As we come towards the end of our week’s holiday in France, I’m thinking about how different our holidays are now with a four month old baby in tow! Those of you reading my blog regularly will have probably come to realise how much I enjoy lists, so here’s another for you – the main differences between our holidays pre and post becoming parents:
I never have, and probably never will be, a morning person which makes getting up at such unearthly hours a pretty tricky part of being a mum, but somehow on holiday it feels even earlier, despite the hour’s time difference practically giving us a lie in! At 8.15am on previous holidays I would have without a doubt been fast asleep for at least another two hours, but now I am walking around the campsite pushing Roxy in her pram to try and get her back to sleep for her first nap of the day after already having been awake for an hour and a half!
2. Going out for dinner
Gone now are long evenings lingering over three courses of yummy food and bottles of wine, now we choose a restaurant based on four factors: how quickly they can serve our food in case Roxy starts screaming the place down, is it too hot/too cold (if only babies came with an inbuilt thermometer on their heads!), is it too noisy and is anyone smoking close by! If any restaurant does happen to meet our exacting criteria then we get in, order, eat, pay and leave in a speedy blur whilst rocking the pram back and forth the whole time in an attempt to at least keep Roxy quiet! After a couple of days we deduced that she’s enjoying her holiday far too much to want to sleep and miss any moment of it so we decided cooking meals at the caravan was a much less stressful solution!
I also used to spend a nice long time in the evenings getting dressed and doing my hair and make-up before going out for dinner but now I’m just grateful if I’m not still wearing my swimming costume come the evening and my hairdryer and straighteners haven’t even come out of the case!
Now neither David or I have ever been particularly competent swimmers, preferring to splash around for a short while in the shallow end just to cool down. Having never taken Roxanna swimming before we were unsure what she would make of it but it turns out this part of our holidays remains mainly unchanged. We are still trying to work out whether Roxy actually enjoys swimming or not! She has developed what we like to call her ‘swimming face’ which is an incredibly serious expression and complete silence whilst she seems to take in her surroundings and weigh up the possible risks involved!
Holidaying with a baby seems to need to run with military precision when it comes to timing your activities! Once Roxy has woken up from a nap, been fed and had her nappy changed we then seem to have about 17 minutes before she starts getting grouchy again so if we want to go to the beach or pool we have to go NOW and we have to be QUICK!! For example, a trip to the beach would have once consisted of a long lazy day of sunbathing on the sand and splashing in and out of the waves. But now we load up the pram like a packhorse with everything we could possibly need, walk the 10 mins to the sea front with Roxy happily cooing away in the pram. Then carefully but with some difficulty we lift the pram and all the other baby paraphernalia across the beach to a suitable spot only to discover that by now Roxy has decided that she’s had enough so if we’re lucky we can run down to the water’s edge to splash our feet in the sea for a minute or two then carry out the journey again in reverse but this time with Roxy crying in the pram the whole way back!
5. Temperature obsession!
When a holiday is getting close, we’ve all done it – studied the weather forecast to see how lovely and hot it will be in our chosen location! Now, however, the temperature has a whole new meaning – is the caravan too hot in the day, is it too cold at night?!? In the morning it’s overcast and we think it’s maybe too cold for swimming, so we wait till later and then the sun comes out and is it now too hot?!? Aaaaaargh!!!
So there you have it – that’s about the gist of our first family holiday. Very different – crazy, exhausting but really fun and special too, bring on the next one!!