Yessss! It’s September!
I’m pleased about the new month starting for a few reasons. It’s my daughter’s 4th birthday later in the month (so we’ll be having a big party – imagine 30 pre-schoolers running around a hall while Demi Lovato warbles Let It Go and you’ve got it nailed), it’s Mr P’s birthday this month (his celebrations might feature fewer Frozen songs) and all of the shops start getting lovely big coats, boots and chunky knits in (although who am I kidding? I can’t pull off a chunky knit without looking, hmm, chunky myself).
But the main reason I’m excited about September? I’ve got TWO child-free breaks coming up. TWO!
I was chatting with a good friend the other day about being away from our kids. It’s one of those weird things that, as a parent, leaves you feeling torn. On one hand, you know you’ll miss your children. But on the other hand… WOO HOO!
At the moment, I’m definitely veering towards the latter reaction. I know I’ll miss my daughter loads while I’m away but I think that cocktail drinking and book reading will soften the blow. So where am I going? Well, first up, next week, I’m off the Greek island of Rhodes. Mark Warner are taking ten bloggers to their Levante Beach resort for four nights and I can’t bloody wait. I’m thinking that four nights is probably the perfect number of nights for a child-free break, as I’ll love the novelty of feeling free without the heart wrenching misery of pining for my child. Of course, knowing she is at home with her dad will make it practically guilt-free.
Later in the month, Mr P and I are going to Barcelona for three nights to see family who are going to be holidaying there, and to celebrate Mr P’s birthday. The three-year-old (hang on, she’ll be four then!) will be staying with her grandparents while we head off on a city break. Every time I close my eyes, I can see red wine, tapas and the cobbled streets of the gothic quarter…
So does it make me a bad mum for being so excited (woooo!) about having two adults only breaks coming up? Of course it doesn’t. Just as it’s important to value your time as a family and create fun memories together, it’s important to have time out where you can be on your own or spend time as a couple. It’s healthy to have a balance and take time to think about yourself, what you want in life and what great things you could achieve next, and these are all things that people tend to think about when on holiday.
Of all the things (and there are many) that I’m looking forward to, about my child-free breaks, these are my top five:
1. Having a lie in
Do you even remember what they are like? No, no, I’m not talking about those lie ins your husband or partner might give you every weekend, where you’re woken at 6.30am by a stuffed animal being thrown at your head before listening to your child being ‘shushed’ lots while they’re taken downstairs for breakfast, then as you try to get back to sleep, all you can hear from the kitchen is: ‘I don’t WANT that bowl. I want the YELLOW one’ followed by the theme tune to Peppa Pig blasting from the TV. Not those lie ins. A proper one, where you don’t even stir until 9am and when you do, all you can here is silence. Lovely lovely silence. And maybe a bird chirupping from outside the window. Ahh bliss.
2. Being able to read a book by the pool
In my 20s, holidays meant two things: drinking wine every evening and reading books by the pool. They were a chance to properly relax and switch off from the real world. Now, holidays are about entertaining the kids whilst snatching moments of relaxation (thank goodness for kids’ clubs). They’re fun, but not the same. I’m going to take my Kindle away with me and read as much as I can.
3. Finishing a conversation
I don’t know about you, but if I have the three-year-old with me when I meet friends, I can forget about finishing a conversation. I can start lots of conversations, but you can guarantee that just as I’m getting to the crux of my point, my daughter will say, ‘Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!’ until I give her my attention. (She’s even taken to doing it and then when I say ‘Yes honey?’ she clearly has nothing she wants to say or ask, and so makes up something like ‘Why are you wearing a t-shirt?’) So being able to just chat and set the world to rights on holiday will be a treat.
4. Being able to take time over lunch
I’m really looking forward to having a leisurely meal – you know those ones where you sit, chatting for ages and then the waiter comes to take your order and you haven’t even looked at the menu? And you take so long to order dessert and then the bill, because you’re lost in the conversation (and the wine). It’s a far cry from lunches out as a family, where you have snatches of conversation (see point 3) while your child is colouring in with the free crayons, only to then have to spend ten minutes helping them do a pasta-themed word search then cajole them into eating their food. And as soon as the dessert is eaten, your child wants to go. Now. Like, now!
5. Coming home
I know, it kinds of defeats the purpose of the post, but whenever I go away (even overnight) I love coming home. Aside from the fact that no bed feels as comfy as your own, I love getting cuddles from my three-year-old. I was away overnight at a wedding last weekend, and when I got home, all she wanted to do was snuggle into me on the sofa (and feed me Hello Kitty birthday cake from the party she’d just been to). It’s the best feeling ever. ‘Mummy, don’t go away ever again!’ she said to me. It broke my heart. But not enough to cancel my upcoming child-free breaks…
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• This post is part of the Bad Mums’ Club – a series of posts by bloggers on our ‘failings’ as mums. Of course, we know we’re not really bad parents, but sometimes it’s good for the soul to confess a little and share the not-so-perfect side of parenting. If you’re a blogger and have a post like this, link it up below and we’ll come read your post. If you’re not a blogger, you can access all of this month’s Bad Mums’ Club posts below and have a nice little read. Don’t forget to visit Morgana, Aimee and Katie to read their Bad Mums’ Club posts!