One of the hardest things I’ve found as a parent is the relentlessness of it – it’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With young children even on a ‘holiday’, unless you have the luxury of child care, there’s no time off – the scenery may change but the demands don’t..in fact they’re exacerbated if you’re by water and they can’t swim..or applying sun tan lotion to a moving target..or cursing the lack of toys as the rain comes down..or wondering where the nearest pharmacy/doctor is..or suffering a hangover with a child bouncing on your head at five in the morning..no matter how beautiful the place there’s still meals to sort, cleaning to do, shoes to find..teeth to brush.
But now that Charlie is five, we seem to be turning that parenting-at-the-rock-face corner. And this holiday sort of proved it.
We wanted to know if we could find a back to basics, out on your bikes type of nostalgic freedom where we could let the kids roam free without a care in the world.
We based ourselves in a little holiday park where cars were banned, where there was an indoor swimming pool (although they still had to be accompanied to swim) a tennis court and a small playground and told them they could come and go as they wanted, even (this was the big one) out of sight…they wandered, made friends, played football, played tennis….and we sat outside in peace and quiet and read!! Unheard of…I finished a whole book!
The truth is modern day parenting has made the world smaller, more tense, less happy till it’s almost no better than pretending to sleep. Really..we don’t need the blister. Which doesn’t mean it’s easy to let go – we’ve all read or seen the horror stories. I just believe we need to do it and we need to do it more – freedom, boredom, security, love and benign neglect is a potent combination.
Which didn’t mean we didn’t do things as a family….we did. We just weren’t permanently chained together….there was room to breathe.
It helped that it was such a comely spot. I’ve rarely seen so many abundant, rampant wild flowers..
With lots to see and do.
A true holiday for ALL the family….We’ll be going back for more of the same.
Laters, Kate x