My husband and I have just been away on an action packed getaway with friends, family and our 5.5 month old son, William. I noticed some changes to the pre holiday thinking. My mind began running wild with ‘what if’ situations about three weeks before we left..."/>
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Holiday or Headache?

By Morgan

Holiday or Headache?

So the old me would count down the days until a holiday. Book the pre holiday bikini wax, maybe buy a fresh white top and check my bathers are still respectable. Pack the night before, stock up on all the latest trash mags and off we go! Woo hoo!

My husband and I have just been away on an action packed getaway with friends, family and our 5.5 month old son, William. I noticed some changes to the pre holiday thinking..... My mind began running wild with ‘what if’ situations about three weeks before we left.

  • What if he gets sick?
  • What if I get sick.
  • I’ll need...He’ll need.... We’ll need.
  • How will we get from here to there?
  • How often will we use the pram?
  • Should we take the baby carrier too?
  • How will he cope with dinners out?
  • Where will he sleep when we stay here?
  • Will he keep these people awake?
  • How will I travel home alone (my husband Ed left us mid way through the trip to get back to work)?
  • How much check in luggage do I need?
  • Should we get insurance for this or that?
  • What will William need if the weather is like...? or like...?
  • On this day he’ll sleep at these times..
  • Don’t forget to pack food equipment, first aid, medicine, nappy stuff, sleeping gear, toiletries, emergency this emergency that, travel details, toys, extra blanket ect ect

Wow! Remind me why we are doing this again?!

The day before William and I flew home my God Mother booked me a pedicure at a swish salon near her house along with the offer to babysit William. With William asleep in trusted hands I escaped. Whilst walking home from the pedicure I had a moment of reflection. Holidays will not be as I knew them for many many years to come. Being away from home with a baby is a huge planning exercise but obviously worthwhile. Going for a pedicure for an hour by yourself gives me the same feeling I had going on a holiday before I had children. Grabbing just an hour to do something indulgent is all I need these days. William has helped me to appreciate little treats so much more. I have to be grateful for that.

Expert response from What Were We Thinking! expert, Jan O'Connell

Life does change as couples become a family. Holidays are a good example as you've shown. The day-to-day activities of parenting continue regardless of whether you are home or away. Your expectations of what a holiday is invariably require some rethinking and adjusting. Just the logistics of getting away on holiday is a project management task!

There are many positives aspects of your new holiday experience however, including having an opportunity to:

- Spend time together as a family in a more relaxed environment separated from some of the daily routines

- Go for walks, enjoy the fresh air and exercise – great for feeling better physically and emotionally

- Learn more about, and delight in the many wondrous things your little one does

- Enjoy being a parent

- Share the parenting tasks between both parents

- Find, or make time to be with your partner to re-connect and to talk about how your new roles as parents are progressing

- Negotiate time for each of you to do something for yourselves – to go for a run, a round of golf, read a magazine, catch up on sleep or book an activity just to be pampered.

- Arrange a night when you can have dinner together as a couple – this can be easier to arrange if friends or relatives are with you, though finding a reliable babysitter may be an option to consider.

Remember that when you have a child, there are will be some things you have done previously that you can no longer do, other things you can continue to do though in a different way and there will be new and exciting things that you can only do when you are a family. Holidays are a great example of how you make the shift in thinking and experiencing life in a new way. Adjust your expectations and sit back to enjoy the pleasures and sometimes challenges, to be had with your family.

Posted in:  Baby 17-20 weeks