Wednesday, 28 July 2010

From holiday bars to baby baths!

Mrs B and I have just returned from a week-long holiday in France, our last holiday before the arrival of Baby B. Peace, quiet, relaxation and pure, unadulterated slothfulness were all that was on our agenda for the duration of our 'babymoon,' with the extent of our physical exertion beginning and ending with turning the pages of our books.

Why then, upon our return and in our state of zen-like inner-peace, does everyone seem to sadistically revel in telling us how it is all going to change with the arrival of our little one?

We know that holidays will never be the same again, that we won't be able to spend the nights in the local bars and the mornings sleeping off our hangovers. We know that our nice, compact suitcase will be supplemented with tonnes of assorted baby freight and we know that we'll be swapping day trips to nowhere in particular for military-style excursions to Disney (or more frugal alternatives).
What we don't need is other parents telling us how awful it is all going to be. For starters, why does it need to be awful? Yes, I don't doubt for a second that it is going to be hard work, but surely the joy of taking your offspring with you outweighs the hardship? And would these parents really have it any other way? Ok, some may prefer to leave their kids with childminders or play schemes in order to have half an hour to themselves, but holidays are part and parcel of family life and we're, perhaps ignorantly, looking forward to it.

Of course we are also well aware of the fact that our choice of holiday location will have to change. I doubt very much whether, next summer, our six-month-old will fully appreciate the significance of a walk along the great wall of China, or be able to join us on a scuba-diving trip to the Red Sea. So, I have a funny feeling that we will be staycationing in the UK next year, but what on earth is wrong with that? I can't wait.

Are holidays with babies and toddlers all that bad? Share your stories in the comments below. 
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1 comment:

  1. It's different, but it IS wonderful. Maybe it's because my husband and I got married at 20 and had our first baby at 22, so we didn't have much time to get used to a lot of drinking (we are in the US, gotta be 21), but it's highly overrated.

    Seeing the amazed look on my 18-month-old's face as she met Winnie the Pooh and Tigger at Disney World? Awesome. Holding her little hand when she was two and walked on the beach the first time? Priceless. There is nothing as fun as introducing the kids to things we enjoyed as children. We don't even want to go anywhere without them anytime soon. We'd spend the whole time thinking how much our 3-year-old would've loved this or that activity.

    So don't worry. It's a trade-off, but I think sharing life with children is so much greater.