Holidays before children
Pack a bag then rock up at the airport to be informed you have been upgraded to premium economy. Then fly to a far away place, lie on a lounger, sip a cocktail, close your eyes and let the sun warm your body. Lie like this for at least an hour (I am literally salivating at the thought).
Mosey leisurely back to the hotel for the all-inclusive lunch and then spend a few more hours relaxing by the pool. Have your evening meal, drink more cocktails, go to bed….
Repeat, every day.
Holidays after children
Research how the hell to keep babies/toddlers occupied on long haul flights. Scour the internet to find out which car seats are allowed on planes. Turn up with a car seat purchased especially for the flight only to be told it is the wrong one!
Wrestle your way through the airport with one car seat, one buggy, one baby, one nappy-bag, two carry on bags and three suitcases. Know without any doubt that you will not be considered for an upgrade.
Load baby/toddler into their plane seats while people in surroundings seats look at you like lepers and request to be moved away (crying babies on long haul night flights are not anyone’s idea of fun). Secretly wish you could move too.
Spend entire flight on edge in case baby/toddler kicks off. Feel wave of relief when finally at destination only to remember, there are still a million queues to negotiate with baby/toddler plus paraphernalia.
Walk straight past easy-peasy bus transfers to hire car, and drive to hotel while completely exhausted. Finally, arrive at your self-catering apartment, to find all the supermarkets are closed. All sit down to a few tubs of baby food.
Only saving grace is that baby/toddler has slept nearly the whole journey. Go to bed. Baby/toddler wakes and cries/moans for the next 8 hours, as they are not tired.
Wake up feeling exhausted but looking forward to a day on the beach. Spend the day on the beach trying to stop baby/toddler, eating sand, throwing sand, drowning, swallowing stones, drinking seawater, running, crawling or rolling away.
Go back to hotel room, all sleep for 2 whole hours while baby/toddler sleeps (as this is the only sleep you will get all holiday). Wake up and realise you have missed the lunch buffet. All sit down to a few tubs of baby food.
Repeat this pattern everyday. Return from your holiday needing a holiday.
Helen is a trained journalist and early years teacher, she is also Mum to awesome toddler Benji. Helen loves dancing around and singing in the lounge with her little man…living the dream!
Photo credit: Kevin Poh (cc) Flikr 2015