Camping with kids + wine bar fridge ….

There really is something bleak about coming home after a holiday.

I also got the irony that I managed to win a Best Parenting Blog at about the same time that I was drinking a Mojito in Zanzibar, whilst I had shipped the kids off to their grandparents, with the nanny in tow – I get the humour in it!

Running away from home is quite surreal and especially if you have opted to do it without kids.

One quickly reverts to your former single/time-before-your-uterus-squeezed-something-out self, where you just lie around reading, eating junk food and yours is the only bum you have to wipe – ah the joy of the small things in life!

I will confess that from about Wednesday last week, I was starting to pine, especially for the warm, squishy feel of Isabelle.

Kennith and I are really fortunate that we are able to go on holidays without the kids.

My mom has retired and lives about an hour up the coast from us.  She has a large house and an inability to think quickly on her feet.  This inability assists us, as she cannot say no when I ask her if she can look after the kids.  So every now and then we get to abandon them and head off to places undiscovered, and though I am wracked with guilt (strangely I am, even for all my bravado) it is still a delicious treat!

The kids enjoy being with their granny and oupa, and Kennith and I get the benefit of sleeping until we wake up – which in itself is such a rare treat.  I also get to see what it is like to go to the toilet without company!

This was the longest time that  have left Isabelle and that was a bit hard for me – there were several moments where I just wanted to call it a day and head back home, and pick up my mucus and drool soaked 16 month old for a cuddle, and to sniff in the warmth of her urine soaked nappy.

I did return from holiday and have been thinking that Kennith and I should start to holiday with the kids.  My concern is how much of a holiday will it be for us?

Kids are hard work.  Ask any mom (and dad) and they will admit that kids out of your house are much harder than kids in your own home.

I do not think I am quite ready to pack luggage and take kids on the plane, but I am definitely going to start hunting for some kid friendly holiday places nearby – partly to sooth my guilt for leaving them behind on this holiday and partly because I think it will be cool.

Whatever direction we head with the kids needs to include a small bar fridge for wine, and babysitting facilities for when Kennith and I look at each other and realise that taking kids on holiday is actually not a holiday.

I know several moms who would rather not holiday than holiday without their kids.   I respect that there is a parenting continuum, and they may be in a different place on the continuum than where I choose to be.  I am on the end sitting with the chilled glass of wine, and wondering what all the fuss is about!

I know when I tell people I am going away without my brood, they hit the speed dial number for child services and start removing me from any “mommy and toddler” playgroups.

I have always said I really love my kids, and I am willing to admit that I really like them as well – which is a subtle difference.  My kids are funny and clever, and sometimes when they manage to go an entire hour without someone spilling juice or complaining because “he/she is looking at me” I start thinking that maybe I should stop fantasizing about running away from home so often, as before I know it these warm summery days of their childhood will be over, and all I will have is too many bottles of Chenin Blanc to show for it.

Last week Kennith and I got to just sit like two amoebas with the highest functioning decision whether we were going to drink a beer or a cocktail.  I could lie and read my book – undisturbed – until the drool ran out of my mouth, and formed a sticky congealed pool outside my mouth on the beach chair as I drifted off to sleep.

While acting like I did not have a care in the world, I knew my kids were safe, well cared for and getting a dose of sunburn on a beach along the East Coast.

Holidaying without kids is like having your cake and eating it as well. You get all the blissful stuff of a break from reality, and a chance to remember why you enjoy parenting, and then you get to come home to sun burnt faces and warm hugs.

But now I am googling “camping with kids + wine bar fridge” and seeing what I can locate.

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  1. Hilary

     /  October 7, 2010

    Im the same here. Crave some alone time but get all anxious when my boy is away from me for one night. Its insane. He’s only 2 1/2 and Im expecting a brother at the end of Jan. Hopefully when I have two I’ll feel less guilty about having alone time away from him. I’m already stressing like hell about leaving him for 3 nights when I’m in hospital having the baby 😦

  2. I think these getaways are vital!

    We spent 10 days in CT last year – it was heaven!

    We are now starting to plan family holidays. Its taken D a while to get used to his instant family but we seem to have it all sorted now 🙂 It does help that mine are a little bigger now – so can do alot more for themselves!

    • reluctantmom

       /  October 6, 2010

      This running away from home things definitely is good for the soul (and the sanity)!

  3. Bevan Buck

     /  October 5, 2010

    Good to have you back Celeste! I admit that I was green with envy when reflecting on your & Kennith’s Zanzibar holiday….we have not had a “squealer-less” holiday for 6 years but I know that Marilise will not cope with the absence of our boys. I would definitely cope, with a small dose of guilt for leaving them behind….but I would also relish it.
    We’re going on our annual Sun City trip in 3 sleeps (with kids obviously), and I know that no matter how much fun we have, I’ll still feel like I need a holiday from my holiday with Ethan & Samuel when I return.

  4. Firstly congrats on the award.
    Secondly, congrats on holidaying without the kids. We do not seemt omanage it and I am soooo wanting one.
    But we do holiday with ours – we even camp with ours. No, you definitely do not rest, but you do get to have a hell of a lot of fun together which makes up for a lot.

  5. Tania

     /  October 5, 2010

    the 1st time i was away from my son for more than 1 night was when he was 4 1/2, by the second evening, both He and I were crying on the phone because we missed each other. the 1st time i was away from my daughter was recently, she is 3 in december, i was quite a mess and miserable by the 2nd evening. sadly our husbands/partners, are MEN, and MEN need time alone with their mate and although they do miss their kids they absolutely love the freedom from them for that period of time. well done for taking the leap and taking a well deserved holiday and rest!

    • reluctantmom

       /  October 5, 2010

      I will be honest and say if it wasn’t for Kennith who does tend to draw a line in the sand, I would not be able to leave them … of course I miss them terribly when I am away from them, but when I come back, I do feel ready to face another day in the trenches …. but I have not been able to stop hugging and smothering Isabelle in kisses since I got back.

  6. Sharon

     /  October 5, 2010

    No judgment here! I use my time at the office as a vacation from wiping bums and going to the toilet alone!
    Glad you enjoyed it!

    • reluctantmom

       /  October 5, 2010

      No problem – the getting away from kids is always guilt-racked, and though I attempt to give the impression I skip off without so much as a backward glance, I actually pine, and keep doubting my decision. Kennith feels quite strongly about breaks without the kids, and I also need to respect that he wants mom-and-dad-being-grown-up time which is also okay.

  7. Simone

     /  October 5, 2010

    Firstly…congrats on the blog award win. I dont comment much, but read your blog everyday so was pretty excited for you. Pity there is no sort of cash or wine prize??

    W.r.t holidaying without kids….we only have one so at this point we cannot imagine leaving her. Even one night at my mom’s because we went to a wedding sent me into a depression. When I got home I sat on the bed folding her clothes…CRYING! How sad is that?

    BUT I do think once we get to multiple kids, I will be only to happy to have a break once in a while. So after 3 kids….I say enjoy it and soak up the sun! You deserve it.

    • reluctantmom

       /  October 5, 2010

      Thanks Simone! Leaving your baby is really difficult and I would not recommend it to anyone unless you are able to drink your sorrows away and enjoy wine! We did not go way when Connor was a baby, but I went away for about 9 days when Georgia was about 18 months old and it was really hard. You enjoy being away from them, but the missing them is agony.


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