your fancy, you can always find the happiness. I spent hours just looking at the mountains on our recent vacation and it made me feel at ease!  Sometimes you just need to get away to be able to see the beauty.  It can be hard to see the beauty in everyday life, because you STOP less frequently to behold it.  Vacays make you stop and see it.
  • Experiences.  Yes, some of these do cost but they are so good for the kids.  Experiences are often where you make your memories.  They’re often the stand out bits of vacays.  For example, we went to the hot pools which provided hours of entertainment for the kids which as a bonus also meant we got to soak and relax (and of course and watch our children with pure joy).  But this is something that the kids will remember (more so than, say, chilling at the holiday house);
  • The FREE experiences. These deserve a special mention because not everything has to cost money.  The lovely walks as a family, hunting for worms, scraping up the frost, teaching your children about where you are and how it became. This was differently a very big pro for me.
  • Watching my children enjoy a new place. For example taking them 4 wheel driving through fords or fishing and watching their faces explode with excitement (well Cohen at least, Harper slept through the whole thing!) is possibly the best thing in the world! Well it is for me anyway!
  • But the biggest and best PRO of all is spending time together as a family, with no where to be or no one needing you. You can just focus on the beautiful family you have created and enjoying being in their presence without having to rush to the next place or appointment.
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Cohen getting ready to go fishing with the boys!
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Harper on her adopted pooch

I asked my partner what his pros and cons were on our holiday.  This was his answer:

“A holiday is a holiday… its better than work.”

Maybe we need to look at the simpler side and just realise we are fucking lucky to be able to take our kids away and let them experience the joys of  a family vacay.

Maybe it’s my need to have everything perfect when we go away that means I’m not looking at the joy side of it. I’m looking at the tough bits. I’m sure I’m not alone in this (am I?! Please don’t say I am!)  It’s been a looooong time since I travelled on my own or have been on my own, and travelling with a crew who you are responsible for is always hard, so maybe this is why I associate vacays or travelling with being tough?

As women I feel the general consensus is that it is our job, even if we work or are a stay at home mum, to do the un-fun admin-y things. For instance we had to clean the house before we left, so in true male spirit the boys decided to go fishing just as the cleaning products came out.  When the cleaning was complete I went to see if they had caught anything.  And lo and behold, when I arrived the first thing out of the older males mouth was “I might go help clean up.”

Um hello that’s why I’m here it’s ALL DONE, the bags had been packed and everything has been cleaned and everything is ready for us to now get on the road!

I feel that in the past women have been made to all the house/children things! Yes in the PAST! But we are ALL on holiday so why should the females in the bunch have to stay behind and slave while males have fun?

Don’t get me wrong it’s not that this is an everyday thing in my household (you’re damn right it’s not) and I’m all for equal share but some people just suck it up and do it! It’s easier right, I mean what sort of male wants to clean a toilet that his kids have used, it’s not his grime why should he clean it? (This is something my partner says to wind me up! And it works. But I know he is tricking as he usually erupts into laughter after saying it, unless his game-face is real good that day.  Bastard.  Gets me every time).

So, to make up for all my hard work packing, cooking, bed making, cleaning and driving a long way and back, I made the most of the kids being stuck with Dean at the other end of the plane while I enjoyed the whole flight to myself.  Pure bliss baby.  He was not as stoked as I was (hehehe) but sometimes you’ve just got to suck it up mate!  Suck it up he did and I got some peace and quiet to write this post for you guys!

But you know what, I’d do it all again in a heart beat!  Although, I’m off to Melbourne all on my own soon…you know how earlier in this post I said I hadn’t travelled on my own in years?  Well that’s about to change!  ……Watch out Melbourne, Mum on the loose!

Fish
Obligatory fish photo when we were passing through Rakaia!

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