Early Summer Flowers x

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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 It helped that it was such a comely spot.  I’ve rarely seen so many abundant, rampant wild flowers..

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 With lots to see and do.

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Frog spotting..

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A true holiday for ALL the family….We’ll be going back for more of the same.

Laters, Kate x

16 comments

  1. dievca

    Sounds like a lovely time.
    Everything is scheduled in the City with Helicopter Parents or Caregivers about~ Playtime is organized and not spontaneous — if someone plays badly, the child doesn’t have the option NOT to ring the doorbell. It’s much better to roam, if there option is available. Even if it is just in the backyard. Kids learn to imagine, how to play nicely, be fair and jump off the monkey bars.
    (Whoops — on a Soapbox). 🙂

  2. manchesterflickchick

    Looks like a lovely place. That’s why the idea of me having kids has always been fleeting as I couldn’t cope you being switched on for a little person – constantly with hardly any down time. So many more kids need to be allowed to explore, play & make friends, rather than being given a tablet to occupy them on holiday, I agree!

  3. .virginia.romo.

    It sounds (and looks! my! how wonderful pictures!) perfect. That combination of freedom and care is great and makes a perfect childhood. Your children can be glad to have such parents.

  4. Alison Pentland

    You find the beauty in every step. It puts me right there and I love it. From five to age nine were my absolute favourite vacation times with our kids. All of the wonder and none of the drama 😉

  5. rubyfoot

    What an idyllic spot for a traditional old time family holiday. I could just imagine the Famous Five using that wooden building in the top photo as their HQ

  6. KerryCan

    You packed so much into this post–not even sure how to respond! I think your kids are going to remember this as the best holiday EVER because you were brave enough to give them some freedom. It’s what i value most, when I think about my childhood, and the thing I feel saddest about, when I consider how life has changed for today’s children. Good for you. And your photos are fabulous at capturing some of the details of the vacation–so much goodness and fun!